torso of a woman; the t-shirt she is wearing says "take care of each other" and has a drawing of three monkeys grooming each other.

A lovely shirt from the shop of Means of Production Printing

So many times, I want to write about horrible things on this blog.  There is so much that is wrong in the world – so much exploitation, so much unnecessary suffering.  It gets so complicated, too; once you start pulling apart hierarchies it is clear that so many things are stuck together.   Like a horrible web, once you start tugging at gender, it becomes clear that sexuality, class, race, and so much more are helping to keep things in place as they are, and as their interconnections become clear it can become so overwhelming to think of solutions.  But writing only about the ways we are wronged leaves out our resilience.  It leaves out our ability to make it work, to build what we need, to survive, because shit, we have to.    We short-change ourselves when we don’t take the time to tell these stories of resilience and resistance. 

This is why I want to tell you all about the story of Mia and Stacey, two amazing women – one of whom I am so honored to call a friend.  Mia and Stacey are two disabled, queer, diasporic Korean women of color and social justice activists who are moving across the country, from their beloved homes in Georgia and North Carolina to the Bay Area in California.  But the world isn’t built for two disabled friends who are trying to take care of each other to move cross-country together; packing, moving, finding affordable and accessible housing, and finding support care for the time before disability services kick in, are all things that must come together to make this possible.  I encourage you to go over and read about their move.  For those of you in the Bay, please think of any resources you may know of and pass them on; if you or anyone you know is able to, think about participating in a community careshift collective to support Stacey in the time it takes for her disability services get started in California. For those of you who cannot help in these ways but are moved to help somehow, there is an etsy store, a book sale, and a chipin to raise funds for what will turn out to be a costly process due to the lack of infrastructure in our built environment for disabled folks.

There are so many reasons I think this move is amazing, but a conversation I had recently with my dear friend – another immigrant queer woman – sums it up for me: in the face of a world that weighs down hard on us, taking care of each other is some of the most revolutionary work I know how to do.  After my surgery, on a day my partner could not take off from work, my friend came over with groceries, cooked me dinner, and watched movies with me.  This simple act, in the midst of hectic New York City schedules, meant so much to me.  But this is what we do – we take care of each other, because so often for queer people, people of color, disabled people, poor people, and other marginalized people, simply no one else will.  Taking care of each other is an act of resistance; we reject messages telling us that we are less valuable, we show our resilience by bringing together our resources to do together that which we cannot possibly do alone.  Mia and Stacey’s move, their desire to build a radical home together and take care of each other, challenges both mainstream narratives about what disabled persons are capable of and the notion of an idealized individualism, in which we are better people if we can take care of ourselves.  We can’t – none of us can, and I wouldn’t want to.