The Turning: Resurrection

Hello friends, Zed here!

The good news is, after preparing for The Turning and writing about it in multiple places I have officially learned how to spell Resurrection. That was a hard one.

A huge thank you to everyone who came and participated in the Turning. It was such a magical experience. We had an open mic at Cafe Southside in Minneapolis and people brought songs and poems to share.

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Here was my reflection I offered up:

The first Turning we remembered the dead, the lives taken too soon, taken from their natural cycle, the lives that went before us that dreamed up heaven for us and fought for that dream. The next Turning we waited in hope. In the cold winter, we waited with the understanding that spring comes. Because of that knowledge we embraced the darkness. Immersed ourselves in it. And today we celebrate the Resurrection!

As I painted my face today I thought of the Resurrection. A funny word that kinda always meant zombie to me, you know I come from Cali I don’t really understand seasons. I follow the teachings of this man who wove together heaven for a freak like me. In his words I saw a world where the people whom the system deemed unclean he called holy. His truth telling, often came against Empire. They’ve already manipulated his words to oppress more people. You’ve heard this story before. I bet you know what happened to him. Think of Martin Luther King Jr. Think of Malcom X. Think of Marsha P Johnson. Harvey Milk. I could go on. We know, deep down we know what it means to exist authentically human, to fight for justice, to stand with the oppressed, we know, we know what that means.

My faith tradition is Christianity and last weekend I spoke to another Christian: her name is Alexia Salvatierra. She is one badass woman who has an eyebrow that reaches for the heavens in the most deviant way. I said, we follow a god who came to us as a human and empire killed him. We know what happens when you follow Jesus truly. You are given a cross. How do we exist in this place? Where is the hope when we know that will happen? And she said to me: “Jesus never minimized the crucifixion. But rather you must make the sound of the resurrection that much louder. When you do this justice work you will see glimpses of heaven. The Lutherans call it a taste of the fore coming.”

Sometimes I think het cis folx, they live in Easter and I reside in Holy Saturday. I watch them dance and proclaim heaven and it slips so easily from their tongues. I envy them mostly. Holy Saturday was yesterday, the day between death and life. The day that was hopeless. The day the disciples mourned after watching their Christ die.

Resurrection is still a hard one for me. But what I can grasp of it is this: if I hadn’t had the words and strength of Leslie Feinberg to guide me, I don’t know where I’d be. Leslie dreamt up a world that I still strive for. It is through Leslie’s work for justice that I can begin to live out Leslie’s dreams. I feel that Leslie’s story runs through my veins because the blood Leslie sacrificed gives nourishment to my own. Today we celebrate the life that came from the death. The pain. The darkness. I can see the life, in your faces, in this space where I can connect to a spirituality that feeds the hungry. And I don’t know anyone more hungry then us queer kids.

I’ll finish up with a vision of Leslie Feinberg’s dream written in Stone Butch Blues, that I continue to realize and fight for and feel is my resurrection story too:

During the night I had this dream:

I walked across a vast field. Women and men and children stood on the edges of the field looking at me, smiling and nodding. I headed toward a small round hut near the edge of the woods. I had a feeling I had been in this place before.

There were people who were different like me inside. We could all see our reflections in the faces of those who sat in this circle. I looked around. It was hard to say who was a woman, who was a man. Their faces radiated a different kind of beauty than I’d grown up seeing celebrated on television or in magazines. It’s a beauty one isn’t born with, but must fight to construct at great sacrifice.

I felt proud to sit among them. I was proud to be one of them.

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Drew Stever shared a powerful poem:

Dear God, thank you for drag queens.

Thank you for sex workers, atheists, drug addicts, welfare moms, latchkey kids, porch dwellers, the bag ladies, faggots and homos.

Thank you for tattoo artists, drunks, tender boys and tough girls, the resilient “in between’s,” the hijabi activists, cigarette grandmas, the Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White, thugs, sluts, and the jaded.

Thank you for urban murals, dandelion fields, hair stylists, shelter advocates, street sweepers, lunch ladies, homeless veterans, the guardians of the medians, needle exchanges, and neighborhood aunties.

Thank you for gardeners and builders, for gun dealers and gay club owners, the playground bullies and the playground bullied, the gay jocks and the closeted theater kids and the Recovering Religious Somethings.

Thank you for the sissies and the bitches.
Thank you for the motherfuckers and the rebels,
the angels and the devils.
Thank you for the saints and sinners.
Thank you for the profane.

May we see ourselves in all of them.
Amen.

We ended the night igniting a phoenix sculpture Mark Van Steenwyk made and did this call and response written by Cornel West:

“Bury the Dead. Fight for the Living. Protect the Children. Organize with the Poor. Keep Resistance and Resilience going. Act Honorably. Be Willing to Sacrifice your Popularity”

Check out more photos of our beautiful event here ❤ ❤ ❤

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