By Barbara Kay
The brisk air is slipping through the crack of the door that’s being kept open by a blue recycling bin. Once inside, the warmth will wrap around you like a hug, as Nicki Minaj plays on the projector.
In front of the brown couches that have pillows with yellow flowers on them, lies a folding table littered with markers, glitter, sequence, googly eyes, and construction paper. There are several other tables around the room, all with swiveling chairs with brightly colored bottoms.
“Hey, guys!” says the person playing the music. “Thanks so much for coming!”
As more people come piling in, the host signs into their Apple Music account and puts on their “Party 2” playlist which features Noname and Princess Nokia.
“Let's start with our name, our pronouns, and one nice thing that happened to us today,” they begin. “I’m Navah, my pronouns are they/them, and I got to rest today!”
Navah Little, a junior anthropology major and currently the only member of the e-board for the Queer People of Color (QPOC) union at Purchase, has arranged the first meeting of the semester.
The event, “Queers in Love”, is taking place in Fort Awesome’s room 1026 and includes “games, conversations, and card making,” as written on the flyer which was promoted on the QPOC Instagram account, also run by Little. The bio explicitly states that QPOC “welcomes all and facilitates a safe and brave space catered to queer people of color.”
The first game, which begins after the first seven people have introduced themselves, is a Valentine’s Day-themed Family Feud. With the room divided into two teams, The V-Team and the Three Musketeers, Little will ask a question and tally the number of different responses each team gives.
Little asks, “What’s something you get for Valentine’s Day that starts with a ‘C?’” The answers vary from chocolates and cards to condoms and candles.
“If I was on Family Feud, I’d definitely flirt with Steve Harvey a little bit,” joked Little.
The group moves to card making using the assorted supplies on the table as another eight people trickle in. Little urges the small crowd to take the chocolate-peanut butter, and cherry jelly hearts that also lie on the table along with glue and Disney princess stickers Little graciously bought.
The group disperses among the supplies making cards that leak with glitter for significant others, friends, and parents as they snack on chocolate and sing along to “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado and Timbaland.
Once the majority of the group has finished their cards, the second game begins. In the theme of a “dating game show,” Little asks everyone to close their eyes and put up a number between one and 10. The two people who are closest to the number Little is thinking of will then pick two people to “compete.”
The contestants are seated back to back and ask each other simple questions like their name, and favorite color. When it becomes the audiences’ turn to ask the pair questions, they become more intimate.
“What's your type?” they ask. “What's the farthest you’ve ever traveled to see someone?” they wonder.
“Two hours,” responds one contestant. “And he, unfortunately, didn’t last very long.”
Another contestant, Emmett Kelly an undeclared freshman, asked his partner, “Do you know your Megan, baby?” referring to Megan Thee Stallion’s discography. This simple question perfectly segues the group from the game to discussing sexism, misogyny, colorism, and the general distastefulness of the music industry.
The group mentions celebrities like Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, and Lizzo. The conversation ranges from how Beyoncé capitalized off of being a lighter-skinned Black woman versus Kelly Rowland, who was also in Destiny’s Child, to debates concerning an unconditional love for Nicki Minaj because of her impact on the group’s childhood, even though she has married and had a child with a registered sex offender, Kenny Petty.
Little is grateful that the conversation has naturally cultivated itself into a common dissatisfaction of what it takes to make in the industry as Black women, and how these celebrities abuse their fame. Little vows to host “a whole meeting dedicated to Black [feminine] rappers in the industry.”
Follow QPOC on Instagram, @qpocatpurchase, to stay up to date on future events, and discussions!