Whitebird on set. - 17/12/12
I'm a fat brown cis male queer, humorless feminist, tender queer, late 20's college student. This is a blog about people of color solidarity, queer separatism, body positivity, dismantling the white supremacist capitalist cisheteropatriarchy and general insurrection. This blog is a manifestation of my fat, brown, queer rage.
I also run the body positive blogs fuckyeahchubbyguysofcolor and fatnudes, if you're into that sort of thing.
“I feel it is essential to resist all attempts that discourage the expression of one’s identity. In my case, my identity has been constructed from my own sense of otherness, whether cultural, racial or sexual. These three aspects are not separate within me. Photography is the tool through which I feel most confident in expressing myself. It is photography, therefore—Black, African, homosexual photography—that I must use not just as an instrument, but as a weapon if I am to resist attacks on my integrity and indeed, my existence on my own terms.” - Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Traces of Ecstasy
"And in the last fifteen years queer theory has harnessed the repetitive, unpredictable energy of currents, waves, and foam to smash and wash into bits many I’s — from the gendered self to the sexed body, from heterocentric feminist speech to homonormative gay discourse. In this field where groundlessness is celebrated, writers also explicitly or implicitly rely on metaphors of fluidity, which provide an undercurrent for expanding formulations of gender and sexual mobility. Judith Butler’s praise of the resistant power of drag’s fluid genders and sexualities in the pivotal Gender Trouble is echoed by many a queer theoretical text: “Perpetual displacement constitutes a fluidity of identities that suggests an openness to resignification and recontextualization; parodic proliferation deprives hegemonic culture and its critics of the right to claim naturalized or essentialist gender identities.” 29 This proliferation multiplies the genders and sexualities explored by queer theory beyond women and men, gay and straight. They soon include, as Eve Sedgwick puts it, “pushy femmes, radical faeries, fantasists, drags, clones, leather folk, ladies in tuxedoes, feminist women or feminist men, masturbators, bulldaggers, divas, Snap! queens, butch bottoms, storytellers, transsexuals, aunties, wannabes.” 30 No deviant is a desert isle here, but part of an archipelago rushed together by a common sea of queerness.
Does this queer sea have a color, though? As the cascading, un-color-coded sentences of Butler and Sedgwick suggest, in the early 1990s prominent queer theorists denaturalized conventional gender and sexuality while renaturalizing global northernness and unmarked whiteness, initially unreferenced as if they were as neutral as fresh water. In both theorists’ early genderscapes, the bodies and selves rendered fluid are first and foremost gendered and sexualized, only faintly marked by other locations — only secondarily racialized, nationalized, classed. When Butler acknowledges that codes of (presumably white) racial purity undergird the gender norms disturbed in her initial consideration of “fluidity of identities,” she does so belatedly and between parentheses (as part of a long list of clarifications to her discussion of drag in the 1999 preface to Gender Trouble). 31 Sedgwick’s list, somewhat differently, momentarily parts the waves of queer theory’s uncommented whiteness as race fades in subtly with the African American – associated terms bulldagger and Snap! queen. Not only is this faint racialization limited to the black-white landscape of the contemporary global north, keeping terms like mahu, mati, tomboy, tongzhi unlistable, but the particularities of this possible racialization remain as unspecified as the color of the leather favored by “leather folk” or the jacket cut of the “ladies in tuxedoes.” The list’s sheer heterogeneity sweeps the bulldagger’s racial particularities into the same washing currents as the butch bottom’s sexual particularities.
These queer theorists are innovative, rigorous scholars whose work focuses on a predominantly white global north but who do — often in introductions— acknowledge how racialization intersects the construction and deconstruction of ossified genders and sexualities. Shortly after her list in Tendencies’ introduction, Sedgwick contends that “a lot of the most exciting recent work around ‘queer’ spins the term outward along dimensions that can’t be subsumed under gender and sexuality at all: the ways that race, ethnicity, postcolonial nationality criss-cross with these and other identity-constituting, identity-fracturing discourses.” 32 This is not her work in a text that goes on to deftly engage Jane Austen and Sigmund Freud, but she does gesture toward the importance of “other” scholars taking it up. Similarly, in the preface to the tenth anniversary edition of Gender Trouble, Butler remarks that “racial presumptions invariably underwrite the discourse on gender in ways that need to be made explicit” and concedes that if she rewrote the book she would include a discussion of racialized sexuality. In thinking through performativity and race, she suggests that “the question to ask is not whether the theory of performativity is transposable onto race, but what happens to the theory when it tries to come to grips with race.” 33 But of course there is not just one question to ask of the meeting point between Butler’s theory and race, and those I would pose would be different still. Namely, what happens when queer theories start with explicit formulations of racialized sexuality and sexualized race, rather than add them in after theories like performativity have already been elaborated? How does this change in point of departure change the tidal pattern of queer theory? How might it shift the field’s dominant metaphors, decentering performativity’s stages and unearthing other topoi?"
Black Atlantic, Queer Atlanic: Queer Imaginings of the Middle Passage by Omise’eke Natasha Tinsley
The entire piece is great and I encourage anyone who can find it to read it!
DECOLONIZATION MEANS PRISON ABOLITION: film from Law & Disorder Conference @ PSU
A conversation with Decolonize PDX
imagining different (quare) abolitionist futurities/making our future HERE and NOW//things were not always this way (this isn’t natural) and (PIC) abolition is possible/necessary/now
historical connection/roots of colonialism and prisons
“we are ON STOLEN LANDS”
violence towards/criminalizing of Women of Color: “people don’t think women of color even necessarily have the right to care of their children”
“you can’t reform that shit, get rid of it. there is no reform”…PREACH!
look to activism and resistance led by incarcerated people
COMING UP: PDX Panel on Prison Resistance, Tues. Nov. 13th, 5-7pm http://resistancebehindbars.org/node/315
I saw an image of a list that for “gender” contained all of these: Androgynous, gender non-conforming, FTM, MTF, trans, transgender, transsexual, trans man, trans woman, female, genderqueer, male, questioning, two-spirit, and other. And someone commented saying “I wonder what ‘other’ would even cover!”
Because people who’ve bought into the Western ideas of gender can’t even imagine that there are other possibilities. They’ve bought into that Western universalism, the idea that their terms are neutral objective words that can express every possible kind of gender. Never mind that there are people who are bakla, ayahkwew, winkte, hijra, onnabe, aggressives. Before the white Western trans movement really kicked off, Western theorists said they were really just men or women. Now there are people saying these people are “really” trans women, trans men, genderqueer. Yeah, not that much of an improvement in my opinion.
And they don’t get off the hook for including Two-Spirit. Every time I see a list of Western gender identities that ends with two-spirit I get more annoyed. Because they don’t want to support actual Native two-spirit people and the way we understand gender and sexuality. They want a token, they want an exotic connector to a mythological transgender past, they want to appropriate it. And then they give it their own definition, having a male and female spirit. And voila! Everything is nicely categorizable in it’s scientific box. No need to actually care about how people of color actually think about their own genders.
“Mobile Homecoming is an innovative and loving response to a deep craving for intergenerational connection. A craving that lives in the hearts of queer black same gender loving elders and visionaries. A craving that has taken over the minds of two young queer black women. Julia Wallace of Queer Renaissance and Alexis Pauline Gumbs of BrokenBeautiful Press have decided to dedicate the next phase of their lives to collecting and amplifying the social organizing herstories of black women, trans men, and gender queer visionaries who have been refusing the limits of heteronormativity and opening the world up by being themselves in the second half of the 20th century.
We believe that the stories of how trans and cis-gendered women, trans men and genderqueer black people grew their own bravery and created community are priceless resources for our communities and the communities of the future. We want to know how these warriors nurtured their deviant selves, we want to know how they raised their children, we want to know how they supported each other, we want to know how they created a culture of love and inclusion despite facing multiple oppressions and social stigmas. We believe that these stories should live forever in our open mouths and our hands reaching for each other. We believe that these herstories are the seeds of a necessary transformation in our culture where deviance is acknowledged as creativity and every member of our communities is lifted up and supported for fulfilling their vision. We see the need to reinvoke submerged traditions of gazing at each other in wonder and taking care of each other diligently.
We understand the modes of survival in our black queer communities which include:
- social support organizing
- artistic creativity
- spiritual transformation
- revolutionary interpersonal relationships
are our key resources as we transform the meaning of life.
“We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For”- June Jordan
‘I know the anger that lies inside me like I know beat of my heart and the taste of my spit. It is easier to be angry than to hurt. Anger is what I do best. It is easier to be furious than to be yearning. Easier to crucify myself in you than to take on the threatening universe of whiteness by admitting we are worth wanting each other.’ - Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider
I, too, know anger. My body contains as much anger as water. It is the material from which I have built my house: blood red bricks that cry in the rain. It is what pulls my tie and gold chains taut around my neck; fills my penny loafers and my Nikes; molds my Calvins and gray flannels to my torso. It is the face and posture I show the world. It is the way, sometimes the only way, I am granted an audience. [emphasis added] It is sometimes the way I show affection. I am angry because of the treatment I am afforded as a Black man. That fiery anger is stoked additionally with the fuels of contempt and despisal shown me by my community because I am gay. I cannot go home as who I am.” - Joseph Beam, Brother to Brother: Words from the Heart
No Justice When Women Fight Back
Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00 By Victoria Law, Truthout | News Analysis
What do a nineteen-year-old lesbian from New Jersey, a 23-year-old trans woman in Minneapolis and a 31-year-old mother in Florida have in common? All three were attacked, all three fought back and all three were arrested. All three are currently in prison while their attackers remain free. Oh, yes, and all three are black women.
Our Families: LGBT Latin@, African-American, and Asian & Pacific Islander StoriesThis video features Latin@ families from Oregon, USA sharing their personal stories of struggle, acceptance, and family and the intersections between race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. To learn more about Our Families go to http://www.basicrights.org/ourfamilies/.
This could be a good resource in terms of coming out, for those who haven’t come out yet, for those who just recently have come out, or even for those who have been out for a while. Sometimes, it’s just nice for you and/or your family to see that other people went through/are going through similar things and the series offers a range of experiences, not just what people want to see/hear which is nice.
This video is one part of a three part series. To see the others…
Our Families: LGBT African American Stories - http://youtu.be/m1AYIxGM_2g
Our Families: LGBT Asian and Pacific Islander Stories - http://youtu.be/OJMqIEBf2lY