For your breaking heart

BTS photo by Tina June Photography for Leslie Foster’s experimental film “Heavenly Brown Body” based off of “Litanies to My Heavenly Brown Body” by Mark Aguhar MUA Allia Arite and Vyvy T.

Dearly Beloved,

The Kindred Black and Brown, Blessed Trans & Sacred Queers

I am sorry for your breaking hearts

Our breaking hearts

My breaking heart

I am sorry that we continue to witness those who say they are allied to us give in to their privilege repeatedly

that you are watching them say things like this is the last one or I’m going for “community” not to support the event

that they are telling themselves that they are going to protect YOU!

that they mistook a walk out, a leaving, a pulling up of roots, a divestment as some simple boycott

I’m sorry they act like this is one small thing when it is symptomatic of the greater diseases:white supremacy and transphobia

that your pain is treated as an inconvenience even unto your own people

They can’t see how this is greater than a weekend, an event, a single moment in time.

Here is my prayer for you
for us
for me in this New Year

May our aching fingers finally ease from the grip of continuing to hold on to skin folk who ain’t kinfolk, from false allies who speak love but remain “conflicted”

May we let go of the responsibility of mending and protecting those who will neither mend nor protect us

May they in all their excuses be revealed like torch bearers on a Charlottesville night

May our palms open so these people can flow from them

So that our empty hands can be filled instead with all the blessings this melanated, binary gender refuting and queer as fuck Universe has to offer us

May your heart be soothed by the centering of your sacred self

Dearly Beloved

Those without the privilege of choice

without the illusion of isolated events

Those unyielding
unwilling to love something that does not love them back

You do not nor have you ever asked for too much

You are so deserving of the birthright of your own humanity

May you have it

Every ounce of it

May you never hunger for it

May you never thirst

“I Love Myself More Than I Love This Shit” 2019 Black & Brown Queer/ Trans Pantheacon Walkout & Divestment

*Audio of my words captured by Meredith Simon. Meredith I am beyond grateful for this gift.

*Rallying call of “I love myself more than I love this shit” crafted with the incomparable Beverley Smith. This phrase has become a central guiding force in my life. Thank you for your wisdom.

*Procession lead by Xochiquetzal Duti Odinsdottir. Xochi your willingness to bare your teeth, grasp the staff and part the waters allowed me to pull up the roots and sweep up the last of our wake without concern. Thank you for holding the line.

*The final chants led by Jacki Chuculate know that I am so grateful for you finishing this work with reminders that it is larger than this bubble. That this is all part of a whole. Thank you for lending your energy when I had none left. For sealing this action and focusing us on what we do next.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. bernardrizzo says:

    Well… thus begins the death/or diminishment of a community event with a long history and one that did “some good” over the years. They could not change with the awakening that is happening in this (and the other world). Therefor they become irrelevant.

    I read Irene’s above blog. I read the letter sent to her to reach out to this community, this community within the greater community that is made up of LGTBQ People in general but mostly, People of Color. Hell, all People of Color… They do not have to take crumbs from the table. They don’t have to demand a seat at the table. They will create their own table.

    Glenn’s daughter, Holly, wrote what seems on the surface to be a reasonable letter asking for forgiveness, “education” and the inclusion of the above mentioned, marginalized peoples in PCon. It looks to me like it was too little, too late… AND, MOST OF ALL… THIS:

    WTF are they doing putting Glenn’s daughter, a White Woman, in charge of diversity? This might have saved PCon if they had a modicum of understanding and didn’t ask for “education”, “opinions”, “ideas”… from Irene. Instead, they should have done the following:

    1) Stopped all the shit dead, cold immediately when it all began in 2018.

    2) Asked Irene to develop the diversity statement and to run the diversity committee, A committee that should have been 2/3’s Queer POC, POC, etc…

    3) Given that committee broad veto powers, voting powers and directing powers over the entire event.

    Now, the event is gasping a final breath.

    There are those who would say that the event will continue. That “The Show Must Go On”… but will it ever be the same? I know of individuals who are pulling out. I know of entire groups who are seminal to the event pulling out. Groups that were innovative and creative in their approach. Those groups developed new concepts and new spaces. Now they will go on and do this as individuals.

    PCon will be all the less for their absence. Then there is the ever “whitening” of the event. I believe that people will begin to bleed away. They will drift, slowly, in one’s and two’s till the event loses a lot of steam. Will this “kill it”? No, in the final analysis, I do not believe that it will. If someone like Christian Day, “The Velveteen Warlock” can continue to put on his “PT Barnumesque” event, year after year and rake in the money that he does, then PCon will continue. It generates too much money for a few people. However, it will continue with less authenticity. It will continue with less diversity. It will become a caricature of itself. It will morph into a party… a weekend long Bacchanalia. A place for old friends to see each other… for people to find each other and huddle in the late hours of the night. BUT… will anything really meaningful be done? Will anything of import be accomplished? I think it will be less and less.

    I will mourn its passing. I will be concerned for all those for whom this event allowed them a forum to continue to put bread on their table by showcasing their creative wares. They will be just one of those who lose here… but we all lose.

    I had always wanted to attend. Over the last five plus years of my “coming home”, I wanted this “community feel”… and yes, I have to admit that I wanted the “party” too. I had envisioned the overall community as a great, giant, “Big Top” where all people of all sorts, stripes and kinds could gather. I was wrong. “The Great Fracturing” is well underway.

    This diaspora from one overall sense of community to one of many separate communities is, I feel, a natural progression. A maturation so to speak. We are much more than the “party”. We are strong and getting stronger. In our growth we are finding that there are some massive differences in what we all believe/want/need. This means that some very serious people are going to be developing their own traditions. They will be developing their own rules, their own ethics.

    The great John Beckett wanted, for a few years, to create a codified, organized “Over-Community” in which all Pagan and Polytheistic humans could gather. I applaud his work. I applaud his vision. However, I saw, three years ago or more, the futility of it. The futility of it was driven by many things but most of all, it was driven by things like; TERF’s demanding exclusion “zones”. The futility was fueled by White Supremacists infiltrating and misappropriating Heathenry. It was driven by the continued presence and quiet acceptance of sexual predators within our midst. Yes, there have always been people who attended these events on order to find a sexual partner or partners. Some who were consensual and some who were coercive. Either one attends because they feel it is “easy pickings”. This is not the meaning of these events. This is (when consensual) simply a small part. Yet they make it the one, real reason they attend. Then there are the power hungry. The people with skills and knowledge and great power, who use that power to control, to crush opposition, to gather together more power and more people. They are, in my mind, the most dangerous of all. We know who they are. The “Charismatic”, the ones with “Rasputin” like eyes. The one’s who’s self aggrandizement leads them to misuse their power and knowledge to control others. There is one in particular who embodies this in all its totality. I will not even mention their name… but I find them to be the worst of all. These events are places that feed that “black hole” that exists in the core of their souls. All of these “people” who come to PCon and like events use them for purposes that it was not intended for…

    And we did nothing. We stood there and “Tsk Tsk’d” and we did nothing… till now.

    We did nothing till now. Till Irene said, “No More”. Till individuals protested the presence of TERF’s. Till some truly great Priesthoods took a principled, allied stand and said, “No More”.

    Thus, there is “no more”. I too shall say “No More”.

    It had always been a dream of mine to attend PCon. I have the resources, I have the abilities, I am geographically placed to be able to drive to the event in 45 minutes time. I had not been able to attend because it always fell on my birthday or on my anniversary and on a three day weekend. I could not rob my spouse of the time that we should spend together for me to this event. She does not share in my belief’s. That has not damaged our relationship but I am sensitive to her needs. In turn, she has become sensitive to mine. I had thought that this would be the year I could “steal the time” and attend. I wanted this “community”. I wanted to see Pagans and Polytheists of all stripes. I wanted to sit with them and ask them to tell me of their belief’s and Pantheons. I wanted to learn… and yes, I wanted the party too. I wanted to work the door at the Green Fairy room. I wanted to meet, drink with, laugh with and come to know others like me. However, considering what has transpired and what this event has become and how insufficient the response was/is… I cannot. I will not. I will stand in lonely, solitary solidarity with all of you.

    Irene, I stand with you. I stand behind you, quietly, calmly, without attempting to make my voice heard. You see, I am an “Old White Man” and come from a place of great privilege (and I ask your forgiveness for making such a loud commentary on this subject). It is my moral duty to recognize that and to stand their with all of you beautiful people and quietly hold space. Quietly absorb knowledge/understanding and quietly use my “privilege” as a humble shield that you can use as you see fit.

    I stand with you.

Leave a Reply