An image of a fat Afro-Latinx femme trans person, wearing a blue shirt punctuated by stars, purple and blue sky shot through with white beams of light, cupping their face with one hand with an “oh, SHIT!” expression. Art by V Tobar of @imagined_spacescapes https://www.instagram.com/p/CN63AUfDOGD/.
Lucia Leandro Gimeno was an Afro-Latinx, gender non-conforming femme, counselor/bruja/ organizer. Born and raised by loud mouth working class dykes in Boston, he was taught that love is most definitely a verb. For nearly 20 years they organized with queer, trans and gnc communities of color in NYC (The Audre Lorde Project & FIERCE!). LL was the Director of The Queer & Trans People Of Color Birthwerq Project, an organization dedicated to mending the disconnect between Trans and Reproductive Justice through birthwerqer trainings and community organizing.
An expert chilaquiles maker, fashion queen and movement builder, some people say you can even hear his laugh from a mile away. He died on April 19, 2021 after a long battle with kidney failure, and is beloved by a huge community of QTBIPOC from Brooklyn to Seattle, and beyond.
Image Description: Drawing of a Korean woman sitting in a clamshell with sea creatures all around her. Her pink shirt says, “It is your light that lights the world.”
Stacey once said, “I do not know a lot about spirituality or what happens when we die, but my crip queer Korean life makes me believe that our earthly bodyminds is but a fraction, and not considering our ancestors is electing only to see a glimpse of who we are. People sometimes assume ancestorship is reserved for those of biological relation, but a queered or cripped understanding of ancestorship holds that, such as in flesh, our deepest relationships are with people we choose to be connected to and honor day after day.
“Ancestorship, like love, is expansive and breaks manmade boundaries cast upon it, like the nuclear family model or artificial nation state borders. My ancestors are disabled people who lived looking out of institution windows wanting so much more for themselves. It’s because of them that I know that, in reflecting on what is a “good” life, an opportunity to contribute is as important as receiving supports one needs. My ancestors are people torn apart from loves by war and displacement. It’s because of them I know the power of building home with whatever you have, wherever you are, whoever you are with. My ancestors are queers who lived in the American South. It’s because of them I understand the importance of relationships, place and living life big, even if it is dangerous. All of my ancestors know longing. Longing is often our connecting place.”
Image is of Michelle “Skinny” Spearman, a lifelong Oaklander who co-founded 37MLK, a totally grassroots/homeless-led neighborhood takeover of a vacant lot in Oakland that created a community of tiny homes for unhoused seniors and disabled people. She was a fierce woman of faith who lived with several chronic illnesses and also engaged in disabled mutual aid as an IHSS worker for much of her life. She was born on October 5th 1959, and passed away on April 29th 2021; her legacy will live on for much longer in her beloved family and neighborhood connections. Rest in power, beloved!
My mother was a complicated woman. In the working class neighborhood where I grew up, disability wasn’t talked about. People didn’t take breaks because they couldn’t afford to. My mother was an artist and a lover of beauty. She lived with multiple disabilities and passed away in 2011.
Image is of an ancestor altar with a photo of a white appearing multiracial person and transracial adoptee smiling at the camera. There are offerings on the altar and a red dress to honor missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people.
Honoring Audre Lorde every day for her Black disabled brilliance. Image description: A Black woman with natural hair stands in front of a chalk board that says, “Women are powerful and dangerous.”