Against Awareness

When I was a junior in college, a group that I was directing, StandOut, decided to throw an event honoring queer artists of color in our community. Taking an intersectional approach, the membership believed that, given the group QPOCA’s (Queer People of Color and Allies) relative lull at the time, that we needed to raise more awareness about the art coming from queer people of color. We had photography from Daniel Butcher, paintings by members, and even a show by Latina rock group Girl in a Coma.

In between arrangements for the event—can Veggie Heaven have vegan food delivered for Girl in a Coma?—I was called into the Gender and Sexuality Center on campus to speak with the director, Ana Ixchel Rosal.

“I’m concerned about your event, Jason” she explained. “Highlighting oppression and contributions isn’t really enough. Awareness isn’t enough.”

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