José Esteban Muñoz, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity
I never met José Muñoz while I was at NYU. I saw him at my Tisch graduation when he introduced the graduating Performance Studies class and wished them well. I was way more excited to see him speak than any celebrity speaker the school had that year (some producer I can’t remember the name of). Everyone in the program spoke so highly of him and I even considered applying just because of him, never mind the fact that the field had nothing to do with my career goals. The news of his death hit hard, especially considering how young he was, how many more years of him were lost.
RIP José Muñoz.
RIP 5 Pointz.
Flashback to when I lived in Queens. 5 Ptz was both my welcome and departure point to/from Manhattan via the train.
I see this place every day on my commute, almost cried when I saw what had been done to it….
- Went to Cherry Grove yesterday and made new friends because apparently we’re internet famous? (My girlfriend organizes a meetup for young lesbian couples and they recognized us from there.) Coincidentally there was an event going on called Blackout, so the entire beach was filled with gay people of color and it was wonderful. Finished off by a ferry ride into the sunset. I will forever be spoiled by Florida’s immaculate beaches but had a lot of fun.
- Brunch at home today then getting overly dressed up for restaurant week at Butter tonight.
This fun weekend is helping distract me from my quarterlife crisis!
Long term goal is to move to Chicago in a year.
Short term goal is to drink more water.
From the “About” section on the video’s YouTube page:
Janani, of Stanford University, performing during semifinals at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.
To contact the artist, and read more work, visit Janani’s webpage:http://queerdarkenergy.squarespace.com/about or email email@example.com
TEXT OF POEM:
When I tell my mother
how long I’ve been sitting
in the shiftiness of a female body,
a million different kinds of monsoon tears.
She tells me about
the white men who colonized her country,
her mother’s sari soaked in saltwater,
the traumas she screams about
this is what I remember
when I talk to white trans men
and witness the million different ways
they take up space
in my community,
and speak for trans women of color,
and treat femmes as arm candy,
and do not own their position as white men.
what I mean is
did you think the M in FTM stood for misogyny?
What I mean is
what about your female socialization
do you think affords you a free pass to patriarchy?
What I mean is
I understand your bodies have not always been yours
but they have always been beautiful,
you have always had words for them.
My testosterone is made by Israel’s largest company.
There is colonization running through my bloodstream
Every time I take a shot
my muscles feel out of place for several days.
But there is some perverse satisfaction in this,
that even in my body
masculinity takes up too much space.
Mom, you’re right.
this is a painful process.
It is violence.
It is scarring.
But I’m trying to believe in something greater:
that there are ways of being a man
that do not involve being a white man.
When I tell my grandmother
that I’m ready to be honest with my body,
ok, make sure to call me more often,
and I’m sending you a drum set.
For days I have no idea what she means
but then I realize
in India only boys ever play the drums,
and what my grandmother means is
there are ways of being a man
that do not involve being an American man,
that you can still play your music with us,
that I do not have words for this process of your becoming
but I will work around it with art and love.
there is a way to do this ethically.
I will build some other, new-old kind of masculinity.
I will not worry about the words for it in English.
I will honor the mothers in my history,
the goddess in my name,
I will play the drums for you.
(Source: chaosrunning, via tofuboots)