New on BGD

Accent Privilege (Or Why What You Sound like Matters, Though It Shouldn’t)


Soyini Ayanna Forde Not too long ago, I happened to have a phone conversation with a fellow Trinidadian and used our dialect word, “bull.” He interrupted my tangent with, “Say ‘bull’again.” “No!”I say, continuing on my mini-tirade. “Yuh know how long I eh hear somebody say ‘bull?’I real love hearing my own accent sometimes.” Life in the States turns an accent into a commodity that can no longer be taken for granted. The longer we simmer in the melting pot, they become more rare, special. And yet, not all accents are perceived equally. They can be emblematic of culture, nationality…

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Look In the Mirror: Confronting the Contradictions of LGBT Organizations and Our “Leadership”


by Christian Emmanuel Castaing I once assumed that I, a Queer Latino male, would be “safe” in one of the largest and oldest LGBT organizations in the nation. No one could make me an outsider this time.However, I was sexually harassed out of my fellowship and my assumptions of safety. I didn’t even last four weeks. As a low-income queer person of color, I have my share of knowledge about being an outsider in an intolerant world. Being chased by boys with knives was a cakewalk, one of the many facts of life I was prepared to deal with. But,…

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A Path To Environmentalism

Jasmine Kumalah

by Jasmine Kumalah I’m a brown-skinned girl who spent the first part of her childhood drenched by tropical rainfall in the shadow of formidable mountains overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. I ran barefoot on packed soil, sometimes wiggling away from frightening critters and insects. I spent the other half of my childhood in the repetitive bosom of American suburbia, biking through the nearby woods and across small bubbling creeks, taking weekend trips to nearby cities where the shadows of manmade towers looked on at me. As a young adult, I spent time both in the mountains of New Hampshire and in the…

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Living and Writing In the Face of Violence

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by Mimi Khúc I recently found out someone who doesn’t like me has been reading my writing here on Black Girl Dangerous. Not just reading, but Googling me, searching for my writing, and reading it for the purpose of finding ways to hurt me. Threatening me, threatening my family. “Doesn’t like me” may be an understatement. How to write from here? Writing for me has always been an act of honesty, of not only writing my own truths but also attempting to capture, gesture towards Truths about our social world. And writing has always been an act of extreme vulnerability….

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Not Your Tragic Queer Muslim Story

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by Lamya H I. I become visibly Muslim at 14 when I start wearing hijab. It is not an overnight decision: I’ve been wanting to do it for years. I’m living in a Muslim-majority country where hijab isn’t that big of a deal. A few of my friends do it and my mother, having fought the big battles with my Islamophobic extended family, has already paved the way. It is not unexpected that I will follow suit. Except, my awkward teenage self can’t figure out how to broach the boundary between the covering of hair and the not covering of…

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A Wonderful 20 Years & Counting: A Transition Journey


by Monica Roberts This month I’m celebrating an anniversary. It was 20 years ago this month, on April 4, 1994, that I began a major phase of my transition journey by walking into Houston Intercontinental Airport’s Terminal C and clocking in publicly at work for the first time as Monica. I was unsure about whether I would still have this job when my shift ended. It was a very public transition that occurred seven years into my airline career and made me feel at times like I was in a fishbowl. But I had reached a point in my life…

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by Mia McKenzie On Monday night, we posted an announcement on the BGD Facebook page for QTPOC wanting to submit their work to BGD, encouraging them to do so (you totally should!). A white woman commented, asking if she could write for us. “I mean, I’m white but I would write about black LGBT experiences.” She said that she loves our site and reads it all the time. I’m not sure how it’s possible to read our site and think that’s a good question to ask, or even a reasonable thought to have. But I am constantly dumbfounded by white…

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On Colbert and White Racial Satire: We Don’t Need It


by Mia McKenzie A lot of strange things have happened since The Colbert Report tweeted a line from a skit that Stephen Colbert did on his show last week about Dan Snyder’s new ‘R—skins’ Foundation, wherein he attempted to highlight the absurdity and offensiveness of it by invoking racial slurs against Asians. Many Asian American activists, led by freelance writer Suey Park, have pushed back against Colbert and the offending joke by calling for the show’s cancellation with a Twitter hashtag—#CancelColbert—that went viral last Thursday night. In response, Colbert fans have defended him, some of them respectfully and many of…

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In Defense of Facebook Activism

James McMaster

by James McMaster I am a radical QPOC Facebook activist. Yes, there is such a thing. I have a reputation among my Facebook friends as that angry, informed minority who is always yelling at straight, white cis-men. I own it. It’s exhausting, but I keep on. I cover my Facebook wall with political articles and my own radical, queer of color rants in hopes that one of my 1,582 Facebook friends will read what I post and gain a deeper understanding of my marginalized experience and resultant political point of view. I think of each post and comment, whether on my wall…

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Our R/evolutionary Bodies: On Being Black and Sick

Lynx Sainte-Marie

By Lynx Sainte-Marie This piece was inspired by the many conversations I’ve had with my wonderful friends of colour who push me to go on living even when I am feeling my worst.  It was also inspired by Laverne Cox’s powerful words at The 2014 National Conference on LGBT Equality on the revolutionary act of loving ourselves as trans people. This goes out all my fellow Black folk who are Sick, chronically ill, Spoonies, and all other names we self-identify with and (re)claim in order to negotiate the many ways we are perceived by ourselves and society. Whether it’s Chronic…

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Speaking The Unspeakable: The Pervasive Nature of Male Oppression and Rape Culture

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by Rochelle Robinson I recently read Latoya Henderson’s essay, The Not Rape Epidemic, where I imagined the difficulty of reliving sexual trauma, of exposing her perpetrator(s), she must have experienced; and I was reminded of my own struggle with telling my story.  Silence and shame can be debilitating. There remains an ethos, oppressively ubiquitous and violent, that enables and normalizes rape, rape culture, and sexual assault.  Locked in place is the pathology of shielding the perpetrators of these crimes while the victim is held liable for her own victimization: she brought it upon herself.  Sadly, I find this firm belief that…

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A Seat at the Table: Lupita Fever and American Pathology


by Nyle Fort “You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.”—Nina Simone Growing up, I loved holiday meals. From the macaroni n’ cheese and glazed ham to the family prayer and post-meal itis, holidays were times when we affirmed our love, told our stories, and upheld our traditions. Following family tradition, the elders forced children to sit at the “kiddy table,” reserving the “grown-up table” for adults. I hated the kiddy table. Compared to the grown-up table, our table was small, cheap, aesthetically inferior, and almost always situated somewhere in the…

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Butch and Femme Through a White Lens

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by Arianne Diaz-Cebreiro A friend of mine who has always openly admired my “dapperness” instinctively flinches at the idea of my previous feminine gender presentation. “Why does it bother you?” “I don’t know. It kind of ruins my mental image of you.” I looked back at the photo I was showing her of a smiling young girl in a pink satin dress with long flowing dark curls and a carefully made up face. I remember the pride I took in achieving the perfect winged eyeliner, purchasing the most complimentary shade of cocoa brown eye shadow, the lightest salmon lipstick. I…

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Rise In Love: On Addiction and Sobriety


by Rose Arellano When I hear the common saying, I fall in love, I envision a persyn falling off the edge of a cliff. Love is pain. I internalized this young. It’s love that pushes me off stable ground, it’s love that hurts, it’s love that is an addiction. I’m addicted to escapism. I’m addicted to wanting to get out of my brown, queer, thin, small, abled, feminine body. I’m addicted to using this body as social and economic currency. I’m addicted to my ego’s game of using this body to gain over others, to fucking savagely survive any way…

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