May we please be disobedient civilians?

Revolution does not ask for the “right place and time.”

This Pride has been so revealing about people’s bigotry. Honestly, I don’t have the time or the patience to educate people nor is it my job. But speaking of time, I have been hearing so very much about the “right place and time” in which to stage civil disobedience. You see, finding the right time and place for Black, Indigenous and of-colour folks is a challenge for us.

When Indigenous children were stolen from their families? Indigenous folks were just in the wrong place and time.

When colonizers began to profit off of the trading of Black bodies? African folks were just in the wrong place and time.

When Canadian mining corporations have and still are illegally mining on Filipino Indigenous land? We are just in the wrong place and time.

When our Black community seems to be at the receiving end of many-a-police-officer’s bullets? Black folks are just in the wrong place and time.

Let me be clear despite my obvious sarcasm: We have survived the wrong time and place for so long. Creating change means stirring shit up when it is not convenient for our oppressors — Despite their claim that “all lives matter” when we bloody hell know in this society not all lives do. Not to the cops. Not to our politicians. And not to those crying over “being excluded” when every damn day is a celebration of whiteness, most especially at Pride.

If you wanted to celebrate queerness, then you should have learned to celebrate subversion and revolutionary thought. You should have known that the difference between a parade and a march is a thrown brick. You should have known that we are able to be proud because some of us were brave enough to be radical. Otherwise, guess what? You were at the wrong place and time.

More on the subject of time and place, this time posed as a poetic love letter to the beloved Black community.


If I could.

If I could draw a line in the soil

And build walls

And windows

In this place that

we could dream

You would be bulletproof

You could be loud

And quiet

You could hang your coat up high on hooks made of resilience, roots and remembering

On this land would be a tall tree under which you would find shade

To rest a little

Or a lot

To eat a little

Or a lot

There would be a room for your rage

And another for your celebration

Each window a view

Each door open and unlocked

There will be no arguing

No denying

That you are important

That you are beautiful

That you matter.



Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez is playwright, performer and award-winning author. She is the author of M is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book (Flamingo Rampant) and Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press). She is the Artistic Director of b current performing arts.

Read all posts by Catherine Hernandez

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *