I need your help. I’m in the process of taking BlaQueerFlow to the next stage and I need you. This is includes more writers, essayists, poets, artists and web designers. This means an upgraded web-space that will be more widely available to members of the African & AfroQueer Diasporas. More urgently,and most exciting to me, this means a journey to South Africa and a coming book compiling the stories of us. Our people. Our futures. Our stories. We are just $500 short of what we need to get this next project off the ground–and I need your help to get there. Walk with me, as I write with you and we’ll accomplish amazing things. Check out the link to donate and get all the details.
“I believe in the sweat of love and the fire of truth.”
“When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
“I can’t become a whole man simply on what is fed to me: watered-down versions of Black life in America. I need the ass-splitting truth to be told, so I will have something pure to emulate, a reason to remain loyal.”
Who: Tabias Wilson – (see biography after the jump).
What: An auto-ethnography presenting the stories, survival strategies and customs of members of the African and AfroQueer Diasporas–in the cities of Capetown, South Africa and Boston, New York and Washington, DC—as a TransAtlantic, cross-cultural dialogue mapping the state of blackness, queerness, womanhood and sexual practices in our communities. The document—which is positioned to become an extended article or book, as well as a policy prescription—will focus specifically on the lives, culture and tradition of women, sex workers, HIV/AIDS Survivors and members of the BlaQueer/Trans communities. The project will compare and contrast the policies affecting these TransAtlantic communities, as well as the policies that exasperate or lessen the struggles of surviving while black and at the margins. These policy prescriptions, analysis and documentation will be presented to appropriate officials, community members and scholars.
- 1. Food/Lodging: 1500
- 2. Travel: 200
- a. $66 monthly bus pass.
- b. $134 taxi and alternative transportation fee for participants.
- 3. Participant Compensation: 1200
- a. Includes Cash and/or Food Payments
- 4. *Incorporation/501©3 Fees: 1000
- a. *Note: I’m soliciting $1,000 toward the incorporation and non-profit status of the The Griot’s Pen, as it will serve as a funding source and dissemination mechanism of the knowledge garnered here. However, all funding will first be applied to the aforementioned project.
- This project will serve as the inaugural project of my upcoming non-profit venture, BlaQueerFlow: The Griot’s Pen: an international platform dedicated to the liberation and humanization of members of the AfroQueer Diaspora and all peoples of color and sexual minorities, through cross-cultural dialogue, critical pedagogy, counter-narratives, critical love ethics and community-centered politics. The website will feature regular blogs, daily mantras, events of concern, calls to action, video blogs, podcasts and forum for dialogue. It will also serve as a growing clearinghouse for educational resources, scholarly research, community engagement tools and interactive tools for engagement and encouragement.
How: The document will be situated on the stories of diverse participants as stated by themselves. I believe firmly in the importance of the ability of individuals to own their stories and translate their truths. This endeavor is an opportunity for us to learn with and through community, through a coproduction of knowledge. It is through the collective of our truths, that we uncover and rebuild the systems that sustain or drain or us. Participants will be compensated between $20-$50 for their participation. Many participants will be taking precious time away from myriad occupations to participate and must be paid fairly for the stories they produce with their flesh. These stories will be recorded via digital recorded unless objected to by the community member, and then transcribed.
Where: Capetown, South Africa
When: May 28th-August 11th
Why: Though our countries are different, our challenges and the threats to our livelihoods are eerily similar: economic inequity for women, violence and discrimination against LGBTQ peoples, HIV/AIDS stigma and acquisition and the criminalization and senseless murder of sex workers across gender and sexuality. Many are familiar with the plight of racial-sexual minorities in the United States and attribute these conditions to a lack of equitable laws and constitutional protections. However, the same conditions exist in South Africa, where the constitution guarantees equal rights for women and sexual minorities (LGBTQ peoples). This implies that laws themselves may not be the solution. Analysis of the public policy terrain of both areas, coupled with an auto-ethnographical portrayal of personal experiences and realities, may reveal new pathways and tools for equity. It also has the propensity to broaden connections and community across the African Diaspora—one inclusive of women, LGBTQ peoples, HIV Survivors and sex workers.
The following quotation by Audre Lorde–“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive”—still rings true today. The power to define and express the histories of ourselves—and to receive the authentic truths of any people, as experienced by those peoples—is the building block of knowledge, effective data, cultural competency/fluency/accessibility and all pathways to equity. This document has the propensity to serve as a gateway between kindred peoples facing similar struggles, while also managing to survive. My goal to is collect and display the best practices of communities and policies, so that we might move from surviving to thriving, as we perfect our creative practice of living and loving.
Tabias Wilson is a noted and published writer, speaker, scholar-activist and community organizer focusing on the intersections of race, law and sexuality and the compounded consequences and opportunties for the humanization of racial and sexual minorities. His work focuses specifically on the maldistribution of sociopolitical resources, as facilitated by biased laws, as well as HIV criminalization and violences agaisnt black/latino queer bodies. He has been recognized by the National Black Justice Coalition and the White House as a “Top 100 Emerging LGBTQ Leader.” His research and writings have been featured by community blogs, research centers, and professional associations such as GLAD, Hispanic Black Gay Coalition, the Charles Hamilton Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law and the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians among many others. He has keynoted, spoken, presented or otherwise participated in conferences and galas at or with Columbia University, the AIDS Action Coalition of MA, the United World College, the American Psychological Association and Planned Parenthood of MA. He is currently a “National Thought Leader” for the Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians and member of the “National Planning Committee: Saving The Lives of the Men We Care About”–a committee of black and latino MSM, focusing on the health inequities facing racial-sexual minorities, especially HIV/AIDS–and a Merit Scholar at Howard Univeristy School of Law.