Special Episode: The Pride We Need with Brandon Ash-Mohammed

Chosen Family


I'm Dr Hillary McBride. Let me take you. Microphones rarely go into my therapy office. It's where my clients hurt. He'll and ultimately thrive. You're going to hear private conversations that we rarely ever have with ourselves. Let alone share with others. Welcome to other people's problems. Maybe along the way, you'll discover that other people's problems are a lot like your own. Season Three's out now. Subscribe on CBC. Listen or wherever you get your podcasts. This is a CBC podcast. Being Black engaged us an interesting experience because you're just always so. Talented Think of every game black person you know. At minimum they can do the splits. Luck chosen family I'm trying to winter and Thomas Leblanc. That was Brandon Osh Muhammad. You just heard from his new comedy album category occasion. He's a fantastic stand up comic based in Toronto. He's actually the first gay black men in Canada to release comedy album. We'll be talking to him in a little bit to see how he's really forging away for queer comics color in the country. So. This is our special pride episode. June is usually this month where our community gets together to celebrate and party and uplift each other, but we're also still in the middle of a global pandemic so pride festivals have been canceled all over the world. So when we first started thinking about doing this job, we wanted to create something that's felt sort of celebratory, and that could maybe connect us in this new context. but obviously you know. The mood has really changed over the last few weeks and rightfully so. Exactly a month ago, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis and that event has led to what I think. We can now all call a revolution along overdue revolution for black equality. We've seen protests all across the United States all across Canada all across the world. I remember the first weekend when I went down. Into downtown Montreal to March for the first like black lives matter rally here. It was just like such a reminder that we're not safe. Until everyone is safe and in a way I think this is the reminder I personally needed and I think that we needed as a community pride was always about fighting police, brutality, and as a white game and I. Realized that there is a lot that I might have taken for granted, and there's a lot I still need to learn well. This is really a moment for listening and for south examining and as white people will I guess I would say I'm white passing. I've never been comfortable with Lake, addressing my Egyptian heritage as Lake that making me a person of color I've lived my life as a white person, but I think that this is a moment where we're being told to examine our whiteness in a way that. I. Mean I think that people have wanted us to examine our whiteness for a longtime in, and we haven't fully done it and I. we I'm not saying just you and I am talking about why people in general and I agree with you. This is a moment of facing things that are very difficult facing our own unconscious complacency in systemic racism and I. Don't think that you know it's sort of hard to look at because it's not a system that we've ever wanted to be a part of, but we are, and we have to confront that and we have to acknowledge what that means, and which for me, as a person who is like deeply sensitive, deeply empathetic is a. A hard fact new among it. It I've had my moments where I really felt like a complete monster. Really Yeah, I don't feel like a complete monster I feel like it's a moment of inventory for me an inventory of blind spots and you know a whether it's queer history. You know I've only in recent years. Really learned about how the pride movement and the Gay Movement and Movement for Gay Liberation. As as it was called back then, was born like for example. I never knew who Marsha p Johnson was until a few years ago when I started reading about her story, and when I saw the documentary on that I highly recommend everyone watch, it's so important. Boston p Johnson is. Part of the. Movement. Street people into drag quiz for the vanguard movement. What really clicked to me was imagining the police brutality ongoing in queer spaces in the sixties before it was fully legal to out queer person and out gay men. In my example, you know that morning of June twenty eighth. Nineteen sixty-nine, the people at the Stonewall Inn had enough you know. And there had been different protests against police brutality before that by gay people in career people, but it was really that moment and reading about it than reading like what Marcia Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and the other Trans people who? who were there and the other people who were there were dated against police in the burned down cars, and they were fed up and they've had enough so just remember that so many of my rights are connected to people being fed up and having enough is giving me. I feel the empathy that I need to understand that right now. People are fed up. It was a breaking point in nineteen, sixty nine. When cops read the Stonewall Inn, and now it's a breaking point with the murder of George Floyd Yeah. Another blindspot I have is that I know a lot about the movement in the US, but as a Canadian I don't know as nearly as much about Canadian history, and and how people of Color and also indigenous people have been treated here and that genocide and the police brutality happening still to this day, people like indigenous people are being murdered in Canada as we speak, and since the beginning of Cova, there's been a surge of people being murdered in Canada and I feel sometimes. What's going on in the US is a cop. Out is a way for us. Canadians to be like. Oh, we're not as bad. You know, but we're just like our brand. Politeness is just a different evil absolutely, and and to also see that the queer movement has been very white in the last couple of decades, and we know now about black. Trans Women, who started? In the sixties, but I feel that it's it. It might be perceived by some indigenous people as a settler movement, and how like Queer people like me can colonize their spaces and I? Really. Educate myself, but again. I'm I'm inspired I? Don't feel right I. Don't feel like a monster like you, would you? Do I'm just like? Wow, there's so much I need to learn I. Mean I think the reason that I was feeling? That way is because of my own white fragility, which to be honest to something that I never really considered I think. Think! That was one of my personal. Major blind spots is my discomfort at hard conversations just in general in my life I've always been scared of conflict. I think for me. It might come from a different place that fear for me is really rooted in you know this lake childhood trauma of being bullied and just wanting to be invisible all the time, but. I know that this moment is calling for us to like you said take inventory examine our own traumas examined the connection between our traumas. How we've reacted to that and how those behaviors have actually been part of this really. Systemic problem. This white supremacy that we've all participated in

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