The weapons of art, poetry, stories and justice

By: Jennifer Maldonado

“I write not for entertainment’s sake, but to empower those who have felt oppressed, repressed, disenfranchised, downtrodden, invalidated, misunderstood, silenced and voiceless. I hope that through some of my musings, mis/adventures, experiences and life journey that you will be able to see a little of your story in mine and that you’ll be able to find your voice and continue to empower others as well,” express the philosophactivist Toi Scott.

Toi Scott performed the act titled Putting Down the Master’s Tools, Using Our Words/ Stories/ Art to Queer Social Justice; in the Amphitheatre Ramón Figueroa Chapel at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez on March 6. His performance was part of the “V Coloquio ¿Del Otro La’o?: Perspectivas sobre sexualidades queer,” held at UPRM March 4- 6.

In blog (http://www.afrogenderqueer.com/), Scott identifies as a transmasculine author, spoken word artist, food justice activist, medicine-maker, anti-racist and anti-oppression organizer/diversity and gender workshop facilitator, playwright, filmmaker, journalist, health advocate, and curriculum developer from Austin Texas.

Scott is a young man that has workedhard over the past 10 years toenforce hisperspectives andpursue racial and gender justice and the eradication of oppression and disparities within the economic, food, and health care systems and other issues.

In his performance, Scott shared with the public his story about how he began to ignore society’s heteronormatives, how his journey as a “philosophactivist” beganand his message about gender, race, health, herbalism, and justice through his written stories and poems  that speak about his identity such as “Survivin’”, “Blanketed: A Story about my Heritage,” and “Gender Poem”.  

Scott also he described the struggles he has faced as an African-American person who feels like “a man with a woman’s body.” He described how he feels, acts, and dresses as a man but biologically he is a “woman.”

 Undoubtedly, the performancePutting Down the Master’s Tools, Using Our Words/ Stories/ Art to Queer Social Justice,brings to take courage and confront injustice with the weapons of art, poetry, stories and justice. Scott;s performance encouraged the public to imitate him and go beyond the rules that society imposes that are to be followed.

Scott’s current writings and projects Afro-Genderqueer 1 and 2, Philosophactivism, Queering Herbalism and the Herbal Freedom School sessions, The Genderqueer Files, La Qolectiv@ and Resistencia: Sangre (Scott 2014), which are available in his blogs: http://www.afrogenderqueer.com, http://www.philosophactivist.blogspot.com, and http://www.queerherbalism.blogspot.com. 

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