To queer youth of color,
It sucks to be familiar with the sense of impending doom. You might have survived being socialized cis or straight in a queer body. You might have survived institutionalized racism, the gentrification of your home, and the fight to preserve your culture. You might have survived your given family. You might have survived the realization that your home is on a minefield; dirt, grass, concrete and tiny wildlife under siege.
And now, the Donald Trump administration has threatened our lives. We see it in rising hate crimes of KKK and Neo-Nazi groups. We see it in his propositions to eradicate healthcare for poor and queer people. We see it in his ambition toward deportation, and in his vice president and congress who deeply believe in the archaic American dream of ethnic erasure and environmental terrorism.
And while we don't always have the resources to immediately cut ties between us and the system were born under, remember the survival stories that your community shared on simpler days of calming silence where the light of the moon and a swarm of fireflies was enough to make us believe that we had already won.
Remember your ancestors, your chosen family, and the kind of fighting that comes in the form of your Curandera reinventing medicine, your teacher incorporating black history into every chapter of American History, and the brightly-colored spaces that you were able to call home, where you learned harsh, revolutionary truths.
While we can hold one another and admit to being scared and unprepared, I want you to remember that another world has been possible before.
Remember to breathe and practice the kind of self-care that is a vital tool toward your strength and self-preservation. Remember to rest, sleep, eat, run, cry, laugh, and shit-talk the president with a light-hearted glee that reminds you of the safety of your community or otherwise chosen haven.
Love yourself like the system hates us, and hate the system with tactical vengeance and a full heart. Because you are perfect, and white supremacy is an abomination.
When you redefine your struggle, allow vulnerability to sculpt your plan of action. Talk to like minds, join collectives, and observe the work of groups like Black Lives Matter, The Sylvia Rivera Law Project, The NAACP, The Immigration Defense Project, ACT UP, The Sacred Stone Legal Defense Fund, Families for Freedom, The Audre Lorde Project, Trans Lifeline, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood, and The American Civil Liberties Union.
Justice is not served in a single lane of collective meetings, gas masks, and molotov cocktails. Your fight is worthy, whether it’s showing up for your family, organizing with an anti-oppression collective, or marching up 57th street to Trump Tower.
Remember that your existence keeps me safe. It provides power for others who are not ready to speak their truths and it provides comfort for those who seek community.
Trust that you are loved by leaders of your movement while trusting that this system is bullshit.
We are fighting against a threat to the sacred space our ancestors paved for us. So for them, we hold on to ourselves and whoever we can trust during wartime.
As queer people, grassroots mobilization is in our veins, our blood, and the forefront of our survival. We first practiced it when choosing friends and deciphering what safety looked like outside the walls of the dark closets where we silently manifested into resilient angry butterflies.
Maintaining that resilience during times of darkness is challenging but possible, even through the minor self-preserving notion of relating to nature and yourself before relating to the values of a system that institutionalizes hate.
You're a creative genius or a future priestess.
You're alive and you're still breathing and I can see your ability to harness powerful gifts and intuitive knowledge in order to create safety outside of the system, and revolution in your home.
Cristy C. Road