It’s not news to any of you – much less those who have been close to QTPOC in any capacity, that the past month has been full of violence and triggering events. The bloodshed, the loss of so many Black lives, has put a special drain on organizations catering to Black folks, especially Black LGBTQ folks, since Orlando.
As an Afro-Latina, I live at the intersection of many of these identities. My partner is trans, I am queer, and my life matters too.
One of the organizations that has helped me and people like me the most in Portland has been PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, the first chapter in the country to cater specifically to African American and Afrodiasporic LGBTQ communities.
I work as their Communications Specialist, and organize regularly with them to ensure our united communities feel at home, and are cherished while we are alive here and now – instead of later, once we’re a hashtag, a viral video, a ribbon, a picture at a vigil.
So tonight at my dear friend Sara June Woods’ book launch party for Careful Mountain, a group of us collectively decided we would donate copies of our work and other books to a raffle. The proceeds from the raffle will go to PFLAG Portland Black Chapter and to providing advocacy, legal support, youth programming, and more to local QTPOC.
I will be reading, alongside Sara, Manuel Arturo Abreu, Irene Milsom, Ines Falcö, Prairie M. Faul, and Stephanie Stiffler. You will have a chance to win a copy of my debut chapbook, No One Remembered Your Name But I Wrote It Down.
I am grateful to my community, and yes, I have been writing endlessly and creating in our names. I don’t want to wake up a hashtag.
I will close with a video that has spoken to me during this time, Sleep, by the Roots.