Kapwa: You, Me & Our Shared Struggles
This past Saturday marked the inaugural meeting of The FYRE Circle workshop series.
On the BART ride into the city, I carried my flipchart in hand, toted some snacks in my bag and carried a heavy sense of nervous hope. These workshops are my baby! But the stakes were greater than the personal fear of failure. This workshop was born from a fear that Pin@y youth would be silenced by our production, from heartache around the lack of space for queer Pin@y youth, from knowing that I could imagine and even build something better: What I felt on that train was the mélange of feelings that keep me up at night.
Once we arrived at SOMArts and kindly directed to our classroom by staff, the workshop began. Almost instantaneously, I felt community emerging with the participants. As we talked about identity, difference and solidarity through the framework of kapwa, I felt something surge between us. I felt the shared and silent love for our roots. I felt us quietly sweep away the insecurities about where our Pin@y identities fit into a social justice context. I was reminded, in the most beautiful way, that my family, our stories, and my community are not discordant with my being a young queer person.
As the workshop wraps and each of us begin writing the stories we want to tell at Bindlestiff come June, I plug my phone in and play some music. I’m at once deeply humbled by the insights of this community and not at all surprised by the nuance, sincerity and enthusiasm this space conjures. I know that this space is something special and am so blessed to have four more sessions to anticipate.