What's it like living in Lubbock?
In spite of contemporary and historic attempts to queer mainstream cultures, we continue to witness queer as negative nouns, verbs or adjectives that annoy, confound, disempower, or instill fear. We hear “faggot,” “queer,” and “that’s so gay” expressed openly in schools, mostly as hate speech that is tolerated, and perpetuated by many administrators, educators, and students. No amount of history or psychology can prepare the most open-minded person for how they will respond. As local artist, activist, educators, we wanted to honor the queer within us.
In 2004, we talked about the need for a public queer presence in Lubbock and how we would go about doing that. This virtual community center is providing Lubbock, ranked the second most conservative city in the United States in one poll *, a public space to challenge misinformation and make the ignored and stereotype visible. We call this creating more democratic spaces for all people. Others refer to these actions and strategies as issues of civil rights and equality.
Like artist David Wojnarowicz articulated, we are making one “brush fire in our social landscape,” hoping to ignite the empathy and social justice in other artists, teachers, students and community members. Stepping out of our comfort zone and speaking out we are challenging ourselves to stand up for that which is unacceptable. By educating others we serve a greater purpose to promote understanding, acceptance and tolerance.
* Bay Area Center for Voting Research (BACVR) 2006