We’re so grateful to our good judy Bria Royal who has designed the new logo for our website! Bria is a Chicago-bred, Afro-Boricua animator, illustrator, and general badass who’s work we highly recommend you spend some time with. Thanks boo!
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ll be teaching a specialized Intro to Voguing workshop for Jane Addams Hull-House Museum‘s Chosen Family Day on March 24th. This multi-generational session will be called Move The Way You Move, and will encourage participants to celebrate their own unique ways of moving, unfettered from judgement.
Hull-House was the first place in Chicago we showed the entirety of our solo performance piece Dancer As Insurgent. We’re grateful to be back in this supportive space, teaching students of all ages the liberatory roots of voguing, its message that in order to properly love ourselves and each other, we must show up and fight hard.
It’s a lighter month of freelancing for us, because it’s going to be a heavy month for the #NoCopAcademy campaign, which we have supported from its inception. Black and Brown youth have been fighting the construction of a $95 million police academy in the West Garfield Park neighborhood for a year and a half, demanding those funds be put into closed schools and mental health clinics, and all the other resources that prevent violence rather than punish it. As mayor Rahm Emanuel leaves office, the struggle is coming to a head. We’ll be supporting our city’s youth, and you should, too!
See you at City Hall on March 13th to say #NoCopAcademy!
In honor of Black History Month, we have an article in Teen Vogue titled “I Visited the Plantation Where My Ancestors Were Enslaved.” An emotional recounting of a painful experience we shared with our family members this past November, it offers both reflections on the violence of the trip we took together, and tips for young Black people considering making similar journeys to learn more about their past.
It’s a ways off, but we’re excited to share that we will be a contributing author to the forthcoming second edition of Trans Bodies Trans Selves! The book is meant to be a resource for trans communities and their accomplices in reimagining struggles for a liberated world, and will be published by Oxford University Press in 2021. Our chapter will be cowritten with Bay Area labor organizer Kung Feng, and address histories of trans resistance to state violence—from police riots of the 1950s and 60s, to contemporary battles like the Undocuqueer movement. Keep an eye out!
Our former colleague Dr. S Simmons has invited us to visit their classroom at the University of Chicago. On February 26th we’ll be leading a specialized Queer & Trans Resistance to Policing workshop for students in the Intersectional Approaches to Social Work with LGBTQIA Individuals and Communities course. Social work is a space that can save trans and queer lives, but too often feeds them directly into the prison system. We hope to help young social workers think critically about their role in cutting off the pipelines that run throughout their own field, and abolition as a collective project.
See you next month!
Happy New Year! May 2019 be a period of positive manifestation for each one of us.
We’re kicking off the year by leading a small series for queer Asian and Pacific Islander org Invisible 2 Invincible on January 15th. Together we’ll be pod mapping—an exercise for taking inventory of support networks and community resources in anticipation of moments of crisis. We’ll tie this into a larger vision for abolition, generating options for violence prevention and accountability that do not rely on police and prisons.
On January 25th we’ll be facilitating Chicago inJustice: anti-racist action and mass incarceration at McCormick Auditorium at Northwestern University from 5pm to 7pm. This open dialogue will unite youth and organizers in an exploration of what Ruth Wilson Gilmore terms “non-reformist reforms” for fighting mass incarceration. Undergrads and high school students will be in conversation with members of Chicago Community Bond Fund, and Black & Pink Chicago. Open to the public, this event will include opportunities for immediate action steps. Feel free to come through!
We’ve been fans of the AirGo Radio podcast for a minute, and it was such an honor to be a featured guest there just before the close of 2018. We sat down with Damon Williams and Daniel Kisslinger to talk about gentrification in Chicago, trans resistance, loving Blackness as key to global liberation, among many other things. You can check out the full episode here.
Shoutout to Mary Mattingly, whose exhibit What Happens After at BRIC House—where we premiered an excerpt of our in-progress performance piece World After This One in September—was named one of the top 15 art shows in Brooklyn for 2018 by Hyperallergic! We’re so grateful to Mary for including NIC Kay and ourselves in this project. Congrats!
Lastly, just before the end of 2018, we reached the $200/month goal on our Patreon page! Thank you deeply to all those who have become patrons and supported our work through this venue. We are working on finding ways to give back to you soon!