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Surviving the Holidays as Queer POC


[excerpts; the whole article is awesome]


As a group that is routinely judged, shunned, and fighting for acceptance, we as LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex) people are often pigeon-holed into playing the role of educator to the people that inflict the most pain on us, however inadvertently by our friends and family members (who some, or even most of the time really do mean well).

Given how heavily politicized LGBTI identities are (ie: constantly in the news as an issue for political debate) it’s challenging for our loved ones to get to know us as individual people versus some issue they’re not well-versed on or quite sure when and how to speak about.

Our suffering decreases our emotional capacity to offer straight people the space and time through which they can explore their own feelings, and get their questions answered, a stalemate. But it doesn’t always have to be that way.


I quickly learned that forcing people to confront the elephant in the room (and there were many — more masculine clothing, a crazy frohawk, new friends, a compulsive habit of pointing out which well-liked celebrities were gay/lesbian/bi) wasn’t going to bridge the divide I felt growing between me and my siblings, or my parents. I couldn’t sacrifice my mental health for their education about who I was; I needed someone or something else to do the job.

Back then (early 2000s), I didn’t have much to work with; most of the LGBTI films on Netflix, including the L Word featured mainly white privileged characters. But then, I discovered Saving Face, a film drama-comedy about two lesbian Chinese-American girls navigating family expectations about career and marriage. That film was the closest I had to reflecting the complexities of my identity as a queer person of color who was also an immigrant — another narrative that is also missing from mainstream media.

There’s something about media that lowers our defenses and makes it easier for us to learn, to accept, to connect. Yet, when we talk about “pushing for change”, we often leave out how much media and pop culture–and the narratives they depict we can relate to–humanize issues, and ultimately influence the people we love (and hope to be loved by).

In a recent study on the effects of fiction (storytelling), researchers assessed the mood and self-identification of readers before and after popular fiction novels, and found that the overall empathy i.e. ability to relate to (and, in fact, see themselves as) one of the characters, significantly increased.

What does this mean for queer people of color? Our friends and our families are more likely to relate to who we are through a novel, a film, a song than they are a blog post titled, “How to Be an LGBT Ally.” It doesn’t mean that non-fiction articles, political campaigns, blog post “call outs”, and legal advocacy, are less important strategies, but I dare say they may not be as relevant around the average holiday dinner table.


In the face of funding cuts for the arts, and the constant (and annoying) trivialization of media as a tool for advocacy by LGBTI activists, it’s easy to dismiss personal storytelling, fiction, film, even music as powerful tools to invoke empathy and not just “social change”, but the stronger, closer interpersonal relationships that bring about this change. Still, we owe it to ourselves to invest in the relationships that matter to us the most by daring to facilitate critical conversations (in plain language!) about who we really are. So why not give your relationships a fighting chance and give the gift of media this holiday season?

Surviving the Holidays as Queer POC (spectra)

(Source: a-spoon-is-born)

people and places to avoid


this is essentially a “green book” for gsm/lgbt people and people of color. submissions open, just started a few days ago.

Data from the new study show, for example, that women make up a majority of the gay and transgender population, and people of color are more likely to identify as gay or transgender than whites. Gay and transgender women, and especially women of color, are also more likely to be raising children than their male counterparts. These data suggests that the “typical” gay and transgender family is likely battling sex and race discrimination in addition to the economic barriers unique to gay and transgender Americans. In other words, achieving social equality and economic security for these families cannot be accomplished by achieving only gay and transgender equality.

New Data Demonstrate the Unique Needs of Gay and Transgender Families | Center for American Progress


And of course, isn’t that new show ‘the new normal’ about two white cis gay men? hmph. 

(via biyuti)



hey y’all 

so after an overwhelming response to the post on my personal blog navigatethestream calling all the fat brown people of the tumblrverse, i have create the blog “fat,brown and down”

this is an anti-oppression space where fat people of color can TALK about the intersectionality of race, gender, ability, class, religion, and sexual orientation with fat identity. a place where we can share submissions of topics someone wants to bring up, articles, quotes, essays, books, videos, methods of healing our bodies, loving ourselves and each other, providing support for each other.  

this is not a fashion blog. this is not a place where you can get style tips or outfits of the day. this is a place, however, to talk about how the clothing industry discriminates against fat bodies, especially fat POC bodies that don’t always conform to eurocentric dimensions. {just an example of the kind of things we can talk about within this space}

this is a for POC by POC space. which means white people are welcome to read and actively listen but please read the page “how to be white in this space” to make sure you know what the deal is. this blog is not about you, and subsequently doesn’t center around your feelings, concerns, ect. 

eventually i will be putting up a page of anti-oppression resources so people can read them and keep them in mind when discussing this within this space. 

so with that being said 


Advice for Queer Mami’s of Color (by Queer Mami’s of Color)


as a mami’s day gift i want to give my sisters a book of advice from queer mami’s of Color to them, queer mami’s of Color. I then want to do this each year for mami’s day w/advice the queer mami’s have to share as they continue to parent. 

Please share any advice you have as a queer mami of Color or send this to folks in your networks! (they have a baby boy born march 31, 2012).

thanks to @vag jenkins for the suggestion!

Many White reproductive activists cannot relate to the experiences of Black women. They have never had to fight for the right to be mothers, or fight for the right to keep their children off the auction block. Unless the reproduction of a woman of colour is directly sanctioned by Whiteness, it is deemed an irresponsible act. Such language continues to occur in discussions of so-called third world Brown and Black women. Mommy continues to be defined as White, middle/upper class, able bodied, straight, soccer mom in a mini van. Undocumented workers are routinely accused of having anchor babies to secure citizenship, but when this is played out in the media, they most certainly aren’t referring to the undocumented workers from countries that are considered White. They mean the dangerous Brown and Black wombs reproducing at will. Women of colour are construed as a project in need of being saved, as long as the process does not mean truly acknowledging the role that race and class have played in our continuing oppression. Innovations like the pill and Depo Provera, that have been touted as life saving, and important to the advancement of women’s rights, were tested on women of colour, long before they entered the precious bloodstreams of White women. Yet, this history is erased to praise the ability of women to control their reproductive process. Once again, advancement for women was carried on the backs of women of colour. Even as I am writing this, I wonder how many blogs dedicated to reproductive justice have ignored this story [from a eugenics survivor] and its historical significance, because it would mean confronting the horrible truth that reproductive justice is about far more than access to birth control, the right to have an abortion and supporting Planned Parenthood; its about validating the idea that women, and by women I mean women of colour, have paid the brunt of the cost in terms of violation due to the intersection or racism and sexism.

SEWSA POC Caucus Call for Papers - Litanies of Survival from the Ivory Tower and Beyond- Due Nov. 1

SEWSA POC Caucus Call for Papers - Litanies of Survival from the Ivory Tower and Beyond- Due Nov. 1

This year, the former Women of Color Caucus renamed the People of Color (POC) Caucus of SEWSA invites papers, poems, performances, playlists, prescriptions, potions, procedures, and processes of surviving the academic industrial complex. How many women of color professors do you know who died before their 60th birthday? How many Queer POC scholars do you know who were denied advancement because of their politics? How many POC students do you know whose work was unfairly labeled “not rigorous” because it was accessible to those outside the academy? How many of us owe our survival to the women of color staff people who run our departments? We ask because we know that you know countless stories like these and we know that you’ve had these experiences too. As survivors ourselves, we ask how did we do it? How do we do it again? And how do we do it better? Please share with us your research and personal strategies of survival. “We were never meant to survive,” but we do!

Please email moyazb[at]gmail[dot]com with your submissions by Nov. 1 with “SEWSA POC” in the subject line. SEWSA will be held at George Mason University March 29-31, 2012.

 SEWSA 2012

We strongly encourage submissions from undergraduates, staff, administrators, and interested community members.

(Source: mewmewfoucault)

70 Percent of Anti-LGBT Murder Victims Are People of Color



“The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released its annual report on hate violence motivated by sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and HIV status last week. The report documents 27 anti-LGBT murders in 2010, which is the second highest annual total recorded since 1996. 70 percent of these 27 victims were people of color; 44 percent of them were transgender women.

The study also found that transgender people and people of color are each twice as likely to experience violence or discrimination as non-transgender white people. Transgender people of color are also almost 2.5 times as likely to experience discrimination as their white peers.”

“But why do you make everything about race?” I hear you say…


peace check out this work in progress film:
a group (sankofa, kay, xtian, seyi) of gender non conforming, gender queer and transgender p.o.c got together in april to talk about what it meant to be us in this society and challenging race/class/gender/ sexuality/ gender expression in this white supremacist/ patriarchal/ capitalist society. this is a brief excerpt from the project with a focus on my evolution of spirit transcending gender.

“Against the Grain” follows the story of Oluseyi Toyin Adebanjo, a cultural organizer, artist and graduate student who is undergoing testosterone therapy treatment and working to create an identity that is gender non-conforming. 

People who undergo testosterone therapy, (often called “T” for short) have the goal of inducing and maintaining the presence of masculine characteristics. Oluseyi talks candidly about the changes in the body, voice, bone structure, and weight just to name a few. There are a number of ways that “T” can be taken on a short or long term basis depending on what the desired outcome is. Oluseyi , who just passed the six month mark of treatment in April explores the issue of transgender non-conformity, self-love and acceptance through Oluseyi’s personal story and conversations with others. As a person of color, that is same gender loving, and non-conforming Oluseyi talks about the challenges of multiple identities and weaving in and out different spaces. Oluseyi also grapples with the choice of undergoing “T” and the contradictions that go along with that decision. Oluseyi struggles with the decision and whether or not to continue on “T” treatment.

enjoy!  naijaboi

submitted by naijaboi