I cannot count the number of times I have sat across a table or beside BlackAmazon, how many times I have texted, emailed, or said on the phone to her “You just need to ignore them. Don’t give them so much of your precious energy”. The conversation has been repeated for as long as I have been on the internet and even before. Who are the voices that get heard and how do they get heard? How can people hear/see me and my experiences.
Before I moved to Los Angeles, one of the last things I did was watch Beasts of the Southern Wild with BA and when it was over the two of just sat next to each other. She was quiet and I was stifling sobs. Not because it was a “great” movie but because the two of us, as two very different women of color felt so much for Quvenzhané Wallis, as a character and most importantly as a little black girl. And we knew, with all the clairvoyance that history and our lived experiences give women of color, what would happen.
Ignore it. Don’t give it your precious energy.
And then #FemFuture
Ignore It. Don’t Give it your precious energy.
But I did. My peeps were talking, writing and responding. It wasn’t that I was jumping on the band wagon. But like WAM! Like Seal Press, all the other invites, tokenizing, reports, books, conferences, blogs non-attribution, lack of solidarity, this was about work love, love work, love and work being diminished, pushed aside, misnamed as hate, jealousy, sniping. This was and is again about selective memory and history.
We can’t ignore it. It is our precious energy.
When I met BFP for the first time I reached out and touched her. I told her “somos carne” – we are real flesh, not just what we choose to write about, share, make money off of, get our degrees on, get grants to present and travel. This is about three mamas, Noemi, Fabi and I, sitting in a room in Detroit, children playing at our feet, eating out of a cooler and us laughing so hard until we cried. Crying so hard until we laughed. It’s about a hand rubbing Rose’s back at a conference table as she spoke in the face of transphobia masked in “good intentions”. It’s about sitting in TK’s living room with her worrying about how her daughter will go to college. It’s about hearing BA sing, watching Nadia recite into a mic, seeing Anna with my teen, witnessing Lex dancing, recording voice with Moya, and chopping vegetables with Adela. It’s about visiting Stacey’s hotel room with cupcakes. Making sure the house has a ramp. Making sure your friend has a bed to sleep on even if it’s in your living room. It’s about Karla and I ordering room service and going to the gym with Jun-Fung. It’s about two Mariposas telling me I belong. It’s about Bianca sending me coffee and giving books to my teen and Lenee introducing la Mapu to Turquoise Jeep.
It’s not new and that gets old. Every few years something will rear it’s ugly head at us and remind us that everything we did and do for each other doesn’t have value in someone else’s version of the future. This is not a debate about “feminism”. I’ve given up on that easily and without an ounce of shame. It’s about how we as women of color, trans people of color, gender non-conforming people of color, our familias, our kids have been making a future everyday online and off.
You can’t ignore our precious energy. It’s what we give unto the world everyday whether we are working long ass low paying hours in retail, getting our Doctorates, making movies, writing poetry, skyping, making websites, breaking or building relationships, curating fashion shows. We are constantly communicating our lives, making media that reflects the path behind us and sets the stones for the road before us.
The future has been here all along. Choosing to ignore that, not cite it is to erase our precious energy that is our very being. And we will not allow it.
We Love Each Other Too Hard.