Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Sharon Elise posted this. Chinosole lived here in the 80's - 90's. And the time she spent in Eugene she spent passionately. A friend of Audre Lourde, she continued the hard conversation which had opened up with the great author's visit between women of the LGBTQ community and women of color. It was painful but necessary. She and Professor  David Henry Anthony also started the Free Africa Movement here. When the Bijou brought the South African imported film, "The Gods Must be Crazy" breaking an international boycott against South Africa, Chinosole was leading the protest line outside the Bijou and as the theater continued to show the film to crowds for weeks, moviegoers, many of them our friends, crossed the line. It was disheartening. Chinosole moved to CA, during that all too long run, but before she went she was on the line and encouraged us not to give up no matter what. I bring this up because that line served as the place where lifelong respect and friendships were made between the Anglo women of the LGBTQ community and women of color because on that line, as temperatures dropped and the rain poured down on us, people began to leave the line except us women, every show night. That commitment served as the foundation for a long friendship between the women in this community. That's just two of the many things she did for Eugene. But just for me, Chinosole and a group of us were having lunch. I had been pink-slipped and not called back to teaching. Chinosole asked some questions and learned that my principal had said several racist things to me, and then had also called me in for answering my students' questions about how I voted on Prop 13 which prohibited Gay and Lesbian people from rights, basically criminalizing homosexuality, honestly. He thought that it was wrong for me to take a teachable moment as my students hatefully said all Gay people should be put inconcentration camps to talk about witch hunts and the bill of rights, and my own family's experience during WW2. She got very angry and told me I needed to fight for that job. I was pretty naive about my rights. Frankly the anxiety blocking me from facing the School District Personnel Clique shrank before the thought of making Chinosole any madder! It was not difficult for me to stick up for my students, or take a stand for what I believed in but it was hard for me to stick up for myself and Chinosole held that mirror up to me and gave me the directional push and kick in the butt I needed. After 30 plus years of teaching I could not imagine giving up on something that gave me so much and I owe her so much for that. I also echo what Sharon said, "Chinosole, you left without saying goodbye." Rest in Peace and Power, Sister.  

Chinosole. You left without saying good bye. Rest in peace. La lucha continúa

No comments:

Post a Comment

"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)


Blogs I Follow

Blog Archive

About Me

My photo
Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.