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QTPOC Comics by Nia King – Oakland Artist, Activist and Anarchist
Growing up as a Queer, Black/Lebanese/Jewish woman, King is more than adept and equipped to author a comic calling on the life experiences of two queer people and their interracial relationship. The tagline for the King’s tumblr reads: “I’m mixed. My partner is trans. These are our stories.”
Articulating radical ideas about race, gender, sexuality, and relationships—King is also able to “reclaim power” from those who have silenced her in the past, flipping the table through her character in the comic. Offering homage to her interracial relationship and the power of the queer voice, King, a self-identified “ex-punk,” explains the importance of her heritage:
My dad taught me to be really proud to be black. He gave me a Swahili name. I grew up celebrating Kwanzaa […] I was made aware of racial injustice and discrimination from a very young age.
King’s comics will be featured in this year’s Lady Drawers exhibition in Chicago.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Critiques “Marriage Equality” and Honours Queer Vulnerability in The End of San Francisco
Sycamore’s memoir explores her formation as a queer person and activist—propelling the reader through a life of sex-work, drug use, abuse, and stressing the importance that “projecting a sort of vulnerability to the outside world” affords a queer people.
Facebook blurred red earlier this week in support for gay marriage. The campaign was bolstered by the Human Rights Campaign fund ‘equality’ sign.
Sycamore swipes at the sincerity and motivations of LGBTQ folk and their allies, often dismantling the polarizing motivations of the Gay Rights movement. Last week, at the Ellioit Bay Book Company in Seattle, Sycamore read from her new memoir and talked about what she feels is the problematic nature of those scrambling for a seat next those who oppress us at the ‘equality table’, saying:
There’s this sort of self-congratulatory rhetoric about ‘well, you know, we’ve succeeded,’’ and I think that rhetoric around success really camouflages violence in very similar ways to the kind of smiling, happy people, you know, mainstream gay mythology.
Author of I Am J Urges “The Book is not a Tool”
The novel, aimed at young adults, explores the character J—a trans boy who transitions as the age of 17, inspired by his partner specifically and the childhood “he didn’t have but could have, had he lived in a different time with different options.”
In an intimate article, Cris Beam explains their writing process and the fuel behind their desire to write, reflecting that:
I think a lot of authors feel like this – drawn to write out of both love and a need to resolve something confusing, painful or just out of reach. But once the character’s complete and the book is on the shelves, he’s no longer your baby. He becomes a symbol, a representative and, in the worst cases, a tool.
I Am J is the first book with a transgender character to make the California recommended reading list for public high schools, of course the conservatives swarmed like knats. Cris comments on their books ability to exist politically without having such intensions, and that their book is “too personal to be propaganda.”
African American Literature in the Spotlight
The University of Oregon is hosting several innovative scholars as they discuss African American literature in the symposium, “Racial Representations: African American Literature Since 1975.”
Author of On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility, and associate professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, Ernesto Martinez, will join Mark Whalan as moderator for the day. Concluding the day with poetry readings, and creative non-fiction are Evie Shockley and David Bradley.
The talk will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 26 in the Alumni Lounge of Gerlinger Hall, 1468 University St.