happy flag day, y'all!
so yesterday our twitter was lit. normally it’s just two of my friends ❤️ing and retweeting our shit but yesterday, the white gays were calling us all kinds of racists. of course, the day immediately after they cried and took up all kinds of space at vigils for the many black and latinx queer and trans folks lost in the pulse shooting.
normally, i never engage on twitter cuz it just ain’t my thang. mainly because i need more than 120 characters to let a fool have it. anywho, we got tweets about how the rainbow flag is not about race. we even had a few folks ask, “where is the white stripe!?” one of those folks was a latino dude who says he was asking about the white stripe because he is not “racist.” someone told him that working to ensure that white gays have a space everywhere - even on our twitter page - makes him “not racist.”
admittedly, i was not initially sold on the new flag. but chyle, but i saw how pissed and upset white gay men and hoteps were about the black and brown stripes - i was with it. i’m petty so anything that pisses yt gays and hoteps off, ima support. lol
here is the thing tho, redefining and owning queerness on our terms has always been a fight for black and brown folks ESPECIALLY for trans, gender non-conforming, gender non-binary folks. we have always had to face resistance every and anytime we wanted to carve out a space for ourselves. for some white cis-gay, our audacity to claim space on this earth is a direct affront to their commitment to dominate all spaces.
the new flag aims to recognize black and brown folks that continue to be marginalized within the lgbtq community and pride movement. the new flag DOES NOT cure racism. but my question is, why are we ok with waving the original rainbow flag at corporate sponsored pride events that are largely organized by white cis-gay men where cis-het performances pander to our community for coins does but fall silent when black trans women are murdered? why are folks more vocal about the black and brown stripes than they are about the violence black and brown bodies are subjected to every damn day?
don’t like the flag cuz it’s not visually appealing to you? cool. don’t wave it then. but if you are offended and appalled by the purpose and representation of the black and brown stripes, then you need ask yourself a few questions about what inclusivity really means to you beyond words that are not followed by action.
if you hate the new pride flag but have remained silent about the confederate flag, then i invite you to ask yourself a few questions. if you have remained silent as the alt-right and current administration has used the american flag to intimidate non-white americans, then i invite you to really have an honest and intentional conversation with yourself about what inclusion really means to you. you may find that while you are not racist, you may be hella anti-black. we all have our work to do. being mad at black and brown stripes is not where you start.
on this very day last year, we screened our documentary at the fifth annual latino film festival. we were the only film to highlight an experience from the latinx queer community.
i remember being ecstatic. our modest documentary was shot partly with an iphone 3 and with absolutely no budget. never did we imagine that our project would be a part of any film festival. needless to say, we were crying tears of joy.
we spent the entire day at the festival lifting the voices of queer and gay latino men. so much so that we were too tired to go to any after party. anthony, sean and myself just went home to rest. philly pride was the next day and i had three gv interviews scheduled.
we planned to share these pictures the following monday. we planned to share our joy with you all. that did not happen.
the following morning, i got several texts about a shooting in orlando. details were far and few in between. i wasn’t sure how to progress the information, however little. i had a busy day day ahead of me and was trying to stay focused.
as i made my way through philly pride with my then 13 year old son, i began to get details of the massacre. i saw anthony, who is generally has the emotional capacity of a brick, tear up. this is when i knew i had to stop and feel the impact. i began to finally check for details on cnn. this is when i broke. my son asked my i was tearing up. i told him. he was silent. we were all silent. we had literally spent the past two days lifting voices of the community that was murdered.
we spent the following months processing and trying to heal.
we have not shared these pics until now. one of our proudest moments exists with one of our most saddest. our lives and the lives of many queer latinx were different on june 11, 2016. we all awoke to a very different reality on june 12, 2016. however, our stories did not start or end on that day. our stories and our legacy continue.
*please excuse any typos. wrote and posted while out building community with varones at pride*