On March 27th, 2012 at U Penn, Mia Mingus spoke on her intersecting identities and work in social justice. After Mia spoke, hotpot! was invited by the United Minorities Council to have dinner with Mia.
There are two ideas/themes that I took away from the event.
“social equity VS social justice”
For years I had advocated and fought for “equal rights” as a woman, person of color and lesbian. So when Mia was speaking and introduced this idea, I was blown away. The idea that maybe social equality is not what we should aim for, but instead aim for justice. The idea that instead of gaining equal access to a system that isn’t working, breaking it down and starting new.
“so much of our work begins in our own communities…”
As soon as the words left Mia’s mouth, I immediately thought of various conversations centering around the intersections of my identities with my loved ones. My communities. I thought of family members and friends using the word “gay” in a negative and not understanding why I was offended. I thought about the fact that for years I was terrified to come out to the Filipino community I grew up with. I remembered one of my straight best friends not understanding why I was scared to go to a predominantly white, straight bar because I feared for my safety as a butch lesbian of color. I find it so easy to walk away or argue with strangers but I can’t do that with my communities. I am glad that Mia addressed this reality.