By ena ganguly
Queer people of color are everywhere. Wherever there is land, there are queer people of color. That’s why when we, here at allgo, talk about ‘community’, we always refer to it in the plural: communities, because queer people of color are a part of most all communities in the world.
Since time immemorial, queer people of color have made history. We were poets, singers, philosophers, historians, dancers, parents, teachers, and so much more. There is no obstacle we have not traversed, and we still continue to be so inspirational, timeless, revolutionary.
Here are three ways to write a love letter to queer people of color everywhere:
Find time to spend time with other QPOC
Make time to be with other queer people of color, and no one else. If your partner, best friend, parent are not queer people of color, let them know that this is going to be monthly/weekly/annual time for you to be with just other queer people of color, and no other community. Relish in the time you have with folks who you share deep, meaningful connections with who also share similar identities to you, or simply make time to build more QPOC community and make new friends and family! It’s important for us to carve time out for ONLY ourselves. That’s how we nourish our own spirits as well as that of other QPOC. There should be no guilt or shame attached to that, and if there is, you have to ask yourself, who put that there? Is that something that you decided you did not want, or did someone decide that for you? That time with other QPOC should be a time of healing and connecting for you, so if you can’t feel that way when you’re in such a space, then perhaps some other things need to be addressed and acknowledged before you can do that.
Volunteer your time at QPOC spaces
This doesn’t necessarily mean you are spending time at your local food bank or volunteering for a charitable cause. This can look like showing up to spaces that are dedicated for QPOC or should be dedicated to QPOC.
Definitely check out your local QPOC organizations, spaces and events. One major space being allgo, on Tillery St., in Austin, TX! Come on over and connect with us this Saturday at 2 PM as we get to learn more about herbs and body loving rituals!
Consistently showing up to places and being a positive and supportive light, when in our capacity, can be extremely comforting for other QPOC, especially baby QPOCs who are just now coming into their own. Remember, your presence is so important and makes a world of a difference to other QPOC folks!
Respect your QPOC Elders
I know it sounds preachy, but please, hear me out. Our QPOC elders, even those who are 15 years older than us, have truly paved the way for us to be where we are at and enjoy the things we do. They are very basic comforts, don’t get me wrong, but even the mere language to describe our experiences and who we are did not exist eight or nine years ago. If they did, they were stigmatized or not widely accessible.
Our Elders went without the current language, societal acceptance, and the acute marginalization to be who they are and live their lives the way they knew they could, and so they did. We are where we are because of them. Please take time out to thank an elder, to connect with them and even to hear their stories and ask them questions about the past or for advice.
Too often in this society, elders are thrown away into the shadows, because of heterosexist capitalist and racist ideologies. We cannot emulate the culture that oppresses us, so we must always ensure that the elders are taken care of, are heard, and that they are not forgotten.
QPOC are my family. They are my first Elders. They are my ancestors. They are my children, and their children, and their children. They are the children of the elements, and of the earth itself. QPOC are the children of spirits, ancestors, gods, and goddesses.
We are everywhere. Celebrating everywhere. Building community, everywhere. Loving one another, everywhere. Fighting to be ourselves, everywhere.