Content Warning: mentions of lethal anti-Black violence, mentions of sexual violence
thanks for being here, dear reader.
your favorite Black feminist bricoleur is byke! if all had gone according to plan, this issue would have reached U on October 31st, but time trickled away from me as i drafted it. i spent October in the midst of preparing for my move down South, and Halloween weekend especially was packed with all the goodbye treats (and tricks) my heart could have desired! my beloved friends Dion, Charlie, Sarah, and Patricia planned a surprise citywide scavenger hunt featuring all of my favorite spots, along with a trip to Skate Zone 71 and a Halloween kickback, for my second-to-last day in Central Ohio. then thanks to U-Haul's overbooking mistake, i almost didn't have a moving truck the following morning, but the besties gracefully swooped in to call different locations and find me a backup. what's a cross-country move without at least one massive unforeseen hiccup?
as U might already know, Halloween is a day for the dark, for the unknown and unknowable, for the beings beckoning from the other side of the veil, so it felt appropriate to deliberately be transitioning out of the city on a day meant to honor death. how to summarize what the last five years have meant for me, how to illustrate the different selves i've shedded and come into? how to wrap language around the boundless love i have for the family that i found here? it seems impossible. i can start by saying that my time in Ohio is inseparable from my experiences as an organizer. it's really begun to dawn on me how much of an impact my presence there has made, particularly for fellow Black queer, trans, and gender-expansive/defiant people, and Black people directly affected by police violence. i discovered the life-saving magic that can ignite when i'm "willing to be transformed in the service of the work," and i'm so grateful to any- and everyone who believed in me long enough to join or support BQIC, welcome me into their home, trust me with their stories, call me their friend or comrade. i showed up in Columbus five years ago knowing no one and having no real sense of the landscape, but i didn't want to be an aimless interloper simply taking up space for the sake of it. i made the promise to myself that i would at least try to leave the city better than i found it, and i like to think that i've lived up to that promise.