My first attempt to run an intersectional feminist community was sex_and_race on Livejournal. Delux_vivens helped me found it, run it, and in the process became a mother to me. To this day, I don’t know what she saw in me (I was a mess in my 20’s) but she was always there in email or on the phone, whatever to tell me I could have more, be more, and should not stop trying. Her feminism wasn’t about waves, or performance or publicity. She was incredibly private to be honest, so much so that we joked about her being a spy. But, she reached out to a lot of young people who were struggling to find a place for ourselves in feminist circles and in the world. Her feminism was literally about community, I have siblings now because she loved so many of us, mentored, nurtured, supported so many of us when we needed it most. And since we first got news of her death, we have wept, raged, and denied our loss in turns.
It is a little discussed fact in some feminist circles how important it is to have mentors who are there for more than theory. Folks who will invest in you, support you, love you and be willing (when necessary) to check you or defend you. Delux did all of those things, and so many more as each person she cared for might need. She asked for very little in return (almost nothing to be honest), and always managed to guide you in the right directions without seeming at all preachy or overbearing. She’d probably hate that I wrote this post, but it has to be said that every day feminist icons exist and are all around us. The work isn’t just focused outward on larger issues, it’s focused inward on building up the people doing it so that they can keep doing it.
I won’t stop going. She would not want that and I will honor her wishes. But more importantly I will do more to honor her spirit. Try to be to others what she was to me. I may not be any good at it some days, but Delux was a voice of reason when I needed it. She kept me from making some big mistakes, supported me through others, and I was just one of several people who got the calls, emails, texts, you name it daily or weekly. Sex_and_race had a lot to do with the development of Hood Feminism, but more importantly Delux had a lot to do with my development as a person and a feminist. I only hope that I can do the same. Honor the feminist (whether they use the label or not) in your home and community who may never write a treatise, but who will always do the work. They’re the ones that matter the most.
Thank you for making this post.
Here’s to her memory.
(And yeah, she would have Stared so hard over you writing it. But it’s awesome anyway.)
This is beautiful.
I still can’t believe it.
After I left LJ I lost touch with Delux_vivens, but I remember so much of her and how wonderful she was – in fact, I was going to look for her on Ello this weekend.
I’m so sorry to hear of her passing – it really is a loss to the feminist community.
requesting your permission to share this with her family. I have been sharing my memories with them, and they have been greatly comforted to hear more about parts of her life they knew little of. She *was* incredibly private, but that was mainly because she didn’t want to be fussed with haters or hurt feefees or anyone else who would waste her time and bother her. She is out of any hater’s reach right now. And, I think that the eyeroll she is giving you now is more for show than anything else.
She was a gift, and I am grateful I had her walking with me for so many years xoxo
I am so glad I found your blog. Thank you for this lovely tribute to delux. She truly was and continues to be an inspiration to so many of us.