“When they ask us what our legacy was, we will tell them we built movements where we held each other down in love and in struggle. We will say that we resisted resiliently. We will look to leaders who loved and sustained each other intimately. We will tell of how we organized intersectionally not as just an exercise in intellectualism, but because our very lives depended on it. We will remember and restate resoundingly that Black [queer, trans, gender-non conforming] love is revolutionary and liberating.”
~ Samantha Master
Yesterday while scrolling through my newsfeed, I came across a story featuring two young activists from Ferguson, MO. Of course, I’ve been inundated with stories, pictures, etc. from what is shaping up to be the Millennial Civil Rights Movement (coining that) over the last few weeks – so much so that I was beginning to grow weary of the constant heaviness of it all. But this story was different – this story was amazing in that it told the tale of two women who fell in love and got married, in the middle of a war.
According to the article (here), Alexis Templeton and Brittany Ferrell, both Missouri natives and prominent figures in the Millennial Activists United organization, met while demonstrating in Ferguson in the wake of Michael Brown’s murder and later, the failure to indict his killer, police officer Darren Wilson. The couple made it official this week by getting married in a small ceremony surrounded by a handful of family members and friends at the St. Louis City Hall.
What struck me so much about this story, and made me want to share it with you all, was the pure brazen optimism present within this couple. That they are women on the frontlines of our budding revolution – women who have seen and experienced firsthand the callous ways in which this great nation denies marginalized people their very humanity – and still chose love and hope is awe inspiring to me.
To be a woman who is both Black and Queer is an especially difficult space to exist in within our society. Daily, I find myself at war with all of the oppressive images and messages around me tell me that my very existence as a Queer Woman of Color is an affront to society. Daily, I am told by the “mainstream” that people like me do not deserve life, freedom, or happiness. Daily I am erased by the status quo.
And yet I still find inspiration and strength within myself and my brothers and sisters who remain in this fight with me. While many people may see Alexis and Brittany’s marriage as “cute” or a “feel good story”, as I’ve seen it mentioned a few times already, I see it as a revolutionary act of defiance. I see it as an amazing statement designed to let the world know that we are all deserving and capable of love and happiness, and that no matter how much mainstream America seeks to erase us from view, we will still shine on.
Congratulations Alexis and Brittany – and thank you for refusing to be anything but your beautiful, beautiful selves in a world that wishes you were anything but.