Hello Dear Community,
Recently, we were in communication with a fabulous Queer Spoken Word Artist. We were amidst dialogue, discussing the promotion of said artist, in the hopes of getting some SoCal events lined up. This artist’s work has felt so very much in alignment with the raising up of Queer Peeps, and specifically B/F peeps, that we were very excited to expose her to a larger audience and for that audience (you all) to get to experience her brilliant work.
. . . However, somewhere along the way, we inadvertently stepped on her toes – in fact, we asked a question that deeply offended or upset her. We don’t wish or need to expose her and therefore don’t feel we can discuss the details of our question, but rather this brings up something we DO wish to discuss: How do we, as a community, navigate the delicate thresholds of sensitivity – and at times hyper-sensitivity – of our sisters/brothers/butchsters personal lives respectfully?
It is true that most LGBTQ (etc) people have lived lives in which, in one way or another, we have had to put up various kinds of shields in order to live our lives safely. Whether these shields were consciously or unconsciously generated and maintained, they are there, and with good reason. Discernment is, sadly, still very necessary in most arenas of our world today. We must listen with all our antennae in any given situation and proceed in our interactions accordingly. Is this person or organization or location or event a place in which I feel/am safe to be as I truly am? Is it one that calls for more investigation before I deepen my connection and openness? Is it one best abandoned for my own comfort and safety or that of others?
Certainly, those of us who’s identity falls further outside society’s gender norms have more at risk. Certainly too, the further outside the so-called ‘norm’ we fall, the more likely it may be that we have experienced societal abuse (be that spiritual, emotional, physical or sexual) and therefor we may be in a state of more hyper-vigilance to the likelihood of being judged by the outside world. We, (BFL Team) fully appreciate this.
But here is where we hope to open dialogue. In the case of our recent misunderstanding, when we met with this artist, she disclosed – right away, and unsolicited by us – some very personal information. When we wrote to thank her for the meeting and discuss further the topic (we thought) she had opened in our meeting, she was deeply offended, to the point of closing down all communication. We were (and are) stunned, and more importantly SADDENED. We had meant to clarify information we thought relevant to promoting her work (and explained this). Though we could be personally offended, our deeper sadness is not for ourselves, for we are aware of her work and continue to enjoy it. We were sad for these things:
1. For our SoCal Queer Community; we had hoped to share this artist’s amazing work with you all – the healing and empowering and humorous nature of her writing is magnificent.
2. For the world of Art/Spoken Word; again, we feel this artist could be a big (bigger than she currently is) contributor and the world of SoCal Spoken Word loses out by not having this artist in it.
3. For this artist; we fully believe that her work is worthy of a much larger audience than the one she is currently reaching. SoCal exposure would have potentially very quickly expanded her reach to a large fan base.
(We can, and shall, hope that this artist finds her way to the larger world through some other track!)
We may be totally wrong, but it seems to us – not only in this particular case, but in the greater world (and we, your BFL Team are likely equally susceptible to such shieldings) – that time and again we LGBTQ’s often sabotage our success by way of being so wary of the outer world’s perception or judgment of us that we put up our shields before we can fully analyze what the world is offering. So, the question is this (and we thank the afore mentioned artist for giving us opportunity to pose this question to ourselves):
What can we do, while maintaining appropriate boundaries for our emotional/creative/physical (etc) safety and the safety of our community, to allow our personal shields to fall enough that we might be able to see and accept the true and compassionate opportunities the outer world offers us?
- What can I do TODAY to open my heart and arms and vision to the Bright Possibility that the Universe (or Goddess/God/Nature/Chance/Consciousness/Whatever you call “The Big Thing”) presents to me?
- How may I HEAL the wounds in me that would have me raise my shield (that yes, protects but can also blind me), before my open heart can fully appreciate the Golden Opportunities that flow to me?
- What steps might I take to allow myself a greater sense of Oneness and my inner Courage to respond to the world, even if that response is (not to blindly accept, but) to QUESTION rather than ABANDON interactions that in the past might have felt threatening to me?
We are made of
WORDS OF GRACE
WORDS OF FIRE
AMAZING AND SPECTACULAR TALENT OF ALL SORTS!
Can we, as LGBTQ People, who carry so much possibility and potential, allow our wounds to fall away and our Gratitude, Grace, Curiosity, and Sharing flow to us, from us and into this world that so needs the beauty we each have to offer?
We think so.
We hope so.
(On a side note: We publicly apologize to the artist (should she read this) for misunderstanding her and thus upsetting her; and our door is ever open should she wish to reconsider!)
On an other note, we wish to MONSTEROUSLY THANK the many amazing souls who attended our recent gathering in the Wild, High Desert last month! You SHINE and we Love you ALL and look forward to many more sharings of amazing WORDS, ART, MUSIC, MAGIC and more.
Every Blessing of Whatever Sort You Seek,
The BFL Team