New on BGD

POC Solidarity In Love: How To Support Your Black Partner In These Trying Times

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By CarmenLeah Ascencio  This is the third installment in CarmenLeah’s new, monthly column about QTPoC wellness and healing. You might be wondering why an article on POC solidarity in romantic relationships is in my column on POC healing and wellness. It’s very simple, really. We often get our primary support in intimate relationships. If we don’t feel safe and supported in them, we can’t do the work necessary to heal and be healthy. I am a non-Black Latina partnered with a Black woman. The night Michael Brown was murdered by Darren Wilson in Ferguson, my partner was glued to her…

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BGD’s MagniFLY! Project For Trans Women of Color: Bustin’ Out: From Solitary To ReEntry by Janetta Johnson

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Watch Janetta Johnson’s video for Black Girl Dangerous’ MagniFLY! Video Visibility Project for Trans Women of Color. Janetta Louise Johnson is an Afro-American Transsexual from Tampa, Florida. She moved to San Francisco in 1997, where she has worked in various capacities at non-profits and social service agencies. She recently survived 3 years in federal prison and is committed to developing strategies and interventions to reduce the recidivism rate of the transgender community. Janetta’s involvement with TGI Justice dates back to 2006. She served as Interim Organizing Director in November/December ‘08, planned vibrant grassroots fundraisers, and later put her skills as a community organizer,…

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What I Fear As A Black Woman: Broadening the Conversation About Violence

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By Tessara Dudley I think pretty often about the potential aftermath of my death. I think about what I would like done with my remains, and who would support my mother, and what my partner would do without me. I think about what my obituary would say, and what the police or medical examiner might find. I think about dying in an accident, like getting hit by a car or a bridge collapsing when I’m crossing it. And I think about murder. It’s true that many women go through their days with a constant fear of violence, but it looks…

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Comic Relief: When People of Color Aren’t the Punch Line

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By Rocio Isabel Prado I purchased two tickets for two different shows in the span of two months: Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy Festival and comedian Hari Kondabolu’s show at the Troubadour. In the same period of time that I decided to attend these events, I began seeking psychological help for race-related stress that had caused panic attacks, sleeplessness, irritability and hopelessness in my daily life. My therapist noticed that I laughed when I told her about microaggressions that had been committed against me. She asked me about this and I realized that every time someone said something racist to…

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Homophobia Under the Big Top

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By M. Shelly Conner My mother once asked me why everything I wrote had to be black and queer. A Great Migration southern transplant, she reared me on a steadfast diet of Eyes on the Prize, Harlem Renaissance Writers, and personal stories from pre-Civil Rights Era Memphis and Black Power-era Chicago (#allblackeverything). Queerness was overshadowed by race, such that Bayard Rustin stepped into shadows of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Because black queers chose to tow the line in the race struggle with their skinfolks, we now face the misconception that our sexuality is a choice that is separate from,…

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Whose Lives Matter?: Trans Women of Color and Police Violence

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 By Princess Harmony Rodriguez At 207 Juniper Street, in the City of Brotherly Love, stood a bar called the Key West Bar and Grille. It had its own rich history, having been Philadelphia’s only integrated gay bar, but there, twelve years ago, lives were irrevocably changed. On any given night, there are thousands of people drunk in bars in Philadelphia. We are often reminded, however, that what are normal occurrences for the general public, are crimes for trans people of color. “Crimes” that make us targets of police and police violence. Trans women of color are stopped, harassed, assaulted and…

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Especially in the Wake of Ferguson, It’s Time to Destroy Anti-Blackness in the Sikh Community

By Mai Bhago Initially after Michael Brown’s death, I argued intensely with my family for hours, trying to convince them that “violent” protest was not only justified, but necessary in the wake of the white supremacist state’s unabashed murder of black people. They countered with a variety of racist and anti-black statements, ranging from describing black bodies as violent, to conservative racist statements claiming that the black community should be “satisfied” with the rights that it had. I couldn’t comprehend it. My (mostly immigrant) family had firsthand experience with police brutality and racism in India and in the U.S., as did…

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How To Get Away With Rape Culture

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By Jasmine Lester Television needs Shonda Rhimes. Two years ago Kerry Washington became the first black female lead in a network drama in nearly 40 years (Teresa Graves was the first in 1974’s Get Christie Love!). Scandal’s success ushered in a new era of primetime television, where black women are no longer relegated solely to supporting roles. Nicole Beharie now costars in FOX’s supernatural police drama, Sleepy Hollow; Megan Good starred in NBC’s short-lived crime-drama, Deception; Halle Berry stars in CBS’s science fiction drama, Extant; and Viola Davis stars in ABC’s legal drama, How to Get Away with Murder, Rhimes’ latest executive producing endeavor. As a black woman and avid fan/critic of…

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Going To Therapy As A QTPOC, Without Being Harmed, Erased Or Baffled

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By CarmenLeah Ascencio  This is the second installment in CarmenLeah’s new, monthly column about QTPoC wellness and healing. We do not all need to go to therapy, but we should all deal with our shit. Our shit keeps us from having healthy relationships, making our dreams happen, treating other people well and forming revolutionary communities. I have shit. I can be a bossy know-it-all in my personal relationships and have struggled to restrain my need to be in charge in professional ones. Doing my inner work has helped me find peace and be a better person to work and love with….

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On Ferguson Protests, the Destruction of Things, and What Violence Really Is (And Isn’t)

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by Mia McKenzie Since the announcement on Monday that Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, wouldn’t be brought to trial, huge protests have broken out all over the country, from Ferguson (where the community had already been protesting for over a hundred days, since the day Michael Brown was killed) to Philadelphia, Denver, Oakland and D.C., to name just a few places. Most of these protests have been peaceful, though in some places there’s been looting and property damage. The killing of Michael Brown is one in a long line…

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White Women Say I’m Too Confident (and Other Racist S*&%)

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by Kim Tran Lately, people in general, and specifically white women, have been telling me that I’m “too confident.” They say my confidence is overwhelming, overblown and false. I DO have a certain way of moving my hips when I walk, and I refuse to suppress or silence my ideas. But, I’m also self-reflective and I listen when people express discomfort around my behavior. Because my boundaries and safety are frequently ignored, I try to respect social and personal limits. However, in this instance, calling me “too confident” is a form of white-liberal-feminist racial control. Confidence, for womyn of color,…

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Invisibility: Craving For Representation As a Trans Person of Color

by Ellie Irineu When I came out to my aunt as a transgender woman, the first thing she told me was: “Do what you want, but remember that you’re poor.” She brought up the example of a transgender woman, daughter of some celebrity, who had recently traveled to Europe in order to go through SRS. “You’re not like that,” she said. “Your family can’t pay for these things.” Of course, I knew that. I was already struggling quite a bit in order to afford hormones in the first place. But it’s interesting to think about her reaction. She doesn’t know…

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No Longer a Good Girl: Embracing Kink and Rejecting Respectability

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by Maisha Z. Johnson What does it mean to veer from the way of the good girl and embrace my whole sexual self? I can’t articulate who I am without also considering what society at large would think of me, but when it comes to the respectability politics of my sexuality, no voice is more challenging than my own. I can still hear the troubled thoughts of my childhood self, striving to be a good girl. Anyone who’s come out or been in community with someone in the coming out process knows there can be many layers to this closet…

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BGD’s MagniFLY! Project For Trans Women of Color: I AM (HEAR) by Olympia Perez

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Watch Olympia Perez’s video for Black Girl Dangerous’ MagniFLY! Video Visibility Project for Trans Women of Color. Olympia Perez lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She is full time student, healer, artist and poet with work featured in places like the advocate. She is a trans warrior who currently works in the public health field. She enjoys adventures with her husband Sasha <3, she enjoys reading, writing and her time with yellow cats. She is the Content Director of Black Trans Media, working to shift and reframe the value of black trans folks tru media and storytelling. Her preferred pronouns are Her-she like the chocolate…

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