By: Yeramar Casiano
Toi Scott, a transmasculine author, journalist and activist of racial and gender injustice, visited the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez from Austin,Texas on March 6. Around 100 people gathered in the Anfiteatro Ramón Figueroa Chapel for his workshop “Putting Down the Master’s Tools: Using Our Words, Stories, and Art to Queer Social Justice’ at the “V Coloquio Del Otro La’o: Perspectivas Sobre Sexualidades Queer.”
Scott started the presentation reading some of his work where he expressed his feelings about gender injustice and how it affects him. The first poem he read, called “Survivin,” talked about what it meant to be brown and queer in society.
He discussed economic discrimination, how people are discriminated for being poor and how poor people do not get the same oportunities as wealthy people. He expressed his feelings on how people struggle to survive when money is tight.
Then, Scott shared his story about his sexuality. At the age of 4 he knew he was attracted to women. He always saw himself as a boy. When he was in college he came out as bisexual because he thought he would not be judged as much as a full lesbian.
The author has a masculine dress code. He later explained that when he was younger he used to feel like a drag if he wore dresses and skirts. He felt “more like himself” in jeans and plaid shirts. This became an issue whenever he was at a job interview or when women flirted with him; because even though he looks like a man, it is society that still does not sees him as a boy. He refers to himself as an Afro-genderqueer.
Some of his work includes: poetry, short stories, screenplays, plays, creative non-fiction, academic papers, news stories. Scott is also the administrator of the “Queering Herbalism” website. The blog contains commentary and resources about holistic healing and a lens toward a more historically accurate, complete and inclusive history of healing.
“Writing is a form of healing for me. Stories are medicine and a form of reclamation and resistance. I consider myself more of a medicine maker and an artivist than a “writer,”” said Scott on his blog.