Yesterday I performed at Queer Loving: A Celebration of Mixed Race Identities. An event part of the Queer Arts Festival in San Francisco. Queer Loving celebrated the 41st anniversary of Loving vs. Virginia, the historic US Supreme Court case legalizing interracial marriage. Before June 12th, 1967 interracial marriages were illegal in many states, with punishments ranging from fines to prison sentences of up to five years. Through multimedia performances, Queer Loving explored the relationships mixed race queers form with our friends, lovers, and families as people whose racial identities are often ambiguous, exotified, and contested.
Mildred Loving who brought this case up to the Supreme Court died last month.
I have been intrigued by her and wish I knew more than the little I know about the case. For Queer Loving I decided to read a monologue I wrote in honor of Mildred Loving. Enjoy.
Written by: Maceo Cabrera Estévez
No that’s not her.
Amy Lou Roberts
Beloved wife and mother of three.
Nope not her.
What would my tombstone say:
The greatest daughter ever, an amazing lover and owner of fabulous shoes.
Alright, let me try to find this:
God, I came here to talk to Mrs. Loving, I hope you understand and don’t get jealous. You know I love you and I promise when I get home we can talk. Thanks, God.
Hello Mrs. Loving, this is me, Alicia Santos. You didn’t know me when you were alive. I actually didn’t know about you either. And I just read about you and something told me I should come here and talk to you. I hope you don’t mind since I am not a relative or something.
I came all the way from Brooklyn to see you. Kinda unexpected. Well, you see, even though you are dead I kinda felt like you could give me some answers. Don’t go popping out of your grave and stuff. Alright?
Mrs Loving, you did a really good thing, you know. I know you weren’t trying to be all political and stuff, neither am I but what you did was huge. Why didn’t I learn about Loving vs Virginia in school? What else didn’t I learn?
This is my situation. I really like this… Person. Well, actually I think it’s more than like coz I get butterflies in my stomach, my heart beats fast and I think about them all the time. That’s not infatuation, right? Well, this Person knows that I feel this way. You know we’re together. Not in that like lets get married and have 10 million babies type of together but more like let’s have fun and see where this goes together. So, everything is cool between us, right.
And then my moms has to get all in my business. I don’t know what type of relationship you had with your daughter but my mother drives me crazy. She blames it on menopause but the constant, mijita por donde andas, mijita que haces, mijita remember your mother is always your best friend. Sorry, Mrs Loving, I am not sure if you know Spanish but I think you can get my drift. Well, my ex best friend Sonia told her mother who told Raquel at la bodega who told my Tia who told my three years old niece who told my moms that I am dating. So Mami had to get all in my business, right and I told her. Ay Mrs Loving with a name like yours I don’t think you could ever be like my Mami. She flipped out. The fuck out. God please forgive me I don’t mean to curse at a nice dead lady’s grave. Mrs Loving I almost got beaten with a chancleta even though I am 22 coz This Person is Pakistani, Muslim and a woman. I am Puerto Rican and Catholic. Oh and a woman, too just in case you didn’t know. What could I do? I fell in love with Asma. Ooh, I said it, I love Asma. So it’s not infactuation, right? She’s just so smart and has all the right things to say and her skin is so soft and she gives sweet little kisses and we talk about the earth and how we want to leave Brooklyn and even though we pray differently being with her brings me closer to God.
After almost beating me with the chancleta mami tried to blame it on her menopause and she said all she was worried about is that her grandkids might come out all confused. Mami, we haven’t even gotten there yet. I don’t know if we can afford artificial insemination. And then she tried to beat me with the chancleta again. She tried to tell me that our family has only been with Puerto Ricans. And said that Asma’s family would probably not be happy with this either. I had to remind her how Abuelo didn’t want my papi to marry her because she was darker than him. And I had to remind her how she felt so bad for her best friend Cynthia who was sent back to Puerto Rico because she was dating a Chinese guy. How she said that she never saw Cynthia so happy and he was a nice man that treated her right. And then she put her head down and said, I know. And then I told her, actually, Mami I met Asma’s family and they were nice to me plus she has three sisters and all of them are lesbians. And then she banged the chancleta on the table and said, I don’t know if I am more mad that you are a lesbian or that you might move to California where there are earthquakes to get married. She finally let go of the chancleta and cried. And that was it.
I was gonna go to my Titi’s house but then got on a bus and came here. Mrs Loving, I don’t know what to do and I know what to do all at the same time. Ay, how did you do it? Ok, ok, don’t tell me. To tell you the truth I am a bit freaked out in cemeteries but I figured you’re important and stuff so it’s ok.
You know it must be nice that you are back home with your husband. Ok, I am just gonna take it easy. Yes, ma’am I’ll listen to you, I might have given mami enough time to figure it out. And all I need to worry is that Asma and I will be loving to each other. Damn, you got a better name than me, Santos, I gotta be all saintly and shit. Sorry, God, please forgive me. Ok, thanks for listening. You really helped me out.
© 2008 Maceo Cabrera Estévez