2014 [previous entries]
Today what I learned in a beautiful meeting with chosen fam/collaborator is this:
“People can very much be like the organizations/systems that break our hearts. They can traumatize and hurt you. You can have a good mission, vision, and be superb on paper. But people get cut out, terrible conversations happen or no conversations at all, takeovers, control, and isolation all occur for the good of the organization/system/person. Meanwhile, your resources, time, & care are parche…d raspy rivers. It’s an old story, it’s a fucked up story. It’s one housed in rejection, shaming, disappearance. It’s hustle and burn out culture. Housed in fear & using tools that erase nourished connections, love, possibility, and creations already made. It doesn’t honor our complexities. It just shuts down. It’s one where default tools of how we learned to work and love, again, divide and conquer us into strangers or oblivion. It’s racism. It’s ableism. It’s misogyny. It’s many things our dreams cannot make room for. All of those packaged into the individual sake of good. I hate this story. There’s letting go and then there’s this. We are more than the organizations, the alienation, & the heartbreak we’ve been taught to swallow. We are not alone. We don’t have to be. We are connected. We have choice to unlearn instead of burn and erase. Let’s ask questions when people seemingly fade away. Let’s not mirror those dishonorable ways. Let’s try to not let empire seep into our pores when we are meant to be holding one another. What you do impacts me and hopefully, I impact you. I don’t want to be colonial, I want our love/work to be something else, a pouring where we’re honest in how we flow with and without fear.” #empathynotempire
just circulating this list of 26 ways to be in the struggle. While it is not the only comprehensive list, can bring up questions or shifts needed in political protest culture, it is a good foundation to action, to larger discussions led/created by Black queer & supported by non-Black POCs (many of whom were yellow & brown). Take care and circulate/engage if you like!
[Original PDF Format found here] Created 12/18/14
This list is designed to celebrate all the ways that our communities can engage in liberation. For a range of reasons, there are and always have been folks who cannot attend rallies and protests but who continue to contribute to ending police and state violence against black people.
People seek justice and support liberation in an array of ways, yet their bodies, their spirits, and their lives may not allow them to be in the streets.
We believe that we will win. And we need the presence of everyone in the movement to do so. We affirm that all contributions are political, militant, and valued.
By and for those in our communities who can’t be in the streets, we offer a list of concrete ways that we are in the movement, and that we are supporting liberation every day. We see you. We are you. See you in the struggle.
Piper Anderson, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Ejeris Dixon,
Ro Garrido, Emi Kane, Bhavana Nancherla, Deesha
Narichania, Sabelo Narasimhan, Amir Rabiyah, and
Meejin Richart. Design by Alana Yu-lan Price.
Read here for more:
My sincerest apologies y’all! I know I haven’t updated on my blog in a minute, so do look out for a review of the year and also some catch ups.
I also appreciate the efforts of Oscar Robles and Sabelo Narasimhan for working together to make sure that we took this privileged platform of fashion and shared #blacklivesmatter.
So good to revel in queer masculinity as a dapper dope disabled guy! I’m trying
to rep some goodness despite the ways of current loss, mourning, and grief.
check out Neha Gautam’s video here:
Check me out right now at WBAI Asia Pacific Forum speaking on transgender, brown, & disabled activism. Shouts to host, Olivia Trinlas. I’m spitting some poetic stuff on trans liberation led by trans people of color & talking about disability justice! http://
[Description: three various bois/transmasculine/gender queer people with an array of brownness and blackness stand together. They have various dapper & styled aesthetics. They reach have cute smily faces.]
based on various conversations with chosen fam, here are my potential (read: all fiction) projects for age 33 aka a few examples of events/workshops our communities actually need in real life: 1) i feel like i should write a book titled “Snapbacks & Hospital Socks: Sick Sad Steez.” (no. too much. alliteration.) 2) workshop: “Leave my bed FOR WHAT?! the myth of bootstraps, productivity, & worth.” 3) workshop: “White transmasculinity, bro: How TPOC get “overlooked” for paid jobs, partners, & resources.” 4) workshop: “How ableism fucks you over: It just does. 5) an interpretive dance: “Ah, reactionary agreements & the partners who have them!” 6) a cd compilation: “Fuck your music festival: why womyn & cissexism are obnoxiously violent.”
#justkidding #noseriously #qtpocsupremacy #diasporadesires #sickasfuck#anycollaborators? #sickanddisabledqueers
Some sweetly timed sweet dealings with the likes of dapperQ and the amazing #DisabiltySolidarity conversation on twitter. Do check out some on-point ideas from the likes of Lydia Brown and Stacy Milbern. Such blessing to even virtually be in such company. Decolonize this loneliness and isolation from the able-bodied ways, son! White supremacy lays down too deep in our crip beds and on our brown bodies. We’re worthwhile, I keep trying to convince myself, I keep reading such astounding people and honoring work of people like those in Sins Invalid. I keep breathing my exasperated sighs into the cusps of my loves who get pain or who rock with me when it’s passed midnight or my joints scrape to the grooves of rock salt. Remember, dear ones (& dear self), our bodies are our own homes and we can expand and expel as needed. Let’s expel that white supremacist and bootstrap dissection of us. Let’s do it with glory together. Let’s do tree psalms and the keen flagrance of the sky when clouds move reminding us we to be powerfully humble. Let’s be bated breaths in syringes, wheelchair shifting, blade slicing, madness climbing our skulls. Let’s be beyond those expectations we were never asked to help create.
Read quotes featured on Disability Visibility Project with tweet awesomeness from brown boi,
Kay Ulanday Barrett. His excerpt: “Everybody wants a disabled, queer, POC in their photos/PR,
but they don’t want to address our work, lives, justice.” #DisabilitySolidarity #sdqrealness#sickanddisabledqueers #nosingleissueliving
[thanks to Ki’tay Davidson for curating such needed conversation on #qtpoc &#poc
disabled/sick/mad/crip perspectives! #disabilityjustice]
Read the full story here:
[A brown boi with a stern face, short black hair, & glasses holds a placard that reads: “Bombing Disabled Palestinians is not freedom! FREE PALESTINE!” Behind him is a vast sky of gray and blue clouds.]
(photo via SJK)
#nyc4gaza #gazadayofaction #gazaunderattack#freepalestine #nyc #jerseycity #SDQlove#sickanddisabledqueers #sickqueertimes #brownboi#qpoc #qtipoc #qpoc #transpeopleofcolor#transmenofcolor #kaybarrett #transmasculine#queersofinstagram #queer #transasian#antiimperialism #Decolonization
Suheir Hammad’s Gaza Suite | 1: Gaza
from Palestine Festival of Literature
“each day, faith over fear.”
As someone who lives, resides, and was born into America and the disgusting privilege
that involves, publicly I want to make it clear that I do not support Israeli Occupation on
the Palestinian people and in Gaza. I’m pin@y american. I learned about war, martial law,
occupation by US- backed and funded regimes as early as I knew how to read. I learned
about these concepts with a surveilled distance. I learned about my sense of freedom
and what it demanded, how I was born in the belly of the beast, here the responsibilities
are obvious. I choose to not purchase or support any company that funds the
Israeli military. I choose to be vocal and move with extra limitations around
other people’s freedom and self-determination. There are an array of media sources
I would suggest people follow and support if they don’t already. The most obvious
would be: Electric Intifada & Aljazeera. Please be critical. Please acknowledge
that massacre isn’t a form of upholding human rights.
Cerebral. I go for cerebral when all you see are mass bombings of children. I’m allowed that
here from so faraway, when my families are not being blown at checkpoints. The targets are
the sick, the disabled, the children, everyone. If the coverage slaughters bystanders online,
then what’s the inextricable the damage to people actually involved and surviving
everyday violence is grotesque? It’s happening as you read. Right now. Someone is
running for shelter. Someone’s face has seen the ghastly strain of assault on
every smile they knew in the morning, they saw at school, at the table for meal.
There’s no excuse for anything this heinous. There’s nothing of morality here.
Young boys carrying signs on behalf of their parents and somehow this country in
which I reside manages to be an accomplice to such overtly widespread massacre.
All I ask is that we listen to the Palestinian communities abroad. All I ask is that zionism
and islamophobia are utterly questioned. Complacency isn’t for us as QTPOC
in working struggle. All of my heart and hope and support for the Palestinian people.
Already a busy week, no? There are academics boasting how triggers are censorship & also, let’s not forget new moon action! In additionally awkward queer news, something almost as ludicrous is that my poem “Homebois Don’t Write Enough” is featured in The Advocate with other mighty Trans poets NYC style! I know, how did I (and other trans / people of color) sneak passed the gate? Miracle or mayhem? May I please have my Gay Equality perks now?! Check it out na:
Trans Day of Action:
I’m finding it harder and harder to find political home, but when I do, nothing is sweeter, more genuine. When I do, I can feel my ancestors, every brown, disabled, trans, awkward nerd of color, every kid in the library trying to love themselves and their immigrant parents, any short child swinging feet on bus seats alone, every hoisted insult gone to a stanza, every fingerprint with the faint smell of dirt and petals, every gender pronoun not known in languages we’ve forgotten, every survivor, every pariah you ignore in the scowl of respectability, each shivering anxiety-ridden artist, every person who’s had to scrub their bodies down to facts or assessment in front of clipboard carriers, every coughing lovelorn poem that’s never ready to confess, every body despised into radiance, every empath that feels it at the skin surface as just a beginning, every curve pouring from manmade constructions, each poor hustle pressed into sunrise scraped throat, each jolt of failure that humbly rocks itself into a lesson, every word whittled down to “no” you have swinging from your ribs, any person who knows their truth to be one extra block is already too much, where one joint or organ or quake is a choir of many… I felt you. I felt how invisibility isn’t a cloak anymore, but a brag. I felt how the work has been done and how radical people, as sweet and as knowledgeable as they are, are stressed beyond measure and cannot witness beyond themselves, so we are missing in their folds. They do not question why. Body quake quadrupled, lung gulps in struggle, one step of a stair that feel like the relative of cliff and knife edges, depression more voluminous than the river we march alongside, you are there whether people acknowledge it or not. With or without the banners, you sling stories that could surrender a skyline– in every major city, all of them. You are everywhere. You are alone. There’s not any one single event with the capacity to be a barometer of your brilliance.
[Description: a homemade placard reads “brown trans liberation now. #sdqlove” it rests on steps surrounded by various crip, sick, & disabled tools. Some of which includes canes, tinctures, tea, various pain medication, herbal oils.We set aside #sickanddisabledqueers seating, offered tinctures, listening space, moved by the water, shared food, & resting room. During my time wearing said sign, I met 3 Deaf people, 7 cane users, 2 people with MS, and 3 people with fibro. Everyone poured frustrations, shared their resistance, talked how they were tired/overlooked/in pain/isolated in movements and events like this. Most of the were #QTPOC. We took photos and exchanged numbers. We waved or spotted one another with nods of acknowledgment. We smiled. We listened to one another’s brilliance and boundaries. We’ve been here, y’all. Our goals aren’t to get fixed or better, but to be valid as we are. Ableism needs to stop. Our goals are a liberation that embraces every bit of struggle, pace, pause, and brilliance. #transjustice #disabilityjustice #tdoa #tdoa2014 #nyc #chelseapiers#sickanddisabledqueers #sickqueertimes #tpoc #rally #qtpocsupremacy #twoc#transpeopleofcolor #tincture #qtipoc #boichronicals]
an unexpected FB message from a tita/aunty that liked my artist page. i haven’t spoken to her since my ma died: “Hi Kay, I am glad to see you on FB. We had good memories with you and your Mom. I am proud of you and happy for your accomplishments. I bet your Mom is smiling up there <insert tsismis/updates about other relatives>! You are well accomplished. I respect you, don’t worry. You are still the mabait (friendly/good/kind) and obedient child I used to know. I still remember the encyclopedia set I bought for you. You were/are so smart! Keep it that way! Regards and Take care. Please stay in touch. Your, Tita _____.”
#emoboifeels #eldersbeingkind #pinaytsismisalways #sighs #qtpocwins
my tita likes it, thusly you should too! https://www.facebook.com/
Allied Media Conference was an incredible amazing trip! There’s nothing like being
surrounded by QTPOC and SDQ community that get you and if they don’t get each other,
holding space to be patient with the conversations it takes to get there. To unapologetically
exist is such a privilege, a deep, languid, slow allowance to let yourself be however you
are breathing at that moment. However, I come alive and however, the ones around me
engage, the people I connected with and continue to work with humble me in ways
where my work feels like it expands. Heart expansion. Plus barbeque. Plus access intimacy.
You’ve got all the right factors needed for my summer to feel wonderfully dreamy.
K says: “how do you want to describe us in the description?” Leah/@lakshmiintheworld: “Hot and tired. Queer sibling status.” [description: an exhausted brown boi with glasses sleepily smirks rests their head on the shoulder of a brown smiling cute femme who rests her chin on her hand. Their spoons are low. They needed protein.] #qtpoc #qtipoc #femme #brownboi#qtpocsupremacy #mixedracequeers #qpoc#queersiblings #transpeopleofcolor #queerbrownlove#chosenfam #amc2014 #sickanddisabledqueers#sickqueertimes] — with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha.
[Description: a mixture of #tpoc / transgender &/or gender nonconforming people of color stand
outside looking so stunning in the Detroit summer sun. This was my summer solstice.]
#qtpoc #tpoc #qtipoc #twoc#transpeopleofcolor #gendernonconforming#transgender #femme #sickanddisabledqueers#femmesofcolor #genderqueer #amc2014 #previously#dang #qtpocsupremacy #qtpochustle] — with Dustin Lil’Snoopy Fujikawa, Fabian Romero, and Morgan Robyn Collado.
[Description: two brown round and transmasculine people give serious smirks. Person on the left has short black hair & glasses, the person on the right has a bright blue shirt, glasses, short salt and pepper gray hair, and identifies as super fat. Love, growth, support, & access intimacy with @gelenifontaine! I’ve learned humility, humor, & on-point politics with Geleni. Thanks for the laughter & the spare heating pad.]
#qtipoc #qtpoc #tpoc #amc2014#transmasculine #fat #fatness #qtpocsupremacy#chosenfam #boihustle #kaybarrett#sickanddisabledqueers #sickqueertimes#accessintimacy #disabilityjustice] — with Geleni Fontaine.
Dear Yuri Kochiyama: We’re strangers. I’ve only met you in person once. At a crowded INCITE conference in Chicago over a decade ago, with API/A queer people, women, & trans community. I was a 20 year old shaky kid just honored to meet you. You were so fierce, humble, determined, inquisitive, and what I remember most was, deliberately compassionate. For all the years and cities and lives you grew with and shaped. For everything you witnessed & created with others. For all the work you continued to do that lives within us. Gratitude is a word that can’t hold this loss and this celebration of you enough. For the life you lived that wasn’t trying to be legacy just liberation. Sending love to those you love closest in your circle, to your family, your comrades. Thank you for your movement building— it continues! http://www.npr.org/blogs/
The dope and sweet Karen kicked it NYC style over some thai food and QTPOC artistic politicking with from Vivek Shraya. It was good to explore early summer weather and talk on about Toronto and NYC shifts in politics and cultural work. So grateful to be able to celebrate this project! So grateful to support fashion forward, brown body reveling, and political engagement that is all about the patterns and all about de-centering the privilege. Check out Karen and Vivek’s work as well as the video below. From Karen Campos Castillo :
“Went to New York for vacation but mostly to meet some cuties for my blog. It’s been a year, you guys! Vivek Shraya made me a video to celebrate. Thank you, boo! Special appearances by Gerardo Romo and Kay Ulanday Barrett https://vimeo.com/97379089“
—June 1, 2014—
—May 21, 2014—
—May 1, 2014—
Comrades, loves, & shakers: Int’l workers day is for all of us y’all! Please remember that noone is less or better in the compass of labor because they aren’t in “the streets,” son. Not all lives/bodies fit the dynamic of productivity & racist cis american scripts of “normal” labor.
To my loves achy in bed, to the coughing wheezing aching healing, to homies who can’t leave, to the mad brilliance shaken with anxiety, to those with revolutions that have to ascend the physical blocks or barracades of the body, those surviving with chemicals or cleaning in the underbellies, the lonely workers, the ones who can’t can’t can’t organize but sing to themselves, those whose lives are told their work is a waste, shouldn’t work but uphold the wizardry of survival as first language, to the loves whose deliberations don’t get status in cultural capital but make waves in chosen fam, for those deemed too lazy but forever the crux of all the little things taken for granted, for homies who coordinate who juggle public assistance/cops/intimacy with loved ones like a chant, to my poor homies too imaginative for the comprehension of money, for anyone whose dreams may not match their pay stubs, for the workers whose hands and spirit are the concoction of rough tenderness, whose hustle fucks with sterile white picket fences, those tackling street or multiple gigs that don’t balance a clock but create a new time continuum, for those whose connections or work aren’t seen as interview worthy, those with no nest, those with no back up plan, those who bargain like breathing air, those who love themselves a break even when they are forced to workhorse it out, those who bend hours & don’t get paid, those whose sweat is forgotten due to placards or protest etiquette.
For spoonies whose simple math is a critical campaign for living. For the hands that hold you with the ancestor’s loud speakers reminding you to eat/sleep/pray, for the chewed up and burnt out brunt of people who were mistaken as dispensable. For y’all with juggernaut hearts that feed us & can’t log in hours for payment, for those whose worthy isn’t a title or a press release but a constant check in, we work daily breath for each other and often times, there’s no income bracket to capture that wealth. I offer you gratitude and hope you ease. I offer you my blessed thanks for your efforts. You deserve health care, dignity, self-determination, laughter, good food and good love makin’. We all struggle for those things and our beauty is valid. Let’s de-bunk and debate our dependence on american white cis straight able-bodied dynamics of capital. In bed, in the streets, at the kitchen table, in long lines, in our dreams, in love songs, our work is on-going, deliberate, our work deserves dimension, and please remember, long after the contingents and slogans have raspy throats— we deserve each other.
—April 28, 2014—
[Performers/teachers/singers/dancers/organizers from Asian Desi Pacific Islander American Freedom School in Eugene, OR. Hosted/organized by @webstersofia! Photos taken by the sweet & mighty, @mightyfemme/Esther Kim! So much love for this.] #apia #qapi #pacificislander #qtpoc #boi #desi #asian #hawaiian #nativehawaiian #pinay #spokenword #Kaybarrett #boihustle #freedomschool #sickdisabledqueers #sickqueertimes
—April 8, 2014—
[Description: a brown trans genderqueer guy with big spiky short hair, spectacles, red t-shirt, & red patterned sweater holds chopsticks at a table. His expression is one of elation and anticipation. On the table is a plate of kimchi fries and a bulgoki platter with rice and salad. | Food from Bop n’ Grill in Chicago’s northside. Photo taken by Rebecca who does not believe in the bookface, Spring 2014.]
1) Chicago how you manage to jostle the old guy and the younger one in me.
2) No work this time. no gig or poetry said aloud. I mainly had self work, talking with pamilya at cemetaries, introducing my old life to my new.
3) When your people meet, they seriously meet and eat and go in. This is always for you. Also, best thai food on the northside is PS Bangkok. This restaurant has survived the onslaught of Lakeview gentrification in the last 20 years and it would behoove me not to mention how their food is just bomb-ass.
—April 5, 2014—
“What you don’t tell them is how you can crumple and pour without warning or watch. How in pain you wake, tremor, laugh, how you pause, grasp, buck and brace, as you move move move with and rebel it. Whether it’s the knock of a rib cage or a highway of nerves in bumper to bumper traffic— no childhood scraped knee can prepare you for this.” [Morning pages: 18, April 2014] #emoboilikewhoa #sickanddisabledqueers #disability #self
—March 3, 2014—
OH, OSCARS. I am only a fan of the food people prepare at your celebrations, by which I never pay for. However, my tweet did feature in a Gay Section. It wasn’t about the Oscar celebration snacks, sadly. It’s okay sport, maybe next year!
clear that his following in many ways loved to swim (not dabble) in transphobia and
transmisogyny. Oh, the backlash! In this scrumptious river of rude poop from angsty and
ignorant twitter community, who felt compelled to grasp the almighty artistic license of Leto
like it was their first born, I got this beauty aka “feedback” and journaled on it:
authenticity is judged by…? Trans people. 2) After my tweet featured in Huff Po Gay yesterday
re: white jesus Jared Leto & the Oscar, I’ve received 40+ responses in messages & replies.
They keep comin’. Note: the precious gem above was the least overtly racist, transmisogynist,
cissexist & violent of the batch.
—February 28, 2014—
[Previously in #Portland with my #homeboi, healer, cook, & brother extraordinaire @diegodelfuego69. All the travels were easier to survive come tour when I could ground in parts of kindness. This homey right here offered sweetness and poached eggs. We’ve weaved in and out of broken hearts, empty plates, & many random chats. The perks of portland include him! I’m in ache right now but this moment caught in frame is dope pain alleviation. #boiswag #sickanddisabledqueers #transcriplove#sickqueertimes #boichronicles #tqpoc #transmenofcolor#transmenofinstagram #queerpeopleofcolor #selfie #qtpoc#qtpocsupremacy #qtpochustle #portland]
—February 24, 2014—
So. I was stopped and questioned at gate check point in Chicago O’Hare for over an hour. I almost missed my flight. My nunchaku are a terrorist threat. Though, it’s not on their list of weapons. It doesn’t have a blade, an explosive, and isn’t included. Their questions & treatment have been real ableist and racist. Ex: “How could YOU possibly use these?” Gender shaming is just an addition. Send kind intentions, please. I’ve had these nunchaku for over a decade. No other cities have stopped me but of course, Chicago has to. Note: All white douche TSA security are getting a kick out of this. I could destroy them. Fact: U.S. Law Enforcement frequently have not streamlined/appropriated nunchaku as an applied weapon due to numerous medical self-injuries and difficulties mastering the weapon. Get the fuck outta here, asshats. They want to confiscate my/our shit because they can’t handle it. #cripbrucelee? #brownboiproblems #sickanddisabledqueer#yesyesiam #ableism #racism #fuckthapolice #queerbrownsupremacy
—February 13, 2014—
An update in life. Princeton IvyQ was hilarious and lovely. Hilarity rooted in me being the final Keynote Speaker to close out the entire scene and to pull from my speech, “being on every identity– trans, crip, brown, immigrant’s child & poor who isn’t meant to belong here.” The crowd was marvelous and seeing dope cultural workers and queer awesome people like Ngọc Loan Trần, Imani Henry, Sinclair Sexsmith, and Jiz Lee is always such a wonderful gift. Special goodness to Andy Cofino per usual holding it down at Princeton’s LGBTQ Space. It was an amazing supportive crowd and with familiar API/A trans queer faces that made it feel like home.
Leaving Mangos With Chili for a moment to recuperate with family, partner, and dog have been much needed. Show after show, it’s becoming harshly obvious how access and collective access is a real deal necessary element to political work, hosting, performance, and movement building. I’m going to be in Austin and New Orleans y’all, so please send some goodness our way as we navigate new ways to advocate and showcase cultural work.
—February 8, 2014—
this group of dope ones, right here. photo is courtesy of our touring road manager, suze! the week has already been tiring and taxing for an antsy crip like myself. i think i worry about so many things that have t do with privilege, but also my worries about the broader QTPOC movement. i’m worried we are etched in trauma that we lose one another, that we siphon such monumental heartbreak until we can no longer reach out to one another to heal.
questions i have for us are:
how can we not compete with one another? what does it mean to illustrate and center disability justice in our progressive QTPOC frameworks? why do people oversimplify struggle and why must we lose one another to this without embracing larger nuances in working together? why do cis and trans white men ruin everything? how come when i tour, i don’t eat enough protein?
why am i living anywhere where there is snow? how can i be a romantic unromantic person? i wonder, what my dog is doing? why can’t i just teleport from city to city? i wonder, what their hands feel like? when am i going to eat pilipin@ food next? where is my partner and why does she have to be surrounded in a polar vortex? what is it about cis people that think that they are the center of every damn thing? why do people wear such vicious cologne? can’t i just lay down down down down on desert dirt splay across a buttery bed?
brown queer trans crip people all day, everyday.
make love in this club by usher is one of the best van songs to sing to with homies, ever. EVER.
i love potato chips in ever state in the u.s. empire.
performing a found poem shakes my body to stillness.
i miss my lady like so many many many.
i need to draw more.
healing medicines from every city feels like community healing all delicious.
brunch is a queer state of resilience.
—February 7, 2014—
touring archives go as follows:
1) Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene to Kay Ulanday Barrett as archived by Beastie Salih:
“You’re so soft!…wait do you want me to say you’re hard? You are hard, you are, I’m just not focusing on that right now. #lifeinthevan #therealmwc2014#qtpoc
3) IN OAKLAND:
This is my —oh shit, what city is this? Am I in a van? Is that a cat, dog, ______ on my belly or…? Where’s the snacks? Where did everybody go? Is this a hotel? House? Gas station? Couch on a stoop? It’s pretty scent-free. That’s so nice.—- face. #therealmwctour2014 #TQPOC #boihustle#sickanddisabledqueer #imissmydog #qtpoc #tourlife #aynako with the taurean hosting love of fam, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha to re-orient me back to the worlds.
Photo taken by my boi & family, Cris. Me getting all up in the nunchaku for Oakland.
I feel the blur, the whiz, the swift, and the circle whenever anyone says some microaggressive
type ridiculuousness, this is what is happening in my spirit.
—February 4, 2014—
When you wake up in your chonies after writing lavishly for hours, then altar, then window gazing at trees trees trees clouds clouds. You hear clanking and shuffling of kitchen makings and blues of Billie and nina. You wake up then, again chonies only, and see an exquisitely colonial imperialistic #brunch setting complete with daily and wildflower servers are. Fuck doilies but mmmmm to wildflowers. You notice like a messy ass epiphany that there’s a pile of fancy ass donuts bigger than giraffes or at least bigger than your torso. As you flash conservative Eugene, Oregon with your trans #tenderqueer parts you move toward the donuts. You chant to yourself, I have arrived. It’s complicated. #food #donuts #qtpoc #oregon #therealmwc2014 #tourlife #qtpoc #tqpoc #currently #kaybarrett #baconmapledonuts #bacon #bandb #breadandbreakfast #brownsupremacy #boiswag] Shouts out to Sophia, Sachi, Leau, & Chithira for being the sweetest students in all of Eugene Oregon! The dinner and brunch following the performance festivities filled my heart with such bold hope even surrounded by ableism and scary colonial doilies in the bed and breakfast.
—February 2, 2014—
Langston Hughes Performing Arts had a stage, & lights that were beyond & with a crowd even more hype. As a performer, let’s just say my spirit was thrilled by it all. Have you ever went to a buffet style homemade homeland meal where everybody be sharing and crying and getting their hands in the food with delight? How about breathtaking sunrise as you wake up? Okay, then you got a grasp of this sense I felt. Thanks to Seattle for showing us deep hospitality & such an honorable space. #qtpoc #therealmwc2014 #queer #performance #culturalwork #kaybarrett #boiswag #transboihustle #qtpochustle #gendernonconforming #langstonhughes #POC #qapi #transgender #transmasculine #Tpoc cc: @lakshmiintheworld @cherrygalette @myloveisaverb @merbabegoddess
—January 31, 2014—
Unceded coast salish territories / Vancouver was pure medicine. Having old school sick, #disabled, #queer, & people of color is a resplendent thing. Setareh gifted me with so much medicine and balm for pain, as well as beach glass she’s collected on various shores from Victoria and others since we were baby queers—- I’m talking early early twenties circa 2004. They in Victoria and I in Chicago, our conversations went like this: we need more queer people of color, talkin’ about mama/grandma recipes, 10 page letters in the friendster era. That’s right. I’m on tour and I just aged myself. Needless to say, with all the mics that I rock, every city where I open & unfold, what is most solace are the love, are the homes after the hype. Feeling in pain but feeling so loved in my cities and in new places just traveled. When gifted with the freshly picked native sage & beach glass, seta said the following two things: 1) I figured the Virgo in you would appreciate the packaging. 2) When are we going to cook together? We have to cook together. | #QTPOC #healing #sickqueertimes #queersicktimes #queer #gendernonconforming #transmasculine #jar #chosenfam
—January 17, 2014—
[Cue that time when you go in for a check up and they tell you to have to be in the urgent care, have you fill out am application that oddly gives you “Transgender” as a check box option. Happy Friday to one and all. I don’t care what they say, I’m taking myself to donuts after this adventure. #mylife#sighs #queersicktimes #sickqueertimes #medicalindustrialcomplex#transgender #eek #self #nyc #paperwork.]
—January 12, 2014—
Kicked it in Brooklyn (I know, rare occasion right?). Technically, I was driven to Brooklyn with my roommate because
this cold weather doesn’t accept any other commute from me. I was thrilled to be performing with the likes of Kelli Dunham and others on behalf of Jay’s House, an upcoming LGBTQ Homeless support space for adults. It was a privilege to spit poems in closed doors and between lofty walls, have the stuffy and balmy laughter all the while we were hitting colder temperatures outside. Thanks to everyone who came out, showed up, supported, and listened to amazing people like Jay Toole. It gives us a sense of queer history that more often than not, is blatantly ignored. What better way than to ignite some real storytelling? Afterwords, a lovely person, a woman of color came up to me, tears in her eyes and tears in mine, strangers of a spark understanding. Maybe it’s the emotionally somber of wintry cold or the crowds of people we can surround ourselves by yet still feel singular, could be the idea of shivering and poetry, but strangers– please do keep warm, keep your fur and your human loved ones close. Possibly consider poems while you’re at it? Okay, not poems? Netflix and a fluffy blanket will also do wonders.
—January 2, 2014—
Happiest New Year, yall! Here’s to winter making & shifting:
1) to wake up without pain today is a brilliant luxury.
2) snow days for me as a kid meant west side chi-town streets bejeweled with chairs, lawnmowers, wood planks, & an assortment of appliances to “reserve” parking spots. If able, youth made a good dollar with a shovel & neighbors knocked on doors to see if we were all alright. Everyone’s inner macgyver came out below 2 degrees F. If you were the wiser, you wouldn’t dare fuck with the chair duct taped to a rake. The cold does things to people in the Midwest. Power and honor involve improvised yet secured car parking while my basement home snowed in, guaranteed a tide of snow over a 3rd grader’s head. Still had to go to school though.
3) my biggest love goes out to those stuck in the cold, those surviving homelessness, those who cannot just consider the mounds of snow as a photographic landscape.
—December 25, 2013—
Please try to remember holidays/this time isn’t the easiest time for some of us. If you’re like me, you might balance ghosts with platefuls of hunger & memory, toss & turn in blankets that used to be concrete, hang xmas lights for any kind of shimmer. You know trailer rust & city smog coughs can do a person right despite their stigma. You know people who must gamble debt, never have days off, or never a kiss goodnight. “Family” isn’t the stuff of stability or yearly newsletters of accomplishment. You aren’t invited to the dinner, you are the avoided, or “that relative.” You come from people who are told not to dare touch the glass counters of stores or to clean them to spotlessness afterhours as Santa still counts his reindeers. You are seen as charity during this season but a lost cause without better bootstraps the rest of the year. Santo Niño or specs of food on a bookshelf are an altar for people like you. You know being prodded for just breathing & you learnt coping in a myriad of ways. Props to those who can still love. A candle to those we’ve lost to the state, to the pressure, & to ourselves.
[excerpt: morning pages, december 25, 2013]
—December 21, 2013—
Dear mama, I’m making your favorite: pineapple upside down bundt cake. It smells like mackinaw city & chicago all in one caramel rich inhale. Based on the sheer amount of butter and brown sugar I used, there is no other conclusion to make but the obvious. No matter the disdain or curiousity we may keep for one another, I am your child. #diasporabelly #notabaker#cakecakecake #childhood.
—December 18, 2013—
1) That time where a couple of API youths began to sing the chorus of “same love” while my girlfriend and I sat on the bus dressed quite cutely. “Is that directed at us?” said Sarah Kurien. “I think so. Ugh, damn you macklemore.” In the background, a gutsy ‘she keeps mee waaaarrrm. she keeps me waarrrrmmm’ continues til we reach our stop. / do you think that’s cute or obnoxious? #reallyson? #weirdshit #mackleless #awwyouth #ourdatenight
2) Hey guess what! Bois, trans men, & masculine of center queer people face trauma and can be survivors. We endure violence that happens to us via intimate partnership violence, domestic violence, & state violence. Conventional binary gender limits the understanding that this all is sadly possible, and continues to constrict access for folks through out the gender spectrum. Please consider how rigid our understanding of healing can be in the queer/PoC/progressive community. Consider how heteropatriarchal racist ableist wealthy cissexism is evasive and can limit our ability to heal as well as limit our movement work. Thank you so much. *yo boi, K.
—December 8, 2013—
Dear Queer & Transgender spaces:
fuck your sick/crip panic! we/I am not your sicko disabled sob story or whiny downer isolated incident crippled menace to the movement. Learn accessibility. Live interdependence. We’ve always been here. You cannot erase our contributions or try to fix us. You know this. We will not let your isolation & internalized colonization ostracize us. We love you, but we love ourselves more. Be the goodness we can be!
—December 1, 2013—
I do class talks virtually, son! Special thanks to Professor Gem P. Daus for his invitation to speak with his class last week. Students read my writing from Filipino American Psychology: A Collection of Personal Narratives and asked questions about ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. This is me performing & speaking via Skype for his Filipino American History & Biography class at University of Maryland! This is what happens when you ask a class to give you their “don’t mess with me” face. Also, I did an online virtual call & response of Isang Bagsak! while talking about intersectional#pinay/#pinoy-am movements. Ah, making a living. #queer#transgender #boi #qtpoc #tpoc #asian#asiamamericanstudies #filipina #spokenword
To have me speak and perform for your class, organization, collective— go here and we can get all into a Q & A, and talk some liberation strategy!
—November 20, 2013—
Activist and spoken word poet Kay Ulanday Barrett shares his thoughts on how food can build
community in “Food from the Cusps.” Excerpt:
No matter how many cooking shows, culinary degrees, or fake bamboo huts, there is no replacement for the spirit of home cooking. It comes from the daily festivity of practice and ingredients that build a home. It comes from struggle, comes from history, comes from the people.
Continue to read more here.
—November 7, 2013—
Today’s lesson: My job isn’t to change minds. If some people’s hearts are so closed, if some people deem us invisible- there’s nothing I can do. What I can try to do, is explore power already within us. What I can try to do, is welcome healing and action. What I can try to do is fuse the past with the present. Remember: we come from legacies and we are dynamic.
—November 4, 2013—
white people who profusely use polysyllabic words in theoretical analysis and/or in discussion of artistic aesthetic, but consistently misspell a brown or immigrant person’s name. #whitequeers #whitetranspeople #racism#sighs #possiblexenophobia
—October 28, 2013—
—October 16, 2013—
How amazing is that?!# Big shouts to 18 Million Rising for nominating me as a National FILIPINO AMERICAN History Month Hero. I mean, I am utterly honored to even be considered. Love to 18 Million Rising crew for constant support! I wouldn’t be where I am without pamilya out there to nourish me with kindness, compassion, & support! ♥ Props to Sabelo Todo for the photograph too. Here’s their description:
Kay Ulanday Barrett, poet, performer, organizer, and educator, is today’s Filipino American History Month Hero! Kay was included in The Trans 100 this year for their incredible work advocating for disabled, queer, Pilipino young people, on and off campuses. They make art with the hopes that not only will it help their communities survive, but also thrive. Check out their website at http://kaybarrett.net
For Filipino American Heritage Month, we’re highlighting Fil-Ams who are carrying on a proud legacy of activism & organizing. Who’s your hero?
—September 17, 2013—
—August 30, 2013—
—August 18, 2013—
—August 13, 2013—
[disability justice collective]
been greatly blessed to talk with various sick, chronically-ill, crip, krip, and disabled community about the impact of multiple oppressions. my current and avid learning from people like Patty & Leroy, co-founders of Sins Invalid to songs from the effervescent Nomy Lamm (from my punk rock queer youth days before i knew was disability rights or justice even were), to my admiration for such brilliant queer APIA/South Asian crip & disabled love from Mia Mingus, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, and Stacey Milbern, i’m thankful be learning from these people and to be at the table with people from the current disability justice collective.
with my heating pad in tow and several pauses, productivity is a loving and malleable ordeal. I missed my dog, my guy whose helped me heal and really continuously allowed for me to devise so many of the thoughts and art and love that has been crucial to my awareness and growth. I thought of every sick person in a bed right now whose partner, wife, parent or sibling isn’t giving them what they need and harbors privilege seething in resentment. I thought of all the poetry and paintings created by sick cultural workers and songs sang in dissonance to flow with whatever physical and spiritual pain ebbed in their bodies. thinking about the black bodies, the brown ones sometimes too who get roughed by the cops more and targeted invariably because of the cane or mental disability they experience that result in re-traumatizing. I thought of all the skills people have that I don’t when it comes to getting basic needs met, about the sordid dance with medical practitioners who are transphobic and healers who tell another person something is wrong within them for not healing. I think about the court systems who think genderqueer or trans women must be lazy, burdensome, and that transmisogyny limiting access to healthcare.
I think about you, about how we may not have met yet, about the assumptions I’ve made about your own awareness, about how we settle with a caring that is thirsty for love that doesn’t tide us over in guilt or power dynamics. I think about you and i want clarity for us, for the ways in which this world succombs to the sharpest deadliest tropes and fallacies far easier than we all care to admit.
—August 10, 2013—
free write on longing the fantastical:
My secret dreams Craigslist ad: “brown amerikan mixed-race tender queer tibo (former teenage beauty queen) at heart transman seeks kindred yet platonic times w/ someone similar. If you have stances on palabok recipes or the emo nature yet sexism of pinoy rock music, appreciate the patterns of bow ties and banigs, please give me a shout. priority will be given to those who don’t want any political bullshit, who are for justice without the righteousness. Would love someone who has a thing or two to say about contemporary pinoy cuisine via diasporic interpretation or mixed race manhood. Rigid gender assumptions and amerikan vegetarians who wont dabble in lechon once in a blue moon, will not be contacted.”
—August 8, 2013—
“Tell you what body of mine: allow yourself the great inhales, the biggest peaks of laughter you got. Maybe there, no doctor’s robotic cadence or team of bills or 3am nightmare have the upper hand. Your own cackle believes in you. Even if you are a ramshackle of twine and quake, even if you are highway wreaking of busted bolts, you came from earth once…”
—July 24, 2013—
July 29, 2013
172 Allen Street, New York, New York 10002
If you missed the NYC reading for Kelli Dunham’s FREAK OF NURTURE in May, or maybe just thought it was creepy because it was at a funeral home, here’s your chance to hear her read from the book that folks are calling “hysterically funny, brutally honest and poignant and heartbreaking” (The Flannel Files), “laugh out loud outrageous storytelling” (Kate Clinton) and “so compelling I read..almost the whole book…in one day”(Danika, The Lesbrary). PLUS readings by some of the hottest queer authors with cool new work:
KAY ULANDAY BARRETT
—July 14, 2013—
“You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.”
— Pablo Neruda. [thanks to, Cece Carpio for the reminder]
1) dear white people: don’t dare come at us with this post-racial mess. 2) “The fundamental danger of an acquittal is not more riots, it’s more George Zimmermans.” — Jay Smooth (Source: Son of Baldwin)
—July 11, 2013—
how much do i love you champa garden in oakland? i love that laotian and malaysian food is affordable so so close to the lake. i love the sunny daytime date at a library reading children’s books and progressive magazines. oakland with gorgeous company and chosen family are stellar times in my heart after an extensive residency for TEATRO QPOC, a radio interview for KPFA, and douses of queer pride events. i’ve been eating well. i’ve been eating REAL well. there have been three gardens in my life that each that i hold a bit of a crush for. i’m sort of dreading NYC/NJ hapless hustle and lack of nature. there is something magical about eating from the earth and being very close to a body of water that makes each breath fuller, stronger.
—July 9, 2013—
Angela davis, emiliano zapata, dolores huerta by rupert garcia at KPFA Radio. Getting ready to do an interview with Ever Bolden speaking on transgender queer brown crip/disabledness!
—July 8, 2013—
K: what’s good, #goat? Goat: I’m chillin’. // At jim’s farm run by mindful #crip and #queer people in #Berkeley. I felt sick all day, but goat time was the best time. We learned so much about goat’s milk, trusting relationships between farmers & animals, and sustainable #farming. The land had several goats, squash, apples, onions, beans, eggplants grafted with tomatoes, all kinds of greens, and so much more! Secretly, this was all my dreams. #livestock #qpoc#farming #bayarea. I missed you, @criswordsmith! Photo to the Left by Mia Mingus.
—June 30, 2013—
i’m in Sf staying at the mission for an arts residency, specifically an actor residency , TEATRO QPOC hosted by Adelina Anthony. i feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work from a spirited and centered place that really amplifies my work as full-scale access to my emotions as a qtpoc. how can we use our aches, pains, and surviving to examine critical cultural work? i’m overjoyed to be working with the likes of Thao Nguyen and KT Shorb, whose work respectively has really moved acting and API/A art to another level. I can’t wait to grow and learn from dynamic artists even in this short and very concentrated time. I want to eat and sleep art, somedays. I want to live it hard and live it well.
sf update: 1) this is what content feels like. 2) horchata is THE business. 3) what does it feel to drive that moment, experience it like its never happened before? 3.3) ain’t nothing like qpoc vulnerability as it makes discoveries. 4) transgender and crip ancestors be like, “you got this, anak.” 5) kilig = ecstatic. smitten.
—May 28, 2013—
during a break from writing, i’ve developed a new way to take gross medicine or say supplements like emergenC. i suggest to do a spoonful chaser of garlic chili pork belly & coconut rice from sripraphi. 1) it was delicious. 2) problem solved.
—May 23, 2013—
a newly written essay excerpt: “able-bodied supremacist spaces can be your meeting and your bedroom. spaces like this are invested in the alienation and destruction of the fierce unconventional crip. able-bodied privilege latches on to obsolete mechanisms of fear, love, sex, and support. from inherent ableism, abusive behaviors either in intimate partnerships or organizational infrastructure are valorized. the way crip and sick disabled are treated in ableist settings are informed by gender binaries and unrealistic expectations. a trans disabled man like myself is not a strong leader if he’s in not in the march and could never face abuse in the hands of an able-bodied femme cissexual person. a trans woman crip is seen as less effective if she is not at all the pivotal events. polluted with ableism and outdated gender tropes, our everyday ways of love and movement building are in devastation. until people realize this, people will continue to harm, abuse, and invisibilize transgender crip/disabled/sick people.”
—May 15, 2013—
“I am a turtle, wherever I go I carry ‘home’ on my back.” — Gloria Anzaldúa.
Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa September 26, 1942 – May 15, 2004. Thank you so much & Rest in Power.
I chose an espresso frappe and writing in the sunlight over the shaming medical industry today. How blessed to even have that as an option for today.
—April 28, 2013—
Sarah Joseph Kurien & I at NYU Student Diversity‘s Ally Week. I mean, how cute are we? I think allies could be knocking on all the doors just at the very view of this photo, right? Thanks to Celiany and LGBT Center at NYU for a great event. It was so awesome to see the ever hilarious and thoughtful, Kevin Nadal too!
—April 22, 2013—
Looking forward to performing for Princeton soon! I have had a weekend of sheer gluttony with chosen family where we our hearts away. I’ve spent quality time with my dog kid, written new poems for the spring. The train ride into Princeton was dreary, but brief. I freakin’ love naps on trains. Something about the vibration and the on-going shifts of land and sky that bring something tranquil that a subway train just doesn’t do. Food, check. Cuddles, check. Poems, checkity check. Hey, LGBT Center at Princeton are you ready for me? I’ll see you soon soon with new work!
—April 14, 2013—
“The thing is this: I knew writing was a tool before every cracked voice lodged in a break up, somber empty plate, pupils fading to harbor escape. Before I knew about puberty or protests, I took what little time that wasn’t shrouded in violence and savored it. i tried to scrape up a stanza, a poem, a thought. In that regard, there was the possibility of something to claw my way out to. If i couldn’t imagine a world that loved a poor kid or protected a queer boi who faced abuse, then the least I could do is make the ink run to grid my shaky maps. If people couldn’t show up, then verbs on a page had to be of company. This hasn’t changed. This is still who I am. I write about her smile. I write about the spoonfuls for dinner. I write about sharing inhales and exhales, about the moments when home has a true meaning. i’ve had to learn systemic isolation can carve something beyond a place wounded in silence.” (journal excerpt, 4/2013)
—April 10, 2013—
100 Trans Americans You Should Know
Hard days these days… honestly. I’m hella humbled and thankful to all for your support, posts, shouts and kindness for #trans100. To be included among such a list is a blessing. This work is on-going, longstanding and so many others are not included on this list. http://www.buzzfeed.com/saeedjones/100-amazing-trans-americans-you-should-know
Brilliant movers & shakers whose work has incited/informed/humbled our movements include— Che Gossett, Ryka, Ngoc Loan, Pauline Park, Charlie Solidum, Elliott Fukui, Miss Major Griffin-gracy, Ola Osaze, Ignacio G Rivera, Bamby, Nino D. Dorenzo, Teiji Maeda Okamoto, Janet Mock, Kortney Ryan Ziegler ♥
—March 26, 2013—
Above is me post-surgery #2! Thank goodness for pop songs, big slices of pumpkin pie, taxi cab rides with ease. I messed up an assistant’s shirt with “such a a tiny toe, but one of the most stubborn toes I’ve ever seen!” That sounds about right.
—March 21, 2013—
Above is me spittin’ some ish on some masculine type goodness and to be honest, some good critique for PATRIARCHAL RITES, a showcase curated by the acclaimed Philly poet, J. Mase III. It was an honor to perform at this series and for the supportive people at Pace University. Also, free pizza and critical reflections regarding masculinity should always be paired with one another. I think that liberation would be just a bit more… delicious.
—20 March 2013—
*interview: POOR Magazine Krip-Hop Nation
Trans Man of Color with a Disability, Kay Ulanday Barrett, Breaks It Down Poetically, Politically & Personally [PART 1]
excerpt of interview:
KHN: In a rad magazine, Make/shift you explain your injustice with the workplace and worker’s comp. Can you share some highlights, what is new today and how that experience influence your activism today?
Kay Ulanday Barrett: I contributed to The Azolla Project edited by Stacey Milbern, Mia Mingus, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and it was one of the largescale public ways where I came out as someone receiving public assistance as well as where I explored the multiple affects of transphobia, queerphobia, racism, fatphobia, and ableism. I’m now more akin to realizing how all of my identities are pitted against one another. It seems that I received little support medically from my former job and I’d wager from the Worker’s Comp System (WCS), because I read hella queer and genderqueer. You can’t miss it. I’m gender non-conforming, kinda butch, hmmmm what is that? to people who have mainstream understandings of gender. The evaluators feel naturally inclined tomisgender me and use “she” pronouns when that isn’t how I identify myself. The doctors shame me by talking about how my body is fat or how I might not be healing or hire-able due to my physical attributes of short hair, no make up. I realize that so many of their interactions are based in heterosexism and a “fix it” mentality, that I must be an absolute puzzle to them. Once in an evaluation, a doctor laughed in my face after looking at my I.D. where I presented as femme and actually said, “Is that really you?! What happened?!” Often, this is how I start my all evaluations, already shamed for being who I am. The system quantifies and divvies up your body by assigning you a ratio that affects your compensation. Depending on how kind or thoughtful or say, queerphobic an evaluator might be, that impacts my financial sustenance. One aspect of my identity is used to shame me and reinforce ableism.
continue reading interview here