Sitting down to write and tackle today’s entry I was focusing on a completely different thought than what I am about to share. I was writing the date in my doc and received a DM from a dear friend half a world away. The messages touched me so and I just feel that perhaps it was sent just in time so that I could speak to it.
The message that was sent was one of love and support from an ally and friend. She expressed and acknowledged the ending of Pride month and wanted to let me know, as well as the friends she knows who are dear to me, that we are loved and in her thoughts.
This simple message communicating love and support is so moving and so gracious. In many ways this is a show of not only live and friendship but also of being seen for all of who you are. Something that is rather difficult for people to do or accept in others. To be able to live in the fullness of your being and be welcomed into the fold of others is really an amazing thing.
So many people live in fear or in denial because they are unable to be their complete selves. It is difficult to have to walk a path that is not yours or does not allow you to be the complete being that you are. It can be painful and debilitating in addition to destructive.
When you are brought up in a world made for others you don’t ever feel you belong. When there is no representation for you to see yourself and to recognize yourself in others, the tendency is to hide away out of shame and fear of rejection. And this is precisely why it is important to celebrate Pride the way in which we do. It is important to be present and visible for those to see that they too belong.
To be present in one’s full self is to be at one with oneself. To stand in the center of your world without fear and without harassment is empowering and freeing. It should be an inspiration for others and should be celebrated all year long and within every day and in every action of our being. One can be proud even in simply being.
Even though I am an artist who lives presently in my work but don’t necessarily focus on queer issues, who I am still lives within all of my work. My strength, sensuality, intimacy, passion, drive, curiosity, courage, sensitivity, softness, weakness, quietude and power are all a part of each work I make. I create multidimensional worlds in which all people are welcome to be a part of rather than a viewpoint that expresses a single thought.
Images connect to the humanity within all people and speak to the nervous system and freeing of the neuromuscular blockages of trauma that so many have felt. My work, through the lens of a queer man acts as a compassionate bridge to see oneself and ones humanity within it. The work is a safe place where the dancer doesn’t have to put on a character but only simply to be their full selves. Just as the audience does not have to understand anything outside themselves but rather feel a soulful connection to what is within.
So yes, I am a queer artist making work that is accessible to all and am proud to be present in that work amd present in the making and sharing of that work. It has always been a desire to represent myself fully in my work, the classroom and in my personal world. That in itself is activism. And for that I am proud. And for that I celebrate. We celebrate.
This is why a small message can remind us of the work, the necessity and the importance of being present in all that we are and to take time to fully celebrate our complete selves. It is important to be a champion for others. And I am grateful for the allies in my life who remind me they are there and there is love.