As Jotería, we organize. We write. We protest. We create. We teach. We do so because our lives depend on it. More importantly, however, we do so because our love—for the multiple communities to which we belong, for social transformation and justice, and for ourselves—cannot be sustained without creative forms of resistance, solidarity, and sanctuary. Against all odds, against bullets, against increased repression, we have sustained ourselves and resisted annihilation.
On June 12, 2016 one of the deadliest shootings in the United States occurred. A total of forty-nine people were killed at Pulse, a gay Orlando nightclub. The world took notice as many of us felt the pain and heartache in mourning the death of our familia. As artists/activists/writers, we took refuge in lovers, families, comunidades, and in our own hearts. Some of us felt anger, cautious of the mainstream media’s use of Black and Brown bodies to fuel hatred against Muslim communities. As queer Latinx people, we were fearful of the continued erasure and whitewashing tendencies of the LGBT community to misrepresent the incident. But, most of all, we felt a stronghold in our almas, we saw ourselves in Orlando. Since June, the thousands of deportations and redadas we have witnessed and the loss of black, trans, queer, and afro-latinx lives at the hands of police and ICE officials have also repeatedly reminded us that our very existence threatens people.
This year’s conference Amor Eterno: Manifesting Generational Love, Queer Sanctuaries, and Radical Solidarities is organized with the acknowledgement that trans and queer people of color have been at the forefront of our liberation. We draw inspiration from Juan Gabriel’s unapologetic queerness, his creativity, and his diva attitude. He taught Latinxs, straight and queer alike, to embrace their queer potential. We reference his song “Amor Eterno,” not as an attempt to romanticize our visions of love, but to engage critically with the possibility of love without fronteras. We manifest radical queer love in the way that we build movements, resist power, and love fiercely.
We invite jotería and allies to join us in weaving webs that bring forth a love that might extend across generations, harnessing the lessons and life experiences of our ancestors, elders, and youth. We believe in building movements that honor their lucha. The time is now. Let us work to create queer sanctuaries to collectively build spaces of transformational healing. Let us creatively think about the ways we use our minds, bodies, and souls to shape these spaces for ourselves and others. We imagine queer sanctuaries as both institutional and personal spaces that honor our multiple identities, embodiments, and politics.
We invite brujxs, healers, activists, feministas hociconas, scholars, writers and artistas to create strong alliances, to envision together. To generate strategies against white supremacy, xenophobia, heteropatriarchy, settler colonialism and capitalism. Finally, we urgently call for radical solidarities. Solidarities rooted in critical reflection, difference and vulnerability. In acknowledging the messy process, we seek to disrupt power and privilege while resisting oppression olympics. We call for models of accountability, healing, and radical self-care. We seek proposals that highlight, complicate, and address the intersections of issues pertinent to Latinx, indigenous, Black, Brown, Afro-Latinx, queer, trans, Muslim, immigrant and working-class communities.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
Extended deadline for proposals: April 30, 2017
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