Waiting in the Airport with Staceyann Chin

Last night, I saw Staceyann Chin perform.

Right now she is sitting in the same airport as me, about three  rows away, waiting for the same stupid delayed flight. I would go say “hi,” but then I would have to confess that I did not masturbate last night like she demanded of us.

She’s amazing. Bold, yes. A little harsh, yes. Full of attitude, yes. Capable of scaring my dear innocent friend, yes. And fucking amazing!

It’s no secret that I’m a sucker for spoken word. Give me a girl mouthing rhymes, and you’ve got me heart. But I especially applaud her for confronting racial issues in an age where we increasingly claim that “race is irrelevant.” I appreciate that she recognizes the intersectionality of opressions: that you can’t separate poor from black, female from young, gay from immigrant. Oppressions multiply. Equality is a process, not a result.

And most of all, the mainstream GLBT movement is racist. I’m full of white privilege, but this was abundantly clear to me when my half-Mexican,  half-Filipino girlfriend sought leadership positions in GLBT organizations. This is abundently clear to me every time I pick up our local GLBT newspaper, Curve or Out magazine, or The Advocate. I love Staceyann for acknowledging all this, even if it makes people mad. Even if she gets angry letters saying, “I can’t believe you say white people always…,” “I can’t believe you say black people…,” “I can’t believe you talk about…”

She read excerpts from her memoir, “The Other Side of Paradise.” While I’ve only read some of it over the exes shoulder, what I read was touching, telling, and funny. The selections she read last night were amazing. It’s worth checking out.

And I’ll leave you with one of my favorite pieces of hers as I try to build up the courage to say hello.

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