“Being a woman of color in the academy, and a queer woman of color in particular, requires once again creating and growing a chosen community with whom you can share and collaborate. It is far too easy to succumb to the neuroses that are built into the institution, especially as a junior scholar — that nothing you do is enough, that you are unimportant, and moreover that you as a woman of color have to be ten times as rigorous and productive than your peers, that you must be one hundred times more “professional,” that you are in competition with other women of color since so many departments or institutions imagine they need “just one of you,” et cetera. I’ve found that my friends and colleagues here have been invaluable to my survival in the academy!
You don’t have to live that way, with those neuroses, with those feelings. But you have to build community to find another way of being.
The politics of clothing and beauty are so fascinating to me, as someone who grew up in church castoffs, and later chose an all-black “antifashion” uniform, and then later chose to become a New Wave-styled old lady punk professor. Clothes are negotiations of self and society, and all that is implicated in that exchange.”