I am a black, queer, woman artist and I need you.
The recent news from Orlando made me want to turn inward. More death. More grief. Another reason to look over my shoulder at night. Hatred toward queer communities provoking hatred toward Muslim communities. Remembering the targets on our backs. Remembering that being black and queer and woman, being different-there are so many things to fear, to mourn. In my personal life-I've been working through fear as well. I am afraid of so many things. Of getting on stage. Of owning the word artist. Of failing. I get so scared sometimes I can barely breathe. I'm afraid that I've worked so hard to get to this place as an artist, and none of it matters. I am so afraid. So I turn inward.
Art was once my refuge in times like this, but it is becoming a burden. I am striving to be the business person, the creative, the activist, the salesman, the socialite. Fight for apathetic audiences, fight to turn a profit, ask people to come to shows, ask people to come to shows again. Attempting to prove my worth time and time again. This is by far the hardest job I've ever had and though I feel I'm part of an artistic community-somehow I have never felt so alone.
Maybe what we need in our lowest moments is to turn outward. Maybe this is when we need music, love, and art to reclaim our humanity as individuals and as communities. Connection. My ability to be my full self comes from within, but it also comes from you. I don't know how else to say it-but I need my people. I need love from my communities. I need you. Folks from DC, black folks, queer folks, women, weirdos, allies, and all combinations of magical, loving people. I need you. Come give me a hug. Tell me what you want to cry about today. Tell me what you're joyful about today. Tell me what being an artist looks like for you. Call. Invite me to your show, invite me to your home. talk with me. Truly. I can use every whispered prayer I can get. Maybe you could too.