I was privileged to be apart of the Harvard LGBTQ Conference on February 24, 2017. A joint effort by multiple student groups the conference brings together thought leaders for a day of panel discussions, keynote presentations and workshops focused on LGBTQ Issues. This year’s conference was titled, “A CALL TO ACTION: ADVOCACY, AGENCY, AND ALLIANCES
FOR A CHANGING WORLD”.
But what do students at Harvard know about activism?
What could I, a Black Caribbean Queer Gender Non-Conforming person from Queens, say to stir a mostly privileged crowd to action? How could I stand with those not in the room- those who don’t have access to these prestigious spaces- while holding my center? How could I, in these moments, do right by my ancestors?
Well- as promised- I took fear in one hand and my purpose in the other and leaped!
I was asked to do a Workshop on Direct Action – along with Adrian Acencion and Kip Williams-for the first time – I SANG- in front of people! Now, don’t get excited – this isn’t some hidden talent- I by all standards cannot sing well. But SINGING SAVES MY LIFE DAILY and while participating in direct actions singing heals. So, I sang. I lead the call and response of the Roots Version of “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around” from the Movie “Sound Track for Revolution. In church choir fashion the room rang out in the halls of Harvard Law School – “TURN ME AROUND, TURN ME AROUND!”
My second offering was to be apart of a panel Trans* Leadership for Trans Liberation, my goal: to show why THIS is the time for Trans* People of Color to be seen as leaders across social justice movements. In addition I made the case for Trans*People of Color to be valued for their expertise, wisdom and skills as leaders in our organizing spaces , and to encourage an intersectional approach to to creating liberation and justice.