Saturday, March 11, 2017
For this week’s Lambda LitFest, I chose to go see the first panel on Saturday. Luis Alfaro, Zackary Drucker, Sarah Schulman, and Justin Torres were the panelists and Cheryl Klein was the moderator. They touched on a variety of topics surrounding the increasing spotlight that LGBTQ issues have been getting in mainstream media. Although the fight for LGBTQ rights have been recognized nationally, there is still work to be done. These writers recognize the need to keep opening up the dialogue to people through conversations and writings. It was nice to hear them talking about the need to be more aware of intersecting identities in the struggle for queer liberation. Indeed, intersectionality is being used more and more as a framework to discuss queer issues. Intersectionality points out that varying identities navigate the world differently. This empowers people to make claims on their specific issues because it shows that identities do not have to be mutually exclusive. It reminded me of Jeanne Cordova’s book, where she talks about how there was a part where she talks about the conference that she helped organize at UCLA for lesbian women. There was a backlash against transwomen lesbians at the conference. Nowadays, there is a whole lot more acceptance of lesbian and trans identities. The panelists talked about how when there is more acceptance of queer issues, they have to remember not to get too complacent with slightly better conditions. This reminds me of Chimamada Adichie’s comments on transwomen and feminism the other day. Clearly, there is still work to be done. One thing that stood out to me was when Sarah Schulman was talking about white people voting for Trump and a lady was clearly a little upset during the questions section. I think queer literature is so important, especially those that reflect intersectional experiences because it creates an opportunity to open up a dialogue about queer and/or trans people to those that are unfamiliar with the queer community.