"We are never going back... We are what makes America great" - The Black Madonna
While half of America celebrates the results of the 2016 Presidential Election, the other half has been experiencing feelings of anger, sadness and fear.
In the wake of this division, one of underground house music's most respected DJs and producers Marea Stamper aka The Black Madonna penned an open letter to Mr. Trump. The letter was written on behalf of marginalized communities that are struggling with the question of what will happen to them and/or their families as the President-elect prepares to take office.
The letter, published via Dazed, takes us back to Stamper's childhood where she recounts the trying times of growing up poor with her mother when "every week was a miracle." Meanwhile at school, Stamper was being bullied for her "gender problems" as she didn't look or act like any one gender.
"It was pretty much me and her against everyone back then."
She goes on to describe the tiny slice of solace she and other gender anarchists, feminists and gay boyfriends were able to find by sneaking into "queer dive bars."
"Some of you may be too young to remember how important even queer dive bars were, but I can remember moments of freedom so delicious, when someone would take a quarter and put on Deee-Lite or “Little Bird” by Annie Lennox on the jukebox and we could dance and be ourselves for a brief moment before the spell was broken and we had to go back out into normal Kentucky life."
Stamper goes on to list the many challenges she and her friends and family had to face and overcome - from social exclusion and marginalization to gay conversion therapy. She continues by drawing on the obstacles her husband has faced as an immigrant, her parents faced as feminists, her grandmother faced as a lesbian before it was safe to be openly gay and the fear her grandparents faced as civil rights activists against white supremacists.
Rather than being terrified by the election results and the fear it has been conjuring up, Stamper finds empowerment. She and her family and friends have overcome insurmountable hurdles, and no one, not even the President-elect, can take that away from them. They fought their way out of these dark times, she said, and there is no going back.
"We are the single moms that stand up for their queer kids in parent teacher meetings. We the immigrants that came here with nothing and made small businesses. We are the protesters united in declaring that black lives matter. We are Chicago and New York and San Francisco, and all the cities which thrive on our diversity rather than using it as a weapon to terrify voters and seize power. We are the gay kids who are never going to be converted. We are the families with two fathers. We are the clinic escorts. We are the gender anarchists.
We are the people who refuse to dance in secret."
As members of a global music community that has its very origins rooted in marginalized groups who united against exclusion and discrimination, we should always come together to stand up for what's right. No matter who you voted for, let's stand up for love and against hate.
"Because we are what makes America great and we shall not be moved."
Read Marea Stamper aka The Black Madonna's full letter at dazeddigital.com.
I'm a storyteller at heart, and music makes my world go round.