Say That!

Say That! 

‘Say That!’ is a space on Black Girl Dangerous for all the rants, the rage, the sadness, the joy, the interventions, the messiness. It’s our way of channeling the dialogs often had in private conversations or individual Facebook threads into something more visible. ‘Say That!’ offers QTPOC opportunities to contribute to community discussions without submitting an entire article or essay. Every month, we focus on a single question or theme, and solicit responses from the community. Responses can include from 100-150 word blurbs (blurbs over 150 words may be edited for space), visual art, videos under 2 minutes, photographs with short captions, or whatever you can dream up that’s short and accessible. We will choose 1 or 2 of these submissions to publish on the ‘Say That!’ page each week. We invite our QTPOC readers to continue the conversation with us on the Facebook page.

Submissions to ‘Say That!’ can be made anonymously (or not), and can be sent, like any other submission, to Janani at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com. Please include the words ‘Say That!’ in the subject line. Please also indicate whether you’d like to remain anonymous, and if not, send us your name, a photo, and your city. ‘Say That!’ submissions are not eligible for an honorarium.

January

2013 was quite a year for us at BGD. We learned a lot. What did you learn on 2013? Tell us in a short (100 to 150-word) blurb; make a 1 or 2 minute video; caption a photo. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.

1.

sam white

 

 

 

 

remember that year you learned to be vulnerable

and to touch everything with open hands with lines that connected to

a heart that said, be present, be unwavering, be passionate

(after those people

those places

those things

that have tried to keep you from being whole)

you said

I AM STILL HERE

I AM STILL BRAVE

I AM STILL FILLED WITH LOVE

you are more alive than you have ever been

do not let anyone tell you

to be anything less than

on fire.

–Sam White, Minneapolis


December

The topic for December’s Say That! is Getting Free. What does it mean to get free? How do we do it, in big and small ways, on a daily basis? Share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, love and ideas with us. Write a short (100 to 150-word) blurb; make a 1 or 2 minute video; caption a photo. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.


Getting Free

1.

right now getting free feels like deep, deep water.   it’s unlearning the coping mechanisms that helped me to repress and survive childhood abuse, to remember and forgive myself.  it’s recognizing that i have been and always will be black, even though i was taught that i was everything but.  it’s teaching myself how to pull myself as far away as possible from whiteness and the approval that i crave from it, and at the same time getting free is also learning how to open all the most secret parts of myself to ones who see all of me and want to love even the darkest, softest bits.  i feel freer with every word that i strike into permanence, with every tear i allow myself to shed, with every kiss, and hug and expression of love that i share with the black women in my life.

–anonymous

2.

Suey ParkI have always been a free spirit, changing my major and my style every chance I could in college. Consistency and practicality are unknown to my very being. My dad died as I was preparing to graduate college and I found myself trying to “grow up” and give up my dreams for a steady career to support my family. It was like my dreams died with my dad as I tried to conform the the narrow restrictions of academia and administrative work, while continuing to stumble through and cause chaos in my own life and for the institution’s I’ve worked within. This month I did myself a favor and quit both my job and school. I think it would have made my dad happy to know that I was trying to live fully again. This is getting free.
 –Suey Park, Chicago, IL

 


October

The topic for October’s Say That! is Polyamory. Share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, rage, love, and ideas around polyamory and/or non-monogamy in QTPOC life and community. Make a 1-minute video about it! Or send a 100-150 word blurb. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.


Polyamory

1.

IMG_0183

This is a part of a larger conversation, but we might as well start it here. Polyamory in the life of a queer brown boy offers a fundamentally alternative option to an otherwise inapplicable method of relating to others romantically. What I mean is that, in the ‘program’, the hetero-normative monogamous program, there is little room for anomalies like me. The picture doesn’t look like me, the story doesn’t sound like mine. The costumes don’t even fit. And so, if I have been categorically excluded from it, why shouldn’t I find every way to look outside of it to find my way. I’ve only been able to have successful relationships by understanding that they are a thing defined by the people engaged in them, as opposed to mutually trying to cram each other’s long limbs into the confines of some box that doesn’t even have our name on it.

–Jason Williams, Oakland CA

 

2.

I’m polyamorous for pay. That means in order to have a loving, honest and healthy relationship with my gf AND be able to still pay the rent, we have to talk and negotiate what sexual intimacy in the context of work means for our relationship. Our form of polyamory is less about pleasure/desire and more about economics. I’m a sex worker and I deserve to be loved and for me that means monogamy just doesn’t fit my life right now.

–Anonymous

 

3.

I am a queer woman of color in a life partnership with another queer woman of color.  She has a loving relationship with a white woman.  I have a loving relationship with a white woman, who is married to a straight white man.  Polyamory has challenged my notion of attraction and love (historically, I’ve never dated white, never dated bi).  Polyamory continues to open up the doors to my values, ethics and authentic self.  It takes work for any relationship to be successful; certainly, polyamory has illuminated some dark shadows in all of our lives, but we work hard to be healthy and loving, and the work feels good when all is said and done.  We are committed to on-going communication, trust, honesty and respect because the lovestyle holds wonderful, exciting, and endearing relationships all revolving around the expression of love for another, and the expression of love for oneself.
–Anonymous

 

4.

lars maximusMy first exposure to polyamory was of Rachel True in the 90s indie flick “Nowhere”. In it her character has a boyfriend and girlfriend and she is the center of their triad, little to the satisfaction of her significant others. Regardless, it was one of my first virtual encounters with alternative sexual perspectives, plus the attractive cast left a thirst that at a virginal 16 I was not having quenched with typical high school courtship. I was too meek to ask out girls and usually ended up in an awkward setup. But even through the college years, I felt mean for doing what felt like going along with the motions as relationships carried on, with expectations and limitations, while I never truly committed because I never viewed one person as needing to be my all or in my life forever or even being exclusively accessible to my most intimate thoughts and desires. I believe in love and giving and I am more wary of starting relationships because of that need to escape rather than disappoint my significant other in her or his monogamous expectations. However, open relationships are a great fantasy I have yet to achieve success with and I usually am the one outside of the established couple and feels left out in the cold but perhaps through the proper channels I will reach that paradise of openheartedness and companionship thats so far only a corner of my mind.
–Lars Maximus, Austin TX

September

The topic for September’s Say That! is Femmephobia in QTPOC Community. Share your thoughts and experiences around the ways in which femme-identified and femme-presenting people are marginalized and invisibilized within our communities while masculinity is centralized and prized. How can we do better? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at submissions.bgd@gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.


Femmephobia in QTPOC Community

1.

accime

I am a gay woman who identifies as Fanm (that word is Haitian Creole) and it is all encompassing. A Fanm is your modern day Feminist. She is the mother, the lover, the warrior.

During many dialogues, I hear the same story: I am so done with these femmes out there. They’re all looking for a sugarmama and take the life out of you.  In a nutshell, we’re categorized as gold-diggers.  The paradox of a needy woman is an aggressive one should it be spoken that we seek companionship that primarily nurtures the emotional self, equality, love and sexy fun.

It is bewildering to witness patriarchal norms in our communities.  This is yet another battle in the war.  To be a Fanm/Femme, be honored and loved as the fierce beauty that we are. We must continuously remind our people of the glory that we all are, that we have a common enemy and it is NOT each other, wherever we may fall on the gender spectrum.

–Sherley Accime, Brooklyn, New York

 

2.

“Sista Souldier” ~ Julz (Lolo) ~ Seattle, WA
Hook:

sista souldier share and receive this

(x3)
Verse 1:
studs like you never see bois like me
just a fact in my world of studs
who are fairies who are bois
bois who are femmes
femmes who are fags
fag stud fairy boi
she said
she said
she said
she said, “I could tell you’re a femme”
I could tell you’re a femme
Verse 2:
studs like you rarely choose bois like me
am I a threat to your well trained masculinity?
imma top you tender, tender top
stop hiding behind that mean muggin stare
and feel you feel me
feel you, feel me?
Verse 3 // Bridge:
studs like you choose gurls like me
forward, confident, outspoken, not shy
takin’ up the space you’re afraid to claim too
she said
she said
she said…
bossy bottom, a receiver, not a giver
your assumptions, my submissions
to the roles we think we must play
(x2)
i’m nearly naked you’re still braided
clothed just enough to level your shame
(x2)
sista souldier
I could tell you’re a femme
Verse 4:
studs like you choose bois like me
we choose each other cuz we’re from the same sea
(x2)
hail from the blue flame
drop from the gold stars
cry from the red pain
(x2)
sista souldier
sista souldier, you’re a femme
Hook:
sista souldier share and receive this
(x3)
you’re a femme gurl
you’re a femme boi
(x3)
sista souldier

July

The topic for July’s Say That! is Racism Within QTPOC Community/POC solidarity. What are your thoughts and experiences with racism in mixed communities of color? How is it different (is it different?) from racism perpetrated by white folks? Is it worse? Not as bad? Or maybe you’re not sure if it’s even possible? And what can we do/what are we not doing enough to show solidarity across POC communities? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at submissions.bgd@gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

 


Racism Within QTPOC Community/POC solidarity

1.

 KashyapWithin mixed communities of color, we must be vigilant over the ways in which racism crosses over into our webs of intimacy with friends, lovers, chosen family and all the other plural ways of connecting that queer POC’s have created and thrive through. At the end of the day I remain an Indian cis queer male with a middle class upbringing and all the privileges that accompany that assemblage. I could read all the writings of black luminaries like Patricia Hill Collins and Toni Morrison, but what good is that if I speak over a black female friend? Racism is ingrained within daily interactions, the subtle bestowing and retracting of coded glances on the street, as well as within instances of outright physical violence. It is not enough to simply call out white racists. Racism among POC’s is worse, because we are perpetuating the system that harms those we love, including ourselves.

–Hrishekesh Kashyap, San Francisco


June Special

We’re featuring a special Say That! space now for the DOMA ruling. What do you have to say about the victory of  “Marriage Equality” the day after a key point of the Voting Rights Act was obliterated by the Supreme Court? What do you think about the fact that the plaintiff who took the case to the Supreme Court is a wealthy white woman who did so because she didn’t want to have to pay $300,000 in estate taxes? Or maybe you are a radical-left QTPOC who still really wants to get married and sees it as a priority for some radical reason we haven’t thought of? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at submissions.bgd@gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

Check out submissions below. And keep em coming!


DOMA/VRA Rulings

1.

LGPWhen the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted, I knew that DOMA would be abolished the next morning.  It was another method of maintaining the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy: antagonizingly smother the voices of now disenfranchised black and Latino voters in rainbows, thereby outraging us and maintaining the ideology that POC are inherently homophobic and/or self-loathing. QPOC know that neither the mantra of “human rights” nor the millions of dollars that adorned the white-faced movement for marriage equality will lend themselves to our battle to buy IDs and vote. As a QWOC deeply rooted in the southern black Baptist church, I fear that the mouths of clergy whom I trust and love may be so full of homophobia that they choke on the necessary discourse: how to work towards restoring our voting rights. I stand amidst the crossfire of my two identities paralyzed; wondering “which me will survive/all these liberations?” *

*quote from Audre Lorde’s poem, “Who Said It Was Simple”

–Lauren G. Parker, Richmond, Virginia

 

2.

 Andrea DionneIt just feels like I’m being asked by the SCOTUS to choose which part of my identity to embrace.

Do I get mad at the fact that I’m POC and find myself facing the threat that the double-edged sword of Affirmative Action may be taken from me?

Do I get mad at the fact that I’m a POC and protections that sought to affirm my ability to vote have been removed?

Do I get mad at the fact that a POC has had their parental right terminated AGAINST THEIR WILL in another case in a LONG history of the government taken POC’s (particularly those of American Indian heritage) children?

Or do I just get happy about the fact that I am gay and now my marriage is recognized at a Federal level?  Do I just put on my super cute Pride Outfit this weekend and dance, cheer, and watch the beautiful women dance and cheer?

Is there a party that all of me is invited to?

–Andrea Dionne, Brooklyn, NY

 

3.

 roseannchanchallThere are people claiming the movement can only move forward through partial victories. What I hear is that the privileged majority within the minority must always have their needs met first. Middle/upper-class white cismales could have used their influence to demand justice for those who need them most. Do y’all really think they’ll keep pouring their money and solidarity into ending violence against trans* people, into addressing how oppressive dynamics in our communities fuel partner abuse, into doing something about the unjustly incarcerated queers? We were left behind because not having to stand with us in the battle against racism, cissexism, classism, ableism, imperialism, etc makes the fight for “gay rights” a lot more palatable. And I don’t actually believe that those privileged people are now going to come back and fight for our rights alongside us, after making it so clear that our suffering is secondary.

–Roseanne Chanchall, New York, NY

 

4.

 paige kumm picfeeling conflicted about gay marriage and all the scotus and other political drama this week. striking down doma and prop 8 is good for undocuqueers and other qpoc, because lord knows we are in crisis now and we need protections – like a path towards citizenship, tax breaks, health care benefits, and just plain recognition that our love is valid. but it just doesn’t feel like enough.

i’m interested in talking about marriage as a heteronormative institution founded on the buying and selling of women, and how queers (and other alternative family forms) challenge that institution. and i’m interested in talking about citizenship as an arbitrary violent division of some people from others, and why an invisible line in the sand determines whether you will have a higher or lower life expectancy. and i want to talk about why health care isn’t seen as a universal right, rather than a privilege reserved just for people/relationships who are recognized by the state. and i want to talk about why we think regulating relationships or movement of people is even necessary.

–Piage Kumm, San Francisco, CA


June

For the month of June, we’re focusing on Pride Season. Rant, rage, cheer, question, laugh, confront, or cry about it!  Are your streets plastered over in rainbow Bank of America stickers? Is the endless sea of white cis gay men starting to roll in? Is your town hosting its very first Pride? Tell us about experiences you may have had with Prides in the past–have they been violent, exclusionary, uplifting, productive? Does your group have great radical qtpoc alternatives to the gaystream festivities? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions to Janani at submissions.bgd@gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.

Check out this month’s fave submissions below.


Pride Season

1.

Pride is problematic; I get that. It essentializes and minimizes all queer experiences into a rainbow-parade, largely for the consumption of white, cis-het allies, and does little to address intersectionality or aspects of marginalization within the queer community. But as someone who recently “came out” – or rather, let people “in” to my sexual orientation – I feel a comfort and curiosity in Pride that I want to explore. This year, I am spending it with close friends and a special someone. I feel a(n imperfect) sense of solidarity being around people who share this aspect of their identity with me. I wasn’t expecting to feel anything when I attended my first Pride last year, and I didn’t for the most part. But when I saw those five South Asians skateboarding down the road, carrying the national flags of their heritage, it gave me something. It made me feel less alone.

- Mari

2.

Dear SF Pride,

You are colonizing my queerness. You, on Ohlone land, sitting atop Mission Dolores Park, dripping gentrification all over the streets. But I’ve done you, been drunk on genocide and praying my ancestors’ voices away. I’ve done you, pissing on pavement that cannot forgive me like the earth ever could. But I don’t need you. Your kolonization, korporatization, and kompromise. Colonization made my queerness filth, banging into me this internalized homophobia. Now I fear homophobia as I go home instead seeing you this year, silently wishing that my girlfriend wouldn’t insist on coming with me so I’d be a little less visibly queer cuz my people stay colonized like you. Like you, they think they’ve gained some pride in an identity, while they sweep my queerness under the rug, like you sweep blackness, brownness, homelessness, immigrantness, poorness, and trans*ness under your rug. We all have shit to work on, but fuck your imperialistic mess.

Seriously,

S.