FEATURE: Kay Ulanday Barrett
Kay Ulanday Barrett is coming to Williams! On March 1st, at 4:30pm, Kay and the Office of Accessible Education will be hosting a panel in Griffin 3 speaking to disability and access at Williams and beyond, the specific ways these experiences and structural histories affect queer/trans people, people of color, and low-income folks. This is an event that will speak critically to ableism here and elsewhere, and provides ways to learn and improve our own communities.
Access Notes: Please refrain from wearing any type of scent to the event, including perfumes, colognes, and scented detergent. The event will be a scent-free space. If you or anyone attending the event has access needs you would like accommodated, please contact Olivia Goodheart at email@example.com.
This event is generously co-sponsored by the Feminist Collective, the Dively Committee, the Davis Center, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity, EComm, Williams Students with Disabilities, Queer Student Union, WGSS Department, Asian Studies, the English Department, Minority Coalition, the History Department, Comparative Literature, and the VP of Campus Life.
This post is part of a Nat. Brut series in which feminist writers, artists, and activists discuss people, publications, or organizations who are working toward inclusivity. Today, poet and educator Kay Ulanday Barrett shares their choices. Click here to read more! Special Thanks to Kayla E. of Nat. Brut for the amazing collaboration.
“Kay Ulanday Barrett, a Filipino writer who helped Salgado gather participation from many of the project’s subjects, agrees. “This project celebrates TPOC bodies and brilliance customarily erased in the LGBTQ mainstream,” they told The Advocate. “Our work and this project reminds us: migrant, black, disabled, fat, gender non-conforming, brown, and transfemme people run this shit and we must be honored daily.””
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
Sweet and special thanks to the organizers of Penn Non-Cis, Rod and Xeno
for their dedication to accessibility and transgender experiences at University of Pennsylvania. It was a lovely stay with y’all talking about critical ways in which campuses can do better, be more caring with their resources, and over all how knowledge regarding disability, chronic illness, and mental health are so desperately needed. Xeno and Rod, y’all are doing the arduous and wonderful work. Thank you for letting me share this space with you and create strategies with poetry and workshop.
A glimpse of my Philly not-so-gritty Gayyyyy time trying to to do the breakdown
of trans justice, ableism, and racial justice… y’know my life.