Submit! Nearly There is a zine project meant to address the serious absence and silencing of stories about the experiences of queer people of color.
You Are Viewing News
The Peculiar Kind
Brooklyn, NY – (February 20th, 2012) – The Artchitects are proud to announce the premiere episode of The Peculiar Kind, a monthly web series about queer women of color featuring Jade Foster(CereusArts.com), Ivette (Marimachobk.com), Milly (Lezfactor.com), and more! The Peculiar Kind is directed by Alexis Casson and Mursi Layne (The Artchitects.com).
The Peculiar Kind is a web series that candidly explores the lives and experiences of queer women of color with eye-opening and unscripted conversations. Episode one of The Peculiar Kind explores “Party Etiquette” i.e. Jealousy, Flirting, One Night Stands, Using Protection, Getting Home Safely, & Hate Crimes. Included in this episode are “OUR NEWS”, a segment brought to you by Kimberley McLeod (ELIXER.com) and The Peculiar Kind Spotlight Presents which features Kimmie David (RightRides.org). The Peculiar Kind can be viewed on www.youtube.com/ThePeculiarKind or www.ThePeculiarKind.com/episodes.
About The Artchitects
The Artchitects is an artist collective serving those who seek more creative control and want to see their vision become a reality.
Our Passions range from filmmaking and music production to challenging social issues and charity event planning. We love working with creatives who strive for change through their art.
REPOST from http://www.zarachiron.com/
My sister Zara, wrote this recently for her blog @ ZaraChiron.com. It was so moving, touching, and insightful that I felt compelled to share with you all. If you have siblings, parents, family members etc, that haven’t yet come around, I hope you find inspiration in this piece, to be patient (and brave) enough to remain open to their own journey of moving closer to you so that one day, you’ll be as fortunate as I am to know what it means to be loved by an ally.
Summer 2006, my world was redefined by a simple act of bravery.
My sister Spectra, sheepishly and hurriedly flung a letter at me while I slept ever-so-lazily on her frame-less futon, amidst the fur balls also known as her tuxedo kitties, and then exited the room. For a second, I thought I had dreamed it, but noticed the curious expression of the dude-cat as he put his wet nose to the paper.
As I sat up and began to read, I wondered, “Geez! What could I have done this time?” since my sister had taken to reprimanding me through written notes ever since I started living with her so as to avoid full on conflict. I was greatly unaware of the depth and power of the words on the page I held in my hands, words that would reshape the world as I knew it, and raise my personal level of consciousness. By the time I finished reading what I now regard as the “Coming Out Letter” (which I still have in my treasure bag of memorable goodies!) I was – simply put – instantaneously changed; and for the better.
At first I felt relieved, grateful, even flattered that she would share something so personal with me at all, given our shared understanding; that in Nigerian culture and society, it is both socially unacceptable and illegal to be gay. As in, literally, illegal! I am thoroughly embarrassed and saddened to admit that a gay person is seen as spiritually abominable, emotionally unstable, mentally ill and generally perceived as decadent. No doubt, these perceptions are hypocritical and outrageously revolting to me — especially since there is so much that is truly decadent about the greedy puppets that control (and perpetuate further corruption of) Nigerian society, but how would my sister have known how I felt? Am I not Nigerian — like her? Did we not both grow up in the same homophobic environment riddled with discriminatory vocabulary, aggressive ignorance and deep-rooted disapproval of the gay community?
Her bravery was deeply touching and evoked an emotional response in me. I began to cry; not because she let me in on something so delicately significant, but because she had taken the monumental step to face, accept and explore the truth about the person she is; a spirit that will not, cannot be dictated by society or even manipulated by an intelligent, yet societally programmed mind; this person she was revealing to me could only ever be expressed and seen by an open heart.
I felt I had been given the ultimate gift: a chance to Love.
Even more beautiful than having somebody love you is having someone to let down their armor, open a door to let you love them in return; when they say, “This is me and I am giving you permission to know and love the entire person that I am” it is nothing less than intimate and absolute power bestowed that comes with a depth of responsibility.
My sister had kept out of sight, watching my expression through the hinge cracks, no doubt nerves on-end as I read the letter and began to cry. She peeked into the room, and as I sniffled confirmed that it was safe to enter. As she crouched next to me on the carpet, crying and reaching out for a hug, I remember, I said to her — a little choked up, how “I had never loved her more.” I meant it, and her relief in form of free-flow weeping confirmed that she understood, but I am not sure she truly grasped my words or the meaning behind them. Still, I recognized the moment for what it was; a beginning. And, I promised myself I would evolve along with Spectra and be a better sister to her — to every aspect of who she is so that one day she would come to know those words of mine to be as deeply true.
The transition has not been entirely smooth. I had to banish any and all remnants of cast-off ignorance that lingered in my system and get to know my sister all over again, as queer; this is still and always should be work in progress. And by work, I mean ‘work’ from both parties. I’ve been resourceful — what would I have done without my handy cousin Google, the L Word, Will & Grace, and a whole lot of QWOC+ events?! It helped that my sister was constantly inviting me to ‘see’ her, to be a part of something she’d once been afraid to share. Whether it was a QWOC+ event she wanted me to help her with, a lesbian film she wanted to watch (and could actually relate to, “Saving Face”!), a book for me to digest and discuss with her, etc, she always showed me that she wanted me to be a part of her life. I’ve had many illuminating conversations with Spectra herself, but I’m sure she will agree that we’d never have gotten to the point where we are now — sisters, friends, and loyal allies to each others causes — if I didn’t keep pushing myself to learn, and grow.
It is easy to not notice prejudice when you have the luxury of not needing to do so. It is easy to overlook, neglect and breeze over things that “do not (directly) concern you.” It is even easier to not acknowledge your own privilege, dismiss obvious inequalities under a countless number of justifications and excuses, because in so doing, you rid yourself of the only humane course of action — to take a stand for something.
Sure, it’s not that hard to continue pretending (especially to yourself) that you are all that and a bag of gummy bears when it comes to your “open-mindedness” and “inclusivity” (“Hey, look, I’ve got so many gay friends!”), but you cannot escape the truth; it will always find you and test you in the most personal way. What then will you do? When “the truth” cannot be hidden under a phony political discussion over cocktails to make you appear like the conscious intellectual sort? What will you do when the “issue” is now a “person” that you know and claim to love?
Before Spectra really let me in, I honestly felt like I was “for” the “gay community”, but now I understand that being an ally is way more than just a social or political “stance” on an “issue” — it is truly personal. When it comes to justice and equality for human beings, there is no in between, no neutrality; passivity might as well be aggression for you are either for or against. Period. I am a person who loves my sister, all parts of her, and will stand up to anyone, movement, person, or drunken slurr-throwing a**hole to protect her. There’s nothing political about that.
I do, of course, recognize my privilege in the knowledge that I am a straight, petite “girly” young woman who loves stilettos and baby doll dresses with a heterosexual preference for men that is globally accepted, but I passionately honor my personal linkage to the fight for LGBT equality and for the right for anyone to express the “self” by speaking out in spaces in which my sister is not as comfortable or present. It’s one thing to be an ally at QWOC+ events, it’s another thing to be an ally when you’re outnumbered by narrow-minded and/or ignorant straight men and women. But trust, l am always ready! Lock and Load! *haha kidding*
I may not be a direct member of the community–but I am sure as Helen a sister to it because at the end of the day, homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual, transgender, gender-queer and everyone in between who refuse to adhere to “labels” are human beings like me; we are all just people. We should all have the right to be ourselves. We are all human beings and citizens of this interesting (and often twisted) world of ours. So — my sister aside — that is reason enough for me to care enough to want to read a book (or RSVP “yes” to all 300 QWOC+ events on Facebook).
As human beings, the more we connect with each other — recognize, explore, accept and even celebrate how we differ — the more we can see who we are inside more clearly. I feel connected to more people in the world than I did before and, in turn, have developed a stronger sense of self; my world has expanded, my experiences are more conscious, and I am a much better person.
So I call on all of you, friends, brothers, parents, sisters, school teachers etc., of the brave people of the LGBT/Queer community. Push yourselves. Check yourselves. And grow, via healthy balance of stepping out of your comfort zones, listening, asking questions, and seeking new ways to learn about the struggles (and victories!) of your loved ones. If you don’t do this — become a more purposeful ally to someone else — for someone you claim to love, then at least do it for yourself.
Ever have one of those days, weeks, months where you feel tired mentally, physically, and spiritually? Ever feel like you needed some inspiration, some information, some type of organization is your life? We feel you.
QWOC+ is happy to announce this year’s Mind, Body, and Soul Conference – chicken soup for the LGBTQI Person of Color soul. The conference will be held at Simmons College, with co-sponsorship from Simmon’s Institute for Leadership and Change, on Saturday, July 31st.
But we need you to make it happen. We’re looking for proposals from individuals. health practitioners, experienced community organizers, and non-profit organizations who are willing to engage in real talk about the health of marginalized group within the queer community.
Here are a few of our ideas:
2) Feng Shui
3) Herbal Medicine
6) Building Healthy Communities/Relationships
7) Exercise/Physical Exercise
8) Healing for Trauma
10) Your idea of what’s most relevant to the queer community of color
To get a better idea of what we’re looking for, check out information on last year’s conference: 2009 Mind, Body, and Soul Mini-Conference
Proposals should include the following information:
2) Session Overview
3) The Why: Please elaborate on how you think this topic is relevant / how it would contribute to the conference
4) What do you hope to achieve with your session?
Note: No need to worry about finalized details — we just want the general idea and will work with you to fully develop your session if it is selected.
*Presentations should be for at least one hour, and at most an hour and a half.
Please send proposals and inquiries to: email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
By BONNIE ERBE’
Here’s one thing you probably know about “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Pentagon policy on gays and lesbians in the military. As my colleague Patricia Murphy reports, a bill to dismantle this outdated policy is wending its way through Congress.
Here’s one thing you probably don’t know about the 17-year-old law that says, essentially, gays and lesbians can remain in the military as long as no one knows they are gay:
The ban has disproportionately affected minorities and women. The latest data, compiled by the gay rights group Servicemembers United from Defense Department numbers, show that in 2008, minorities made up 45 percent of troops discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” while minorities were 30 percent of the service. Women accounted for 34 percent of the discharges but comprised 14 percent of the military.
USA Today, reporting the study, contacted Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith who said the military does not know why there is a disproportionate number of discharges for minorities and women and, under the ban, can’t look into the question.
Nonetheless, I was shocked to find out that service women are more than twice as likely to be discharged under DADT, based on the Servicemembers United’s numbers crunching. And for persons of color, the rate is 1.5 percent. Our armed services are not yet gender-blind or color-blind, although it is a goal the services are working hard to meet. But I am still curious as to why the discharge rate is so disproportionately high for women. I posed the question to Servicemembers United Executive Director J. Alexander Nicholson III, and he responded this way:
“Ultimately we do not know exactly why women are disproportionately impacted by the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law, but we do know that this law is often used as a tool for sexual harassment against women and sometimes even a tool to enable sexual assault. Often times women are accused of being lesbians if they do not succumb to the sexual advances or the romantic interests of others, and this sometimes leads to unfair targeting of women under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ It should also be noted that racial and ethnic minorities are disproportionately discharged under ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ All of these facts fly in the face of the claims that this law is working. A law that impacts women, and especially women of color, at twice the rate of their presence in the military is clearly not working.”
So let me get this, er, straight — servicemen threaten servicewomen with “outing” them as lesbians unless they succumb to the men’s sexual advances? What kind of “Through the Looking Glass” parallel universe have the Armed Forces become under DADT? And why is our volunteer, body-strapped military firing otherwise perfectly credentialed soldiers because they happen to be gay or lesbian? The question was debated last week on the House floor as members voted to approve the legislation that could ultimately dismantle DADT. The movement to end DADT comes at a time when the military is having an especially hard time filling critical slots in the armed services:
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said that of the 13,500 members of the military who have been discharged under “don’t ask, don’t tell,” more than 1,000 filled critical occupations, such as engineers and interpreters.
Despite this, passage of a similar bill will face opposition when it goes before the Senate later this month.
My life experience teaches me the persons most threatened by the presence of gays and lesbians are people who feel threatened in some way by their own sexuality. Instead of supporting an archaic law that deprives the armed services of critical force members, why don’t Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and other senators opposed to repealing DADT sponsor a mass therapy session for service members threatened by gay and lesbian colleagues? Obviously, that will never happen. But it would be nice if macho military men could get over their fears of serving with gay men and women. I guess facing their own psychological demons head on, even in our enlightened age, might be too much for them.
Look for a blog post on this later on in the week!
Your Friendly Neighborhood Intern,
Erika, QWOC+ Boston
We’d like to make a personal request:
A fierce QWOC+ supporter/volunteer, dear friend, fellow community organizer, and long-time producer of all kinds of queer, rebellious, funky, limit-pushing events in Boston needs OUR support during her surgery recovery.
Please consider attending one of the fundraising events we’re supporting this weekend and RETURN the love Aliza’s been giving QWOC+ Boston AND the Boston queer community for over ten years…
HERE ARE THE DETAILS:
THIS FRIDAY! February 5, 2010 8pm
Utero-A-GoGo No. 1
a benefit for Aliza Shapiro
at a private residence in the South End
Info @ Truth Serum Website: http://www.truthserum.org/
THIS SUNDAY! February 7, 2010**
Utero-A-GoGo No. 2
a concert and cabaret/drag/burlesque show of hysterical proportions!
1222 Commonwealth Ave Allston (at corner of Harvard)
$10 doors at 8pm, show at 9pm 18+
a limited number of discounted tickets are a
Info @ Truth Serum Website: http://www.truthserum.org/
**If you’re interested in attending with a group, please leave a message on the facebook group or page, or send us a tweet @qwocboston and we’ll make sure everyone gets together!
IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND, PLEASE CONSIDER MAKING A DONATION TO firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a funny haiku note with your offering if you’re feeling creative, Aliza will love it.
THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE!
Boston Pride is recruiting a Deputy Director
P R E S S R E L E A SE
Linda DeMarco, President
BOSTON PRIDE COMMITTEE LAUNCHES SEARCH FOR FIRST DEPUTY DIRECTOR
Boston, Mass., September 16, 2009 — After almost 40 years of service to the LGBT Community as an all-volunteer 501c(3) non-profit organization, The Boston Pride Committee is setting out to hire its first-ever full time employee to lead the organization into the future. The Board of Directors is seeking resumes to fill their newly instated position of Deputy Director.
“Boston Pride has always been a grassroots organization and will remain so,” explained Linda DeMarco, Boston Pride President. “More than one million people attended Boston Pride activities last year in events organized solely by a group of volunteers in their spare time. As we begin planning now for our 40th anniversary in 2010, hiring a Deputy Director is just the next step in the evolution of the organization.”
Operating since 1970, Boston Pride is an independent, non-profit agency that serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied community by working to enhance visibility through a week of events each June and year-round activities designed to promote LGBT awareness, dignity, and understanding.
The public can learn more about Boston Pride by visiting www.bostonpride.org. Interested candidates should send cover letter, resume and salary requirement to email@example.com. The deadline for applying is October 15 with interviews taking place in early November.
J O B D E S C R I P T I O N
What is the Boston Pride Committee? The Boston Pride Committee serves the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and ally community. It works to enhance the visibility of Boston’s LGBT community through a week of events each June, in conjunction with year round activities, to promote LGBT awareness, dignity, and understanding.
REPORTS TO: Board of Directors
POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Deputy Director (DD) reports directly to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the daily administration and management of the Boston Pride Committee (BPC). The DD works with and supports the Board of Directors in: visioning and long-term planning; defining priorities; building and enhancing teamwork among Board members and other volunteer Chairs; developing strong and responsible relationships with Boston’s widely diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities; and maintaining BPC’s grassroots orientation.
EDUCATION / EXPERIENCE:
- B.S. or equivalent.
- Minimum three years management experience in non-profit sector.
- Minimum three years experience with Boston/New England LGBT community.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively with LGBT individuals and organizations across spectrums of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender-identity, disability, socio-economic background, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively and productively with a volunteer board of directors.
- Strong skills and significant experience in staff supervision and development.
- Significant and measurable experience in sponsorship development and maintenance.
- Significant and measurable experience in contract negotiations.
- Experience managing a budget.
CHARACTERISTICS, KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Strong sense of organization and planning, and ability to manage time well.
- Demonstration of leadership, sense of vision, and ability to motivate others.
- Strong interpersonal skills, and a professional demeanor and presentation.
- Strong verbal and written communication and listening skills.
- Integrity and an ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Strong analytical skills.
- Demonstrated ability to understand, value, and respect the broad range of diversity within the LGBT communities, and to work collaboratively with diverse individuals and groups to ensure Pride programs and events are inclusive and inviting.
- Ability to multi-task and be in control of numerous tasks at any one time.
- Strong computer skills with a proficiency in Microsoft Office products and email clients. Experience with Adobe software products (Dreamweaver, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.) a plus.
- Bilingual a plus.
- Must be flexible, and able to work evenings and weekends as needed.
- Strong public relations skills and experience, including crisis management
- Cognizant of, and sensitive to, the political influences that affect Pride.
- Ability to work with government bodies and civil servants.
Salary is commensurate with experience.
About Boston Pride
The Boston Pride Committee is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Meet the Board of Directors and the Chairs of the Committee:
Keri Aulita – Vice President, Board of Directors
Sylvain Bruni – Board of Directors
Malcolm Carey – Board of Directors
Linda DeMarco – President, Board of Directors
Pierce Durkin – Clerk, Board of Directors
Kristie Helms – Board of Directors
Wilfred Labiosa – Board of Directors
Heather Mills – Logistics Chair
Cale Moore – Merchandise Chair
Cat Sauer – Festival Chair
“The Boston Pride Committee, serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and allied community, works to enhance the visibility of Boston’s LGBT community through a week of events each June, in conjunction with year-round activities, to promote LGBT awareness, dignity, and understanding.”
Repost from glaadBLOG.org
August 31, 2009
Underlying conflict rose to the surface for Vogue Evolution last night on America’s Best Dance Crew as Leiomy said she was homesick and was shown acting out in rehearsal footage. After their performance, judge Lil Mama waded into controversy with some of her comments to Leiomy. (more…)
Sailors’ delight: QWOC Week weighs anchor with kick-off cruise
by Hannah Clay Wareham
Thursday Aug 6, 2009
Here at VL we have covered lots of storiesabout violence against transgender people, and unfortunately many of these cases of violence end in death. What I didn’t know was that the rate at which transgender murders occur worldwide wasso high; a recent report by non-profit organization Transgender Europe (TGEU) shows that a transgender person is killed every 3 days. And another disturbing fact is that the majority of these murders are happening in Latin America:
The cases have been reported from all six World regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Oceania. The majority of cases have been reported from Latin America and North America. On these continents the majority of cases have been reported from Brazil (59) and the U.S.A. (16) for 2008 and from Brazil (23), Venezuela (20), and Guatemala (10) for the first six months of 2009. Moreover, the preliminary results show a total of 11 murdered trans people reported for Colombia followed by 5 for Honduras and 4 for Mexico and Venezuela for 2008, and 6 for Mexico and 3 for Argentina, and the Dominican Republic for the first six months of 2009.
In total 91 murders of trans people were reported in 11 Latin American countries in 2008, and 73 murders of trans people in 11 Latin American countries in the first six months of 2009. The reported murders of trans people in Latin America account for 75% and 88% of the world wide reported murders of trans people in 2008 and the first six months of
The map associated with the study (image above) for 2009 to date shows the highest concentration of murders in South America, particularly in Brazil.
Spain’s Ambiente G reports on another chilling statistic: in Peru, a gay or lesbian person is killed every 5 days.
Special to CNN
Editor’s note: LZ Granderson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, and has contributed to ESPN’s Sports Center, Outside the Lines and First Take. He is the 2009 Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) award winner for online journalism and the 2008 National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) winner for column writing.