Good morning loves.
I write this message with an abundance of gratitude, honor, and love towards the people, experiences, & connections made at this year’s Philadelphia Trans Health Conference. Thank you to Trans Women of Color Collective for curating a spectacular concert and assembling a lineup of some of the greatest Black trans and gender nonconforming artists in this country: Lucas Charlie Rose, Sidney Chase, Nila Nokizaru, Kavindu Jointe, Jordan Miller, Marco Monroe, and Cyree Jarelle Johnson. Blessings to you all & it is my wish that we have become more serious & grounded in the work we do. We were a small representation of Black trans artists at the largest trans conference in the world. Let’s continue to build & create in collective liberation.
I express the utmost gratitude to TWOCC, especially to Dane Edidi and Lourdes Ashley Hunter for creating opportunities non-stop, for bringing me with them into this sisterhood, & for pouring into my work continuously. It is my determination to do the same for as many trans women of color as possible.
I’m very grateful to have encountered and seen many friends at this conference, though I wasn’t able to experience it fully, but seeing so many people that I know really made up for it. A highlight of PTHC was meeting the friends I’ve made in North Carolina: Jonathan Green, Ashley S. Williams, Suquanna Butler, and Shane Hicks. Y’all are squadded downnnnnnnnnnnn! Blessings to you for what YOU do. This is all a collaborative effort: art, organizing, activism, change, etc. Because of what YOU do, just like many of my friends and acquaintances, it causes a ripple towards what I do. I look forward to seeing y’all again (wink, wink).
Max Young-Jones, it was incredible to see you, babe. I cherished our time, though it was not enough, but thank you for being a pillar. 🙂
Tristan Morton, thank you for giving me the biggest and gayest hug everrrrrrrrrrrrr. That was a long time coming. 🙂
Thanks to Reevs Fluctus O’Neal and Emem Obot for immediately taking action because there was a named rapist in the audience, someone I know very well, & his face was absolutely triggering to see. By the time I got through the first poem, he wasn’t on my mind. That’s all I will say on that.
And I have to say thanks to Lucas (again lol) for sharing his table so that I could sell books. Y’all should go buy his new album, Rouge. I’m telling ya.. the shit is amazing. My vernacular has taken over this little part of my message. It’s kk, though. It’s turn-up music. I was listening to dis shit yesterday & it was just the right juice I needed to be in my zone with these books!
And thanks to Vernon A. Jordan III to taking me to get my first cheesesteak & walking me to my bus!
#trigger was published on May 24. Since then, I have sold 80 copies. 80 copies of “trigger” exist throughout the United States and Canada. When I clicked the “publish” button, that was my letting go & allowing this book to “do what it’s gonna do.” And bitch, there is more after “trigger”.. This is absolutely a success leading to the creation of more work.
Due to it’s publication, things have come out of my life. Personally, & I should have expected this. A former best friend, right after I announced this book, called & deadnamed me, but offered to “invest”. In addition to my sister cyberstalking me, I started an estrangement from my father, & many of my brothers & sisters on his side. My former partner messaged me a few days ago. We hadn’t spoken since November & my final (& only) message to him was: “Happy early birthday 🙂 …” & I linked him to “trigger”. I’ve let many people know my next move and why my tour is postponed for June. Once the rest of my vault (my enormous collection of journals) has arrived from Louisiana, sometime within the next two weeks, it is my intention to tell my immediate blood family that I’m a trans woman in the form of a letter. With that comes much prayer, preparation, & space. I don’t know what will happen, so I’m preparing for the worst. I’m in a position now where I have family & friends in DC. My life here is my own. This city feels like home. I accomplished that goal. A letter is best because I can’t be interrupted, shouted at, or listen to any bullshit. I’ve heard everything before because I come from a strong Baptist background. Whatever the outcome is of the letter, I’ll be fine.
Also, my thanks to Marco. We had really great bonding time over brunch & I really appreciated hearing your story. 🙂
I think that’s it. I think that’s all I wanted to share about what’s going on in my life & career. There’s more work to do, so I’m going to take a rest because I’m tired from all this travel. Thank you for reading.
Love, Venus Selenite
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo & Ashé