GEM | INTERVIEW

 

Gem is a Black anarchist revolutionizing queer youth one TikTok at a time. I had the chance to talk to Gem about what drives them to be a self-proclaimed “fun-loving, community-driven radical leftist” during one of the most politically intense periods of our lifetime.

 

How do you feel where you grew up informed the person you are today? 

Growing up surrounded by the beneficiaries of white supremacy pushed me in the exact opposite direction. My upbringing showed me that strong communities & radical love are our only hope for moving beyond survival.

Who is Gem (in 7 words or less)?

Fun-loving, community driven radical leftist.

 

How do your identities inform the work that you do?

My black, queer, nonbinary my existence is inherently politicized and commodified. My work is a reflection & reaction to the boxes the world puts me in, a head-first attempt at self-definition and liberation.

 

 How do you work to create a peaceful daily life? How do you find yourself navigating your workspace, love life and friendships towards happiness?

Cultivating peace in my everyday life is a constant struggle. I spend as much time as possible with loved ones & try to navigate every space I’m in through a love ethic.

 

Something had to have sparked your ideological shift from a college republican to a radical leftist. Was it a single moment or a gradual change? What were you picturing your perfect world to be like then and what does it look like now?

I was a college sophomore in 2013, the year George Zimmerman was acquitted. Watching the “justice” system fail so spectacularly catalyzed my questioning of the status quo. My overall radicalization has been a gradual uphill battle–a simultaneous process of unlearning & reimagining the systems in place.  I don’t think it’ll ever be “complete.” In 2013, my perfect world looked like comfort for me & those I love but now I know true freedom is only possible when all of us are afforded the fullness of humanity.

 

You’re a host of community dinners and visits to gun ranges. What’s the end goal with these events? What do you like to see during and after them?

The end goal of all my work–community dinners, political education, tiktoks, gun range visits–is to build strong communities. We are all we have & I intend on making sure me & mine are fed, armed & educated.

I’m grateful for the moments of collective joy I’ve been able to experience with community. Whether it’s sharing a wholesome, hearty meal, learning how to defend one another, or turning up at the function together, the joy is always my favorite part. I would love to see more sharing of educational resources. More teach-ins & infographics & documentaries. We all have something to teach & something to learn & being a member of a strong community means contributing your knowledge, talents, and resources.

 

What are some favorite moments within your communities? What do you want more of?

I’m grateful for the moments of collective joy I’ve been able to experience with community. Whether it’s sharing a wholesome, hearty meal, learning how to defend one another, or turning up at the function together, the joy is always my favorite part. I would love to see more sharing of educational resources. More teach-ins & infographics & documentaries. We all have something to teach & something to learn & being a member of a strong community means contributing your knowledge, talents, and resources.

 

You’re standing in front of a crowd of 1 million people – what would you say to them?

Build with your community now, while we still can. Grow food, collect mutual aid resources, know who your neighbors are. The revolution happens every time we decide to trust each other more than we trust the government. “In unity there is survival.”

 

 

What’s next for you?

I do not dream of labor but if I could imagine the best possible way to exist under capitalism; it would be as an artist & educator. I’d love to be a full-time leftist propaganda machine sharing resources & finding new ways to share revolutionary ideas. For now I’ll keep tiktok-ing & organizing in my community.

 

 

Who and what brings you joy?

Gem’s favorite things in no particular order:

 

-Sharing a home cooked meal

-My dog greeting me at the door after a long day

-Tall trees & a clear sky

-Spending time with my siblings

-A long hug from someone who loves me

 

Thanks for interviewing me yall!! I loved these questions.

 

interviewed by Danielle Brown

*join us friday for a zoom hangout with Gem!

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