Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Letter To TMJ people

Yesterday I opened up my mailbox to find a link to an article, from a concerned friend, in NYMag about the latest trend in NYC nightlife. I am a DJ who runs a mixed queer dance party in Brooklyn so I had no choice but to read it. To my dismay, That’s My Jam, the party that I throw with Trent Brooks was on the list being described as follows:

A roving affair that sets down in three bars in Brooklyn. Its original intention, allegedly, was to promote interracial hookups. It seems to be working.”

Without having interviewed any of the parties organizers, or doing some basic google research, the author, Liz Armstrong, felt comfortable summing up a music-focused dance party (called That’s My Jam) as a space designed with the intention of promoting interracial hooking up. That’s My Jam is a space that the queer community values as a safe space because it aggressively avoids alienating labels like gender, race, sexuality, etc. That’s what makes the party a success, not who hooks up there. How a queer person could not see the problematic aspects of describing one of the few truly diverse regular queer events in BK as an interracial hookup party simply reveals the fact that neither the writer nor the magazine have any regard for how it represents diverse queer communities.

TMJ is a party that focuses on the politics of fair representation in a way that is central to it’s existence. We take our own photos and use social network media instead of relying on mainstream press so that we don’t get misrepresented or written up by people who don’t really understand what’s going on. So when a magazine writer decides to use her queer card and take license to write about her community in broad strokes like this, she is essentially glossing over a lot of representational work that has been done by this community to create a space that is safe from the types of labels and descriptions that people who don’t get diversity need use. If Liz thinks that TMJ is there because the organizers wanted to make a space for NY Magazine readers to access an interracial lesbian hookup, and that seems to be her interpretation of the party, she clearly didn’t do her research.

In fact, if the author had actually contacted the organizers prior to writing about TMJ she would have gotten two simple responses from us that would have made it more difficult to include us on her list of “Brooklyn centered Sapphic circuit” (gag)

1) We’re not a lesbian party so don’t call us that.

2) We don’t exist to provide NYMag readers with a place to find an interracial hookup with girls, so don’t write us up that way.

Please stop giving New York Magazine your queer money and save it for a publication that prefers to represent diversity in a more dignified manner.


DJ Tikka


  1. I loved your response to the New York Magazine article.

    When and where IS the next party?

  2. it's tomorrow night. at the bell house. check www.djtikka.com for the real details. thanks for the support, i really appreciate it.