Lynx Sainte-Marie is the founder of QueerofGender.com, an online project dedicated to celebrating the various experiences of gender within LGBTTQQ2SIAP+ Black, Indigenous & People of Colour communities.
This interview was originally published in issue 38.2 "How We Relate."
ROOM: What motivated you to start QueerofGender?
LSM: QueerofGender (QofG) started off as a blog I created after feeling the brunt of erasure within the white, cis/heteronormative, non-disabled spaces I move through in the world. As a non-binary gender Black person whose gender only enters the realm of the patriarchal gender binary when it is forced upon me, not being able to reside in spaces that discuss my gender and the genders of folks like myself has brought me much sadness and grief. QofG was my way to offset the isolation myself and many of us feel as LGBTTQQ2SIAP+ people whose genders cannot be named under these Western, colonized ways of knowing gender. It is a way we can pay homage to the genders and gender expressions of the Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC) all over the world … It is a celebration of the ways in which we see ourselves and our collective realities. It is an organization focused on love and I am extremely proud of being a part of its growth.
ROOM: Why do you think online communities such as QofG are important?
I believe community spaces like QofG help highlight and affirm the experiences of those of us who face the most marginalization. There are multitudes of experiences that are disregard and go unheard, not only in the mainstream but in our BIPOC spaces. Society needs to hear the stories of (dis)Abled queers of colour and the access barriers they face, on top of racism. Society needs to hear Trans women of colour voices, particularly Black trans women, who face the most horrific, senseless experiences of violence in all of our community. Their voices need to be heard. Our voices need to be heard. Communities, online and off, that push our voices to the forefront are necessary to our survival.
ROOM: Do you think stories are powerful tools of social change?
LSM: As a Jamaican Born Abroad and growing up in a family of jokers and storytellers, I learned from an early age the power of words. They can be used to uplift and destroy someone, sometimes all in the same sentence! My writing has gone through many stages—from the valid anger of someone who deals with oppression and violence, to words that try their best to bring solace and compassion to those they have similar intersections in common with. I believe we are all artists in our own right and using our words, our paint, our drums, our bodies, and anything we have at our disposal to create art can bring healing to others and ourselves. Storytelling brings to the surface the world of feelings we hold deep within our bodies.
ROOM: Tell us a little bit about your own writing?
LSM: I have a project I am ruminating on … but it’s a secret! Stay tuned to QueerofGender for more info!