domingo, 15 de enero de 2017

La lleva

Las Peñas, La Jagua, Alto Yuma, Abya Yala.

Ye llevábamos un tiempo jugando "la lleva", por allí una hora. Los límites eran todo el río y la parte de la orilla donde hay arena y no piedras debajo de las peñas. Éramos cuatro jugando, mezclando brincos, clavados, nadando y corriendo descalzos sobre piedras y arena, haciendo lo imposible pa que no nos pegaran la lleva. Cristian era "la lleva" por un buen rato ya que nadie se dejaba tocar. Ciertamente se cansó de perseguir a los demás y  fijó su mirada en mi para pegarme "la lleva", pero yo no lo iba dejar. Corre, brinque, nade, clavar, emerger, nadar a la orilla, repetir todo de nuevo… yo resisto pero uno se cansa. 

Después de repetir esa coreografía varias veces empecé nadar río abajo para ahorrar energía y Cristian me persiguió, sin embargo no me iba tocar, o por lo menos no le iba ser fácil, ´tonces justo en el momento que me iba pegar la lleva, me clave y me fui pa bajo, solté todo el aire de mis pulmones para hundirme más rápido, dos veces sonaron mis oídos por la presión, hacía frío, muchísimo frío y lo mientras más profundo más aumentaba la corriente, cuando de repente estuve donde jamás había estado en toda mi vida, me zafé de las piedras del fondo del Gran Río de tantos nombres: Yuma, Guacacayo, Arli y desde la invasión europea, Magdalena. 

Mientras que el cuerpo entero de agua me pasaba por encima, sentía la combinación de sedimentos, materia vegetal y otros objetos más pesados que me rodeaban el cuerpo al ser arrastrado sobre el fondo del río.  Mi imaginación me traicionó y solo deseaba que un cadáver no me acariciara en este frío al ser llevado por la corriente. No había luz, no se podía ver nada y por el frio empecé a temblar. ¿Dije que hacia frío? Después de un momento, lo que sentía ser varios minutos probablemente no eran más de 40 segundos, emergí, Cristian que estaba río abajo al ver me empezó nadar con toda fuerza hacia mí, de nuevo no me alcanzó por más de un minuto. Muerto, me acerca a la orilla y me arrastre del agua, exhausto, sin aire, mareado, con náuseas y me dolía la cabeza. 

El cambio de presión por el agua con el esfuerzo físico fue demasiado para mi resistencia y me "foquié" tirado en la playa con mis brazos y piernas abiertas. Cuando me desperté, me sentía un poquito mejor, aun exhausto. Me senté y los otros tres estaban en el río cerca de la orilla hablando. “cuanto llevo dormido?” les pregunté, “casi una hora” respondieron. Les dije que había tocado el fondo del río. Los ojos se les abrieron como platos, “¡Mentiroso! ¡No puede ser! ¡Con razón que te quedaste foquiado!”. Ya cuando me iba acomodar y volver a acostarme, Cristian me dice, “Ah, la llevas, te lo pegue cuando estabas dormido”…

sábado, 19 de noviembre de 2016

turnin tricks for the liberation of Mother Earth

This was originally written in 2013 for a book that was never published. It was recently returned to me but I did not know where to publish so I just blogged it….


















I really am not sure what to write about, kinda nervous… not so much because I don´t think my experience is worth sharing, but because all too often it has been delegitimized for not being like other people's, many times by folks that one would have thought were allies.

During the times I was a sex worker I was not a teenager, nor a runaway. I was not trying to put myself through school or support my family- none of these difficult life circumstances that conventional society tries to use to create an atmosphere of despair and pity for all people who decide to take on sex work.

I was older at the time; I started at 23. Since at least middle school I had been actively engaged in my South Florida community, working on a variety of issues including immigrant rights, anti-gentrification, and solidarity work with different indigenous communities in South and Central America who were defending their territories from different extractive industries. As with most Floridian Latin American kids whose families send them upstate for college, as soon as I finished I went right back to the 3-0-5.

Some afternoon, I remember it was November and I had left my job at County Parks not too long before that, my mother´s homophobia reached a boiling point where the last words exchanged where “si vas a ser así, pues aquí no puedes vivir” (if you are going to be like that, well you can´t live here), and with the slam of the front door and turning gears of my road bike, I was outta there to spend the next 3.5 months sleeping on friends' couches, the beach, and eventually living in a shanty town that had been created on liberated public lands to address the lack of affordable housing in South Florida. Look up Umoja Village and Take Back the Land.

Folks who know me know that for me, word is bond. It just so happens not a month prior I had helped host a leader from a community that had survived a massacre due to coal mining interests in their territory. I had been invited to go down to the Caribbean Coast of Colombia for a year and help develop some communications projects with folks from that community. I had four months to save up money and being homeless and jobless was not an excuse to not keep my word.

I´d had had friends who practiced sex work for some time, though they are all women and none of them lived in South Florida. So after hours and hours of looking through Craigslist's Erotic Services ads (back in the day when there were no fees), and talking to my local friends about it, I decided that I would take on sex work to facilitate an income while i continued to support communities fighting off these Earth-destroying businesses. It worked, I worked, I hussled; I saved the necessary money y así me desaparecí to the other side of the Caribbean for two years while mostly working in rural communities passing as a straight male; and while in the cities I sought out the queer and sex worker spaces so I could just be.

It was hard at first, getting over the mental/emotional baggage, not being afraid of creep-o-johns, and probably the hardest part—I had to learn to fit into the gender molds expected of me by my johns. I tend to be a very versatile and allergic to the polarized, heterosexist sexuality that is often reinforced within gaystream communities. It’s okay to like both topping and bottoming, or neither, but what I quickly learned is that that had no place in the workplace. Nearly all of my johns had some very stringent roles with their sexuality. They either wanted to be debased, humiliated, used and insulted homophobically or they wanted to dominate, fuck me so roughly it seemed they were disgusted, and almost always trying to do what was not consented, like "slip" their dick in me without a condom or consent. If I could get only paid for every time I was told, “la puntica no mas” (just the tip). So through sex work I also learned to act, to be boring and one dimensional, be that submissive or power bottom boi that the daddy was looking for or that cold, macho dude that just “cared” about getting off and the other person did not matter.

I came back to the US in 2009, feeling torn from my context in South America due to debts and other obligations in the North. I came back and had two things clear—1) fuck this empire that was destroying planet earth, I don't wanna live here I have a territorio I belong to, and 2) sex work was gonna help me get the fuck out and support the communities I had developed relationships with over the last few years. As the child of South American immigrants in the North who finally had the chance to go back, decolonize, and strike my own path and story in the lands my peoples are from, leaving South America was not what I wanted and well, in simplest words, the Peaches song “Fuck the Pain Away” was the anthem for that year.

As I toured up the Atlantic Coast giving fundraising talks about the situations of these communities during the day, in the evenings I was also spending my time fundraising by making arrangements on Craigslist and seeing who was interested in my profile on Rent Boy. Some of my privileges such as being able to pass for white, male, and straight (of which I am none); not having kids or familial obligations like that; and not having a home or stable living situation that required regular bills allowed me to live very nomadically that year and support myself as well and get many needed materials to communities facing off mines, pipelines, dams, and other projects that would destroy the land and displace the people (ironically, forcing many folks into sex work, but under very different circumstances than mine—because their homes would be destroyed and they would have no other opportunities as displaced peoples in the larger cities and towns).

So 2009 was an array of massages with happy endings, threesomes, receiving head while calling the client a maricon sucio, and even cuddling with a widow. Some of my clients became weekly regulars and would even use my services as a non-sexual escort at times; I would go to dinner parties and talk “deep” things with folks who had boring, materialistic and superficial existences. By then I felt much more secure in what I was doing. I had an incredible network of friends and allies to support me, I had enough income where I was not just barely surviving, and I was supporting territorial defense in different places including in my peoples’ homeland.

Meanwhile back in South America, when ever I would communicate with folks from land defense processses and I was informed of needed economic support, my story was always the same... "lemme talk to some foundations to see if they can support"... ¿¡que foundation de que?! ¡nada!... two weeks of hussling later, "mira que this foundation said they could support, ya te pongo el envío". It worked well but I had to tone it down because this story ended up working against me when some folks started thinking that I had a bunch of foundations of automatic dial and that I had money at my fingertips. Those stories of "foundations" that supported slowly changed into "benefit parties".

When I started sex work, I was in a different place with my internalized colonization clouding my head, issues around masculinity, domination, and objectification. As a person who passes as a cisgender male and being within this patriarchal Latin American society, I did not really grow up with these concepts being issues for me in terms of how I related to the world. Most cis and cis-passing men don't go through life having to fear walking down the street beyond the fear of the police or being robbed, or know what it's like to be sexually assaulted or raised in a culture where you are stripped of your self-determination or your bodily autonomy due to your gender. These are all things I learned as an adult and as a sex worker, because even despite some undesirable incidents that happened to me in my childhood—men trying to forcibly pick me up when I was a pre-teen at bookstores, or men grabbing my ass or crotch when I would go to the supermarket—my socialization as male in a heteronormative culture awarded me with the stupid ability to not acknowledge my own oppression or privilege while it was happening because if I did, it would make me less “male.”

Through sex work I can sincerely say that I became more secure in my body, sexuality, and gender identity. I won´t be so brash to say that it would work like this for anyone, queer male-presenting or not, but in my own personal experience it opened a world to me about enjoying my body, touch, human interaction, without having complexes of machismo and manliness or worrying that if I did these things I was less male or whatever. Through sex work I learned to not care, to feel good, and that it was okay. As a firm believer that liberation is a mental state and not just a political-social one, somehow or another, I found my liberation through selling time with my body and self.

J.Lu.- is mutant native person living and resisting out of northern Abya Yala (South America) who dedicates their time to land defense and Earth liberation processes through direct action, cultural resistance, community communications and popular education.

miércoles, 31 de agosto de 2016

hace unos días

La verdad, no me estoy dando el tiempo para escribir esto…. ¿Por qué? Después de que año tras año… mes tras mes, artículo y más artículos en los blogs que cuentan y recuentan la triste historia, nuestra historia de lucha y resistencia, otras donde están las mentiras, juegos sucios y un charco amargo. 

¿Porqué escribir tanto sobre el maldito Quimbo? contando y recontando como los fallos de las cortes son ignorados, como a  la contraloría es ignorada, como Emgesa reina como quiera y como otros esquizofrenicos fomentan la mentira de la “buena energía del Quimbo”.

¿Porqué escribir si cada día el nivel del agua está más alto y se va acercando a La Jagua? Ya no hay piedras en las juntas y la gente de La Cañada, ya va desde la peña hasta la rampa en lancha, ya casi no caminan nada de la carretera a la orilla del agua. 

¿Porqué escribir cuando las mojarras que llegaron con pescadores de toda la región ya no vienen?. Por 20 días, día y noche las Peñas de La Jagua andan repletas de personas pescando peces que huyen del charco anaeróbico. También las garzas, las nutrias y rumores de un güio andan por allí.
Ahora en la playa de Las Cuchas está repleta, hasta con 5 volquetas de areneros sacando material de construcción todos los días. Ya casi no les queda playa en el Suaza y de allí, río abajo no hay nada, solo charco.
¿Porqué escribir si ya pa nadar a las peñas es demasiado fácil?, casi no hay corriente. Y lo más aterrador, lo más traumático es como el agua se va quedando callada, silente.

 Olvídate, el paisaje está cambiando y lo que antes eran montañas, filos, peñas, cuchillas, zanjas, quebradas, ríos y bosque, lo que queda es un espejo que sólo cambia con los cuerpos de la vegetación no talada, que rompe el horizonte del agua quieta con su cuerpo, muerto, marrón, estancada en un cuerpo putrefacto que ni le permite descomponerse dignamente, condenada solamente a podrirse.

Lo más horroroso de todo eso no es lo que uno ve, lo más horroroso es lo que uno deja de escuchar. El agua cesa de hablar. Las aguas estancadas suben y con ellas sepultan el lenguaje del río. El coro constante de un trillón de gotas corriendo sobre billones de piedras día y noche, años tras año… se va mermando, mermando, mermando, hasta que lo único que se escucha es el viento, los pájaros que quedan… y los sonidos de los humanos. 

El silencio de un cuerpo de agua que está siendo matado lentamente y que detrás de esa superficie nos grita con alaridos, mientras la mayoría está sorda, siguen con sus vidas, asumiendo sus penas como personales, maldiciendo a la represa cuando hasta los pocos que se alzaron, lo hicieron esperando “un arreglo”, pero entre esas filas de afectados que se hacen frente de las oficinas de Emgesa en Garzón, yo nunca vi una nutria, ni una cucha, ni un bili bil o Martín pescador, tampoco vi que nadie los incluyera en sus listas de afectados. 

El silencio nos grita con alaridos a ver si alguien se despierta de esta pesadilla hecha realidad, pero la gente tiene la liberación de la tierra tan presente, como la memoria del Pataló o la dorada y la sardinata, el moino y el sábalo y el bocachico…. Seres que se mencionan como el gliptodonte o el estegosaurio, como familiares que existían cuando ni habían cámaras, son familiares que apenas llevan 30 años con la visita prohibida por la represa Betania. 

Río de la vida, de las tumbas, el río que somos y que tiene tantos nombres… Yuma, Guacacayo, Arli, Magdalena…. Río al que hemos fallado… hijxs y futuras generaciones a los que les hemos fallado…

Escribo para sacarme el dolor, escribo para frentar el silencio que se trague todo en este territorio, escribo en este momento para que mañana tengan de que leer sobre esto. escribo, tallo, tejo, tomo fotos y video por que como habitante del territorio es nuestrx deber poner la narrativa de estos hechos, no otra gente que viene de afuera.

Nos llegaron para robarnos la memoria, cortándonos como Refocosta taló 9 mil hectáreas de árboles, sino que no sabían algo, que en nuestras venas la sangre corre con el mismo latido que el río anhela fluir y que los cosmos rodean a nuestra isla esfera, flotando en el espacio, y en algún momento esas aguas que lentamente van subiendo, lentamente retornarán de donde vienen, los muros de las represas se fragmentarán y el río correrá de nuevo, el pataló, dorada y bocachico volverán y el agua, el agua que intentaron ahogar volverá cantar como si nunca se le hubiese escapado una nota.

this morning

love my life and my path; territory, land and water defense; working and protecting the land my mother´s ppls are from and with all of its difficulties.... none the less... not a day goes by that i do not think of my old hussles and how i facilitated the change from my past life de loca, and how much i have changed from the context of where i was from and what most of my peers ended up doing in life.... i am mos def the weird and unconventional one, takes the road almost never traveled, that is overgrown with thorny vegetation, i can´t think of anyone i grew up with, in Miami or Colombia who took a similar parallel, im mad economically poor, but have the privilege of having little to no responsibilities and commitments other than the ones i decide to take on, if my experiences were a currency i´d be filthy rich, and if it wasnt for the State, other peoples and extractivist capital i think i may have known what liberation is... hoping that that is a future for the next generations to feel....

domingo, 28 de febrero de 2016

2014: Las Peñas, La Jagua, Upper Yuma, Abya Yala.

We had been playing tag for some time now... almost una hora, the boundaries were in the water and the sand and surrounding rocks under the peaks we call, las peñas, that tower above us on the other side of the río. There were four of us playing and it was a mix of leaps and dives, swimming, running barefoot across sand and rocks, doing everything possible to not get tagged. Cristian had been “it” for a minute now and we were all keen on not getting caught. He locked eyes on me once he got tired of the others and came in for the touch, but he wasn’t gonna get it; run, jump, swim, dive, surface, swim to shore, repeat again… I can keep it up but it gets tiring. After that same cycle so many times I swam down river to save energy and Cristian came right after me, still he wasn’t gonna touch, or at least easy, so right as he came in to grab me i dove down, deep, let all the air out of my lungs, felt my ears pop twice, it got cold, real cold and as i sunk the current became faster and before I knew it I had gone where I have never gone before, I was clinging to the rocks of the river bed of the mighty Grand River of so many names: Yuma, Guacacayo, Arli and since European invasion Magdalena. As the entire body of agua hurled its self over and through me I felt the mix of sediments, vegetation and other heavier materials flowing around my body as they are dragged close to the river bed. I was just hoping that no corpse would brush up against me in this cold, light less place where sight was not an option. I started to shiver. Did I mention it was cold? At some point after what felt like minutes but prolly was not even 40 seconds I surfaced, Cristian was down river from me and as soon as he saw me he started sprinting for me, again I out swam him in the river treadmill for under a minute and then pulled myself to shore exhausted, panting and trying to catch my breath, i was dizzy, nauseous, my head ached, the abrupt pressure changes was a lil too much for my physical endurance and i knocked the fuck out, arms and legs splattered on the beach. When I woke up, I felt better, but still exhausted. I sat up and the other three were in the water talking. “How long have I been asleep?” I asked, “almost an hour now” they told me. I told them what had happened at the bottom of the river. Their eyes went big. “Wow! No way! No wonder you knocked out”. Right as I was getting comfortable to lay back down, Cristian says, “On BTW you’re it, I tagged you when you were knocked out”…

miércoles, 2 de diciembre de 2015

never a nole... oct 29

That moment when you see all your fellow POC alumni of Florida State University who are all about "anti-racism" in every other space they find themselves throughout their lives, but during football season, anti racism is apparently put on stand by. Folks, I hope it feels good to be repping your garnet and gold and them t-shirts with the "Seminole" circle logo, yeah the same style image used when scalping Native folks for a bounty was legal. Do you all really still do the "tomahawk chop" or refer to yourselves as "´Noles"? I really hope I don´t see any of you painting your faces red or wearing wigs and fake headdresses. Seriously. I know the arguments.... "its all in fun" , "harmless", or the Seminoles (Tribe of Fl Inc) said it was okay back in 2005. I´ve heard them all, along with the insults, spits and threats at the foot ball games protesting with AIM or the answering machine of the American Indian Student Union. Are Native students still .04% of the student body at FSU? Are there still no Native faculty or studies program at FSU? No Native Languages taught? Oh yes, how could I forget, but the mascot is to HONOR the Seminole people. Funny, how the saying is "The Unconquered" it really should be ‪#‎divideandconquer‬. All I can say is that in my five years in Tallahassee I only met two Seminole students, one from Oklahoma and one from Immokalee. The rest of you???... i really don´t know WTF you all think you are, but anti-racist isn´t it. ‪#‎notyourmascot‬ ‪#‎aisualumni‬ ‪#‎decolonize‬ ‪#‎floridastateuniversity‬ ‪#‎fsu‬ ‪#‎fsuaisu‬

cerrando ciclos... 28 d octubre... costa pacifica de isla tortuga... territorio tongva ocupado...

A comienzos de octubre inicie un viaje y gira motivado, aprobado y apoyado por las personas de mi comunidad de La Jagua, Huila y también por el Movimiento Ríos Vivos- Colombia. Afortunadamente desde el norte el Colectivo de Diseño la Colmena apoya esta iniciativa.

Este viaje está dividido en tres regiones y apenas estamos terminando la primera región. En escasamente 8 semanas estuvimos pocas veces en el mismo lugar por más de 24-40 horas y pudimos compartir en más de 50 espacios y sitios por la costa pacífica de Norteamérica (Isla Tortuga) y las regiones del interior cercano.

Una parte fundamental de este viaje ha sido de crear consciencia sobre la lucha de mi pueblo y de otros pueblos luchando por su Territorio y liberación ante una variedad de industrias que destruyen la tierra, el agua, el aire y toda la vida. Principalmente en Colombia pero no exclusivamente en ese país. Una parte tremenda y llenador de esto ha sido conocer, conectar y compartir con otras comunidades y pueblos en los mismos tipos de procesos acá en Isla Tortuga. Crear y tejer nuevas relaciones. Apoyo mutuo.

 Tengo confianza decir que en ese sentido el viaje ha sido exitoso. Esto gracias al apoyo increíble de todas las personas que ayudaron en hacer esto una realidad, el Colectivo de Diseño la Colmena, los territorios que nos permitieron estar presentes, y particularmente todas las personas que ayudaron abriéndonos las puertas de sus casas, organizando eventos, coordinando actividades, ayudando con rutas y todos los detalles de logística.

Esta experiencia realmente ha sido una Minga – Yanama - Konbit – Tequio. Nosotrxs, Yo, Todxs estamos muy agradecidxs y espero poder recibirlxs en algún momento en mi territorio y andar a otros en el sur, Abya Yala.

Hay demasiadas personas que hicieron este viaje increíble y transformativo como para listarlxs todxs, entonces pa no dejar nadie por fuera, no voy a listar con quien tuve conexiones bonitas, pero lxs que fueron ya saben quiénes son ;). Quienes sí voy a mencionar son mis compañeras abejas que me acompañaron durante porciones del viaje y en gran parte lo hicieron una realidad, todo esto dependió de ellos en gran parte. Quiero saludar a Sakura, Darius y a Ryan, y enviarles mucho amor, aprecio y agradecimiento. :* 

Espero poder retornar a esta ruta más pronto que tarde y espero volver con parcerxs del sur, para continuar caminando, tejiendo, construyendo y resistiendo juntos. Repito…. A ver como lxs recibimos allá bajo.  ;)

De Nuevo, hasta la próxima, y de nuevo gracias, thanks, brigado, pai, watta paali..