watch the first clips from my film: http://www.heartbreaksopen.com/samplefootage.php
I WILL honor my ancestors, refractionist
all of them
I WILL NOT use my ethnicity as a bargaining chip
I WILL define myself according to my own realities
I WILL NOT be defined by how others perceive my phenotype
I WILL seek community with other mixed-race folks
I WILL NOT be forced, or attempt to force others, into rigid racial categories
I WILL learn about my family history
I WILL NOT use that history to justify my existence
I WILL change my identities as i learn and grow
I WILL NOT apologize for differences or perceived inconsistencies
I WILL be responsible for my privilege
I WILL NOT force myself into a monoracial box
I WILL own the complexities of my histories
I WILL NOT soften or tone down my realities for others’ comfort
I WILL keep talking
I WILL NOT be silent
it’s friday afternoon and tomorrow i pick up the director’s gauntlet and jump back into the fray. i’ve never directed a narrative film before so this is all strange and new to me. last weekend went well, view overall, malady although it was a HUGE challenge for me. i spent most of the week physically recuperating, and then screwed myselfs by going to value village yesterday.
i know, what was i thinking? what person goes to a value village, a value village of all places, when they have to direct a film in two days?
certainly not someone with chemical sensitivities.
i knew there was something wrong when i entered the store, but did that stop me, oh noooo, i just HAD to pick up a sheet for the show this weekend, and a few dresses while i was at it. shame! shame on me! ok yes this is sarcasm, kinda, but i did know there was something wrong with the air quality and i went inside anyways. once i was inside my brain got addled from the chemicals and it didn’t occur to me that i had to get out of there for quite some time.
it’s a tricky thing, directing a film while juggling several disabilities. especially since my symptoms are easily triggered by outside influences like chemicals and stress. but it’s a film, which means when you’re in production everyone has to be there at the same time working in the same direction. which is why i spent most of the week in bed. not only because i was too sick to get up, but because i knew that if i didn’t take really good care, i might not make it to the next weekend’s shoot.
last weekend i wondered if the folks on set thought i was being silly all the times i just collapsed on the floor. i am pretty silly, and i do weird things all the time. and really, it’s not exactly the end of the world. needing to lay down, immediately, is par for the course at any given moment for me.
well, if you’re reading this, pray that my chemical exposure doesn’t stop me from doing my job.
also, chemically sensitive seattle-ites, stay away from the value village in capitol hill.
1. What author do you own the most books by?
Thich Nhat Hahn, website bell hooks and Tamora Pierce
2. What book do you own the most copies of?
i’ve owned many copies of The Fifth Sacred Thing and Love in Action
3. Did it bother you that both those questions ended with prepositions?
4. What fictional character are you secretly in love with?
Esperanza Leticia “Hopey” Glass
5. What book have you read the most times in your life (excluding picture books read to children)?
The Fifth Sacred Thing
6. What was your favorite book when you were ten years old?
probably The Stand by Stephen King
7. What is the worst book you’ve read in the past year?
the novel i just couldn’t finish was The Good Fairies of New York. that’s all i’m gonna say, overweight cuz i hate to be a negative nancy. i’m more of a fancy nancy.
8. What is the best book you’ve read in the past year?
Notice by Heather Lewis
9. If you could force everyone to read one book, about it what would it be?
American Dreams by Sapphire
10. Who deserves to win the next Nobel Prize for Literature?
no clue. like, none.
11. What book would you most like to see made into a movie?
The Fifth Sacred Thing, and I’m definitely working on it.
12. What book would you least like to see made into a movie?
Notice by Heather Lewis
13. Describe your weirdest dream involving a writer, book, or literary character.
i’ve had many, many dreams in which Thich Nhat Hahn appears as a guide. probably the weirdest one was when we were in the ocean surrounded by whales and dolphins.
14. What is the most lowbrow book you’ve read as an adult?
i kind of hate the highbrow lowbrow thing. isn’t this really about class and some concept of intellectual superiority?
15. What is the most difficult book you’ve ever read?
16. What is the most obscure Shakespeare play you’ve seen?
like, in person? uh, no. not a shakespeare fan. i’d rather see something by and about people of color, frankly.
17. Do you prefer the French or the Russians?
in bed? hmmm…. i’m going to have to say russians because there is some mythology about basil being descended from the disgraced brother of a tzar.
18. Roth or Updike?
19. David Sedaris or Dave Eggers?
never read either. how about Gayl Jones.
20. Shakespeare, Milton, or Chaucer?
21. Austen or Eliot?
Nawal El Saadawi
22. What is the biggest or most embarrassing gap in your reading?
i have no shame.
23. What is your favorite novel?
The Fifth Sacred Thing
“Litany For Survival” by Audre Lorde
“Love as the Practice of Freedom” from Outlaw Culture. This essay was just so seminal.
27. Short story?
“Fisherman” by Nalo Hopkinson
28. Work of nonfiction?
29. Who is your favorite writer?
Sapphire. i wish she would write more books of poetry. also Beth Goobie.
30. Who is the most overrated writer alive today?
i am a fancy nancy not a negative nancy!
31. What is your desert island book?
The City in Which I Love You by Li-Young Lee
32. And… what are you reading right now?
To Be An Anchor in the Storm: A Guide for Families and Friends of Abused Women
i’ve been following the discussions on the disabled feminists website lately, visit this site and there is all this weird controversy with them because they “dared” to call someone out for exploiting people with disabilities by pretending to be conjoined twins with a history of child pornography. it’s hard for me to imagine what the fuss is about, adiposity this project is obviously majorly problematic! all i have to do is describe the project and everyone around me collapses and starts moaning.
my world is so insular, i find few people that are willing and able to accept me as i am and not project some idealized idea of what a human being “should be” that i’ll never measure up to. my thinking is that i don’t want anyone around me that doesn’t respect who i am in the world. so i have a small circle that is filled with love.
but these political bloggers, you know, they engage with the “public,” and try to create community spaces to talk about issues relevant to their communities and promote social justice and stuff. which is cool. really cool, actually.
the thing for me, i feel hesitant to engage in these public forums because i’m not sure even in these spaces there is the flexibility and willingness required to really be accessible to folks with various communication styles and needs. i just finished a great disability studies course at UW, and my first class i was thinking “i’m going to be the fucked-up person in the corner again.” and that totally didn’t happen, mostly because the teachers and participants were really interested in making room for various perspectives and communication styles. so i know it can work.
really, the fact is, i’m a fierce dirtbag [drag] queen who says what the fuck i’m thinking and i don’t have much concern for the rules of politeness. i do believe in compassion, kindness, respect and honesty. i just express them in my own big fierce way. in politically progressive circles outside my close circle of friends, i often feel like the proverbial bull in the china shop.
and all this finally motivated me to start my blog and site fa real, so thanks activist sites for giving me things to think about that made me want to start speaking for myselfs in my own way on my own site.
let this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship. now i must get back to rupaul’s drag race.
& one day my heart grew wings of fire it burned a hole straight through my shirt & i was standing with all my love exposed for the world to see she drew me into her blazing center & shot me directly to the sun & i exploded in a million tiny flames which lodged themselves in the hearts of every person who lives- past present & future: a fiery web held us all within it’s grasp our connection resting gently in our chests a divine seed each containing the pattern of the entire universe.