Bay Windows Article: QWOC Week Kick-Off Boat Cruise

Sailors’ delight: QWOC Week weighs anchor with kick-off cruise
by Hannah Clay Wareham
Staff Reporter
Thursday Aug 6, 2009

Cloudy skies didn’t stop 125 queer women of color (and their friends) from lining up on Rowes Wharf on August 2 to board the New Boston for Queer Women of Color (QWOC) Week’s kick-off event: the Uni-T Dance and Boat Cruise.

Presented by QWOC+ Boston and DykeNight Productions, and in collaboration with Men of Color Creating Change (MOCCC), Boston LGBT Social Circle of Color, and Boston Gay Women’s Group, the event was tantamount to the Week’s motto: “Diversity speaks.”

“The best thing about this week is the collaboration,” QWOC volunteer Heidy Gonzalez said. “Every single event [involves] us working with another group.”

“It made sense to celebrate the kick-off of their week,” said Kristen Porter, owner of DykeNight Productions, exemplifying the inter-community support, cooperation, and collaboration typified by QWOC Week 2009, which volunteers have been planning for since February.

For QWOC volunteer Jacob Barela, the cruise “sets the tone” for the upcoming Week’s events. “We’re doing something different,” Barela said. “I mean, you don’t go on a boat cruise every weekend!”

The novelty of the three-hour cruise wasn’t lost on attendees. While Gilligan and the Captain were not in attendance, gay men in sunhats marveled at the yachts that were the New Boston’s neighbors, and lines at the two bars quickly formed.

Once DJ Inkognito started spinning on the open-air dance floor, it was only a matter of minutes before passengers found their sea legs and began dancing the evening away. Some joked that the occasional pitching of the ship only served to improve their dance moves.

“I love to see so many queer people of color together in one room,” Gonzalez said, smiling at the crowd. “It doesn’t happen every day.”

Carnell Freeman, one of the founding members of MOCCC, was also happy with the event’s turnout. “If the message gets out that we’re trying to better the community,” he said, “people will come.”

Later in the evening, the New Boston’s path crossed that of a ferry bound for Provincetown. The boat tipped a little as everyone rushed to the edge to wave to the P-town ferry passengers like they were long-lost friends. The feeling of celebration in the air was catching and, if the kick-off event was any indication, will endure for the remainder of QWOC Week.

For the QWOC Week 2009 schedule of events, and for more information, visit www.qwocboston.org.

James White, a member of Men of Color Creating Change, Adaora Asala, one of QWOC+ Boston’s founding organizers, and Heidy Gonzalez, a QWOC+ Boston volunteer.
James White, a member of Men of Color Creating Change, Adaora Asala, one of QWOC+ Boston’s founding organizers, and Heidy Gonzalez, a QWOC+ Boston volunteer.    (Source: Bonae L’amour Photography)

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