My part of the F12 story starts two years ago. Some lovely friend of a friend invited me last minute to play a rock show that sounded fantastic! A lifelong homophobe drove me to that gig at Fed Up Fest, a queercore punk festival, from another where only my mother had danced out of pity.
I didn’t even change clothes when I entered Fed Up Fest 2015 but this freaky boi suddenly felt like a God in the middle of my own choir. Kids sang the songs they themselves inspired and clapped with all our hands~ we hollered for the future and I remember thinking that this must be how my brother felt at his Jehovah’s Witness conventions except that this was real.
Support Liasons volunteering via the Feminist Action Support Network were the angels of this paradise parade~ arms wrapped in pink ribbon and motherly stubble. The SLs were here to protect us; to listen to, support, and guide us as we partied through the delusions of patriarchy into a new queer world that we could all share.
They announced that there would be meetings for people wanting to join FASN within the next couple weeks. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it, I could really make a difference!
It all happened so fast. As we pursued and lived the dream of FASN over the next year and a half, it seemed at each level the rules changed. Allies became enemies, voices became silent, violence seemed to seep in from every corner of the DIY community until one day, on a sunny afternoon beside a river I decided to call it quits. This was on the Feminist Action Support Network’s first long-distance trip to another community to sew the very seeds given to us. Other queers had seen the power of what we were doing here and wanted some of this magic. Only I actually resigned that day but at that point there were only three of us still organizing. FASN effectively died.
Despite the difficulties, Taylor, Arielle, & I had made the network happen simply because others made us believe we could. We continued to work on it even while realizing how often the infrastructure outsiders believed was there was sometimes entirely fiction. As of this writing, no one has organized with the Feminist Action Support Network in almost a year but there are still venues with FASN posters up and high profile events using its name.
That’s not right, but it’s okay. It’s taken us all a while to figure out what is sustainable & reliable concerning preventing sexual violence. We have learned and we are as excited and grateful as ever to continue sharing these tools. Let’s stay woke together!