Last weekend I had the honor and privilege of sharing my work with around 600 participants at the Asterisk Trans conference at UC Riverside. It was a magical and beautiful experience to be surrounded by so many wonderful and beautiful people of such diverse gender, color, ability, and ways of being human.
I had the honor of opening the conference the first evening along with the lovely Jennicet Gutierrez and Kay Ulanday Barrett. Kay and I have been connected through social media and common SDQTPOC community for about a year or so, but this was the first time we had got to meet in person and experience each others work. We both immediately noted how unique it was for us as both SDQT Pinay/Pinoy/Pinx poets to come together and feature on the same evening! It was such a blessing and gift to get to spend the weekend with an artist that has been traveling and getting paid for their work and is someone I came away from the weekend feeling a closer bond and connection of kindred spirit.
This was also my first gig since completing my new chap book "The Ashes I've Risen From" and the support that folks at the conference showed up with was amazing! I sold out of all the copies i had brought with me and wished I had printed more! I was taken back in awe of how much my community showed up and honored the work I put into my craft. It gave me a deeper confidence in my work and its worth, value, and importance in our current social and political climate. In a world that is often telling trans women they are disposable, and that our labor is not legitimate or valued, this weekend showed me how those lies are simply lies, there is community out there that is willing to support, to protect, to value trans women of color, sick and disabled queers, and in the lovely words of Kay "The Apocalypse"
I also did a workshop entitled "Creating Spaces; performance art as healing tool for resistance and liberation" In this workshop, I shared some of my origin stories as a writer, my connection to performance poetry and healing of my trauma, and practical tools for a personal practice and collective communal practice. Then we even got to make our very own performance healing space together as an asterisk trans community!! It was such a lovely time together and I hope that folks in the workshop will be inspired and motivated to take knowledge from this workshop and create such spaces in their own communities!!!
Overall I had an amazingly trans formative weekend connecting with new friends, making new connections, sharing my work, my art and my story! I look forward to continuing to build with the community that I shared and that this isn't the last time I get to see all the wonderful folks that I met!!
If we met this weekend and you are an educator, an organizer, or administrator for your LGBTQ or pride centers on campus and would like to bring me out to your school, please contact me for booking!! I would love the opportunity to continue sharing my work and building with our communities all across the nation.