Blog : chicago

[April 16, 2016 | Chicago re-cap: hometown sprang.]

[April 16, 2016 | Chicago re-cap: hometown sprang.]

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[Description: a brown round #boi sits with #floral patterned collared shirt & blazer near a #mic & mic stand. Behind them are an ASL interpreter & a black #cane.] #TBT to my performance at #depauluniversity last week with a packed house of #chitown peoples. Very Social thanks to @depaul_inclusion, LGBT Studies, & the English Dept. for their energy & generosity. | “A home filled with nothing but yourself. It’s heavy, that lightness. It’s crushing, that emptiness.” — Margaret Atwood.

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[Description: a brown round boi with glasses is being hugged by an older brown woman with glasses with a stripe vest. They are in a beautifully opulent #restaurant with #thai art, wood carvings.] This is cook & owner, Sue. She with her two sisters have had their restaurant #PSBangkok in the north side of Chicago for over 20+ years. In a world where every building has changed, every storefront switched awnings, they remain cooking food recipes from their homeland & childhood with integrity & poise. She’s seen me as an awkward gay teen, a bandana dawning dyke, & the #gendernonconforming trans person I am today. She says, “Finish this… Eat this with this sauce.. Button up your coat, it’s cold outside.” Sue looks down as she clenches my hands after I’ve eaten, “I’m not sure when my sisters and I will go back home, if we can afford to go at all. But it’s time.” We both hold a still pause. She’s also one of the rare people who talk with me about my mama and actually knew her. She’s my chosen fam auntie and we talk about old Chicago every chance we get. My belly and heart are so full! 


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[Description: a series of books in the women’s & gender studies section at my Chicago fave bookstore.] Captive Genders, Exile & Pride, Whipping Girl.

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[Description: a group of people ranging in gender, size, race, age, ability, pose for a selfie in front of a brick wall. They look marvelous.] Title: The bestest. Food & caring company. With the mentors, their child Cece, and family. My poetry, work, activism wouldn’t be anything without the people in this photo. I’ve grown from lovely powerful roots. When I was 17 & queer teeny & poor & needed support, the women in this photo helped educate & nourish me into the adult I’ve become. Every stanza & talk I give, comes from their lasting imprint. Thinking of you @doctressstory & @krisclemonsphd, how we got to grow politically with such love. 

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[Description: fried chicken wings & kimchi fries from Del Seoul.]

April 4, 2015 | Color of Violence 4 (recap again!)

April 4, 2015 | Color of Violence 4 (recap again!)

COV4: recap yet again!

Enjoy this photo show, or picture show, as my mama
would say. Chicago you do this thing that charms me with
your midwestern gargantuan food portions, yet

breaks my heart overtime.

This was a hard trip. I was facing so many transitions:
people still remembering me as able-bodied; people uncomfortable
with my use of a scooter as a transmasculine brown person using
an assistive device which seemed sadly like such a threat, i.e.
“Ohhhh, hey why don’t you give me a ride?! or “Why are you on
that thing?! You are taking up space!”; remembering deaths of
dear family members; recollecting my old queer days;
midwestern gender binaries; heart ache; and having too
much time in a convention center.

What brought me life were the moments of intimacy— the
glares and smirks during workshops when someone said something
uplifting, the check ins for food and medicine by SDQTPOC and
our loving allies working to hustle resources for us, pool karaoke
time with my PNW & toronto homies, acupuncture from Geleni,
scooter shares with glorious lame and wobbly friends as well as those
feeling pain. Shouts to organizers Shira Hassan, 
Shonettia Monique,
Prudence Brown, and all the others who showed up in the most

accountable and best ways they could for this mega long-awaited
conference! Your work has nourished me since my baby queer days,
continues to do so for so many communities. I’ve always respected
the tenacity and love from which y’all create political change and
movement building. Thank you for sharing the long work, the invested
time, the hard talks, the critical moments that ache, you know that love
and liberation take the hustle and the slow languid rough moments
that cannot be summarized by any tweet or FB status. The strategic
sharpness it takes to hold 2000+ people so hungry and so deserving
of one another is beautiful and I’m sending y’all such blessed

[Wonderful fat queer people of color throwing it down! Thanks to Geleni Fontaine for hosting “Liberation Shows Up!” with me and to Asam Ahmed from “It Gets Fatter” joining our workshop with his insights on de-colonization and wellness. I’m surrounded by loving brilliance! See]



[old skool chicago ways with DJ Ang and Martine! back back in the day we disturbed all the midwestern whiteness and continue to stay true to our liberation!]
[enter Stokely in the comic book pajamas and his mom, Beatriz! They came to visit me pre-showcase and what a blessing they continue to be. Beatriz does fly food justice work, so catch her at Grassroots Action Network at WhyHunger! and Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.]
[Just a group in the 150+ session “Liberation Shows Up!” where we hatched some dope and live insights on disability justice in our hearts, homes, and world. Shouts to this group and peep my loves, Fatima and Milo doing’ their thang!]
[Idalia, me, and Milo. I’ve got access intimacy from the good good spirits. Idalia be a chicana down & brown homey, supporting those of us SDQTPOC peoples with food and support through out the conference. I love these dear ones.]
[Mighty Denise selling her fly and homemade wares at the #COV4 conference. Back in the day we coached poetry slam on Paseo Boriqua. A dope poet, mom, and leader, check her gear out at Madre de Perla Designs in Chicago. Thanks for the tie, homey!]

[Here’s fam right here. Big thanks to Milo, Asam, and Fatima for sharing their knowledge and experiences that helped me craft this workshop. Shouts out to all the mighty fine, thoughtful, & honest conversations that happened at “Liberation Shows Up!” Talks on ableism affecting queer, trans, black, indigenous, and people of color are real deal. We suffer from isolation, lack of resources, invisibility. however, with over 150+ people doing the work, we are not alone! We create new pathways to resilience everyday! We live and develop our strategies to wholeness!]
[Gratuitous love and respect for this co-facilitaor of mine. He’s one of the directors at The Third Root Education Exchange (TREE) in Brooklyn and has really expanded my wealth and spirit, shifting the gaze away from medical systems. Their work engages radical responses to the institutional oppression we face as communities. They also give bomb-ass acupuncture sessions that supports trans people of color, fat communities, people surviving with trauma, and sick/chronically ill community.]