Submit! Nearly There is a zine project meant to address the serious absence and silencing of stories about the experiences of queer people of color.
Day One of QWOC WEEK
It’s finally happening. I woke up this morning and thought, “It’s QWOC WEEK.” There wasn’t that much excitement in my mind as I thought about it because I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, I’m still eating irregularly, my hair needs to be done, and there was a part of me that still wondered who I was doing this for… me? Had I become this deluded person that felt like I was filling a void that didn’t need to be filled? Did Boston care that there was an entire week dedicated to celebrating the queer women of color that have contributed so much to our community for years? Did queer women of color care? I wondered…
And perhaps the self-doubt was my way of dealing with all the anxiety I’d been feeling about this week, all the stress it had created for me in additional to regular life’s pain points, all the drama/negativity from people who still don’t get what I’m trying to do, all the nervousness that comes with putting your heart out on the table, and on the line, for something you truly love… Whatever the real internal was, I resolved to be happy before I left my apartment this morning. I told myself that if I accomplished nothing from this week other than getting the volunteers/organizers together, who seemed happy to be a part of something and to be meeting other queer women of color in this city, it would still be worth it.
I have learned so much over the past year. I feel like I’ve been on this accelerated leadership development program. Images of boy tweens that I have seen, who are growing so fast – too fast – that their arms seem too long for their bodies, their ears too big, their chests broadened in defiance of puberty, but still flat with years to go… Life is moving faster than their bodies can keep up with. I feel that way these days; that qwoc+ boston’s success exploded in front of me and I was not yet fully capable; that I took on a burden that was too big for me and have struggled to keep up and ‘step up’ each and every step of the way; that my fear of letting something beautiful fall for lack of wisdom has held me back at times. This journey has been stretching. It still is. But, as I think this, I know that it has also been such a blessing to have learned all what I have learned, to have met all the wonderful people that I have met, and come to love… Even the ones that have not been so wonderful, or so nice…
Once upon a time I was naive. I thought that everyone was good. That everyone was an idealist inside. That everyone was fair. That everyone could always see the bigger picture, no matter how big their egos were. I was wrong. And there has been no stronger reminder than my various experiences this year. It’s even been a reminder that I am not so perfect myself. That I am fallible. That I am human, and that I make mistakes. However, I am proud of the fact that I haven’t lost my way, still. That in spite of how difficult it may have been time and time again – I am not thick-skinned enough to suffer continued hurt/disappointment – I have stayed true to myself.
So, it’s day one of QWOC WEEK, and here I am, the “Head Organizer”, looking like crap from no sleep, feeling like crap from no time to take care of myself, but feeling as proud as a gardener in spring. There are so many smiley faces online, so many exclamations (“QWOC WEEK!”) in my inbox, facebook updates, and voicemails. There is something budding today… and it’s beautiful.