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Arts In The Woods 2

During Camp I joined a writing track that required us to compose a poem that includes chants that we would use at a protest rally. I think everyone should try this as a simple way to start their own protest. I included a draft of my poem plus some of the interviews that I did and promised to share below:

The Government doesnt speak for us
The media doesnt speak for us
We are our own champions
…The change we want to see
We are aggravated and disgruntled
By social prejudice and systematic oppression
In our schools and on our streets.
There is is too much going on
For too long
Too much racism
Too much homophobia
And trans-phobia
And classism
And sexism
Too much isms.
Society needs to exist for all of us
And social norms need not define how we dress
How we look
Who we marry
Or who we choose to love.
What excuse does our government has for our homeless youth
Who are sleeping on trains
And standing in soup lines
When they should be in school.
What excuse does our government has for our black brothers and sisters
Who hardly have a choice between welfare and a good job?
Where do they get employed if they are too black?
Too uneducated or too thug?
What messages do we send
To that child of a single mother
…A mother who struggles to get home
Night after night
To her sobbing child
Who is still up late and cannot sleep
Through the shock and trauma
from the ringing of bullets from her bedroom window

Where is our voice? Who answers our questions?
How do we channel our messages into actions?

We are bruised by prejudice and ignorance and we need change now!

Not because we are poor, or because we are gay or because we are black
But because we are humans!

Arts In The Woods

This weekend I took a trip out into the woods with some of the most amazing people in life. I was at a retreat called Arts in the Woods, a short break for LGBT youth around the country, in upstate New York.

This is just about the safest place that you can call home. For me it was that and more: cultural authenticity, introspection and a do-whatever-you-want kind of ambiance.

Arts in the woods brought together people from all over but most of all it brought our stories together, of young adults hoping to see their dreams come true but who have been pushed to the edge of society because of who they are.

It was an experience that brought me to laughter and tears. We came together in these woods to find the family – that for many of us, and for a very long time, only existed in our minds.

A family that you can only hope would last forever. If only we could have more bonfires, make more dresses together, do more drag, read more poems, vogue a little more, go tubing every day, cook and eat together sing together, hide in the dark together and just forget all the madness that scourges our lives outside the woods, life would pretty much be one amazing experience- and simply that.

I felt so much joy from being there. The interviews that I did with some of my fellow campers (which I will share next week) taught me a lot and most importantly they showed me that everyone owns their own stories, their own protest, their own experience and their ambition.

And there were so many bold faces enriched with talents that were tailored to perfection and that filled the lounge hall with shouting, screaming, clapping and snapping every night.

Going to arts in the woods, I was hoping to find support and make friendships but instead I have found a community and a family.
The theme for this year, “Thrive in the Woods” – the underlying meaning of which stems from yearning to go beyond the obstacles that may confront us in our day to day life.

Writers, musicians, rappers, videographers, dancers, drag stars, this has been a talent galore – you are either in the woods to find your glitter or to share your glitter – of trial and error; here I have discovered so many great talents, it’s only a wonder where all these people have been.

To tap it off, there is that strong bond that made us believe that we have always known each other and this was just a huge family reunion.