Dear Kitchener-Waterloo queer community, traveling folks, Plan B Co-op supporters, and inquirers of tonight’s Homo for the Holiday’s event: Plan B Co-operative KW is making a formal and public announcement.
There have been community concerns and issues raised to us at Plan B Co-op for our actions in organizing this event tonight which inherent reflect the bodies and identities most represented within our current structure as a forming organization. These issues are surrounded by our lack of representation of Black queer and trans bodies and the means in which our artists of tonight will be performing: spoken word poetry and hip hop performances. We acknowledge that we have failed in creating a safer space for Black queer and trans bodies because we have failed in representing these identities within the performers of the evening. This is a product of our internalized whiteness as an organization and have committed an act of violence by erasure, invalidation, and silencing.
Our history in the queer community is one of exclusion, erasure, and silencing: all of which are acts of violence that predominantly affect queer and trans people of colour, and in this case, our Black queer and trans community members. We recognize the ways in which anti-Blackness is ingrained in the queer community and our need to strive in making sure that we create a space that does not perpetuate whiteness. However, we failed to do so in the creation of this event and, more importantly, in the current structure of Plan B Co-op. While the people within Plan B Co-op are not all white, we are currently all non-black queer bodies. Our actions were not intending to cause violence, but intent is different than impact. We have fucked up and this is real.
We as Plan B Co-op would like to apologize for our fuck ups in creating this event and our erasure of our black queer and trans community members. There is no excuse for these actions that led to an unsafe space for Black queer and trans voices.
Moving forward, Plan B Co-op will ensure call outs for queer and trans people of colour, specifically Black identified individuals, to be a part of our organizing and our inherent structure within Kitchener-Waterloo. We are creating a white-passing specific group to dissect and deconstruct our internalized racism and to get a basic understanding of black solidarity through an anti-racist lens before having collaborative committees with queer and trans people of colour.
This event is not cancelled nor is it postponed. We are owning our fuck ups and working through them as a community. Right now, we are making public a call out for any and all white queer person or white-passing queer person to participate in the formation of a closed group to decolonize and deconstruct our whiteness, our participation with(in) queer spaces, and our creation of other spaces through an anti-racist lens. Please contact our email at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in this group.
We encourage community members to always come forward to us with concerns and suggestions in the ways that feel good for you. We have a commitment to working with the community, our queer community, and not the other way around. If we are making mistakes, we would like to know about our actions. Accountability is a necessary feature of our work and we take every issue and concern very seriously. You are valid in your needs as individuals and as marginalized identities and communities.
We will continue to be accountable and will continue to engage in the act of learning, unlearning and relearning. Thank you for sharing your tenderness, queerness, and care with us. We hope to do the same.
Plan B Co-operative KW