Sunday, December 28, 2008

Kwanzaa with the Community

So last night I went to the Kwanzaa celebration at the gay and lesbian center in NYC. I wasn't sure if I was going to go at first. I didn't have the back up of one of my friends at first, but I decided that it was a chance to get out and be among other LGBT POC, and maybe meet a nice lady but that was secondary ;-) . Anyway when I got there it was absolutely packed and I got one of the most awkward spots in the whole place, right in the middle of an aisle. But, as I sit down I look up and I see Olive and Hanifah and damn near passed out. Hanifah was one of the first performers and not only did she tear the place up but she looked absolutely gorgeous. I was almost drooling. Then Olive talked about Kujichagulia, and I'm not gonna lie I was a little over zealous in my clapping i felt when she came on, so I was a little more subdued when she went off. But they seriously have to be the most beautiful couple ever. It's very rare that you think both people in the couple are hot, but that's besides the point, back to the celebration. The performers were amazing, but what I loved more than anything is that I know that when Maulana Karenga created Kwanzaa his idea of African people celebrating Kwanzaa didn't included LGBT people, but during the whole celebration the presenters continued to affirm us as Black people and as queer people and it was beautiful. It was so refreshing.

My only complaint was that it seemed a very Christian influenced program. I'm a Christian and I don't really have a problem with people talking about Jesus, but not everyone is Christian and that should be respected also. But actually the Christian presence actually really worked for me and made me feel comfortable. I've found myself uncomfortable lately in heavily Christian situations, and even in church and I couldn't figure out why. Last night made me realize that church wasn't a safe space for me anymore. It used to be I used to love being in church, but after I came out that went away because a lot of the negativity I heard and always feeling like an outsider. Then last night when I was the ultimate insider I felt completely safe. So its definitely a step forward for me. So all in all it was a great night, and I'm glad I went.

1 comment:

Spirit said...

This sounds like such a wonderful experience, especially because u felt a sense of belonging and pride in a Christian environment. I felt guilty recently bc i dont feel "safe" anymore there. Guess Im not alone. Happy Kwanzaa!

“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde