“I’m not gay no more”: on Andrew Caldwell, static sexuality & gender expression

In 2014, Andrew Caldwell was introduced to the world via a viral video in which he proclaimed his deliverance from homosexuality at an annual COGIC convention in St. Louis.

“I was already fighting for deliverance,” he told me in an interview two years later. “That night I said, ‘God, if you’re real, I want you to show me.’”

It was truly a spectacle. In a loud, purple top with a giant mustard bowtie and matching handkerchief hanging out the pocket of his patterned suit jacket, he screamed what seemed an impossibly even louder, “I’m deliver’t! I don’t like mens no more!”

Why I’m tired of white gay men telling queer stories

A few days ago, it was announced that Ryan Murphy, the mind behind queer favorites like Glee and American Horror Story, is developing a show slated for 2018 called Pose that will explore 80s LGBTQ ball culture. According to Deadline, the series “examines the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York City: the emergence of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world.”

I hate it preemptively.

How our unhealthy understandings of accountability promote a race to the bottom

When Casey Affleck won the Oscar for his work in Manchester by the Sea last Sunday, many once again pointed out the racial double standard on sexual violence. If you recall, Nate Parker’s Oscar aspirations for his film The Birth of a Nation, initially regarded as a strong awards contender, were swiftly derailed when rape allegations against him from years ago resurfaced. Despite very similar past allegations, Affleck had no dim to his shine through his successful Oscar campaign. Similarly, the downfall of Bill Cosby, when contrasted with the continued success of Woody Allen, illuminates the ways in which anti-Blackness engenders a far more lenient response to sexual violence at the hands of white men compared to their Black counterparts.

What does prison abolition mean to the mother whose son has been decapitated?

On February 17, 2005, New York City transit workers stumbled across two suspicious garbage bags beside the train tracks at the Nostrand Avenue stop in Brooklyn. The bags were filled with the remains of a dismembered 19-year-old queer Black man, Rashawn Brazell, who was supposed to meet with his mother for lunch that Valentine’s Day but never showed up.

How Trump’s concern trolling about Black crime is a trap for well-meaning progressives

In a sign of things to come for Black communities under the new administration, President Trump threatened federal intervention to address the “carnage” that is Chicago’s gun violence in a tweet last Tuesday night:

 

Though what he meant by “send in the Feds” is still unclear, Trump has used Chicago’s violence in the past to justify “tough on crime” policies that cause even further harm to the very communities experiencing the brunt of this violence. One can expect his threatening fix to once again be just more anti-Black violence in a cheap disguise.

The cost of hope

2008 feels so long ago, and the feelings I had then are so foreign now. But I remember clearly how a handsome, brilliant, and charming Black man once convinced me and so many other Black folks to hope for the world to change. I remember how he assured me that the violence of anti-Blackness I experienced as a Black kid living in America’s poorest city would one day be no more, despite there being no reckoning with the sins of this country’s past. I remember all of his promises to help make that happen.

Why I don’t want another Black president

In less than a month, the first Black president of the United States will complete his final term. Undoubtedly, these past eight years under President Barack Obama provided a very powerful sense of representation to Black people who have survived over four centuries of violent dispossession largely in society’s shadows. With Obama occupying the highest office in the land, Black folks were able to forge important symbols of Black love, Black family, Black resilience, and Black success from which no one in the world could turn away—until now. Under the coming President Trump, Black communities will certainly be pushed farther into the dark once again.

How the fear of losing whiteness gave us Trump, but losing it sets free

As a Black person in Trump’s America, it can be enticing to assume the persistence of white violence is due only to the continued ignorance and miseducation of the people who enact it. The solution is so much easier to embrace if the problem is just that white people don’t know any better.

This is the same assumption grounding the liberal narrative that poor white folks who vote against economic policies seemingly beneficial to themselves are “voting against their own interest.” It suggests a bargain with whiteness should be sought, oftentimes translating into appeals to the “white” working class. If we could somehow open their eyes to the truth, the story goes, we could win them over and coalesce against the ruling oligarchy which oppresses us all.

Black History in 2016…on the Negro National Anthem, Kaepernick, Violence, and President-Elect Trump

What is my nation?

When Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem earlier this year, I imagine this question weighed heavily on his mind as well. I imagine he considered how Black people in America were dragged, kicking and screaming, some jumping overboard to certain death rather than facing a future of slavery, into this land which was not ours by people to whom it did not belong either. I imagine he knew—like I know—that we are nationless, and have been for hundreds of years.

And for hundreds of years we have been expected to sing the praises of the country which enslaved us, lynched us, shot our 7 year old sisters dead in their beds without consequence, and has now elected a racist, sexist demagogue president who has promised only more of this.

Survey: Young people agree that Trump supporters are deplorable, here’s what it reveals about ‘political correctness’

Donald Trump is deplorable. There is no use going over all the ways he has proven this—the constant and despicable attacks against women, Mexicans, Muslims, prisoners of war, those with disabilities, and “the Blacks” in inner cities who are apparently running around shooting each other willy-nilly and just need stop-and-frisk to end their mindless self-destruction, to name a few—because many articles have already been written outlining each increasingly heinous thing that escapes his lipless mouth.