I’m an artist, or at least that’s what people tell me! I love to read and write, and of course make art. I love trying new food–as long as it’s not spicy… I can’t do spicy. I love music, maybe even a little too much. Overall, I’m a pretty down to earth guy who just wants to make a difference in my society.
Follow Quincy @littlespookyblackboyq on Instagram
What does feminism mean to you?
‘Feminism’ to me actually means nothing to me. It’s a word that I prefer not to use. There are too many subcategories and there is no common goal between factions. Our societal definition of a female is too limiting. We have a preconceived idea that since “feminism” is too close to “feminine”, that’s who they are; just a bunch of feminine people crying over things. I prefer ‘womanist’— it opens the discussion for individuals who were not born female but still identify as one. And it opens the discussion for men like myself who aren’t feminine but we are apart of this fight.
What inspires your artwork?
I don’t have a set inspiration, I’m a firm believer that inspiration can come from a collage of things really! Sometimes, my art revolves around issues that I personally have experienced that I want to share to others because I believe that someone else has experienced something similar but doesn’t know how to express themselves. Other times, my inspiration comes from my environment: the people I’m around, nature, the music I listen to, etc. There’s a conundrum of things that flow throughout my brain.
What womxn activists do you look up to?
There are so many! I love Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez! I love how unapologetic she is. She’s never afraid to call someone out—more specifically a male Rep. basking in his white privilege. I love Rowan Blanchard and Amandla Stenberg. I grew up with them, and not in a personal way, but I watched them grow up on tv around the same time I too was growing up! It felt good as I became a teenager that they were using their platforms to talk about equality. I also love with all my heart Lizzo! Not even including the music she makes—which I happen to know about 95% of all her lyrics—whenever she performs, she uses her platform to talk about black lives, and vocalize how important it is to protect black trans womxn.
How does living in the south affect your activism?
Honestly, living in the south has been bittersweet. I have experienced some horrible encounters. I am a canvasser for a nonprofit so I go door-to-door. I’ve had the cops called on me for being a “suspicious black male walking around nice neighborhoods”, I’ve had so many slurs thrown at me, to the extreme of having a gun pulled out on me…and that’s only at work. However, I experience the trauma I fight for, so I have the evidence and the knowledge to go war for victims of experiences similar to mine.
You’ve had your artwork in a museum, what was that process like and how did the opportunity come about?
I attended a nonprofit group called Art180 and some other students and I were tasked with creating what “massive resilience” looked like to us. Around the same time, I had fell into a creative drought. I had no motivation, no inspiration, zero ideas. I had nothing flowing through my head. Then the group took us to go see “The Hate U Give” and after having a pretty heated discussion with some police officers about the movie, that’s when everything hit me.
My piece was about the oppression of Africa Americans and how oppression has shown its ugly face through many different eras. I included major issues like slavery and the Jim Crow Era, but I also included more subtle things that we talk about but don’t talk enough about like the Black lives matter movement, the crack epidemic, prison overpopulation, and the juvenile pipeline. There are things we don’t talk about that I included like lack of media representation, the intersectionality between the black community and the LGBT+ community and the hate crimes that come about from them, and the AIDS crisis.
You do work in the Black and LGBT+ communities, what actions have you taken/ what kind of work have you done.
I have spoken out at panels alongside another nonprofit, Side by Side, to educate parents, teachers, administrators, and just anyone who wanted to listen, about the dangers of neglecting trans youth and fellow youth who do not identify with the gender assigned to them at birth. I’ve held workshops on how there is a disconnect with dealing with trauma in the black community. I have written papers on the dangers of being apart of one group and then adding on another. For example, I, a black trans man, will encounter more struggles and hardships than a white trans man, but a black trans womxn is going to encounter more than both of us.
You received an award for your activism in Richmond, what did that feel like?
Sometimes, I feel as if I’m not doing enough for Richmond. Sometimes I feel like there’s got to be more that can be done. Whenever I think like that, I feel hopeless.
Receiving an award on being an advocate to the Black LGBT+ community—and being the youngest to have ever received it—I felt honored, and that award cleared my worries that I wasn’t doing enough for my communities.
What is one thing you wish you could tell a young person who is going through struggles similar to what you have experienced?
I want to get specific and let others put themselves into this equation: if I met a young black boy who was transitioning, I would tell him that one day, he’s going to get that name change. He’s going to get that gender marker. He’s going to get his HRT. He’s going to get his first binder. He’s going to have a beautiful transition, but most importantly, I would tell him to just be patient.