3. Always

slips in meaning

slips in meaning

Always. Like the word between love and your name in a love letter. Always. Like the pastel plastic promise that your period can become cute. Always. Like an ahistorical historicization. Like the production of eternity without witnesses. Like a recurring nightmare of hoping you exist.

The word “always” can be used to create a history where there was nothing but disbelief. It can also be used to make it seem like something is natural, just because it happens to have been going on for a long time. The Combahee River Collective Statement uses the word “always” to establish a tradition of black feminism that predates the work of the women in the collective, AND some folks have found fault with these statements about what black women have “always” been doing, because it seems to suggest that there is some sort of natural standard for black women’s behavior.

How do you (want to) use the word “always” in your movement work?
Use the space below to make 5 sentences that use the word “always” (or don’t) to describe the tradition and vision of your work as honestly as you can. You may notice that the word “always” has different meaning every time.

see http://thatlittleblackbook.blogspot.com/2006/07/always-queerness-of-reproductive-frame.html

for more!

A Reflection from Noah Blose:

Pauli Murray is from Durham North Carolina

Pauli Murray is from Durham North Carolina

Michelle L. told me that Pauli Murray was trans.  S/he was a founder of
the National Organization for Women.  How do we know when to name/claim
our own, and why do we or don’t we do it?  How and why do we rewrite
histories to see ourselves there?

Download this activity as a (double-sided) worksheet here!


One Response to “3. Always”

  1. The red tent is a queer thing

    A place where life begins

    A place where the beginning of the beginning of life is celebrated

    A queer thing in this world we live in

    Where we kill children with words

    And women with walls

    Women love each other here, physically, emotionally

    Skinny dip and teach each other to swim in their own truths

    Fight through tough conversations and try not to turn away

    And sometimes when we turn away we turn back, healed with space and time

    And that’s the queer thing, to stay when it’s hard

    When it seems so much easier to go in the other direction

    Did you forget? the world is round

    And you know another queer thing?

    It’s not the red that people say it should be.

    They should say its brown, muddy and rust colored like earth

    red like clay

    the color of most people

    It’s a dull ache and its flashing intense pain, its a storm inside

    A storm that returns every month that you can’t escape

    but here’s the thing

    It forces you to connect to yourself

    It says ‘excuse me. You are not just a mind my friend.

    You are not the nameless droid they would have you believe.

    Do you feel this?

    Aren’t you tired?

    Isn’t this more than enough for one person to do?

    Don’t you realize how you don’t take care all the time?

    It is time for you to slow down.’

    This message has become harder and harder to learn

    Capitalism waits for no man.

    Capitalism waits for no man, si?

    There is a there there

    It’s right here

    In your lower middle

    Here every new moon to remind you that you feel things

    And this too shall pass . . .

    Blood flows and so do you.

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