Posted on 04/16/2021
1. How would you introduce yourself?
I’m a mixed-Black transmasculine non-binary queer person and technically a millennial but I find that to be such a strange designation! I am originally from California (the Bay Area) but I have called the South home since 2012. I feel at home in the South because it where the Black side of my family is from, so I feel closer to my people here. My work as an artist is just as important as the work I do as a scholar, so I always refer to myself as an artist-scholar. I feel deeply grateful for and am in love with my life, the fullness of it, and all of the beautiful people I have the joy of loving and knowing.
2. Why WGSS?
I have been at UNCG since the fall of 2017. I started as a lecturer and then was hired as the second tenure track position in the program in the fall of 2018. WGSS has become a disciplinary home for me because of my research, performance work, and because of who I am. I do not come from any one discipline – I am unusual in this way in that all of my degrees are in different disciplines. I believe in transdiciplinarity as a way of doing all of my work and WGSS has proven to be a place that embraces this way of being and working. I also love WGSS because of the student population. As a person of color who is also a product of public education and the first generation of Bachelors + education in my family, it’s really important to me to be in classrooms with students that I recognize. I have really loved it here for these and many other reasons.
3. What do you do outside of academic work?
I am a dancer and I love to dance for fun. I also love film, particularly Black film and international film, learning to grow herbs, and deepening my spiritual practice in the Lucumí tradition by studying Yoruba spirituality. I am invested in living the fullest queer life I can so my notion of family is vast. I live alone as part of a lifestyle choice but have an embarrassment of relational riches that hold me down and who I offer the same to. Of the family I have created there is my spiritual lineage and family, my romantic partners, and chosen kinship networks and friends that I continue to build community with. These three facets of my constructed family give me so much life. I also have two dogs that are the animal loves of my life, Xiq and Gaza, who are also lesbian life partners.
4. What have you done or been doing this year?
This year I developed new relationships that have been deep wells of healing, joy, abundance, and freedom. Definitely not what I was expecting in the middle of a pandemic! I have spent time conversing with folks with similar visions about how to navigate all types of relationships now that I am entering a different era of what it means to be a queer person who’s been doing this for a while and who does not want the typical things in life. Having the time to do that has been very restorative. I’ve also been working steadily on my book with the help of some wonderful people and friends. And I emphasize this a lot and always, I have been centering rest and pleasure because I believe in truly living my life and enjoying my time. There is never a dull moment!
5. How are you coping with the COVID 19 Quarantine?
I never cease to be amazed by the innovations of my community. I have been deeply involved in Acorn Center for Restoration and Freedom, I’ve been keeping close to friends here and abroad, I’ve been resting deeply and honoring new types of spaciousness in my life, and continuing to move my body in every way it asks me to.