The Gatekeeper's Collective (TGC)

IGNITING THE POWER OF BLACK SAME GENDER LOVE

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Topic For Friday, May 1st, 2015:
“Tops” & “Bottoms”?: On Cultivating Shamanic Wisdom with Language As Conjuration Workshop

As we discover what it means to be Twenty-first Century Urban Gatekeepers; magical beings with the power to restore balance and harmony to the collective where it is lacking, what might happen if we were to practice using language that grounds us in our power, as distinct from all others?
As African Americans, we have long turned language that was used to devalue us into language that affirmed us. Join us for a fun, interactive workshop where we flip the script. Be part a movement where we create a new narrative.


What are some of the terms you use to define you? 


Let’s find out at the first “Tops” & “Bottoms”?: On Cultivating Shamanic Wisdom with Language As Conjuration Workshop.


The Gatekeeper's Collective
@
JMG's Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive (@ 150th Street)
Suite 9E
Harlem, New York City
8:00 PM

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
TAKE THE #1 TRAIN TO 145TH STREET STATION
OR THE M4, M5, M100 OR M101 BUS TO
149TH STREET & BROADWAY

BROTHERS ARE ASKED TO BRING A POTLUCK DISH AND / OR BEVERAGE

SUMMARY: Film Screening: THE ABOMINABLE CRIME


During The Gatekeepers Collective’s most recent caucus, Brothers screened the short film, The Abominable Crime depicting struggles against anti-homosexual terrorism in Jamaica, and a video of a portion of talk by gay Nigerian freedom fighter, Adibisi Alimi, and footage of a protest at a speech given in Manhattan by Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller at the Jamaican Diaspora Conference.  Among questions which Brothers’ explored included:


Why is there such intensely negative reaction against homosexuality in Jamaica and Nigeria?

“It’s amazing how we complain about our abuse in this country…[Karene’s] literally running for her life…”

“It was okay [in those countries] until the eighties when the [White] American evangelists [went in and] campaigned against homosexuality [stoking hatred]…”

“The reality is, in places like [Jamaica and Nigeria] religion is used to control life, and law is used to uphold these [oppressive dynamics, stoking] feelings of hatred…violence is taking place because they know they can get away with it…In one of the clips, they showed officers beating up a man for being homosexual…”

“[In] Group dynamics, most people go along [with what the majority sentiment], they don’t stand up and say, ‘this is wrong’…I don’t necessarily think there’s a culture of hatred…There may be a culture of silence…”

“In Nigeria, the government has been the primary driver of the recent growth of anti-homosexual [violence]…”

“In Jamaica, these laws were already on the books…”

“But,” the facilitator asks, “Which books?...And, who put these laws on the books?”

“Polls [the film cites, say] 91% of Jamaicans believe homosexuality should not be legalized…”

Do we have a stake in changing the negative disposition of heterosexuals? And, what, if any, is our role as Gatekeepers in the fight for SGL Liberation domestically and throughout the Diaspora?  

“Once we get unified and [start] demonstrating who we are numerically, like the Jews, [we will have greater influence on public opinion]…We have the creativity, but not the unity…”

“Part of the negative attitude has to do with the fact that homosexuals don’t have children…”

“What happens a lot of times in Caribbean narratives [is that] homosexuality is always conflated with pedophilia…A lot of colonies were never intended to stand on our own…We were [intended] to have been outposts for America [and Europe]…We’ve mimicked their [values and customs]…You always aspire to be like the oppressors…Nobody wants to be Third World…Everybody wants to be like the “First World”…So, we keep their laws…When you say, ‘We’ve always had same gender loving people’, they say, ‘It’s an import…”

“We have a stake in it, but…anything dealing with homosexuality and Black people…It will benefit us as a people…[We have to] show the power of the SGL dollar…Africans communicate with Africans…”

“I think we do [have a stake in changing heteros’ disposition regarding us], cause, when I leave this country, they don’t know what passport I have…I could be dragged in the street…I am them…”

“I felt for that woman [in the film]…[For much of my life], that was my idea of manhood…getting married…My wife came back and found me in bed with her [male] cousin…that almost killed me…I almost committed suicide [I felt so ashamed]…”

“How did you get through it? The facilitator asks.

“It took time…I had to learn that we are fine, just the way we are…”

“Not only do we have a stake, we have a responsibility…I found it so incredibly remarkable that Maurice, when he was finally granted asylum, went back [to Jamaica]…One thing that is quite consistent throughout history…the very force that created this law that has brothers and sisters killing each other are the same countries that are stepping in and saving people…They’ve disposed us to killing each other…[We have to] look at this critically and create a strategy to go to Nigeria and tell them, ‘this has nothing to do with nothing’…While this is happening, they are being exploited…Money and resources are being stolen…”

“Yes, we all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, regardless of what shores you’re on…”

“Absolutely, [we have a role in freedom fighting beyond these shores]…I don’t think they are separate entities…we are they, and they are us…Distraction is happening here to keep things as they are…”

“Most of these poor countries, they are looking at the colonizers as their saviors…In Brazil we think America is the example to be followed…But, we mimic the wrong behavior, oppressing [each] other…”

“American Black people…We have a stake in other people’s struggles…I think, as same gender loving people…I think we have to clean our own houses first…”

“We forget about the AIDS scourge…how that prompted hysteria all over [That’s what the American evangelists seized on as a campaign strategy in Jamaica and Nigeria]…”

“I think it’s a ridiculous question…I doubt any of us in this room would say they don’t think we have a role in the fight for SGL liberation in other countries…The question is, what practical and actionable steps [are we prepared to take] to make change…Like the protest last Thursday [at the Jamaican Diaspora Conference]…I would love to go back to Ghana where I’m from and not be harassed…”

“On the surface, it might, indeed seem a ridiculous question” the facilitator says, “But, if we will strategize practical and actionable steps to make change, then we must first arrive at a consensus about our shared investment…Or, the extent to which we share an investment in our collective struggle…And, so we have…Now, the next step will involve planning practical and actionable steps for change…Are we agreed?...”

There is sounded a collective, “Yes…”


The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper

The Gatekeeper's Collective Venue



FIRST FRIDAYS
EVERY MONTH
730 RIVERSIDE DRIVE
(@ 150TH STREET)
SUITE 9E
HARLEM, NEW YORK CITY
8:00 PM

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
TAKE THE #1 TRAIN TO
145TH STREET STATION
OR THE
M4, M5, M100 OR M101 TO
149TH STREET & BROADWAY
GOOGLE MAPS

BROTHERS ARE ASKED
TO BRING A POTLUCK
DISH AND / OR BEVERAGE

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