Change of plans–After months of shying away, I agreed to attend Netroots Nations in Pennsylvania next week and will join the bike riders when I get back to California.
The weight is on me to “sufficiently represent the Dream Activists” at the pre-NN blogger summit for LGBT and Immigration bloggers. (Mohammad is busy doing more important work in deferring the deportation of two other students this month, one of them in Detroit Michigan).
11:00 – 11:15 Welcome and Introductions (Judith Freeman)
11:15 – 12:00 The Power of Coalitions: Case Studies in Progressive Collaboration (Chris Bowers)
12:00 – 12:30 Intersection of Immigration/LGBT Issues (Steve Ralls)
12:30 – 1:30 Working Lunch Panel — A Bloggers’ Guide to Legislative Advocacy and Going Online to Offline (Shaunna Thomas, Kyle de Beausset, Prerna Lal, Michael Crawford, and Marcy Wheeler with Q&A)
1:30 – 2:15 Legislation: What’s On the Table and Where We Need To Go (David Waldman aka Kagro X)
2:15 – 2:30 Coffee/Snack
2:30 – 3:15 How Bloggers Can Help Organizations — and Vice Versa (Kety Esquivel, Julia Rosen, and Mike Rogers)
3:15 – 4:45 Strengthening Connections and Making Plans (small group discussions)
4:45 – 5:00 Wrap-Up and Next Steps (Chris Bowers)
Two years ago, or even a year ago, this wouldn’t have been a possibility–there is no way that an (out) undocumented queer woman of color would sit on any such panels and summit. The changes are due in large part to the amazing work at DreamActivist and the online promigrant blogosphere (such as Citizen Orange) for recognizing and recommending that work. It feels great to represent, even if I am pigeon-holed and labeled as a ‘DREAM Act’ or ‘undocumented student’ blogger. Maybe I am a token per my multiple identities but my work speaks for itself and I am certainly not a ‘bland’ one.
But as an individual, it is stifling. We are living in limbo, as refugees in our own country, and now shouldering the burden to act within that state of limbo, making ONE identity into THE identifier. The vile and hateful discourse of ‘illegal immigration’ aside, I feel like my identity is caught up and caged within the framework of a movement. There is so much more to life; I am so much more than a Dream Activist and I resent being a token in such spaces. But I can’t overlook the cool factor–being the only (openly) undocumented person in the room and the only one who can crack jokes about ‘those damn illegals’ because everyone else is too careful, too PC and too full of white guilt.
Pittsburgh, the invasion is coming!