Co-curated with Kai Cheng Thom, Home Invasion: Queers Shaking the Foundations of All White Houses was a performance night with Queer and Trans People of Colour (QTPOC) artists based in Halifax, NS. This event was held at The Khyber Centre for the Arts in July 2015, and was made possible thanks to the support of the Robert’s Street Social Centre Residency.
Despite the thick layers of white assimilationist foundation that have been applied to the face of queer history, trans women and people of colour have been the backbone of LGBTQ liberation movements from the very beginning: it was trans women of colour who threw the first stones that started the Stonewall Riots, and it was trans women of colour who have historically been the front-runners of queer liberation movements. Yet, trans women of colour continue to be exploited, marginalized, and erased from the movement, despite the “advancements” for LGBT rights such as marriage and military service.
On June 24, 2015, Jennicet Guttiérez, an undocumented Latina trans woman and LGBT immigration activist interrupted President Obama during the reception he hosted at the White House to observe LGBT pride month. Guittérez asked President Obama for the immediate release of incarcerated LGBT migrants and for an end to deportations of LGBT immigrants. President Obama reacted by saying: “Hey, you’re in my house… you’re eating my hors d’oeuvres” and proceeded to say that it was rude for someone to interrupt the host of a party. The president then had Guittiérez escorted outside of the White House.
Sometimes when you’re not invited to a party, you just have to crash someone’s house Home Invasion is a response to the white-washing of queer movements worldwide.
Hosted and featuring Montreal-based femme supreme artist, poets and performers, Kai Cheng Thom and Kama La Mackerel, Home Invasion is a celebration of voices that are not invited to the party! Featuring local Halifax artists, Jade Peek, Aliya Jamal, Raven Davis, El Jones and Tino Chiome, this evening brings together marginalized narratives of QTBIPOC artists whose work challenges the boundaries of nationalism. Their individual and collective work demand a reckoning with colonial history and queer liberation history. Individually, these artists each deploy a distinct decolonial aesthetics to articulate their sense of self and justice and to demand accountability; collectively, they build an engagement with the audience, demanding of them to settle into the discomfort of the performative space. This performative reckoning with history creates a collective space where performers and audience alike are invited to interrogate their own positionalities with the nation state and within nationalist histories.
Home Invasion is an unapologetic expression of queer and trans racialized identities at which only the unrespectable are welcome! The performances across genres defy categorization and stain reputation in an evening that might just shake the foundations of all the white houses across Turtle Island!