LETTERS TO ROOM
It’s heartening to know that you & others at IPTAR are truly interested in hearing some of the quieter, less frequently heard voices in our community.
As a clinician, I work most frequently with foreign-born artists & academics. Many of them have been scrambling to find ways to stay in the country, while trying to keep their anxiety in check & maintain their professional identities. Also, many of my patients identify as queer, so they too are feeling increasingly insecure as our country becomes less & less tolerant of difference.
In addition to my professional experiences, I’ve also been impacted personally. My paternal family has been restricted by the Muslim ban & my uncles/aunts/cousins in Palestine continually live under Israeli occupation. My maternal family in Cuba has long suffered under US sanctions & now, so soon after being reunited, the freedom to travel, among other things, is again endangered.
So, as you can imagine, I have a lot of thoughts/feelings about current politics. Both personally, as a Palestinian/Cuban first-generation American woman, & as they relate to the wellbeing of my patients. At the moment, I feel neither driven nor ready to write about these important issues. However, I have been thinking about doing so &, now that you’ve invited me to contribute to ROOM, I’m considering that possibility much more actively.
It really is meaningful to know that there are people who would be interested in hearing from someone with my background & experience.
It is necessary to have ROOM for people to write what they think about and how they think about it. It is like the dialectical process of talking and being heard, and having what you say responded to. Always moving in a fluid forward motion. Picking up ideas and new things to think about as it flows along. In the dialectical method there is the expectation of finding a truth. ROOM does not propose that.
Knowing Samera Nasreddin works on issues related to diversity, ROOM invited her to contribute an essay. We were all so moved by her response we asked if we might have permission to publish it.
Leni Winn’s comments were written to an editor following the last ROOM roundtable.
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