Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sharon Bridgeforth gets an A+

Sharon Bridgeforth, author of works including The Bull-Jean Stories and Love Conjure/Blues, facilitated a 2 hour writing workshop in UT's Union on Tuesday that I had the pleasure of attending. Bridgeforth, an accomplished and inspiring lesbian woman of color, accomplished what she came for...helping writters find their voices in an intense and truth seeking way. Her workshop emphasized deep breathing, seeking one's truth and telling that truth, the assistance movement and theatre can add to the writing process, and the effect fear can have on creative expression.

Besides her obvious talent, Bridgeforth also brought compassion, warmth and wisdom to the room. It was amazing to watch how her words and insight allowed a group of people, most of whom I had never met, draw together in creative expression and express their truths on a deep level.

SO...what are my truths? What will this workshop do for MY writing? How is this important to QUEER truth?

My truths are that I am fluid in my sexuality and struggle with labels that try to define it, I have a fear of relying on others for survival, I am passionate in anything I get my hands on if it becomes of interest to me, I have heard the secret that I don't like to talk about come out of another woman's mouth, and I grew up hearing the sounds of packing.

This workshop will, if not anything else, get me to start writing on a creative level again. It will most likely allow me to be more truthful with my art. It has inspired the topic of my next monologue. It has made me realize that my talent lies within my SELF, and that I do not necessarily need a formal education in writing to be successful at it.

This is important to queer truth because I think the queer community has a tendency to hide certain aspects of its personality. Some of it is due to fear of the backlash induced by heterosexism and homophobia. It begins at least as early as the time when a person knows who they are, but stays in the closet anyway. It extends into secrets about our struggles, not always kept secret by people in the queer community, but by media, family, and society at large. It creeps into the crevices where folds of stereotype make us want to cover things like same-sex couple domestic violence, sexual trauma, drug abuse, and prostitution because if we show our bad side our oppressors may get the opportunity to feel justified in their hate and discrimination.

So let us take this opportunity to reveal our truths to the world---no mattter how ugly, or silly, or beautiful---so that our voices can be heard.

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