I’ve been quiet in recent weeks. Mine is not the voice that needs to be amplified right now. My voice is used to having all the freedom in the world to spout off whenever it wants. So right now I’m doing what I know how to do, which is making art based in my lived experience – really the only thing for which I am qualified to be a spokesperson – but listening intently and openly to others whose lived experiences are wholly outside of my frame of reference.
As always, there is a deafening chorus of bad faith actors out there, and then there are those with genuine, practical concerns. Some of those who seem genuine question the methodology used to bring about change. I would ask many of those focusing on methodology to remember the factors that allow them time and space to have that sort of philosophical debate. I, like they, have the luxury of wrestling at my leisure with existential nuisances, with the fine points of arguments and approaches. I recognize that this is because I am lucky enough to have a mind unburdened by the constant fear of immediate physical danger, or of immediate financial ruin. My vantage point is one of extreme freedom – of choice, of personal expression, of purchasing power. More than any other identity, mine has first and foremost been individualist and near-recluse. I realize that in itself has been a choice afforded by the physical comfort of my inherited circumstance.
And so, at least for right now, I am doing much more listening than speaking.