Dedicated to the next century of Queer Asian artists and activists

September 6, 2013
By

By Celeste Chan and Margaret Rhee

Dear future ones:
.
They will say we have done nothing.
……….That we have no one,
…………………no history, no trace of
……….rabble-rousing ancestry.
.
But.
.
Trace these queer lines, these radical roots,
running deep beneath
the earth,
past the equator.
.
Dear love, our future generation,
.
learn. listen
………..to silences create
………………………from it – light that
………………………blooms and shows
………..the world
how to live,
how to write,
how to love
.
We will listen to the queer
lines that flow from
your heart, pelvis, your tongue
.
We will unearth these legacies. You will create new ones.
.
From the Asian avant-garde to 1960′s activists,
………Angel Island poets to Slam champions, there is a vast Queer Asian Diaspora:
.
There were ghost songs, there were spirits, kindred histories we carved out….
.
Cut sleeves and half-eaten peaches….
Forbidden city’s dancers like Jack Mei Ling,
……….abstract expressionists like Bernice Bing.
……….Crossing time and geographies,
……….these secret
……….stories
We have been waiting a lifetime for this
for the bold
assertion of Queer Asian America
.
We are not model
………..minorities. not Tiger
moms, not dragon
ladies.
.
We are 40+ countries, we are 60% of the world’s population,
and we are
no longer content to wait….
.
We are creating,
sparking,
changing.
We are building
future
visions,
.
We are a huge strong mass
energy, we are galaxies, blazing, growing our future community!
.
Another century of celebration.
innovative.
risky.
beautiful. queer
Asian artists and activists.
.
It is 2013.
.
Today, we write for you.
.
Today, we can’t wait for you.
.
.

“Dear future ones” was written for SPIRIT: A Century of Queer Asian Activism. For more info: www.queerrebels.com and www.facebook.com/QRProductions

**Dedicated to the many Queer Asian artists, activists, and culture-makers that inspire us. With appreciation, we dedicate this poem to you.

_________________________________________

M. Rhee and C. Chan by Lydia Daniller

L-to-R Margaret Rhee, Celeste Chan. Credit: Lydia Daniller

Celeste Chan creates work born from Queer Diaspora through wit, words, and film. A Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) literary fellow, she writes across genres. Her films have screened at Vancouver (B.C.) Queer Film Festival, the 25th MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, Frameline/SF International LGBT Film Festival, and National Queer Arts Festival, among others. She’s honored to be the co-founder of Queer Rebels (a queer of color arts company), with her love, KB Boyce. For more info: www.celestechan.com and www.queerrebels.com.

Margaret Rhee is a feminist poet, activist, and scholar. Her scholarship has been published at Amerasia Journal, Information Society, and Sexuality Research and Social Policy. As an digital activist, she is co-lead and conceptualist of From the Center a feminist HIV/AIDS digital storytelling education project implemented in the San Francisco Jail (www.ourstorysf.org). As a poet, her chapbook Yellow was published by Tinfish Press/University of Hawaii.  She co-edited the collections ‘Here is a Pen: An Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets’ (Achiote Press) and online anthology glittertongue: queer and trans love poems. Currently, she is a doctoral candidate at the University of California Berkeley in Ethnic Studies with a designated emphasis in New Media Studies. http://margaretrhee.net/.

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