From a QWOC in Japan: “I have learned that I cannot do it on my own and that as much as I perhaps took credit for what I knew and what I learned, I realize that I always had a constant source of support to fall back on. Now that these friends – my family – are many miles away, I am left to navigate this world, for the first time, as a true outsider.”
f there’s anything I regret this summer, it’s the fact that I did not get the chance to give all of you a hug good-bye last night after we celebrated the commencement of my internship with cake, photos, and, of course, Japanese food. However, I think it’s the most appropriate departure I could have given – a cliffhanger, as opposed to a definite end.
Indeed, to say that QWOC Week is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before would be a hell of an understatement. It’s worlds away from that singular day in Vegas where, though perhaps welcome, I still felt alien and alone. This past week, I felt expected, accepted, and embraced, which is what I think QWOC Week is all about. I was taken out of my comfort zone so many times and put into a place that was even more comfortable and if it hadn’t been encouraged, I would never have known.
As is the case with most organizations, fans, supporters, and enthusiasts of QWOC+ Boston mainly get to experience the front-end of the organizing work. In this post, our intern goes behind the scenes to give you a taste of what it’s like to plan QWOC Week, and work with some pretty interesting personalities.
I know we’re all out here fighting for something or being a part of some struggle, even if the struggle isn’t visible to everyone. But as you sweat, bleed, cry, and crawl – as you go through your day to day life, shoving roadblocks out of the way and forging your own path – remember what you’re doing it for. We’re not doing it for some vague sense of accomplishment, or community, or even “equality.” We’re fighting because we love what we’re fighting for.
As much as we may hate the ignorance, we are not exempt from it. We may be better than others at keeping our judgments to ourselves, but in some cases, we’re just as bad, if not worse, than the people who do it to us. Recently, I interviewed a QWOC who served in the military about her opinions on the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.
Several days ago, I found myself on a taxi ride home, engaging in conversation with the driver about blacks and education. He asked whether or not I was in college; I told him I was and he proceeded to clap, thanking me for doing something for blacks “across the world.”