New on BGD

A Note From A 16 Year-Old Feminist On Behalf of My Queer, Black Sisters


by Shama Nathan When I was nine years old, I started to question my “role” as a woman and how society and my parents wanted me to be. Growing up, I was bombarded with myths that suggested my value depended on my purity and submissiveness. I was told that as a Black woman, it was my duty to support my strong, Black husband while protecting and building the Black family. Of course, my budding queerness conflicted with nuclear values of family and began to plant righteous little seeds of curiosity. Today, six years later, I am fixated with studying societal, cultural,…

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Why I’m Not Really Here For Emma Watson’s Feminism Speech At the U.N.


by Mia McKenzie Actor Emma Watson, of Harry Potter movie fame, is a new Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and she spoke at the UN on Saturday to launch the HeForShe campaign, which aims to mobilize men to end gender inequality somehow (the campaign doesn’t seem to call men to any particular action of any sort). The campaign wants men to make gender equality their issue, too, and Ms. Watson extended “a formal invitation” to men to do so. Some of the mainstream (white) feminist interwebs are all abuzz because, according to said mainstream (white) feminist interwebs, it was all kinds of…

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Why We Should Abandon the Word ‘Subtle’ When Discussing Racism


by Travis Alabanza Subtle, Subtlety, Subtly—as a British man, these words saturate my conversations by the thousands. From my mother: “remember, be subtle in your wisdom.” From my friends: “yeah, sneak me in that party, but be subtle about it.” From my primary teacher: “Travis, your work has subtle hints of promise.” And from the oppressor AND oppressed when talking about racism in the UK: “Yeah, it exists, but it’s so subtle compared to what they go through in the US.” If you are a person of colour in Britain who has discussed systematic racism, you have probably said, or…

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What Finally Gave Me the Courage To Speak: Reflections On Writing A Political Prisoner


by Erika Gisela Abad Merced [caption id="attachment_2539" align="alignleft" width="150"] Oscar Lopez Rivera. Photo courtesy of the National Boricua Human Rights Network[/caption] Despite the Latina lesbians who were my teachers and supervisors, despite the friends I consoled through the trials of beginning to live honestly, I did not come out in college. Still struggling with the social stigma of being a survivor of sexual assault, I did my best to work around the stereotype of its relationship to homosexuality and focused, instead, on working with organizations and student support offices that sought to provide opportunities for people and, more specifically, students…

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Saying NO to Class Privilege (White Privilege’s Deceitful Little Minion)!

by Jezebel Delilah X The first time I learned that being perceived as smart and having access to money made me more socially valuable than the children around me, I was about six years old, sitting on my father’s lap, crying about being bullied by my classmates—yet again. My father did his best to lovingly comfort me: he pulled out his bank statement and showed me the tens of thousands of dollars he had in savings. “Baby,” he said. “Those kids are mean to you because they are jealous. You think their parents got this in the bank? No. Plus,…

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Reclaiming the Sacred Black, Indigenous QTPOC Science of Sustainable Living and Survivor-Ship Magic


by Mercy Medusa Mahogany Immanuel Thokozane Minah When most people think of scientists, they think of white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual men in lab-coats cooking up ways for other white, cis, non-disabled, heterosexual people to survive sci-fi horrors like dinosaurs—but who, for what ever reason, can never think of ways to sustain the world’s need for electricity without stripping the earth of vital minerals. These Ivy-League educated, so-called genius scientists who send people to the moon and other planets and calculate the distance between this planet and our neighboring planets in order to speculate the probability of a select few humans…

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Black Art Is Not A Free For All


by Nadijah Robinson Black art is not a free for all. Black art is not a free for all. Black art is not free for all. It is free for none of y’all non-Black people. It is created for Black people to get their lives, to recover their wits, to see themselves and their stories reflected, and to be healed and uplifted. Black people need this. When we come home from surviving in the world where we are made to be small and hopeless, we need our Black magic. We need it to heal us from the daily soul wounds…

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The Myth of the “Natural” Ally: Why “Because Homophobia” Isn’t an Answer


by KJ Ward I know more than one queer person of color who has been devastated to the core to learn that a queer white person—one she hoped and mistakenly assumed would be an ally in the struggle—neither “got it” nor cared to “get it” when it came to racism and white privilege (privilege: unearned access to a bunch of good stuff and an arbitrarily granted protection from a bunch of bad stuff). I, for one, have never made this assumption of who might be an ally simply based on their own membership in an oppressed group. There’s no such…

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You Can Keep Your Bold Riley: Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation


By SJ Sindu Recently, a well-intentioned friend of mine sent me a link to The Legend of Bold Riley, a graphic novel about a queer female warrior who travels the world and has adventures in the styles of Gilgamesh and Beowulf. The cover features a brown-skinned woman with a giant red dot on her head. My first reaction was visceral, but I forced myself to relax and methodically research everything I could about the author, Leia Weathington, and the various artists involved. As far as I could tell, none of them were South Asian. I read review after glowing review…

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Rage of Refugees: Angry, Betrayed, Broken Illegal (On The Verge Of Exile)

alex aldana

by Alex Aldana More than two months have passed since I got out of detention after crossing the border as part of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance’s Bring Them Home campaign. The hours that broke my spirit inside those cells is time I haven’t been able to recuperate. There isn’t a day that passes where I don’t think of the people that still remain inside as prisoners of the government. I keep thinking about the stillness of the holding cells, the hopelessness of my status in this country, the idea of not knowing, the experience of being chained from my…

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#BGDGetFree Selfies!


Can you help me support queer and trans youth of color by taking a selfie? 1)   Watch a video about the impact of BGD’s Get Free Program For Queer and Trans Youth of Color here: 2)   Take a selfie with sign that says, “If I had BGD Get Free as a youth… [fill in the blank with one sentence about the difference that having a program like BGD Get Free would have made for you as a youth]”. End sign with: #BGDgetfree 3)   Tag two QTPOC friends on FB or twitter asking them, “If you had BGD Get Free…

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Skins Like Ours: Racial Violence and the Collective Consciousness

by Esther Harvey Across the world, Black and brown bodies are being gunned down in their homes by state authorities. Maybe this is too ineloquent, or blunt, a way to phrase this painful truth; at least, I do not hear these words being spoken, not by mainstream news sources or political officials. That is a hard truth to realise, and it sends a message: the lives of people of colour do not matter and can be callously thrown away at the whim of state authorities. Furthermore, when this truth is consistently presented to me as a seemingly unalterable pattern—the massacre in Gaza, the…

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All Grown Up Under Hip Hop


by anna saini Everything started out fine between White Feminism and me. I grew up Brown in white suburbia. I learned to speak English. I sang “O Canada” and pledged allegiance to the Queen of England. I earned A’s and five stars and Student of the Month and teacher’s pet. I was a young lady (of color) in the making, a testament to second-wave feminist ideals of empowerment through education, opportunity, and self-actualization. It was decades later that I came to understand what Feminism meant, but White Feminism already set her site on me. It was around 1988 when the…

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Four Person-to-Person Things I Do to Address Anti-Blackness con Mi Gente

Photo on 8-26-14 at 4.30 PM #2

by CarmenLeah Ascencio [caption id="attachment_2422" align="alignright" width="196"] My Mothers.[/caption] When my mothers married in 1989 I did not know that their union as a (non-black) Nuyorican and a black American was an anomaly for blacks and Latinxs in the U.S. I knew that their queerness was deviant, but not their black and brown love. I grew up thinking that black and brown love was innate, as I saw it in my family, my community and the history of unified black and brown liberation movements in the urban North East. It was not until I was older that I realized how…

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