SPARK is excited to introduce “Serene Sounds,” a project honoring Trans body based knowledge (pleasure, care, radical rest, and joy) through music! Intentionally centering these moments through storytelling will allow Black and Brown trans folks to stand in their authenticity and in doing so, refusing imposed emotions, experiences, and journeys by others. Bridging these moments will get to the core of reproductive justice: Trans autonomy.
We are at a critical moment in time where Queer and Trans communities of color begin to assemble and reassemble themselves and weave in conversations regarding rest, joy, care, pleasure, and hopes. Precisely at a time where issues around reproductive justice circulate our communities, this is pertinent to do as trans autonomy (in its many forms) is both informing a desired future and an understanding of its relation to social structures such as race and class. SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW!, has done the work around this through our initiative of Trans* Leadership Initiative (TLI), The Power in a Name Project, and the continual conversations centering body-based knowledges to Black and Brown Southern Trans and Non-binary individuals through their workshops and digital events.
While critical to address the gender violence that continues to circulate Black and Brown Trans identifying individuals (in specific, trans women), we must also expand on the possibilities that can come out of community centered spaces when we think about body-based knowledges that bring back individuals and communities to think about how our bodies serve as sites of knowledge. After all, our bodies are locations where memory-informed dialogue can address realities of transness: that of anger, frustration, joy, pleasure, desire, self-fulfillment, fear, grief, and love.
Yet it would be contradictory to assume that all trans people have the capacity to engage with, participate, and continuously show up in spaces without taking into account the varied realities of where trans folks are in their identity, without taking into account the permeation of transphobia in other spheres of our lives that cause internal/external fear, and the never ending escape of racial capitalism and its monstrosities that continuously force us to not be in relation, or in affinity with one another.
Therefore, as we move into pride month and think about how we continue to center racialized Trans individuals, precisely Black and Brown Trans Women, how are we engaging and fostering spaces with intention love, care, and fruitful futures for those to come? Spark Reproductive Justice is addressing these pressing concerns through music. Specifically as we think about the beauty and intentionality of music or other mediums of art, how can we make these spaces trans-friendly?
This playlist will then serve as a bridge between body-based knowledge, storytelling, and music as a way to begin talking about the expansivity of transness and the many ways Black and Brown Trans folks navigate fear, vulnerability, isolation, scarcity, grief, joy, hope, love, confidence, and pleasure. Doing this will allow us to think about the potentiality of cultural production and its necessary dialogue alongside Trans folks.
NOTE: Questions around pleasure, care, joy, rest, care, and vulnerability are mentioned throughout. We take into account the many individual ways this is specific to people and leave space for you all to define it to your interpretations of this body-based knowledge. It is our hope you are able to define them for us as a way of reminding ourselves of the ever expanding ways trans individuals interact with these body-based knowledge.
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