President Donald Trump’s recent comments about who should not control the nation’s economy shine light on the ways that his biases against poor, Black, and LGBTQ people have become central to his administration.
One year ago yesterday, a gunman snatched away the lives of 49 dancing souls at a gay nightclub in Orlando, FL. This tragedy became known as the Pulse Massacre, the largest mass shooting (that was not a military operation) in American history.
As a few queer people of color pointed out amidst the predictable rush to deracialize the incident, the shooting took place during the club’s Latino night, with Black and Latina transgender women as the headliners.
This June marks the 48th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, a series of violent acts of resistance in New York City credited with sparking the modern Gay Rights Movement. The uprisings, led mostly by trans people of color and drag queens, are commemorated each year with celebrations across the globe during what is known as Pride Month. For many LGBTQQIA+ people, this is a time to reaffirm their right to life and liberty against the backdrop of anti-queer stigma and violence they experience at the hands, knife- and gun-points of society-at-large.
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!”
By Latonya Pennington
Until recently, gender identity and expression made me feel like a mannequin that has to be dressed up and put into poses. It started when my mother would make me wear this pink, puffy dress when visiting my dad while he worked and lived overseas. The dress just didn’t feel like me. Even after only wearing it for a few hours, it felt confining and uncomfortable–like a costume.
In a move they say is in favor of “states rights,” the Department of Justice and Department of Education, with newly installed leadership, has rescinded Obama era advisory standards to let transgender children use the bathroom of their choice.
By: Kelvin L. Easiley, Jr.
Where does one seek solace when faith fails? Where do the lost find shelter when the leaders that claim to love them preach “death and hell fire” for the simple act of existing? When the music that once soothed and brought peace only sounds like a cacophony of chaos and the choir’s chorus rings a melody that you and your kind are not welcome?
This past week, two major influencers in gospel music openly spat venomous vitriol from the pulpit to the raucous amens from their respective audiences.
By: Angelica Bastien
Actress Amandla Stenberg, who recently appeared in the Beyoncé film Lemonade, has quickly become an icon for teens thanks to her intelligence and wit when it comes to racial and gender issues. On her Tumblr blog, Stenberg is known to talk openly with fans, which led to a fascinating exchange recently about what pronouns they prefer given openly identifying as non-binary.
I remember the first time I experienced anti-Blackness from a White gay male. In conversation, I mentioned liking watermelon. He then responded to me, “Jenn, c’mon. You like watermelon?” Not sure what he was getting at (and being a little naive), I responded, “yeah. What’s wrong with that?” He then responded with a smile, “do you like fried chicken too?” Getting the gist of where he was going, I realized he thought it was cool to joke with me about anti-Black stereotypes because he, too, was from a marginalized community. For years, I endured what can only be described as anti-Blackness from him that was downplayed as “fun” between friends.
My experience isn’t unique.
Hampton University brings more diversity to its campus as it welcomes its first LGBTQ organization.
On February 4, 2016, the students at Hampton University heard that the first LGBTQ organization had been approved by administration. It’s called Mosaic, which is an acronym for “Motivating Open-Minded Social Acceptance and Inspiring Change.” This group will be a safe space for queer Hampton University students and allies to come together and promote acceptance, tolerance, and awareness of sexual orientation and gender identity.