short at home #8

we all need a little joy in our lives

I was reading about the radical roots of self-care recently, an act I’ve always known to be political but never took the time to engage with the theory as to why. I’m still learning, but I’d like to share a quote from bell hooks about the importance of a love ethic:

“Whenever those of us who are members of exploited and oppressed groups dare to critically interrogate our locations, the identities and allegiances that inform how we live our lives, we begin the process of decolonization…Acknowledging the truth of our reality, both individual and collective, is a necessary stage for personal and political growth. This is usually the msot painful stage in the process of learning to love—the one many of us seek to avoid. Again, once we choose love, we instinctively possess the inner resources to confront that pain. Moving through the pain to the other side we find the joy, the freedom of spirit that a love ethic brings.

Working within community, whether it be sharing a project with another person, or with a larger group, we are able to experience joy in struggle. That joy needs to be documented. For if we only focus on the pain, the difficulties which are surely real in any process of transformation, we show a partial picture.” ~ bell hooks, Love As A Practice of Freedom (emphasis mine)

It is really hard to be inundated with the reality of how Black people are treated in America, to be constantly reminded that one’s life is not valued—and I don’t say this for me, I say this to remind us all how hard these moments of intense visibility are for Black people, specifically Black women, especially Black trans women. I’m not here to talk about “allyship fatigue” or burnout among people who got clued into white supremacy two weeks ago, I’m speaking specifically to Black people who have had to deal with this crushing reality for their entire lives.

The human heart can only handle so much, and each name—Oluwatoyin Salau, Riah Milton, and Dominique Falls—that we mourn is a testament to how society (us) have failed and continue to fail Black women. I can’t offer much that will help console or soothe this heartache, but I can say that this pain is not all there is to your existence, to your experience. That it’s not “things will get better,” but we will fight to make them better for you.

I want this edition to center around self-care and self-love—it’s Pride Month (and Black Music Month) and it’s really important to prioritize joy in struggle like bell hooks said. That could look like anything from discovering Beethoven was black (and watching the internet react) or attending a virtual Pride party. Document what makes you happy, it’ll get us through the worst of this—and remember, some of the greatest expressions of love and care can revolve around making sure Black people are housed, cared for, and protected by supporting them monetarily.

upcoming shows  🎟️

Just a reminder that I put shows (and other events!) in this Google Calendar you can subscribe to! If you need even more events (really?) I recommend following @theteanyc on Instagram! If you’re not black, you should definitely donate or attend a protest instead of taking time off.

Friday, June 26th:

3pm-Sunday | Pride 2020: The Sound of New York @ The Lot Radio

  • a 57-hour dance-a-thon fundraiser with donations split between The Okra Project, Black Trans Travel Fund, For The Gworls, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Trans Women of Color Survival Fund, G.L.I.T.S. Inc, New Alternatives, and some of the artists. Full lineup here.

4pm-12am | Satellite Syndicate @ Twitch

  • Performances by keiyaA, maassai, D00F, Nappy Nina, Wavy Bagels, iblss, BSTFRND, MIKE, Escee, and JWords. Digital donations go towards the performers, check out the schedule here.

7-10pm | Elsewhere Sunstream w/ SKORT and DisCakes @ Twitch

  • 100% of proceeds go to Emergency Release Fund

8pm-12am | Pride Friday w/ Olive T & Paramida @ Virtually Nowadays

  • This weekend Nowadays is throwing support behind Princess Janae Place, a New York-based organization supporting the local trans community.

9pm-12am | Really Like To Party Pride Edition @ Zoom

  • DJ Sets and Shows from Katie of Muna, B2B Madgavs, Alice Longyu Gao, Madge, Jack Laboz, Jasper Lotti, and Dagr. Hosted by Ryan Peete, you can DM Really Like To Party for the Zoom link on their Instagram.

9pm-12am | Femmepremacy’s A Deeper Love @ Zoom

  • A Fundraiser for Harriets Apothecary, this event will feature Anna Morgan, Riobamba, and Adair. Zoom link in Femmepremacy’s Instagram bio.

9pm-2am | Papi Juice 7 Year Anniversary @ Zoom

  • Presented with the Anti-Violence Project and Brooklyn Community Pride Center, this party features Venus X, Chippy Nonstop, Crystallmess, Bronz3_Godd3ss, Hijo Prodigo, Oscar Nñ, Adam R, and a live performance from Kelsey Lu 100% of donations go to Crisis Queer Fund. Follow Papi Juice on Instagram for the Zoom code drop!

Saturday, June 27th:

All Day | Pride 2020: The Sound of New York @ The Lot Radio

  • a 57-hour dance-a-thon fundraiser with donations split between The Okra Project, Black Trans Travel Fund, For The Gworls, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Trans Women of Color Survival Fund, G.L.I.T.S. Inc, New Alternatives, and some of the artists. Full lineup here.

9am-1am | Love Child 1 For All: Pride Celebration @ Zoom and Mixcloud

  • 17 hours of music and panel discussions from queer artist collectives from UK, Berlin, Hungary, Portugal, USA and Spain. Panel talk from Black LGBTQ+ Writers. Donations go to artists and UK Black pride. For tickets and line-up click here.

4pm-4am | Pride Saturday @ Virtually Nowadays

  • Featuring Jasmine Infiniti, Juana, Keijuan Thomas, Honey Soundsystem, LSDXOXO & Sippin’ T, this event is again in support of Princess Janae Place

Sunday, June 28th:

All Day | Pride 2020: The Sound of New York @ The Lot Radio

  • a 57-hour dance-a-thon fundraiser with donations split between The Okra Project, Black Trans Travel Fund, For The Gworls, Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, Trans Women of Color Survival Fund, G.L.I.T.S. Inc, New Alternatives, and some of the artists. Full lineup here.

5pm-9pm | Pride Mister Sunday w/ Lakuti & Russell E.L. Butler @ Virtually Nowadays

in my queue 🎶

I’ve been playing this in the background while writing and I usually turn it on right before I go to sleep (I can’t sleep without some noise, the city has ruined me). It isn’t necessarily just white noise, but it is very soothing—and this was my first time exploring meditation noises on Bandcamp, pleasantly surprised.

I love this cover! I want all the best for this cover! I might never play the original again, and it’s officially now added to my favorite love songs. The story behind it is beautiful and I can’t wait until next year when I can celebrate Pride with my friends, hopefully outdoors, to this tune.

what i’ve written📝

  • Start Your Day With This Meditative Playlist from Jess Williamson: This newsletter is centered on self-care in part because I was writing about this amazing meditative playlist from singer-songwriter Jess Williamson. I’ve been streaming it for a couple of weeks now and it is truly very relaxing, and I highly recommend doing what Williamson does and starting your day with Alice Coltrane. You can read more and find the playlist on AdHoc’s blog!

tune out 🎧

Like I said above, self-care is political. Taking care of yourself, prioritizing yourself, actively up-ends a system that would dehumanize and devalue your life. Please find time in your struggle for justice for yourself—white supremacy wants us struggling to survive instead of struggling to live, they want all your time spent in pain instead of love. But you don’t need me to remind you about that, you knew how to love yourself before someone taught you otherwise. But if you need some help to get back on the path, here are some resources I’ve stumbled across in the past few days:

concluding remarks

Bandcamp Friday is coming up next week! I’ll post what I’ll be buying in the next newsletter, but there has been so much amazing music released in the past few weeks that I want to put on your radar: a new EP from Kemba, an album from MIKE and The Koreatown Oddity, and so so much more. Keep these names in mind as you start building your list for next Friday!