“What’s On Your Mind?”: Facebook and Queer Confession

Under neoliberalism, intimate encounters and exchanges increasingly take place on corporate digital space. On Facebook, a culture of emoting and sharing has fostered a new poetics of confession, particularly for queer and trans people navigating trauma and isolation. Writing across rage, shame, desire, humiliation, heartbreak, grief, belief, and addiction, queer and trans people are navigating the complicated terrain of Facebook as a medium for political confession and self-expression. In this discussion, we read some of this raw work and discuss the new communicative forms and foreclosures of social media in the twenty-first century.
Stephen Boyer lives in Brooklyn and writes a lot.
Reina De Aztlan is a drag queen of color (dqoc) and organizer formerly based in oakland, now in nyc, always on facebook. reina is organizing to end prisons, detention centers, and the united states. find reina on facebook @ reina de aztlan.
Grace Dunham is a writer and activist from New York City. Grace has written about art, gender justice, and prison abolition for publications including The New Yorker and The Village Voice. Grace’s first chapbook of poetry is available at thefool.us.
Carolyn lazard is an artist and writer working in media and performance. Her work engages ideas of collective practice, intimacy, care, and technology. She has shown work at UnionDocs, Maysles Cinema, the Arnolfini, and Cleopatra’s. She occasionally programs screenings at Light Industry in Greenpoint. Lazard is a founding member of the art collective Canaries and is a 2015 recipient of the Wynn Newhouse Award. Her writing will appear in the forthcoming New Museum publication, “THIS COULD BE US.” She spends her time between Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
Jamal T. Lewis is a multidisciplinary artist, cultural worker and writer living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, New York, hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. Their work interrogates and explores identity formation, loneliness, ugliness, desire(ability), race, class, gender, and sexuality. Their work has been featured in The LA Times, BuzzFeed, TriBeCa, AFROPUNK, and various other media publications. They are currently in pre-production for their debut documentary film, No Fats, No Femmes. In their free time, Jamal enjoys sleeping, dancing, and laughing with friends.
Mitchyll Mora organizes against the criminalization of queer and trans people of color who are street based, homeless, and/or involved in criminalized economies like the sex trade. mitchyll wants to use their bio time to share a tip for people with stable housing on how they can redistribute housing: first get out your keys, go make copies of each key, then give them to someone without housing. if you don’t know anyone struggling with housing then let mitchyll know and they will connect you with someone! stable housing is a privilege!