Young, East African and Queer

 GrowingUp1

None on Record, a multimedia project that records interviews with members of African LGTBQ communities and the Diaspora, created a video series to commemorate International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.

From OkayPlayer:

None on Record is a digital media organization that works to document stories from LGBT communities on the Continent and throughout the Diaspora. Founded in 2006 by Selly Thiam, herself a Senegalese lesbian living in the U.S., the project began as a way of collecting oral histories of LGBT Africans. The organization previously produced a series focused on LGBT Africans seeking asylum in the UK, and in October 2015 they have plans to host a three-day cultural arts festival in Nairobi.

Check out the video’s below:

 

Photo: None on Record

5 ‘Feeling Myself’ Photos That Will Get You Through Humpday

Beyoncé and Nicki have broken the internet with their “Feeling Myself” video. You probably still don’t have a Tidal subscription but you’ve definitely seen the video and the million GIFs it’s produced. Beyoncé released some shots from “Feeling Myself” on her website and they’re just what you need to get through Humpday.

bn

bn11

bn12

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.22.22 AM Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.22.42 AM

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.15.14 AM

 

Photos: Beyonce.com/Tidal

Lift Up Tiger Mandingo

lift up tiger

By Jay Dodd

This week, former college wrestler, Michael L. Johnson was found guilty of “recklessly infecting” a partner with HIV and exposing the virus to others. Johnson, known as Tiger Mandingo, at twenty three years old is looking to face over 60 years in jail for each felony count. As, Fusion masterfully notes, the felonies Tiger is being charged with are more severe than someone killing someone driving under influence. While there is the responsibility to engage in safe sex practices, it is important to note, not one of the Johnson’s “victims” has died from the disease. This extreme and stigmatizing response is compounded with how these laws target Black men who have sex with men and further stigmatizes HIV.

Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic swept the nation in the 1980’s, mainstream Gay and Lesbian movements have fought for better access medication and major health breakthrough no longer make HIV a matter of life and death. However, public health, even as a queer issue, leaves Black folk on the outside. It appears that BigGay™’s biggest goal has now shifted to Marriage Equality with occasional breaks to mourn White teen victims of homophobia/transphobia. BigGay™ would have you believe HIV/AIDS is a thing of the past. BigGay™ wouldn’t tell you this but Black Queer men are being criminalized with through discriminatory and medically bankrupt legislation. BigGay™ wouldn’t tell you about Tiger.

It’s easy to let the rhetoric of “no one is talking about this” make justice feel callous and unending but while there is work of erasure by BigGay™, movements for Black health justice in this country has and must center queer folks in our community.  However, Tiger Mandingo is not being forgotten. Black men nationally have been organizing and thinking through ways to support and uplift Tiger and those in our community living with HIV/AIDS. Earlier this month 89 Black men released and open letter of support to Tiger stating:

“Until you are free, none of us are free. As you are impacted, we are all impacted. We see ourselves in you. Your story is connected to us all and is evidence that Black gay men need each other. Through all of the suffering, pain, and trauma, we need each other to heal and survive. We also need each other to share our joy, our laughter, and our beauty. Even as important, our community can only heal if you heal and survive too.”

This is more than simply an issue of public health; the state uses HIV legislation to reaffirm the criminalization of the Black male body. Legal experts report that this these HIV laws would still apply if Tiger had a non-detectable viral load or had worn a condom; or folks can have healthy sex lives with HIV and these laws only perpetuate the stereotype.

State violence finds nuanced ways to criminalize and pathologize Black folk. We have scripts ready for (straight-passing) Black boys being killed in the streets, but what about the Black girls shot in their homes, the Black women asking for help? What about the Black Trans women who are omitted from headlines? And presently, what about the Queer Black men being made legal and conservative spectacle. Michael “Tiger Mandingo” Johnson’s life matters and his sentencing is speaks to intersections of body, sexuality, Blackness, and State terror.

Photo: Tiger Mandingo/Instagram

National Day of Action: #JusticeforRekia #SayHerName #BlackWomenMatter

rekiaboydphoto

When we say #BlackLivesMatter, we mean Rekia Boyd’s life too.

On March 21, 2012, Detective Dante Servin fired shots into a group of unarmed young Black people, killing then 22-year-old Rekia Boyd. Though he was off-duty, witnesses have testified to him announcing himself as a police officer, and he should be scrutinized for his misconduct as such. It is a police officer’s sworn duty to serve and protect, and Servin violated that oath in this murderous act.

Servin has yet to be held accountable for his actions. Click here to sign our petition calling on the Chicago Police board to fire Detective Dante Servin.  The courts failed to deliver justice, as Judge Dennis Porter publicly acknowledged that Servin was intent in his actions and thus guilty of a more serious charge, but ultimately opted to not convict on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

It is now up to the Police Board to hold Servin accountable and show they are not complicit in vigilantism by continuing to employ a murderer. Click here to sign our petition calling on the Chicago Police board to fire Detective Dante Servin. 

Click on your city below to find out info on the May 21st “National Day of Action to End State Violence Against All Black Women and Girls.” Email us at info@byp100.org to add your action to the list.

Chicago

New York City 

Columbus, OH

Oakland, CA

Miami, FL

New Orleans, LA 

Louisville, KY

Lexington, KY (details coming soon)

Ann Arbor, MI

 

Transgender Woman Stabbed To Death In Philadelphia

londonchanel

The stabbing of London Chanel, 21, is the eighth confirmed murder of a transwoman of color this year.

From NBC Philadelphia:

The verbal tiff soon grew into a physical fight that ended with Chanel being stabbed twice in the back and once in the neck, according to Small.

The attacker and another person, who witnessed the stabbing, carried the woman downstairs and placed her on quilts outside the home. They were doing CPR on the victim when they saw a School District of Philadelphia officer nearby.

Small said they flagged the officer down for help who then called Philadelphia Police.

Officers rushed the victim to Hahnemann University Hospital where she was pronounced dead just after 1 a.m., police said.

Nellie Fitzpatrick, Director of LGBT Affairs for the city, confirmed Monday afternoon that Chanel was a member of the transgender community and said she was “devastated” by the loss.

“My heart goes out to her family, friends and the community as we mourn her death,” she said. “I know that the police department will work tirelessly to fully investigate the case.”

The other seven transwomen killed this year include: Lamia BeardPenny ProudPapi EdwardsKristina Gomez Reinwald, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus,  Yazmin Payne, and Ty Underwood,

Photo: London Chanel/Facebook

BYP 100’s Charlene Carruthers Named Arcus Leadership Fellow

charlene

Charlene Carruthers, National Director of BYP 100, has been named an Arcus Leadership Fellow. Charlene joins twelve other winners chosen for their social justice leadership. The Arcus Fellowship, previously known as the Arcus LGBT Leadership Initiative, supports emerging leaders as they build their professional careers and support the LGTBQ community at large. Read more about the fellowship here.

Photo: Charlene Carruthers/Courtesy of Charlene Carruthers