Instead, I’m building up the courage to trust my own truth. I have so much respect for those artists who speak for themselves, regardless of how their story is told by others. Artists brave enough to trust their own truth.
Take, for example, the women of Mirman Baheer, an Afghan women’s poetry group featured in this New York Times piece. These women take the ultimate risk, putting their lives in danger in order to write and share their poetry. Many of them write about love and hope, and about injustice and despair. Is it worth it, the risk of death? A girl calling herself Meena recites a landai: “My pains grow as my life dwindles, / I will die with a heart full of hope.” She thinks so.
CUAV members and staff
united on May Day
Let me just share for a minute that my experience of May Day was very different from the story of the media. Mine was just a piece of the whole truth of the day, but it is my truth. And it looked like this: artists and organizers coming together to lift up our stories as we tell them. I saw street theater, visual art, chants and music telling the stories of the people. This kind of art sends the message that we trust our own truth, and we demand to be heard. If only for a day, we shut down the noise of what others say is best for us and spoke up about the fact that we know what’s best for ourselves.
I’m really looking forward to the event coming up this Friday. It’s time for The Color of My Spirit, an evening of performances by queer and trans folks honoring our survival and resistance. It’s a follow-up to last year’s Safetyfest event Queer Rebellion, which was just an unbelievably amazing night. This year’s event includes dance, film, music, and spoken word, and I’ll be reading poetry as well. This version of our story isn’t often told, but on Friday it will be loud and clear – we have survived, we have resisted, and we’re proud of where we’ve been. This is our truth, the truth we can trust.
You can visit the Facebook event page or the MCCLA website for more information about The Color of My Spirit, and to buy tickets online. You can also buy tickets at the door (nobody turned away for lack of funds).
And if you can’t be at the event in person, there’s great news for you – The Color of My Spirit will be televised LIVE on Comcast Channel 76 and streamed live at SF Commons, which is exciting. So I hope you’ll be there, in person or in spirit, to see The Color of My Spirit.