In some ways, I don't quite understand the topic of this panel. Especially within this...
October 18, 2015
In some ways, I don”t quite understand the topic of this panel. Especially within this particular context, at a LGBTQ festival of words. I say this because it seems, to me at least, that this topic basically covers all and any of the writing being discussed, shared, and read this weekend.
To some extent, all writing by marginalized people is resistance. Regardless of whether the medium is ephemeral (like twitter) or fixed like a book in print, our writing is resistance. And I don”t just mean writing like mine (for example). I write about philosophy and theory and abstract ideas a lot of the time.
But I also make sure to write about the boring, mundane shit that happens in my life. Indeed, I consider these things just as necessary as the other stuff. Because I”m human. My humanity isn”t expressed only in the outrage, pain, and whatever else I express in my books and whatever, but also in the fact that, yes, I had pizza last night for dinner and it was amazing. That I have irritable bowel syndrome and sometimes shit blood. That I”m doing my nails later this week.
In a world so determined to render me as sub or in human, writing anything resists this. Writing and the writen word occupies such a strange place in the modern world. You know that most white historians think that ‘history” begins with the written word? This is literally something a professor said in a history class I was in.
It was also one of the main rubrics for how white colonialists decided how ‘civilized” any given indigenous group was. It is part of why, during the height of scientific racism, white people thought that East Asians were a different race than South East Asians (because many of us didn”t have ‘writing” and so weren”t nearly as civilized as East Asians).
So, yeah, the simple act of writing is resistance. Certainly not the only way to resist, since pushing a text-centric view means validating the terms of humanity and civilization set out by my colonizers. My history didn”t start when the Spanish came and ‘gave us” writing. I am not more human because I write. And I don”t write to convince people that I”m human.
For me, the resistance in writing comes from communicating with other marginalized people. It isn”t the writing I think that is all that important, but the act of sharing stories, ideas, histories, feelings, dreams, and hopes amongst ourselves is the true source of resistance.