Reflecting on F2F: A Road Map to Black Queer Feminism

By Makiyah Adams, Culture and Communication 23', Philadelphia, PA, April 6, 2021
Once people came to hear these women speak, they stayed.

An Interview with Kristin Ho (they/them)

Kristin Ho (they/them) is a sophomore Occupational Therapy Major minoring in Deaf Studies. They are a fully remote Ithaca College student from Meadham, Massachusetts. Kristin attended the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival  F2F: Feminist to Feminist Conversation between Dr. Nicole Horlsey and Dr. Carla Golden on the evening of Tuesday, March 23rd. 

Incentivized by both an extra credit opportunity and a lingering interest in the topic, Kristin Ho registered for FLEFF’s F2F: Feminist to Feminist Conversation as soon as they learned of it. They are quick to emphasize that a marginally higher grade only accounts for some of their urgency.  “I would have come anyway because of Nicole,” they state “ She's always been super open to answering questions and helping students actually explore the concept of black queer feminism(s). So the opportunity to ask questions based on her work was not one that I was going to miss out on.” 

A lot of folks agree with Kristin. In addition to a storm of thank you’s in the chat dedicated to both Dr. Horsley and Dr. Golden, the popularity of this event’s guests was evidenced by a near-perfect retention rate of attendees. Once people came to hear these women speak, they stayed. 

For Kristin, the decision to go to this event was a relatively uncommon one. They explain “My relationship to campus has been a little bit aloof. Besides going to classes or work meetings I feel like sometimes I forget that I am an Ithaca College student.”

Many students share Kristin’s sentiments. For those who opted against a spring in-person return, online events are an essential placeholder for the after-hours academic dialogue that soundtracks college campuses. However, going in, Kristin still feared that even with an online event,  the greater distance from the festival’s geographical origin might lend itself to a greater distance from the festival’s intended audience. Their actual experience belied those initial doubts: “I was actually taking notes  with rapt attention because I thought all of it was interesting!” 

When asked what content really stood out to them, they talk about the explicit mentions of contemporary women in hop-hop such as the City Girls, Megan the Stallion, and Cardi B. In addition, Kristin cites references to Cheryle Dunye’s 1996 film The Watermelon Woman, the Combahee River Collective Statement, and UCLA’s United Lesbians of African Heritage student organization as catalysts into a deeper understanding of black queer feminism.

“Oh, and yes!” Kristin exclaimed during our conversation, “the fact that while absorbing the thoughts of each professor, I could also glance at the chat for a steady stream of references and quotes from the conversation was extraordinarily helpful! The end document with all the links served as a kind of going-away gift, a roadmap if you will.” 

To access the end document Kristin talks about, please click this link.