Spotlight Interview 2: Binahkaye Joy | Trinidad & Tobago, Washington, DC
Read Part 1 of the interview in our newsletter, here.
photo by Renaldo De Silva
**Q: Have there been significant obstacles in practicing radical love? What tools did you employ in facing those challenges? What have you learned?**
Fear is the only thing that has ever inhibited my full expression of a love supreme. My evolution as a super-awesome creative force has been a journey that cycles through seasons of faith and fear. Recently I pushed past all of my fears, doubts, and anxieties and succeeded in producing my first international community dance residency in Trinidad & Tobago. While discovering myself in a new country for 4 months, I practiced an intense ritual of self-love by acknowledging my abundance, choice, and progress everyday. I learned that the more I showed myself love, the stronger I felt to face the challenges, shifts, and artistic opportunities that sometimes seemed overwhelming. Love is a verb in my life because I am love and I am always in motion. I am always expanding.
**How do you practice giving love as an expression of building community?**
This is huge. Being at home, and creating a space where others can be at home in themselves, even briefly is an act of love. I choose to cultivate love in my body, in my home, in other black women especially, and all of my communities. One key manifestation of love in action is the creation of space for life, space for transformation and growth and that is one of my favorite ways to make love. I love to invite people into my home (aka “the inspiration station” in Durham…and coming soon “Queer Station” in Atlanta as well and also in online spaces and spaces that I visit around the world) for events, encounters, ceremonies and rituals that create an intergenerational, ancestor-inclusive circle of love where we can grow, connect and transform the meaning of life. I find that black feminist geniuses have created art that holds at its core major access to transformative love, so the rituals/ceremonies/spaces I created are grounded in black feminist artifacts, literature, art and practices. I call it The Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind :) (blackfeministmind.wordpress.com)
If love is lifeforce, then one of the most sacred ways we can enact it is presence. I am learning how to honor the power of my presence and to be intentional about it through meditation and specific practices. For example in the MobileHomecoming project, a travelling project designed to create black queer intergenerational community as home, I create poems and improvisational dances to honor the elders that we meet. Dancing to honor an elder is a rigorous practice of being present. It is a way of bringing the world that we desire and deserve into the present in specific and seemingly small way. I want to live in a world where we honor black queer elders with our whole bodies, so I practice it, as an act of love.
Another way to say this is that love takes practice and love makes time.
**Have there been significant obstacles in practicing radical love? What tools did you employ in facing those challenges? What have you learned?**
Love is unstoppable. I am superstitious, so everytime I make a wish on a clock (at 12:34 or 11:11) or a bracelet or a yellow light or a star or a flower or a whim, I simply wish for love, which is an affirmation of what is already true, love is everywhere, love is the only thing. Fear can make me forget that, so fear has been the most major obstacle to my experience of life as love all the time, but wishes are reminders, lessons are reminders, the faces of my people are reminders, my own hands are reminders, words passed down from black feminist elders and ancestors are reminders. And even when we forget love, it is still there as an energy that can never be destroyed.
So I have learned that even my fear cannot stop love. Love is undeniable and I am love. Which is another way of saying: