Saturday, June 6, 2020

one voice in the revolution

What happens when you've grown up in the company of individuals who freely exchanged racist jokes without any recognition that you might be personally hurt, fundamentally offended by their "humor" at the expense of "people like you"? What does it mean to have been taught to check Hispanic/Latinx on every form you've ever filled out but to have never had to worry about racial profiling?

What is the role of someone now who is very privileged but also not of utmost whitecismale privilege?
I've spent a lifetime coming to terms with the nuances of my identity and my belonging; embracing "who I am" to myself and to the world (thus I will never change my last name, but that's a story for another day). And somewhere around thirty, a sweet, knowing acceptance seeped in. Hallelujah! Yet the hard work very much continues. Because I was born into an obscenely unjust world, with racist systems and dark histories and normalized oppression.
We all were.
I cannot speak to what it feels to be white right now because I am not white; though I have regularly been mistaken for being so, and have definitely benefitted from those assumptions (see: white privilege). Nonetheless, those of us who are not-Black need to take on the uncomfortable tasks in this moment of deep pain, trauma, and loss that has been compounded by centuries of more of the same.
We must use our collective power to transform this broken world of ours. Tu lucha es mi lucha. Below, a few actionable ideas from the U.S. I welcome your ideas, too.

Monday, April 20, 2020

norfolk, nashville, and now

Remember traveling? [Hold tight, I share in mixed feelings]. I hopped on many a plane last year; nearly all, domestic flights. Let's start with Virginia, a double-dip destination thanks to two important occasions. First, a most beautiful wedding; second, a critical election. Although "my candidate" didn't win, it was amazing to have helped flip Virginia blue as as a Sister District volunteer.
Moving on to in between, when I flew to Nashville, Tennessee. My mom had proposed the idea. My sister expressed enthused interest. We saw live jazz at Rudy's Jazz Room (times two); wandered through the farmer's market; dined at Monell's and Husk (where they personalized our menu with birthday wishes), ventured to the Grand Ole Opry and, obviously, down Broadway; tasted good beer at Bearded Iris Brewing and fine wines at Arrington VineyardsAll together, it made for a happy, draining, sometimes stressful 31st.
These trips were riddled with sunshine and privilege, good fortune and social proximity. While in Nashville, he texted to see how the holiday weekend was going and ask if I'd like to go out again. We've spent countless weekends (and more) together since then. I'm so grateful for him in this life, during this pandemic, and my gosh what I wouldn't do to be with more family and friends right now.
These times are unprecedented. This virus is affecting all of us, in a multitude of ways. And yet, also, inequities have never been more prevalent. Those who can be home, should be. Those who can be generous, should be. There are so many freaking unknowns...
I hope with all my being that we heal and hold onto–learn from–what has come to light. Please take care. Please love well.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

mine, too

"Is this your first pregnancy?" she asked. The question hit me like a ton of bricks. "Yes," I whispered. Deep shame-ridden breaths. My first pregnancy. My first.
She became gentler with her words. Everything felt so surreal. I wasn't supposed to be in this situation. I thought I'd been responsible. I had been careful.