By redeeming your most painful experiences you transform them into something valuable, algo para compartir or share with others so they too may be empowered.” Gloria E. Anzaldúa
i am broken. Shattered. Disoriented. And still in a hazy shade of the future – for the world and myself.
i’ve been processing my feelings, my anger, my disappointment, my depression on the page and in my performances, but the sadness still hasn’t siphoned from my skin.
i know i’m not alone. From the digital world to the face-to-face world, i can feel a collective darkness – a sense of tension, pain, disillusionment, and anger.
Yesterday, i pulled all my Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Saul Alinsky books off my bookshelf to read. i’ve seen the same energy i’m feeling reflected and manifesting itself in the form of massive global protests to what is happening here. The winds of change are upon us and we are on the precipice of an era of art, activism, and dissent that we haven’t seen since the 60’s and 70’s.
i too have been (re)organizing in the darkness because the last time i felt this kind of pang in my being the man who became president had a direct effect on me and my everyday reality.
It was 2004 and the Republican Convention was being held in New York. My then partner and i watched as thousands of protestors were wrapped up in orange construction fencing and corralled into complacency like cattle.
That visual sparked a need for action in me. So we packed up the car and drove 2000 thousand miles to protest the Republican Convention. We were on the frontlines alongside thousands of people making our voices heard.
That night it felt like we won.
A few month’s later when Bush declared war on Iraq, a yellow Western Union envelope appeared in our mailbox involuntarily recalling my partner into Operation Iraq Freedom. As a lesbian couple under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, i knew we had lost and that i would be left in the dark. My partner was off to fight a war that neither of us believed in and for rights that didn’t include us.
i was devastated.
To help process and heal my soul, i created art. i birth some of my most memorable dance pieces during that time: Beating Around the Bush and Old Glory.
This week i found myself doing the same.
i wrote a piece for Global Grind that has comforted some and ignited others.
i channeled my Xicana roots and anger by dragging Frida Kahlo and performing to Lady Gaga’s Americano.
And i will continue to do so.
As an artist, i am but a reflection of the energy of my community and my feelings. And right now, i’m pissed and feel called to create art to comfort my gente, my people — queer, immigrants, people of color, women, native peoples, Muslims — and myself. So, i will create a movement with my art here on my blog, on the page, and on the stage.
The world has shifted.
And so have i.
i will continue to be who i have always been – full of love, light and possibility for myself, humanity, and the world.
And also who i once was – militant, active, and vocal in my art and everyday life.
Together they make up the whole of the person i am set on becoming, the voices i want to represent, the art i want to make, and the change i’m dead set on being. We are all in this together. i stand in solidarity with you mi gente of others. And i am not afraid.
In love, light, dialogue and solidarity,