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.
Time To Get This Going
The first ever pride week nationally to focus specifically on LGBTQ people of color is finally here! Thanks to much hard work by the QWOC+ organizers, the week is finally occurring!
I guess this is the most appropriate way to begin this new blog, given that QWOC+ has been a breath of fresh air in the queer community I have struggled to get acquainted with. I’ve come through my short experience as an out queer woman and noticed a blatant lack of awareness about the need for a diverse and fully inclusive (encouraging?) environment. The Boston scene suffers from the tired results of failed awareness, and even more a lack of representation of queers of color in the process of community celebration. So I begin this blog because I have a yearning to show how a woman of color, a Colombian immigrant, navigates the boundaries of bi-sexuality and bi-culturalism.
You’re a woman of color? That’s what my step-father asked me when I told him about QWOC+. As forward-thinking as he is, he somehow never grasped that I have always been and seen myself as a woman of color. I have green eyes, dark, thin, and heavy hair; if you want to talk pigmentation, depending on the time of year, my skin vacillates between brown and light olive undertones; at this point, my life has been evenly spent in both Colombia and the U.S., and I know that both cultures belong to me, if not usually in harmonious fashion. My blood is Spanish and indigenous Colombian, my upbringing a mixture of catholic scare-tactics, an under-spiritual upbringing with a mother who believes in some form of God and a Jewish American step-father with the conviction that “God” and “religion” are utter bullshit. I speak Spanish with my mother and the majority of my family, but as a usual 1st and 2nd generation immigrant, the longer my sister, cousins and I live in the States, the more we use English to communicate with each other. I dance and listen to salsa, merengue, hip-hop, reggaeton, pop, folk music, punk rock, and every once in a long, long while some country. My coworkers joke about taking a picture with the all-white staff, and then me. Yes, I am a woman of color.
And when it comes to being queer, being a woman of color matters. The relationships I have built around me are based on my background. I don’t choose my friends based on their color, but they must be sensitive and receptive to my experience. The perspective I have gained has premises with roots in my experience as a Colombian woman. My partners need to respect my perspective, how my being queer affects the people I care the most about. It’s just different. Plain and simple. And there should be more discussion about it within our community.