Think Be Do Forum Feature: Julian K. Glover

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This past fall we requested  submissions for the THINK BE DO Forum in response to Dirty Art Boi’s Naming the Myth Resisting the Myth.  Thanks to everyone who sent in a  submission however we are only able to select 4 to feature in the Forum. We will post  new pieces throughout May. 

 

We are excited to share our next guest piece for the THINK BE DO Forum by the very talented  Julian K. Glover. 12204605_10153347870557572_520458057_n

Julian K. Glover is an academic, activist, and performer who recently graduated from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs with an MPA and has degrees in speech communications, music and sociology. He has been published in the Harvard Kennedy School’s LGBTQ Policy Journal is currently pursuing a PhD in African American Studies from Northwestern University where he works with E. Patrick Johnson. He has also worked for several national progressive organizations including the National LGBTQ Task Force, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Center for American Progress in Washington DC.

 

Every breath a transwoman of color takes in an act of revolution”

Lourdes Ashley Hunter

I may not be a phenomenal woman, but I am an extraordinary queen!”

Tela La’Raine Love

You will stand with me at all of my intersections or none at all”

Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi

The nature of white supremacy relies on its ability to remain invisible. Blackness is ruthlessly and mercilessly interrogated while whiteness remains the default and thus, unchallenged. I have developed strategies to resist white supremacy after understanding the importance of centering the wisdom, experiences, knowledge and survival practices of trans people of color and specifically transwomen of color (TWOC).

While attending the 2015 National LGBTQ Task Force Creating Change Conference in Denver Colorado, I had an opportunity to attend a healing circle led by the National Director of the Transwomen of Color Collective (TWOCC) Lourdes Ashley Hunter. The purpose of this circle was to provide a collective space for transwomen of color to express their sorrows, trials, tribulations, triumphs and resilience in the face of the various systems of oppression that constantly expose the community to violence and death.

Though I was elated to attend the circle, I did not anticipate that the experience would be transformative for me. Witnessing TWOC speaking truth to power, engaging in collective healing and supporting one another in the face of a world that seeks to destroy them daily forced me to examine the various ways that I- as a cisgender person- was complicit in the subjugation and oppression of TWOC and the transgender and gender nonconforming community at large.

Not too longer after the healing circle and returning to the Midwest, I came to the conclusion that my liberation was dependent on the liberation of TWOC, the trans and gender nonconforming (GNC) community. Further, I realized that it was absolutely essential to not only center the trans (TWOC specifically) and GNC in our fight for liberation, but to demonstrate unconditional love, support and solidarity to that community as well. It is my belief that cisgender people who desire liberation will never achieve such a thing as long as we fail to love- physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally- the trans and GNC community.

Lest we forget that love is more than a discursive tool, but an action. We- as cisgender people who desire liberation- must learn how to love TWOC, the trans, and GNC community. We can do this by centering and highlighting their experiences while in protest of systemic oppression, critically listening to them and honoring their wisdom, making sure that they hold leadership positions in our organizations and allowing them to tell us exactly what we can do to improve their lives.

Too many times have I watched colleagues, family and friends who sincerely believe that they are being the best “ally” possible disavow and discount the analysis, wisdom, experiences and desires of those in the trans and GNC community. It is time for us (cisgender people) to acknowledge our cis-sexist privilege, humble ourselves and put our processed love of the trans and GNC community into action. It is through such actions that we can dismantle not just white supremacy, but also patriarchy, colonialism and even capitalism as well.

 

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Once Twice a Con lets move on.

I support black people of all genders and classes getting together to celebrate our beauty and to develop political platforms but the million man march is a joke. It’s political grand standing and theatre at best. Anyone who would follow that slimy shady, sexist, classist, homophobic, megalomaniac, Louis Farrakhan is a fool. I just have to say it. He has done so much damage his hands are stained with Malcom’s blood. With All the resources he has built through his temple and followers in Chicago their impact on the south side should be 10x what it is. He’s just an old time hustling ass preacher who found a nice con in pushing Islam and claiming to continue Elijah Muhammad’s Legacy. It’s really sad and disappointing to see black folks so thirsty for political attention that we would follow that man for another symbolic March.After all the political activity this past year where is the event to build alliances between recently politically active young people and previous generations? We don’t have to agree on everything but can we agree to stop following snakes who continue to degrade women and poor people for starters? Can we agree to put a pause on useless marchers until we build some strategic alliances amongst ourselves that will have a direct impact on the violence of poverty they are using to keep our people in economic and psychological choke holds? Can we try to do this without people trying to build brands, get rich in the process, or trying to become the next mayor/president. Surely we have realized after multiple million men marches and countless black mayors,senators,and even a president that our strengths and solutions ly somewhere else amongst ourselves outside the trappings of respectability, capitalism, and the american political system.

Bragga docious

If I had to Boast…

Dab is for the stoner

smoke til I die

The path of a philosopher

Hidden within I

Without reason

Always chasing

Loves Hy

Art is for the dreamer feeler creator …

No choice but to express

The essence of

This fact…

there is no difference

only now

no such thing as later

Boi

the beyond gender… bender…

In the greyest of the Grey

Intuitive pray ..er

broken bridge

In-between

as a connector

I live

D.A.B

Yea I’m this I’m that

But I still see

And if you just listen

You can follow me towards free

No disclaimers labels or apologies

Only requirement for this journey

You must stand next to

And lead us beyond me.

dirty

art

boi

aka

don’t ask about me

Cause  if you don’t

know me by now…

My Macho

Macho is a  performance

masculinity one part of my essence

the expression of  a spirit

still figuring out what it means to love himself

in a world taught to hate him

the referee in the battle between the man they think they see

and who they tell him he should be

My macho

is queeny and queer

my sensitivity an asset that keeps me in the crosshairs

my masculinity is the creativity of unbridled love

trapped in this body of politic

a transgressive African vessel

who’s beauty though hyper-sexualized, misinterpreted, and often commodified,

was designed to parent humanity

My macho

He thinks he’s tough

mostly strong for others more than himself

mostly angry and stifled

in this place that values the pursuit of money green wealth over

love and knowledge of self

My macho is a womanist

he knows the temptation of

a posture of manhood maintained by the tears and pain of womyn

and the cultural demands to perform it down the road to easy wealth

My macho

wouldn’t be worth living without the love of womyn

who would be a clueless incomplete shell

without the power of the feminine force

My macho

is a survivor who often wonders why he is still here

mostly strong for others mostly angry and stifled

by a society who reads criminal across his face

Grateful for the Philly Trans Health Conference

Special thanks to AJ,EJ,LM, and TY, who gave me the feeling of  friends/family away from home. If it weren’t for the kindness of strangers and the brotherhood I’m finding amongst  Black Trans Men I wouldn’t have been able to attend.  I really wouldn’t have such a good time. I’m so grateful I made it.  There’s nothing like being reminded you’re not alone. To be affirmed simply through the hearing of another’s story. To absorb and observe the overlapping of your struggles and triumphs. To be reminded how far you’ve come and how far you have yet to go. To be encouraged to pick up the bouton and keep pressing on cause others have died fought and sweat blood and tears for you to be here . There’s nothing like the words of elders and words from your trans brothers sisters friends and peers. I’m so grateful and thankful to those who just came out shared their stories shared the space and graced me with their smiles. those who’s names I don’t remember who reignited my urgency with their tears and eased my pains with their testimonies of standing up , surviving , flourishing and overcoming. It ain’t easy being us yet we still so beautiful, so strong, so resilient, it makes me proud to be counted amongst those they call trans… This is the gift I get every time we are together no matter how many sessions I do or don’t attend this is the blessing I have received both times I have come to the Philly Trans Health Conference.