WARNING: Do not proceed without taking your blood pressure medicine and/ or a bucket of popcorn. I’ll wait.
At the zenith of Beyonce Season in the year 2019 I received the following missive:
Dear Irene,As Glenn’s daughter, I am working more directly in the programming area this year. I wanted to reach out even though I know you have clearly stated you are boycotting PantheaCon. I want to respect that, and your opinions and experiences. I’m not writing to change your mind, but to seek to open my mind and better understand. I know you have contributed in many ways over the years, and it’s been an accumulation of events that have brought this to this point.Because I am stepping into more leadership here, I am interested in learning more about how to better open the event to you and those who have had to deal with many levels of aggression and difficulties in simply being there. I’m sorry that there has been hurt and pain while you have brought and shared your talents and expressions being here. I’m sorry that I have not had the knowledge of what you’ve experienced.If this is something you might be willing to share, I’m here to try to do better, and to listen.If there are ideas on how we might be of better service to you and your groups, I want to do what we can to make improvements.Consider this an olive branch and that your opinion matters here.You have an open invitation to participate as you see best, any time, in any capacity as you chose.And, if you choose to not respond, or spend any further time or energy on this, I understand and respect that.I wish you all the best – humbly yours,Holly Turner
First of all:
I know this looks like a completely viable reach out but let me remind you that shit hit the fan from November of 2018 and continued smacking against it until February of 2019
I had to be escorted to and from my sessions.
I had to be escorted to the classes I went there to teach, the performances I did with the art I created in conjunction with Gods for fucking free.
I paid to be there.
I paid to be in danger. To deliver these workings directly in harms way. While Pantheacon remained silent on the whole ordeal some of the staff and volunteers held me down with much love that I knew I was not the one divorced from reality in this situation.
I know that people were telling Glenn everything that was going on… ya’ll extending olive branches now?
And before one of y’all pop off with: “Life happened to these people.”
Let me let you know LIFE HAPPENED TO MY ASS TOO!!! So often people living under systems of oppression are asked to be considerate regarding what their oppressors are going through and be gentle, loving and shit to the very people that fucked them over. I mean…
I just got my mind/spirit unfucked by the drama when this letter found it’s way into my inbox. I had shit to do. I had to take an entire pause in my work because I realized I could not complete my liberation spell craft until I pulled myself together. I thought I was done.
There were moments when I went back and forth about if I was going to respond, how I was going to respond, what the hell am I going to say. Anything I gave them would hurt me and would be a gift to them. Also there are those on staff and the volunteer team that are SO FUCKING GLORIOUS TO BEHOLD
Fam the internal struggle!!!!
I’ll admit it.
I was hella on Pantheacon’s proverbial dick. They are a huge part of the witch I am today. I high-key became this witch so I could give back to this community. What can I say…
Tho truth be told
I mean hoooooow many of us sat in a class on some melanated subject being taught from an anthropological Cis-Het-white view point that was as dry as the season-less award-winning chicken Oprah was trying not to spit out on camera in-front of the whole damn world. Lots of us were confused but still adhering to social constructs that demanded we not be rude so we stayed even though our souls were like
How many of us cried in our rooms/suites and homes after having to put up with the same casual ass racist or trans-phobic shit every single year! From people who consider themselves to be enlightened, engaged, connected, rooted, open. WE PAID MONEY WE DID NOT HAVE FOR THIS!?!?!
Legit, if I hear one more white witch telling me they understand me because the burning times affected them all I’ll…
In the end tho I did respond.
Holly,I am responding to this message only because I do not want the narrative to readWe reached outWe tried all we couldBut they could not reach backWe understand thisWe understand the painBut what more can we do then we have already done?Be aware that it is painful to respond to you. For some reason there is no anger in my voice. There is a place beyond disappointment, a place we catch a glimpse of at the boundary of grief and rage, the space between the place where they meet.This is where I am with Glenn and the culture the event you are holding has cultivated and encouraged.This apology is not yours to give so I can not except it.I will not drag myself through the emotional spiritual trauma needed to access the opinion you request.Your olive branch is smooth to you but for me it comes with snakes, and thorns and is full of a poison you can’t even begin to understand.PantheaconYour motherYou have proved that you are not ready to receive in so many ways.*Asking me to share knowledge with you that so many Black and Brown and Trans beings have already screamed, begged and pleaded for*Asking me now when Glenn did nothing last year, reached out in no way, expressed no concern to the people personally harmed, ignored them for the sake of those she found more value in.*Asking me to make this offering to youThat comes at such a high pricefor freeHolly how can you call yourself humble in your approach when it is filled, albeit unknowingly, with the arrogance of your privilege.How can you make this ask when at every turn you slap usEven in your attempt to guard usI will GIFT you this one thing to sit with as proof of your overwhelming inability to understand.It is more than you deserve.The decision to have your diversity statement written and championed by what appears to be a Cis White Woman speaks volumes on how sadly limited your grasp of the magnitude of your situation is.I and those like me do not want a seat at a table that was never meant for usI tried to fitI wanted to fitIt nearly ripped me apart.I am not the only one having to heal in this wayPantheacon is responsibleGlenn is responsibleThere are consequencesThis is what you are inheriting.
If you think this is just about something as small as Pantheacon I am both sorry for you and slightly envious of the comfort you must be experiencing in your blissful state of willful ignorance
This is about everything.
My Beloved Black Brown Queer Trans Family. You are under no obligation to teach or to hold. The information has been given, it is all around them. They will ask for it, they will demand it and you get to choose whether or not you will gift them with your precious blood and soul.
I used to do this work. I thought it was my purpose. It was my love offering to the world. I understand those that do this work. I have compassion for them. I am often using magic, touch, words, song to help them put themselves back together.
Bridges I love you
I see you
and also know that we are almost gone