Recently, I’ve been obsessed with home.
The obsession runs deep through my veins. In thinking about why I’ve come to this, I think about temporarily living in a new place away from my home of seven years; about the ways in which many of us are tentatively making our way back into the world after being home for two years; about my long standing interest in digging into the ongoing practice of making my body the home I have always looked for, connecting both with ancestors and futures. Finding and re-finding home in our disoriented states comes through in the articles for this issue.
In the “before times,” physical home was my soft landing place after a day of driving from gig to gig. It was the place where I made dinner and had tea parties with friends. It was somewhere that I spent little, but meaningful, time. This small, second-floor apartment in Oakland is the place I’ve lived the longest since childhood, and soon, it’ll be a place that I lived longer than the house in which I grew up.
As a queer person, I feel how fraught our relationships to home can be. For many of us, coming out led to questions about where home might be after that moment of potential rupture. Which is not to equate queerness to suffering, but rather to understand how challenging the dominant narrative can leave us with many questions. As a person who didn’t grow up in the Bay, I feel the deep connection that some of the writers in this issue express in their works about the Bay Area as home. As a person of color, I am deeply invested in the home-space necessary for BIPOC that many touch on. As someone who exists at many intersections, I often think about how to do “the work” from what bell hooks refers to as homeplace: “the one site where one can freely confront the issue of humanization, where one can resist.”
In developing my own pedagogy and style of teaching improvisation, I keep coming back to queer improv and wondering what it means to queer (as a verb) and make home in the practice of improvisation. The lines between my teaching, writing, dancing, and choreographing overlap and intersect in a queer, decolonial praxis, and so it felt fitting to ask a wonderful group of queer writers to contribute to this issue. In the rebirth of Spring, I am reminded of the myriad ways we can consider home, how we find our way there, and why it matters.
I make this offering of an issue considering home so that we all might think about what home means, so that queer voices are highlighted not just in June of each year, and so that we all might begin considering our bodies, our practices, and our spaces as our homes.
Theresa Harlan writes “Our ancestors, the beloveds, are calling to us, and we call back, ‘We are coming home.’”
Let us listen to that call to come home.
With love and gratitude,
This article appeared in the Spring 2022 issue of In Dance.