Interview with QueerofGender's Lynx Sainte-Marie

Interview by 
Nailah King

ROOM: February is Black History Month, and we want to know, what does Black History Month mean to you and what do you want people to know about black history?

LYNX: I believe Black History Month is a time for Black folks to come together to honour and reflect upon our past, present and future histories and experiences. As a person whose Black body and various identities continuously face speculation and interrogation because of whiteness, colonialism, ableism etc, I believe it is integral to our collective healing to not only celebrate the achievements of Black people all over the world, but to acknowledge the lives of ALL of us. Black history is my history. It is the history of Black queer and trans* people. It is the history of Black poor people. It is the history of Black (dis)Abled people. It is the ways we move through the world as a people who have faced – and still face – violence and yet continue to find ways to grow, share space, create art, build community and make love. 

ROOM: In the spirit of #readdiversely which women and non-binary gender black writers should we be reading? 

LYNX: Joy Kmt, Katrina Elisse Caudle, Dane Figueroa Edidi, d'bi young anitafrika, Ignacio Rivera, Janet Mock, and Trudy Hamilton. Some of these folks you will find in book stores; some you will find online. Regardless of the form it comes in, I am inspired by their words, lessons and brilliance.

ROOM: You founded QueerofGender, an inclusive space for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour which celebrates the genders of these groups. Can you talk about what prompted you to start the project and the importance of inclusive spaces? 

LYNX: My work with QueerofGender is focused more on visibility than inclusion.  QofG was created to centralize our experiences of gender as Black, Indigenous and other folks of colour who are LGBTTQQ2IAP+. It's not about including our voices – we're already community members! It's about being unapologetically ourselves and shining brightly in a world that is continuously fighting to keep us quiet. One of the sayings of QofG is “Shouting our existence into the distance”.

ROOM: What are the challenges and joys of being a writer of colour? Do you have an advice to young writers of colour?

LYNX: One of the joys of being a poet is being true to my experiences and finding others whose stories affirm my own. My biggest challenge? Writer's Block. For a long time, I was under the impression that the writing would and should find me. Now I know I have to go looking for it, in all the experiences I have, no matter how small or insignificant they seem to be. Because my experiences as a person at the intersection are valid and worthy of documentation. Always.

ROOM: Which historical black person do you think we should know and talk more about? 

LYNXQueen Nanny of the Jamaican Maroons.

You can help QofG continue to tell the stories of 2Spirit & QTPOC by donating to their crowdfunding campaign today

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