Quiana Perkins is a black, queer, polyamorous fierce mama bear of two great kids. She lives in Ann Arbor MI by way of Minneapolis MN which she still calls home. When she’s able to carve out free time, she loves to write and perform poetry. She is also a big fan of nature photography and being in nerdy fellowship.
REVIVING MY FAITH
To give some context about myself, I grow up in home full of faith but not of religious practice. I have always felt a calling of spirit and let it guide me in many directions. I graduated from Catholic college, spent time as Lasallian Christian Brothers Volunteer and have even been an active member of a Methodist church. In 2004, I found myself working for First Universalist Church in Minneapolis in a program called Unity Summer. I came into a fond appreciation of UU faith practice and social justice work.
In 2009, myself and now co-parent moved from Minneapolis MN to Ann Arbor MI, we sought out a faith home at First Unitarian Universalist Congregation- Ann Arbor (UUAA). After actively participating for a while, I joined in 2010/2011. Shortly after, I divorced and left the area. When I returned to Ann Arbor in 2015, I attended UUAA when I was able but the build to consistent attendance had been slow going- lack of transportation, pastoral changes, my own life experiences and the sometimes dragging of two reluctant kids made it hard.
One day while seeking resources that matched my current experience, I found Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism (BLUU). BLUU’s offering of online support and even services has been significant for me as I journey back into faith practice. It has given me space to ask questions, gather support and learn about myself as a black UU. It has generated much needed reflection: What does it mean to be in all inclusive black spaces? How do I share faith/ spirituality with my children? Who am I now on and how do I proceed on this faith walk.
I am a person of integrity, honesty and transparency. I am out visible and accessible to my community as person who will speak from my lens as a domestic and sexual violence survivor, a person with mental health realities; a fat, dark, queer polyamorous cis women.
My journey is not on a timer- I have all the time I need.
I can be curious, cautious and questions filled.
I can spend more time creating balance between introspection and community connection- I can honor that I am ambivert.
I can/ will only participate in ways that matter and affirm me;
I have permission to grow push and stretch with no fear of harm;
No is a complete sentence.
And its with this heart that I look forward to attending the upcoming BLUU Revival. For us, my children and myself, it will be a transmission of culture, from the roots of our hair to the end of our toes. We will be gathered into the sacred, into community, into black community.
For my children, my mama heart wants them bare witness to black girl magic and black boy joy in real time; to see themselves as part of that magic/ joy; to experience faith and spiritual passion.
For me, I go to this community knowing I don't have compromise my personhood at any soft or sharp edges, I didn't have to consolidate my spirit, I don't have to take up less/more space to match other people's comfort; I am able to be in my skin without exception or apology. It assumes, correctly, that I come whole and I leave whole.
Our return to the village is anticipated and welcomed, we come hungry for hearth and home, for things known and unknown and we plan to leave full, deep into our marrow.
Revival will be an affirmation that lineage is the point of conductivity, melanin is code switch cypher. We will partake in an exchange of unapologetic blackness, told in griot, drum dance and song, food, hair, fabric which can only be transferred- for/ by/ with/among- brown people, people of african ancestry, of enslavement, of sharecropper dust, of southern roots changed by a north migration, of people whose family trees bear strange fruit tree, of people marched to vote, of people who are still fighting to matter.
For somethings there is no other way.
And I can't help but think, my spirit has been called to be here, here now. That my walk away was always bringing me to this walk back.
Quiana Perkins 4.2 Ann Arbor MI