Featured Artist of the Month: Luna Merbruja

Luna MerbrujaLuna Merbruja is a Mexican-Athabaskan writer and artist. Their work centers trans women & trans femmes of color by creating access to artistic development, publishing opportunities, and healing spaces. They were a co-coordinator of the International Trans Women of Color Network Gathering in 2014, the artistic director for the first all-TWOC comedy show (Brouhaha 2015), and a Trans 100 honoree. Luna’s writing has been featured on Autostraddle and Everyday Feminism, and their short stories have been published in Lambda Literary Finalist anthologies Nerve Endings: The New Trans Erotic and The Resilience Anthology. Merbruja is also a co-founder of VandL Productions, a trans/queer/of color filmmaking project with The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins.
 
They are able to make this work possible by working with a few organizations: Heartspark Press, Peacock Rebellion, and Mirror Memoirs. You can find more information at www.luna.merbruja.com, or on social media @LunaMerbruja.
 
Tell us about your latest project, Heal Your Love. What is it about? How did it get birthed? What was it inspired from? 

Heal Your Love is a book of poetry that took 4 years to compile. Heal Your Love has five sections with a narrative arc that starts with trauma, moves through various stages of healing, and ends with a vision of femme freedom. I wanted to put together a collection of how one can endure intense trauma and triumph through building chosen family relationships.

How has your personal experiences shaped the kind of art you create?

I primarily have written about trauma because it has shaped much of my life, but I am beginning to explore visionary fiction where violence no longer has a place in our culture. I use my experiences as a starting point to dream of liberation. When I have an idea of how I want to reshape the world, I write it into a poem or story for others to have something to hold onto in their imaginations. My ultimate goal is to write stories that speak to those who have experienced trauma and need something to hold onto while they (hopefully) escape those harmful circumstances.

How do you want trans literature to flourish?

Right now, we’re living in a booming trans cultural moment where we have trans people writing their own stories, whether that be through memoir or visionary fiction. I think the major setback we have as writers is that our stories are seen as *only* for trans people, as if no one can relate to our pain or happiness. I think about all the trans people who don’t know they’re trans yet, and if they don’t have access to stories that reflect that inner gender questioning, it can be a very lonely and painful process. What I mean to say is, I want publishers to know that our stories are worthy of publication without being pigeon-holed into LGBT categories. We deserve to have a place in literature across all genres.

If there are two things you could share with other trans women and (C)AMAB non-binary folks of color, what would they be?

1) Beloveds, it can be hard to imagine a world where you are safe and loved. I want you to know that there are many people who have laid their lives down so you could be who you are. You were always precious to and loved by our trans foremothers. Please hold onto this.

2) You are capable than so much more than you are given. Like your gender, you never have to compromise your dreams in order to be happy.

What’s next? What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on films through VandL Productions, a project between myself and The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins. I am also hosting a writer’s workshop series in Fall 2018 through Heartspark Press and Peacock Rebellion.

Support Luna and purchase your copy of Heal Your Love on Amazon.com today.