Last Thursday, April 17th my roommate and I attended my first take back the night. Take Back the Night or TBTN is an all night event that centers around ending sexual violence on college campuses. This year our featured speaker was StaceyAnn Chin, a spoken poet artists, whose memoir “The Other Side of Paradise” came out in 2009. Chin was a vibrant and excited speaker. She jumped around the stage, and cursed her head off as she shared touching stories of her childhood. From the times her ‘smart’ mouth got her in trouble, to the times she was sexually abused. She stared stories about coming to America and discovering that she was ‘hot in the gay community' due to her accent and background. Chin’s words wove a picture of harsh reality that was coupled with laughter and bittersweet moments. For me, the best moment was when she came of stage and performed right in front of my seat. I was sitting barely 10 inches from her as she talked about her experiences of when she first landed in the States. She moves us to tears and back again, and gave us the voice to hit the streets and protest our sexual rights.
The second half of TBTN involved a march and a candlelight speak out. The march took us from Bashinger down College Avenue, across the Old Main quad, Hartman, residential quad all the way back to Bashinger. The speak out followed directly afterwards.
I’ve been at F&M for 3 and 1/2 years and knew most people at the march, having them come up and share their stories was surprising to say the least. All those women and men were extremely brave to come up and share their stories. I was moved by their strength and had never felt closer to my fellow Fummers than that one hour.
The night ended with a couple of us (me included) getting a signed copy of Stacey’s memoir and enjoying pizza at the Writers House.
This may have been my first TBTN, and it may not be the last, but it was definitely the best.