Friday, March 25, 2011

Queer Spaces

Hi, everyone! Happy Friday. I have some stuff to say. Ready?

Last night, I had the great honor of facilitating a discussion on queer Florida history at the Civic Media Center through the Free University (which has lots of cool programs you should check out if you live around here). It is one of the coolest things I have done in a long time, and the reason it was cool was because of the people who showed up to talk. If any of you are reading this: Hi! You're awesome. And I know you're awesome, because there was no one there who wasn't.

We talked about so many interesting things, and the conversation was inclusive, warm, and delightful. I have been having some gross experiences with stuff lately, and this helped restore my faith in humanity. My only regret is that it wasn't recorded in some way, because people said some amazing things that I wish I could write down.

Cornel West said, "Justice is what love looks like in public." It is perhaps my favorite thing said by another human being in the history of ever. I think last night was about that - a bunch of people with all kinds of identities and ideas and preferences gathering in a public place to talk about justice and history and all kinds of other ideas. This kind of community gathering, for people who are excluded from other communities, is doing the work of social justice.

So, what next? We have to continue the conversation. Several ideas have been raised, including a screening of Behind Closed Doors: The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee. I also have a documentary on queer history called Out of the Past that I think could be a good conversation starter. There is also talk of organizing a campaign to get the name of the Reitz Student Union changed, as J. Wayne Reitz was a segregationist homophobic jerk.

What are your ideas? People are hungry for queer history, and we can make it happen. Movie screenings, reading groups, what? If I can do anything to make it happen, I will.


  1. Well...since you asked! I think that reading groups and movie screenings are a great idea. But I also think that if it were possible to assemble some people who lived through experiences here in Gainesville, or elsewhere in the state to attest to some of these historical moments that are so intriguing--that would be great. Of course, I understand how difficult that can be. But if possible, having real live people conversatin' about their experiences could be awesome.

  2. Love it! We should try, anyway.