Background on this essay: It was written while experiencing intense violence & disassociation. I was looking at the literary community talk about diversity while I was fearing death. I felt like the literary community forgot about me because I wasn’t producing work. I was angry about all the talks of diversity & inclusion because they felt so middle class to me. I consider myself part of the literary community & was wondering why none of the literary-activists were outreaching hands of support to help me get better, to help me survive & continuing producing. Helping a transfemme latin@ poet that you know survive & continue to produce work feels like activism & community to me. I felt so alone, disappointed, & disinterested in those conversations about diversity.
While co-curating the reading series for Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color //
people said shit like, “The event needs more women, the event doesn’t have any Latinos.” And people NEVER said shit to me like, “Why aren’t their more youth represented? Why aren’t disabled queer people of color more represented? How do you center incarcerated QPOC? There aren’t enough trans/gender nonconforming poets in the reading.”
… Thus, I am wondering, who is worthy of being represented and who is not?
… I am worrying that we look at race and cisgender folx // then forgot about all the other nuances of our identities.
… I am worrying that we profit on the disenfranchisement of the most underrepresented members of our communities, while asking for our inclusion. We ask to be published in the name of literary diversity, to represent the trans community, but then we forget about the trans girls who don’t have access to the MFA or know any contemporary poets or have money to afford submission fees for journals.
I am not interested in retroactively adding another woman to the reading line-up. I am not interested in adding another Latino. Just cuz folks want more representation of _______________. Continue reading