Saturday, July 28, 2012

Media Justice Last Post

cross posted from my Media Justice column

I didn’t want to write this post. Who wants to write a “goodbye” or “last post” piece? What I really didn’t want to do was realize this part of my life was wrapping itself up. I was afraid of what that would mean. Then, I put my trust in the universe and my community and I realize this is one way of telling me it’s time. Time for new voices, new opportunities, new growth. All the while I was avoiding writing this and I’m now experiencing a really amazing sense of accomplishment. As someone who was pushed out of a PhD program for not writing well enough almost over 5 years ago by the same folks who heavily recruited me, and finding opportunities to write that nurture my spirit and life, grounds me. Reminds me my words, thoughts, and actions are important in this world.

Three years ago when this column premiered I had lots of ideas. I still do about what is possible when writing and living media justice. Reading over the posts of the past 3 years, almost 125 of them in total, I’ve seen myself evolve, transform, and become a person, educator, sexologist, and radical femme of Color that makes me proud.

Reflecting on various topics in the media, our communities, interviewing amazing media makers, and publicly thinking about what’s next or solutions to communal healing was what I needed. What an amazing gift to be given and to be able to share and heal worldwide.

I’ve learned a lot about myself, the media, and about justice and freedom. Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past 3 years:

We are all media makers. Every single one of us. We may not enjoy the media that others may create, we may challenge and critique it, we may not consider what others do “media” because of our rigid or unclear ideas about what media is defined as; but it’s still media and it’s still powerful and that is something to value right now. It’s also something to fight for, especially as people of Color, with disabilities, who are immigrants, working class, trans*, queer, and who remain oppressed.

Sometimes it hurts too much to care and it’s okay to admit this; it’s part of the healing process. There were times when my spirit, body, and commitment to taking intellectual risks were not strong and in pain. Putting my ish on paper as Gloria Anzaldúa has written really was an incredible part of my own healing. Knowing I could not “care” about a topic because it would impact me in a way I was not ready for was a reminder that I center self-care. It was also a reminder that I know myself better than I thought I did, my triggers, the space I occupy and can offer for others to occupy, and how valuable my time is. I’ve also learned that caring for me comes when I am able to fully witness and experience what is occurring.

We do a lot of important work quietly. I’ve become more introverted as I’ve aged, more selective, thoughtful and mindful in a way that is comforting because I know I’m doing hard work within myself. It’s exciting to see and interact with youth who are having the exact same experience I am but at a different time in their lives. So much about this world and our societies have shifted and changed. I’m learning so much from youth right now and absorbing those new skills and creating that new knowledge is joyous! Sometimes I just have to sit with that joy and put my hand to my heart and savor it, thankful for it’s presence in my life.

Community can be and is online and saves lives. There’s always been resistance to when folks who experience oppression and/or marginalization find ways to survive. I’ve witnessed and benefited from having this online space to dialogue and build with others. I’ve also been a part of and seen it heal and work to protect, support, and embrace our communities. Folks question the validity of online spaces and I’ve got to say that there are many examples of how these spaces are crucial for many of us.

I’m not sure what else to share, but you can still find me online writing and posting at my blog where I’ll continue to do this work and writing at RH Reality Check on topics specific to communities of Color, sexuality, and reproductive justice.

As I tell my students each semester: You each deserve to be anywhere and everywhere you want to be! You have power and don’t ever forget that even when some may try to take it from you, scare you from using it, your power is your own. Thanks for witnessing and being a part of this journey.

Give yourself a gift and go see Beasts Of The Southern Wild and ask yourself “what does it mean to be free?” And then go get free!

“The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece, the entire universe will get busted.”

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