Tiq & Kim Milan - Radical Black Love: A Political Act (A Storify)

On February 24th, 2017, Tiq and Kim Milan visited Brown University to discuss Blackness, queerness, and love as a radical act of resistance and source of healing in the face of adversity.

  1. We're tweeting "Radical Black Love" by Tiq & Kim Milan today, as they discuss Blackness, queerness, & love as liberation! #tiqandkimatbrown
  2. Kim: "Soft on the person, hard on the issues" as a philosophy for being deeply in love with each other+our community work #tiqandkimatbrown
  3. Kim: There's a deep need for us to engage in healing so that we're not retraumatizing each other #tiqandkimatbrown
  4. Kim: We have to think of our rights as interconnected and inalienable – resist the breaking off of community #tiqandkimatbrown
  5. Kim: I'm not fractions, I'm layers–we can't ask people to break themselves apart to make them easier for us to understand #tiqandkimatbrown
  6. Tiq: We have to resist pathologizing trans people – "born in the wrong body" comes from the binary myth of gender #tiqandkimatbrown
  7. Kim: Being queer or trans isn't new or modern – it has a long history in many parts of the world #tiqandkimatbrown
  8. Kim: The way colonization functions has deprived us of access to ways of talking about gender, by imposing a standard #tiqandkimatbrown
  9. Kim: It's crucial for us to go back, archive and pull those stories, so we can see that we have always been here #tiqandkimatbrown
  10. Kim: As African diasporic people we're told queerness is a European import, but if you go back we've always been here #tiqandkimatbrown
  11. Kim: In building community we always want to emphasize sameness, which is misguided – because we are deeply different #tiqandkimatbrown
  12. Tiq: We need to see how we were before the struggle, before it became so hard for us to struggle for our humanity #tiqandkimatbrown
  13. Kim: Queer/trans ppl have extended our love to those who don't give it back,our humanity to those who won't recognize ours #tiqandkimatbrown
  14. Kim: The golden rule assumes we're the standard for everyone. Instead, let's treat people how THEY want to be treated #tiqandkimatbrown
  15. Kim: To love people, we have to ask: How do you want to be loved, what are the dreams you want to achieve? #tiqandkimatbrown
  16. Tiq: Too often we project what we need onto other people, because it makes us feel good #tiqandkimatbrown
  17. Kim: In the moments when we don't know what someone needs, allow them to lead – ask what do you need? What can I give you? #tiqandkimatbrown
  18. Kim: That's about allowing our egos to dissipate, allowing people autonomy over their bodies and movements #tiqandkimatbrown
  19. Kim: When people point out someone fishing for compliments, I'm like "why not give it" – why would we not give them that? #tiqandkimatbrown
  20. Tiq: Being queer & trans is about being free. It's bigger than bathrooms; it's limiting people's freedom over their bodies #tiqandkimatbrown
  21. Tiq: This is more than a policy, more than an article, a talking point – this is people's lives, it's their integrity #tiqandkimatbrown
  22. Kim: You can't tell people to love themselves in a vacuum when everything around them is telling them they shouldn't exist #tiqandkimatbrown
  23. Kim: There's no self love without community love, and we need to provide that. You don't have to understand to respect #tiqandkimatbrown
  24. Kim: When we get close to each other, we can sometimes feel access/entitlement to each other's bodies #tiqandkimatbrown
  25. Kim: We need to ask abt each other's bodies – I love to hug people, but I still need to ask if they're huggers beforehand #tiqandkimatbrown
  26. Tiq: Even at the intersections of these identities, if we're queer/trans/Black, we still need to ask – we can do that too #tiqandkimatbrown
  27. Kim: The idea of "normal" is really a figment of the colonizer's imagination. #tiqandkimatbrown
  28. Kim: We need to think abt ableism – calling offline interaction "real life" presumes smth abt who can occupy public space #tiqandkimatbrown
  29. Kim: We have to want more for each other, ask why aren't people here, what are we doing that's making it inacessible? #tiqandkimatbrown
  30. Kim: Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence. Just bc we don't see ppl doesn't mean we don't have to think abt them #tiqandkimatbrown
  31. Kim: With the #MuslimBan, it's so expansive, and we don't even know how many LGBTQ people are being affected #tiqandkimatbrown
  32. Kim: We're not just talking about the abstraction of sexism, but how it plays out in lived experiences, on people's bodies #tiqandkimatbrown
  33. Kim: Intersectional experience means we have to distinguish when we're vulnerable, and where we can step in #tiqandkimatbrown
  34. Kim: If I'm experiencing street harassment, Tiq will step in; but if we've been stopped by police I'm the one to intervene #tiqandkimatbrown
  35. Kim: Your allyship card expires at the end of the day, every day. You've got to renew it every morning #tiqandkimatbrown
  36. Kim: Allyship is a process, not an identity. We're always going to make mistakes, and this is not something you can master #tiqandkimatbrown
  37. Tiq: Let's not pat ourselves on the back for our allyship;it's a process we have to constantly, enthusiastically engage in #tiqandkimatbrown
  38. Kim: Stop telling people to be patient, to wait – patience is not a political strategy; it does not work and never has! #tiqandkimatbrown
  39. Kim: Loving each other out loud was about creating visibility where we hadn't seen it before #tiqandkimatbrown
  40. Tiq: Queerness is often thought of as antithetical to Blackness, so we have to create a model of possibility #tiqandkimatbrown
  41. Kim: In our social movements and communities, how free are we allowing each other to be? #tiqandkimatbrown
  42. Kim: Esp with chronically ill/disabled people, what would it look like to take people w/ us, refuse to leave them behind? #tiqandkimatbrown
  43. Kim: We have to build the care INTO the work, as opposed to prescribing self-care as a shift that happens after the work #tiqandkimatbrown
  44. Kim: "No" is a privilege often denied to so many of us – allyship means protecting those boundaries so we can survive #tiqandkimatbrown
  45. Kim: We can't light ourselves on fire to keep other people warm #tiqandkimatbrown
  46. Kim: The most marginalized ones are often the ones who have to educate, show up, and still be happy – and that's unfair #tiqandkimatbrown
  47. Kim: Every time we communicate, we make each other more or less possible – so what will you choose? #tiqandkimatbrown
  48. Tiq: We have to take care of each other, so we can fight with each other – be careful so we can be dangerous together #tiqandkimatbrown
  49. Tiq: @janetmock and @Lavernecox talk about the violence trans women face from the men who are closest to them #tiqandkimatbrown
  50. Kim: This means that the most vulnerable among us have the greatest knowledge of how to love for the long haul #tiqandkimatbrown
  51. Kim: It's people who have been outside institutions their whole lives who come up with the most nuanced ways to survive #tiqandkimatbrown
  52. Kim: It's important to affirm us not as subculture or counterculture, but as OUR culture – our love IS our mainstream #tiqandkimatbrown
  53. Tiq: Queerness is about creating a humanity that's tethered to your spirit, rather than what they say you should be #tiqandkimatbrown
  54. Q: How do you navigate simply not getting along with people, or needing to cut people out of your life? #tiqandkimatbrown
  55. Kim: If we don't like each other, that's consensus, not a problem! But yr rights are inalienable+I'll still fight for them #tiqandkimatbrown
  56. Tiq: Anger is often the motivation, but love must be the solution. They're on the same spectrum, & we have to employ love #tiqandkimatbrown
  57. Tiq: As a Black trans man I have every right to be angry, but at the end of every day I have to figure out how to use love #tiqandkimatbrown
  58. Kim: It's important to feel your feelings, so you can have space for something else. #tiqandkimatbrown
  59. Q: How do you cultivate femme spaces that are inherently queer? Esp when straight friends aren't in community w/ you #tiqandkimatbrown
  60. Kim: I'm often told not to trust my femmeness and my magic, but I center myself by reminding myself they're my best guides #tiqandkimatbrown
  61. Kim: My femmeness is a really deep part of my activism – esp the LA Femmes of Color Collective, which is so queer+so trans #tiqandkimatbrown
  62. Kim: A big part of my life is how I can love the femmeness around me, and recognize our work when we rarely get to shine #tiqandkimatbrown
  63. Kim: Femmes save my life every single day. It's a space where we can spill out into each other and be really well received #tiqandkimatbrown
  64. Q: Advice for being perceived as an outsider, like as a straight couple, in spaces you've been in forever #tiqandkimatbrown
  65. Kim: Often my queerness seemed to be conferred by my partner, and I've struggled with that ever since I came out
  66. Tiq: We have to create space for us to check binary notions of masculinity/femininity #tiqandkimatbrown
  67. Tiq: Honestly, sometimes I have to check out of queer spaces because of the need to always prove myself #tiqandkimatbrown
  68. Tiq: Queerness belongs to all of us. I'm not going to constantly make myself prove my queerness and Blackness #tiqandkimatbrown
  69. Q: How can we negotiate being hurt people who hurt other people in turn, out of our vulnerability? #tiqandkimatbrown
  70. Kim: That's a survival skill, and we've had to learn it to survive. We can't always afford to be vulnerable all the time #tiqandkimatbrown
  71. Kim: But remembering that we're in a different place now might mean that we have to cultivate space to be with ourselves #tiqandkimatbrown
  72. Kim: @BreneBrown also talks about shame, guilt, empathy – we have to learn to understand our trauma to feel smth different #tiqandkimatbrown
  73. Thank you so so much to @TheMrMilan and @KimKatrinMilan for creating this space, teaching us about love, making us feel so held + so safe!!!