Photo Sarah Whiting
Photo Sarah Whiting

This year I am choosing to tell origin stories about the way our cultures, ourselves, our solidarities, can and do come into being. As a queer, black, transracial adoptee, my existence is politically and culturally misunderstood. This year I’m asking myself the question, “How can I use this experience as a tool?” 

I am the artistic consultant for Family Tree Clinic, and am working with Queer, Transgender, Black, Indigenous, People of Color (QTBIPOC) community artists on a workshop series that culminates with creative writing in September. This series, “Where does your healing come from?” is funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board and is a response to real conversations held by Family Tree Clinic and its clients. 

In October, I will be headed to Oakland, California, to The Alliance for the Study of Adoption and Culture biennial about “Formations: Thinking Kinship through Adoption.” I will be presenting “Other Mother’s Garden,” exploring the connections between the adoptee experience and post-reconstruction south and Alice Walker’s 1976 essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens.”

This fall, I also will be directing “Waafrika 123,” a love story set in 1992 Kenya, which illuminates the experience of gender non-conforming Awino, through a special part of boi-hood and relationship with love, nation, and tradition.