On this edition of Last Queer Frontier hosts Nathan & James invite Alaskan locals Tim & Carrie to The Raven to record a QueerMinded favorite, Queers on the Mic! Because... why not ask some fun, intrusive and/or embarrassing questions about love, sex and dating and record it for a podcast? Seems like a great idea to us. Click HERE to check out Tim lube wrestling for a charity event at Pride. The footage was actually shot by Carrie almost 6 months ago, before they officially met each other at the recording of this show. Yep, Anchorage is small.
Queer Voices of Color is a multimedia blog series highlighting personal issues of queer racialized people. Saidue Karmo is a co-host on Queer State of Mind, and a NYC-based performer and real estate professional. (Photo by Ben Taylor/Lit Riot Press )By Saidue Karmo People always told me I was a beautiful baby. An even bigger deed, since I almost died from thrush when I was young. Born on February 22, 1979, in Cincinnati, Ohio, I shortly was shipped to Monrovia, Liberia where I’d live till I was 13. My wide, bright smile and facial structure meant I often received the question “Are you a boy, or are you a girl?” all through my young preteen years. The thought of color was something of a fairytale to me, like a lot of young kids growing up in Africa. We long to come to America to believe what we saw on television. We wanted the toys, to see all the great places and have what the American kids had. This dream would come true, even though it was due to an unfortunate situation. And the dream was quite different than reality. I never realized people saw me as something ‘different’ until I came to the U.S. at thirteen. I arrived and started school at the age of thirteen, and remember being called lots of names and put in many uncomfortable situations. I came to terms with my sexuality at the end of high school and during my early college years, as many do. And, my first group of gay friends were mostly white, as is the case many times. That’s when all the interesting stuff began. I remember them always asking me about black things and experiences I knew nothing about. As a young, naïve African kid I always carried around this notion that people were all equal. Well, that all changed when I first heard the line “You are so much fun and cute…but I don’t date black guys.” I was very confused. I tried to figure out how you could be attracted to someone, but not at the same time. It only got worse when I people shopped me around to all the white guys who ‘liked’ black guys. I remembered feeling very sad and disappointed. The next year, I completely changed the group of people I was hanging around with. I found a group of friends that were all young gay black men. Of course, this is not to say I exclusively had black friends, but my inner circle was. I finally felt a brotherhood (Sisterhood) like I never had before, so it when my next experience happened much later, it shook my world. I remember being out at a club with my friends and dancing the night away. I often fellowship with the other black gays outside of my circle, so it was a great surprise to me when one of them said to me “You are so cute and funny but I wish I was into black guys.” I stepped back and went, ‘Wait? Am I talking to a white woman!?’ This was a normal occurrence during my ten-year stint in Columbus, Ohio. I would have people consistently reminding me that I’M NOT WHITE. This was not exclusive to me but also happening to others around me. I remember seeing a joy in the eyes of some of my black friends’ eyes because they heard that a particular white boy liked black boys. And it made my soul sad to watch it. It got so bad in the city that I had friends who loved other men of color start to give up. Some stopped dating and some deemed every black guy with a white man a ‘Snow Queen’, in order to avoid rejection. I still carried the hope that people should be judged as individuals. Cut to 2006, I moved to NYC living the poor artist dream. I was surrounded by great artists and so many different types of people . I thought, ‘Surely, dating here was definitely going to be better than the Midwest’. It was the spring of 2008 and I was at one of my favorite NYC bars. There was a tall, beautiful black man standing alone and I decided to strike up a conversation. We had many laughs, flirted, drank and exchanged numbers. I was excited as I headed home. I exited my train on my way to my apartment and sent him a text saying, “It was nice meeting you and let's hang soon.” He responded, “It was great and just so you know I am not into black guys.” Here we go again…and it seemed to happen to me a lot, even follow me from place to place. It was the first time I said to myself, ‘I’m not white but am I ugly?’ So many layers define beauty, but it seems that racialized beauty standards have overtaken a community that is supposed to be all-inclusive. I have had this situation happen to me so many times over my past ten years in NYC , I feel jaded by it all. Ninety percent of my messages on apps or online come from someone searching for a BBC (Big Black Cock) or some other racist, fetishizing mess. I encounter it so much, and so badly, that when I travel with my friends, we turn it into a game to see who gets the most disturbing message. There have been many articles on Racism in the gay community although I think many stem from being validated by the white boys. It’s not about their validation. But, it is very hard to live in a world where no matter what you do or how educated you are, your desirability rests on what you are not. And sometimes, even often, people of color hold each other to the same white supremacy based beauty standards and prejudices as some white people do. And as I sit here, 37 and single, It makes me think these words each time I see an attractive guy. “I’m not white, but am I ugly?”
Dear QM Kids: Hey y'all, Orie here. It's been a while since we've posted on our blog so I thought I would reach out and let everyone know what's going on with Queer Minded. We've hit some bumps, and a milestone, and I thought I would share. Since SaRea and I relocated in separate parts of the country, leaving James to head up the Columbus office, we've been conspiring on ways to keep the project going and expand into new territory. And, with the expansion of Queer State of Mind and the Brown Table we've added to our crew. It's been an interesting ride so far - and we've tried (and failed) at a lot. When you're a small team of volunteers (all with full-time jobs) for an organization with big goals, everything is an experiment. Sometimes it's a wonder we even have shows on the air and a website that's up and running (believe me, it's harder than any of us thought). Today, I logged into the blog to get it updated (we've had a LOT going on, and posts or feeds haven't been as current as they should, we're sorry for that) and noticed one thing. We hit 3,000 unique downloads this month. Since we started tracking in 2015, 3,000 episodes of our shows have been loaded to iPhones, tablets, transmitted through RSS feeds and streamed all across the world. Now, let's not get it twisted...the big shows get that in a day or for an episode. But for the little QPOC network from around the way, that meant something. QueerMinded Radio Network is a passion project. We don't make money; In fact, we pay - studio fees, website hosting, etc...we do it because we love it and we dreamed of it, and we were able to bring it to life. It began as a show that just wanted to provide an opportunity for more voices to reach the airwaves, an opportunity for our founders Dwayne and Deo to contribute an LGBTQ perspective to a new network. And then, we decided to try to bring it to anyone who would listen - and create a model for expansion to help our communities across the country. Each week, our hosts connect with listeners on topics big and small, silly and serious and everything in between. We live in a world where you can talk about being queer, or being trans, and/or being black and be reasonably open. That doesn't mean that we live in a world where you can be queer or trans or black and be reasonably open. Despite that long road ahead, the future is bright for us, and for QueerMinded. But we need your help so that we can reach our true potential - connecting queer people of Color around the world, lifting and amplifying voices and contributing to the conversations and decisions that affect our lives. So that we all can be free to be. To help us in our mission - we ask three very important things. If you like our work - Download. Share. Engage. Download our podcast to your favorite device. Share us with your friends, especially if they are Trans or Queer people of Color. And engage with us. Tell us what you think about our shows, our posts, and what you would like to see more of. We're also looking to add new voices to our shows to represent all the communities we can, so if that sounds like something your down for - let us know! We have some exciting things coming up, and we want everyone to be a part. New shows, new projects and more - so stay tuned! Love, O
LGBTQ History Month: Interview with Major! Documentary Filmmakers Annalise Ophelian & StormMiguel Florez
BREAKING: QTPOC Activists Say "cis/whitewashed" "Stonewall" Movie Erases Queer, Trans, POC Participation, Anti-Movie Organzing Ensues
"It's hurtful...it's insulting...it's infuriating...I actually have made the disconcerted effort to not view the trailer," said Elizabeth Marie Rivera, a case worker and activist of trans experience living in New York. "I had a feeling that the trailer...that the movie... was going to be, I'm just going to be plainly honest, garbage." Rivera took to social media shortly after she heard the news, and started posting images on social media explaining her thoughts. The long-time activist, who works with queer and trans youth, made the comparison to James Cameron's "Titanic" and how that fictional story wrapped around the historical event. "Imagine James Cameron filming 'Titanic' with no iceberg," said Rivera. Rivera continued that "Titanic" seemed to stick more to history even with fictional stories, while "Stonewall" seemed to change history for marketing and box-office sales. "The fact that this movie has been made in the way that it has is a good example...a good point to how we're still struggling for visibility, for acknowledgement, for recognition. That we're not even being recognized as being historical figures that created a movement that created rights. And the people who got this started were Marsha P Johnson, Silvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy and others who were there," said Rivera. The IMDB listing for the movie lists a character with the name "Marsha P. Johnson", but is listed far down on the list of characters, in the full cast list on IMDB. Another recognizable name, Ray Castro, is listed as one of the top 5 characters in the movie. Castro, who was born in Puerto Rico, is being played by Puerto Rican actor Johnny Beauchamp according to IMDB records. Emmerich makes a reference in an interview with Vulture that Beauchamp is straight, saying" I think Jeremy did an amazing job playing gay, acting gay, and then there were gay actors who also did an amazing job. It was more about who was the best actor for the part, and I always do it like that." The article also indicated that gays and lesbians were cast, but the one recognizeable trans* character seems to be cast by cis male Brooklyn-born actor of Nigerian heritage Otoja Abit. Beauchamp has also played a trans* identified character on the show Penny Dreadful. The cast list doesn't include Sylvia Rivera or Miss Major. "It's ironic that given the visibility with the trans community that the director would even do this," said Rivera. She noted that with visible trans* storylines becoming more prevalent in media, that it would make sense that the director would want to capitalize on that, and depict more trans* and gender non-conforming people in the initial trailers. Emmerich made a statement on his Facebook page in response to the criticism that the trailer release caused, which also leaves activists like Cordova-Goff unsatisfied. “I hear a lot of 'white savior complex' in that a cis man hears a sad story and thinks it's his responsibility to get the story out there, as if people of Color aren’t trying to do that... for example “Happy Birthday, Marsha!" said Cordova-Goff, in reference to another project in the works focusing on events leading up to that night at Stonewall. And, in light of the attention on "Stonewall" erasing QTPOC stories, many have put the spotlight on that story of legendary activist Marsha P. Johnson co-directed by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel. According to information on the site, the movie is is currently in Post-Production and the film creators are seeking donations to bring it to screen. Cordova-Goff said that supporting movies like "Happy Birthday, Marsha" is really what Hollywood should do to support QTPOC communities. "I honestly think in order to be allies they basically need to be intentional about creating space for people to tell our own stories instead of putting millions towards a white actor telling our story for us," said Cordova-Goff, who said that we need to do a better job of lifting all of our less-visible communities up at once, queer and trans people of color, sex workers, drag queens, all of the most marginalized. And for many who are hopeful that the movie isn't going to be as bad as many think it will be, the biggest impact is that anyone who might watch "Stonewall", they'll come away not knowing the richness of that movement and it's complete diversity. And although Emmerich says that "We are all the same in our struggle for acceptance," Cordova-Goff and others say the interpretation of how he and the writer depicted the events of 1969 shows a clear difference, to the detriment of viewers new to the movement. "They're getting a whitewashed cis-washed version of our actual history. And that’s not doing justice for our communities," said Cordova-Goff. The film is scheduled to debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September, and in wide release thereafter. Until the full movie is released, it's still up for debate how inclusive "Stonewall" will be. But activists like Cordova-Goff and Rivera said that the reality is that our most marginalized communities can't afford to be erased any longer, because their lives depend on it. And whether or not the movie is more accurate than meets the eye, more is to come to make these voices heard, because their communities are still feeling the impact of the injustice, erasure and indifference toward against them - and, as we recognize an alleged 11 murders of trans* women of color this year in America, anti-trans* violence transphobia is still very real and deadly. "It's those types of things that make me realize that we have a long, long, long way to go...and this movie certainly didn't help that," said Rivera.
Who's narrative is it anyway? Transgender women of color started the Stonewall Riot! No movie will erase the true history of the LGBT rights movement. Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera & Miss Major Griffin-Gracy were not background actresses in this movement. They were the leading ladies of this movement. The real revolutionary S.T.A.R.'s! Any movie produced telling you otherwise is a flat out lie! Boycott the @StonewallMovie!!! #WeWillNotBeSilenced #TransHistory #SylviaRivera #MarshaPJohnson #StopTransErasure #TransErasure #StopTheShade #BlackLivesMatter #BlackTransLivesMatter #TransLivesMatter #TransIsBeautiful #ABeautifulTransition #Transgender #TWOC #StonewallMovieFake #StonewallMovie #Disaster #BoycottStonewallMovie #STAR #Stonewall #StonewallInn
by Cameron Scott, QueerMinded Contributor Is It possible to be conscious and Gay?? As it stands, there are many different variations of Black American Consciousness. You have those who are unapologetically black, standing in the face of adversity with all types of "hell naw!". You have your Black Americans who are concerned with identity and respectability politics (what do they think of me, should I code switch etc.) Then you have people like me who stand somewhere in the middle of unapologetically black and your normal independent free thinking American. I like many of my gay brethren, and sisteren (is that a word?) love everything about being a Black American. Our words, music, culture, food and clothing have permeated American culture in such a way that you can’t go anywhere without seeing our influence. But there is a sect of the heterosexual Black culture that feels as though we don’t fit. These people are uber “Black” and use various African references to attest to this. Images of Egyptian Pharaohs are held as icons. Different variations of African folklore are brought up in casual conversation. But when it comes to us gays, if you ask many they will tell you that we do not fit inside of the construct of Black or African American consciousness. For those of you who may not be familiar with the movement, Dictonary.com describes Black Consciousness as: a movement of the 1960s after the civil rights movement of the 1950s, involving the cultivation of pride in a cultural identity for black persons Basically it’s a worldwide communmity that celebrates blackity blackness in all forms. But as with every movement you have your go hards. Conspiracy theories abound, Many so called “conscious” black folk or as I like to call them “The Super Negro”, began changing their pictures to the RBG colors (red,black and green) in protest. A lot of these people felt like the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Marriage for gay folks was an all-out attack on blackness by the powers that be to detract America’s attention away from the violence against black bodies as of late. Not everyone who changed their profile pic to the RBG colors did so with this in mind. But if you were to take a look inside various conscious Facebook groups you would see where the so called movement had its orgins. I belong to many of these groups and let me tell you, I held up the blood stained banner for gayphigay by my lonesome. It was tiring but a brutha don’t mind putting in that work. Now I have my feelings on how the media does it’s news cycles on which will be discussed on another blog but for right now I have a few choice words for my fellow so called “Super Negro” brothers and sisters. First off, I am a black gay man but black first. There is this rhetoric in these so called intelligent circles that the homosexuality is a European construct unknown to Africa prior to colonization. This is completely wrong. We first have to start with the fact that Africa is not a country it is a Continent with thousands of different tribes, dialect, rituals and creeds. To try to lump Africa as one monolithic “thing” is preposterous. Most of these so called “Super Negro’s” call on references of Egypt and ancient Ethiopia not paying attention to the fact that those regions are miles and a desert away from where our so called ancestors came from. Almost 97 percent of Africans transported to the Americas during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade came from West Africa so your ancestors probably came from countries like Nigeria or the region that is now modern day Ghana, not Egypt. Secondly, Homosexuality was present and is still present in many different tribes in Africa till this day. There are many tribes that recognize a “third gender” like the Mukodo Dako amongst the Nilotico Lango men in Uganda. Or you have, the act of homosexual sex between men was know as Bian’nku Ma, in what is now present day Cameroon and was/is considered to bring wealth to the men who participate in it. There are countless other examples that one would only have to do a little research to find. Thirdly, It wasn’t until the Christian missionaries arrived in Africa that the concept of Homosexuality was all out condemned. You have to understand the reasoning for this. Africans were considered non civilized to Europeans who considered themselves to be the upmost forms of human beings on the planet. Christian concepts were brought to the would be slaves to tame them and keep them calm. African kings did indeed sell some of their slaves to the colonist participating in the slave trade, but slavery in Africa was more like indentured servitude where the slave could work or buy his way to freedom. Once the African kings heard of the harsh treatment that the slaves they sold were receiving and learned from escapee’s the plan to brainwash their fellow man, all hell broke loose. This is the part of the slave narrative that is never ever EVER told. It is widely believed that homosexual acts were ceremoniously done between warriors before battle as a marker for good luck and for a while the Africans were kicking the Europeans ass… Until they came back with guns. So yes, Shaka Zulu an nem did butt stuff. A lot. Without going any further into a whole dissertation on the presence of homosexuals in Africa pre colonization, I say all this to say that, "No, mister “Super Negro”, you are wrong." The claim or allegation that gay Africans did not exist before European take over and, that the original black man was and could not ever be gay is absurd. There is no evidence that supports this theory; and, frankly, common sense would tell you otherwise. If all of this were inherently true then I myself and a million other black gay men across the globe must be unicorns or something because last time i looked in the mirror I damn sure well was indeed black. As hell. Being gay does not take away from my blackness in any sense of the word. To be considered conscious one must have a full understanding of self. Having a full understanding of self is what led me to come out the closet. How can I not be conscious when I am the full personification of the definition of the word? Furthermore, for anyone in the conscious community to align themselves with post-colonial ideals of black masculinity is giving up to the construct of white supremacy which is something that the so called “Super Nego” vehemently detests. I would expect more from you "Mister Mega Negro." It should also be noted that it was black trans women and drag queens that threw the first punch in the Stonewall Riots, sparking the whole gay rights movement. Yes black women are magic, no matter which form they may come in. When you pray to your African Orisha, give a shout out to Erinle, an African Orisha who was known to be androgynous, wear refined garments and is the official gods of the gays. This comes out of the Yourba tradition in West Africa, the area that our ancestors came from. So while you pick and choose which tribes to take traditions from, remember that there is a queen that members of your bloodlines prays and gives offerings to, to this very day.So yes a black gay man can indeed be conscious. To have knowledge of self is powerful, and it takes a lot of power to be this fucking fierce amongst the world of racism and micro aggressions rather it’s coming from the so called “man”, or that ambiguously fragmented group “The Hyper Conscious, Pseudo Conflicted Super Negro” There is no way in hell that I or any other black gay man should let a small group of Mega Nigga’s police my blackness while being black themselves. The whole concept is stupid when you think about it. In all seriousness, Black Gay Americans were elated at the Supreme Courts decision on gay marriage, but we also felt a twinge of immense sadness due to the fact that yes one part of our minority status is victorious, but on the other hand our brothers are getting shot up by police, and our churches are being burned. Hell yeah we are still angry. Foaming at the mouth even, and aint no way some simple minded, dread head wearing, sandlewood oil rubbing, incense burning Super Negro going to down play my emotional connection to my people and the community to which I love and fight for. Fuck y'all, my fist stays up. Ashé.
We’ve just received word that the Supreme Court of the United States has declared in a 5-4 decision that marriage equality is now the law of the land. The decision came just after 10am this morning, with the court holding that the fourteenth amendment requires a state to licens a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognized those marriawges The decision overturns that of the 6th circuit court of appeals – the group of cases included Obergefell V Hodges from Ohio, as well as cases in Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee… We’ll bring you more on this historic decision as information becomes available.