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Lavender Graduation

Have you heard about this big party that the Q Center, Student Life, and OMAD are throwing for all of our supremely quirky, talented, brilliant, awkward, out-of-this-world-talented, creative, graceful, bright & shiny, critically thinking, self-doubting, wondering-what-to-do-next, FIERCE queer and allied graduates?

Really? Haven’t heard about it? Not in in the 10 weekly countdown emails? Or in the evite? Or in the Facebook event? Or in the sky writing? What about the bathroom graffiti? My tweets? Well, the Q Center is hosting a huge party for YOU and you closest communities on June 5th in the UW Panopticon Tower on the Mezzanine Level Cafeteria. 6-8 p.m. People absolutely love this event.

Here are some of the things people have to say about Lavender Graduation: Vice President of Student Life Eric Godfrey: “It is just a great event. I mean, where else are you going to get a micro brew and a cupcake. It is just awesome.”

“I didn’t go to my high school or college graduation because I was gay, so I want to graduate here tonight because I really feel accepted by this audience.” Anonymous

Well…honestly, I wanted to tell you all how important this graduation ceremony is to me and to the mission of the Q Center. One of the primary ways that humans learn to understand ourselves as loved, loving, and loveable, as connected and as human is through mirroring. And part of mirroring is the celebration of who we are from the people who raise us, the friends around us, the stories we hear and see, and the way in which we then understand ourselves to be human, loved, worthy, whole, you know, fierce.

When mirroring is disrupted or warped through the multiple systems of marginalization and oppression at interpersonal, cultural, and systemic levels…then…well…we often fail to see ourselves without great struggle and reinvention. Lavender Graduation to me…is a celebration of all those ways we have reinvented, claimed, reclaimed, brought into being, whatever we have done to make ourselves legible to us, to you, to each other; to become human, loved, worthy, whole, you know, fierce. Oh yeah, and it is about a lot of really hard academic work too! See you on Tuesday!


Resurrecting Bayard Rustin

Happy 100th birthday to a man whose expansive justice work across multiple sites of oppression, earned him a marginal place in history, Bayard Rustin, our “Lost Prophet.”

While we are on the topic of birthdays of awesome queer folk who have facilitated the arc of the moral universe in bending toward justice…Audre Lorde would have turned 78 on February 18th! Ellen had a birthday in January, so did Michael Stipe (R.E.M. anyone? anyone?)…eh hem.

Hey, I’ve got a birthday coming up in April and my partner’s was in March! We are all part of this bending the arc of the moral universe thing. So, shout out some names of people who you know are ok with having their names shouted out and celebrate them and their presence on this planet!

Happy birthday to us Two-Spirit people and trans* folks and queers and questioners and same-gender lovers and bois and queens and kings and everybody else who has other words that I do not know because I just do not know everything. Our very existence is resistance!

“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” Bayard Rustin


Top 10 Queer Things to Do During Week 10 & Finals

10. Read the Q Center Blog People!
9.  Ribbon Dance!
8.  Search for the University of Washington and other nouns on f**k yeah nouns
6.  Watch and/or re-enact re-runs of Glee on Hulu
5.  Reminisce about the sold-out and AMAZING GBLTC Drag Show
4.   Revisit this oldie but a goodie
3.  Sign up for Queer 101 (CHID 496)
2.  Watch Re-teaching Gender and Sexuality here
1.  Watch this and know you are super-duper!

Queering Black History Month

It is Black History Month…otherwise known as American History Month (reclaimed). For all of us white folks who ask the question, “why do [insert name of group here] get a month when we do not get a month?” I simply answer, “we have had 6228 months.” It has been my 40 years of experience that the primary historical narratives celebrated, retold, taught, enshrined, and even re-enacted are those of European-descent Americans. While revisionist historians (used here positively) work to reinterpret historical events from a range of vantage points and enliven Black historical narratives; if one concedes, as I do, that institutionalized systems of interlocking oppressions continue to operate at every level of culture, then pointedly identifying a month to highlight, celebrate, and educate about Black history appears current and relevant. Whew! That was a long sentence…you might want to read it again! Basically, I am saying institutionalized racism (among other ‘isms) still persists and given that, Black history month seems like a good idea to me.

But wait…to queer things up a bit, Black history should NOT be relegated to this one 28 day month. Right?! As, I mentioned previously, Black history is American history. Just as queer history is American history. Just as Latino history is American history. Just as immigration history is American history. Just as the history of all communities and vantage points is American history. It is a both/and kind of situation my friends. Because of racism, we need the month. But, in order to eradicate racism we need comprehensive, complex, non-essentializing historical narratives. Let’s get to it! Celebrate, decolonize, and transform!

Ok, now let’s get seriously queer (…as sung to the tune of Billy Joel’s  We Didn’t Start the Fire circa 1989…youtube it people).

An original song by jen, erica, and sasha at the Q.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/10238547" params="show_comments=true&auto_play=false&color=ff7700" width="100%" height="81" ]

Bayard Rustin, Audre Lorde, Queen Latifah, Miss Major, Essex Hemphill, Lee Daniels, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey.

Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, RuPaul transforms views, James Baldwin, Richard Bruce Nugent, Lorraine Hansberry.

Little Richard, Wanda Sykes, Cathy Cohen (me likes), Wallace Thurman, Sherry Harris, Josephine Baker

Mabel Hampton, Bill T. Jones, Bessie Smith, Peter Gomes, Ruth Ellis oldest dyke (meant with power here), Angela Davis always fights!

We wrote the Fire!! It was always burning since the world’s been turning, but we wrote the Fire!! No we didn’t light it, but we can incite it!

Tracy Chapman, Sapphire, June Jordan, Pat Parker, Marlon Riggs, John Amaechi, Jean-Michel Basquiat

Johnny Mathis, Linda Villarosa, Sharon Farmer, Octavia Butler, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacqueline Woodson, Barbara Jordan, Pomo Afro Homos

Glenn Burke invents High Five, Whoopie Goldberg brings it Live, Mary Edmonia Lewis, Claude McKay, Alice Walker, Paris Barclay

Tevin Campbell, Me’Shell N’DeGeOCello, Nell Carter, Charles Pugh, Alvin Ailey, Luther Vandross,  Jackie Walker

We wrote the Fire!! It was always burning since the world’s been turning, but we wrote the Fire!! No we didn’t light it, but we can incite it!

Gladys Bentley, Sheryl Swoopes, Darryl Stephens, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Jewelle Gomez, Alvin Ailey, Soni Fashanu

Billy Curtis, Billie Holliday, Billy Porter on Broadway, Billy Strayhorn, Joe Beam, all the Billy’s in between

George Washington Carver, Cheryl Clark, Aviance, Sylvester, Kecia Cunningham, Maurice Jamal, Andre Leon Talley is the Vogue man, Jermaine Stewart, Miss J walk this way, we have so much more to say!

We wrote the Fire!! It was always burning since the world’s been turning, but we wrote the Fire!! No we didn’t light it, but we can incite it!

For more on Black History Month

The wiki list of LGBT African Americans, United Kingdom Black LGBT legends compiled by the Zuna Institute,

While Ms. Coretta Scott King has not labeled herself as lgbtq, she has certainly been an ally for lgbtq people across communities.

Check this out for a bit of a list and some quotes. http://gsanetwork.org/BlackedOUTHistory