Letter from our Director of Community

This article was published in Travel Issue #79 | Summer 2018

In March, the world learned of Marielle Franco’s assassination. Franco was an Afro-Brazilian politician, the only queer Black female representative in Rio de Janeiro’s City Council, a human-rights activist, a fierce critic of state violence and militarization in favelas, and a vocal ally to the local trans community. In one of her last speeches before her death, she said something that has stayed with us at the Bitch HQ since: “Vamos que vamos, vamos juntos ocupar tudo.”

“Let’s go, let’s go. Let’s occupy everything together.”

Let’s occupy everything together.

I’ll be the first to admit that I raised my eyebrows a bit when we decided to do a capital-T Travel issue. Having lived in Miami and Nicaragua, being from sunny, tropical places that most people would deem vacation destinations, travel has always felt like something that happens to the communities I’ve lived in. Something that other people do in my cities, something for other people to enjoy.

But that isn’t what “travel” has to mean, is it?

We have the power to redefine language (we took back “bitch,” didn’t we?). And that is at the core of this issue (which I am proud to say is nothing like any other Travel issue you’ve ever read), and at the core of what we strive for at Bitch Media every day. Which is: How do we show up for one another everywhere that we are?

From making sure our magazine is on newsstands far and wide to sitting down for a shared virtual snack-and-vent session every week on Feminist Snack Break, from distributing our podcasts on as many platforms as possible to ensuring our content is always transcribed so that everyone can consume it and sending our own staff to campuses and community spaces all over the world— yes, Bitch is a feminist response to pop culture. But it is so much more. And that part? That’s because of you.

Bitch is here, 22 years since its founding, because we have the kind of community that shows up wherever we are, no matter what. So, in the next few pages you’re going to get to know our speakers a little better before they fly off to talk to the next generation of feminists; you’re going to get to know our staff a lot better after hearing our most recent rants; and you’re going to get to know each other better in the Buzz Board, which is full of facts and questions provided by you!

This magazine, the very same one you’re reading right now, is being read at this very moment by folks all over the world. Think about that for a minute. Isn’t that amazing?

That’s what Travel means to Bitch. It means ensuring that feminist community is easily accessible to anyone who wants or needs it. It means making sure that, regardless of where you are, you feel surrounded by feminists who want to share a better, smarter, more feminist world. Because wherever you are, that’s where Bitch will be.

I might still roll my eyes at glossy travel mags picturing exotic, far-flung resorts while I wait in line at the grocery store, but this beautiful issue you hold in your hands is a testament to how a committed community

with feminist values always, always finds another way to occupy and break through a toxic culture to create something better instead.

Every day, we have another chance to decide where feminism is going next. So, let’s go, let’s go.

Soraya Membreno

by Soraya Membreno
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Soraya Membreno is a daughter of Nicaraguan immigrants and a pre-Lebron Miami native. She is a poet, essayist, and editor. Her writing has appeared in CatapultPost No Ills, and The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind. She is the Director of Community at Bitch Media.