Tag Archives: lgbt

Video: Jay Smooth and W. Kamau Bell discuss homophobia and hip-hop

By Arturo R. García

I thought W. Kamau Bell’s interview with Jay Smooth was worth sharing and getting our readers’ impressions.

After some talk about Kanye West’s run-in with Jimmy Kimmel and the appearance of a White Jesus character at the first show of West’s new tour, the discussion turns toward the LGBT community and hip-hop, and Jay acknowledges the generation gap at work — while acknowledging the presence of LGBT rappers — in commercial circles.

“There’s a sort of old-fogey, anti-gay Tea Party contingent among hip-hoppers my age,” Jay tells Bell. “They see the tide of history turning against them, so they’re becoming this really loud, freaked-out minority who thinks that our culture’s going to lose its moral center if people are openly gay or wear skinny jeans and things like that.”

Jay also name-checks James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin and points out that the modern LGBT rights movement began with a “bar fight” — the seminal encounter at Stonewall.

“There’s nobody more gangster than the LGBT community,” Jay explains “If they knew their history, like, Rick Ross would be pretending to be gay instead of pretending to be a drug lord.”

Racializens, your thoughts on the interview?

Queer Web Series Worth Watching

By  Joseph Lamour

Leslievillegiffinal

The Summer Doldrums, as I like to call the break network television gives us from June to September, are quickly approaching. Hot temperatures and a new season of The Bachelorette go hand-in-hand, and I take that as my television telling me, “Go Outside.” But, like all couch potatoes, I just turn from one tube to another. Join me as I say ta-ta to my TV, and hello to my Macbook Pro. Below the cut are two queer web series worth watching.

This post comes with a STRONG LANGUAGE warning… for some of you. See what I mean, after the jump.

Continue reading

The Racialicious Links Roundup 3.7.13

I could have sought out Blackface Geordi or the Alexandra Jolson Walking Dead Trio. I could have explained to them how blackface has been used to lock black entertainers out of the entertainment business. I could have talked about how blackface has been used to dehumanize black people, which in turns makes it easier to think of them as being different and weird and so on. I could talk to them about the utter savagery that America, and the colonies before it, and Europe in general has forced upon the black race, whether African or American or some combo of the two. I could do that in my sleep at this point.

But why does it fall to me to do that? Why does the butt of the joke, the guy who looks at someone “having some innocent fun” that is explicitly something that has been used to destroy and degrade people who look like me? “Listen, maybe if you just told this guy punching you in your guts that it hurts, he’d stop? Maybe he doesn’t know?”

“Boy, if only someone told those colonists that maybe they shouldn’t slaughter native peoples…”

Nah, son. People are going to do what they want to do. Somebody should tell them what’s up. But that ain’t on me. It’s their mess, and I’m expected to clean it up? No. They’ve got parents. They’ve got teachers. They’ve got friends. They’ve got people who love them. Somebody should have told ‘em, but expecting me to do it? To always be on call? That requires a retainer, and you can’t afford me.

If you’ll recall, this new network is being billed as a 24 hour news and entertainment channel for English speaking Latinos in the United States.  En efecto it will be one more channel in the pool of hundreds of other selections already out there that will attempt to pull in US Latinos by offering more Hispanic-infused content in English rather than Spanish.  It’s the first such venture for both ABC and Univision, pero as some experts are already pointing out in order for it to be successful Fusion will need to pull in more than only a US Latino audience.

“This audience identifies as Americans first,” said Larry Lubin, co-founder and president of Lubin Lawrence Inc., a brand consultancy that advised both companies, to the New York Times.  He also stressed that the venture needed to broaden its appeal.  “The brand will be a failure if it only appeals to Latinos.”

The legions of teens swinging bats and diving for ground balls each year on Dominican fields must negotiate a system with little in the way of support or a safety net. Whereas Major League Baseball requires all 189 minor league teams in the United States to have certified athletic trainers and “all reasonable medical supplies,” no such requirement exists at the Dominican academies. Nearly two years after Guillén’s death, Mother Jones found that 21 of MLB’s 30 teams lack certified trainers in the Dominican Republic, including the Nationals.

Rafael Pérez, head of Dominican operations for Major League Baseball, said his office’s role is to provide services to the clubs, not wag a regulatory finger at them: “Sometimes people have a negative reaction when things are imposed,” he said. That’s why the Nationals faced no sanctions, even though one of their players died of an entirely treatable illness. They had followed the rules, but those rules don’t require the teams to do very much. Pérez insisted that the league has aimed to improve facilities and standards in recent years, albeit on a voluntary basis: “Some clubs are having a harder time than others. But they all have great intentions.”

The reality is that a stark double standard persists, said Arturo Marcano, a Venezuelan-born lawyer who a decade ago coauthored a book on corruption and youth exploitation in MLB’s Dominican operations. League officials recognize that the system is flawed and that it should be improved, he said. “They always say, ‘We’re working on it,’ or, ‘Things are getting better.’ But in the end, it’s the same response they’ve been giving since 2002.”

When I hit puberty, my homosexuality was something I could not let slip. I did not want to disappoint my traditional Filipino parents, and in that vein, I grew angry toward them and thought that they would never understand my feelings and what I was going through.

So I basically rejected them. I ignored anything that had to do with being Filipino. I loathed family get-togethers, Filipino events and anything that had to deal with the community, because I thought that like my parents, Filipinos — whom I constantly heard mocking gay people, calling them “bakla,” which can be interpreted as “f-ggot” — couldn’t possibly fathom what it actually means to be gay.

I spent about 10 years, from around age 13 to when I came out to my parents at 22, discovering and cultivating my gay pride. That became my priority, and my culture was put on the back burner. Although I wasn’t out and proud, I was internally out and proud, and that’s all I needed and all that mattered. I read every gay news outlet out there, which made me feel that I was not alone and that I was part of the greater LGBT community. I especially cherished all the coming-out stories that resulted in acceptance and love. I’d well up, let go and cry, and ultimately I’d ponder whether I too could have the strength to tell my parents that I’m gay. I’d fantasize that my story could one day be told.

Last month the actor Forest Whitaker was stopped in a Manhattan delicatessen by an employee. Whitaker is one of the pre-eminent actors of his generation, with a diverse and celebrated catalog ranging from “The Great Debaters” to “The Crying Game” to “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.” By now it is likely that he has adjusted to random strangers who can’t get his turn as Idi Amin out of their heads. But the man who approached the Oscar winner at the deli last month was in no mood for autographs. The employee stopped Whitaker, accused him of shoplifting and then promptly frisked him. The act of self-deputization was futile. Whitaker had stolen nothing. On the contrary, he’d been robbed.

The deli where Whitaker was harassed happens to be in my neighborhood. Columbia University is up the street. Broadway, the main drag, is dotted with nice restaurants and classy bars that cater to beautiful people. I like my neighborhood. And I’ve patronized the deli with some regularity, often several times in a single day. I’ve sent my son in my stead. My wife would often trade small talk with whoever was working checkout. Last year when my beautiful niece visited, she loved the deli so much that I felt myself a sideshow. But it’s understandable. It’s a good deli.

Since the Whitaker affair, I’ve read and listened to interviews with the owner of the establishment. He is apologetic to a fault and is sincerely mortified. He says that it was a “sincere mistake” made by a “decent man” who was “just doing his job.” I believe him. And yet for weeks now I have walked up Broadway, glancing through its windows with a mood somewhere between Marvin Gaye’s “Distant Lover” and Al Green’s “For the Good Times.”

In modern America we believe racism to be the property of the uniquely villainous and morally deformed, the ideology of trolls, gorgons and orcs. We believe this even when we are actually being racist. In 1957, neighbors in Levittown, Pa., uniting under the flag of segregation, wrote: “As moral, religious and law-abiding citizens, we feel that we are unprejudiced and undiscriminating in our wish to keep our community a closed community.”

One of the characters on the CBS show “Mike & Molly” joked about drunken Indians in Arizona, a state that is home to 21 federally recognized American Indian tribes. Although drinking and selling alcohol largely is banned on reservations, it can easily be found in border towns, brought in by bootleggers or sneaked past authorities.

No one disputes that public intoxication is a problem on and off the reservations, but tribal members say alcoholism often is linked to poverty, hopelessness and a history of trauma within American Indian families that is hard to overcome. American Indians and Alaska Natives die at a higher rate from alcoholism than other Americans, according to federal data, and authorities say alcohol fuels a majority of violent crimes on reservations.

“You can see somebody who is drunk and tripping over themselves and it’s easy to make fun of them,” said Erny Zah, a spokesman for the Navajo Nation, which extends into Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. “But the disease itself isn’t funny, the coming home late at night, possibly beating on family members, the absence of family members, the fear it instills in a lot of children.”

The Native American Journalists Association called on CBS to apologize, saying it’s inexplicable for a highly entertaining show to resort to humor at the expense of Arizona tribes. The group urged screenwriters to think twice about what might offend minority groups and to work to overcome stereotypes.

Links Roundup 2.14.13

Richard LaGravenese forbade us from reading the book. He said, “Do not touch the book.” I got the book. I read half of it and then I put it down, because Amma is a maid, and I just said, “OK, there’s nothing I can learn from this.” This is a total re-imagining of the character, and I like it. I’m going to be confident and bold and say I like it because, listen, I understand and I respect the book, and I think the book is wonderful, but this is 2013, and I think that when black people are woven into the lives of characters in 2013, then I think they play other roles than maids. I think that that needs to be explored, and I hope that the audience is willing to suspend their disbelief and embrace what Richard LaGravenese has given them.

For a few years, the Kansas City Star has referred to the Washington NFL team as such. Last year, Washington City Paper held a “re-naming” contest and settled on “Pigskins.” Around that same time, DCist, unannounced, started using the shorthand “‘Skins” as a means of dancing around the official title. It’s not the first time this website has teased the team about its name; in March 2011, after the team threatened to sue The Washington Post because the paper’s pro football blog included the team’s name followed by the word “Insider,” we responded in support of Post by referring to the team as the “R*******.” (The Post’s other sports blogs—Nationals Journal, Wizards Insider, and Capitals Insider—exist with no known acrimony from the respective franchises they cover.)

But in reality, the football team’s name continues to be out there. Last week, at a Smithsonian event in which panels of academics, activists, and journalists debated the impact of the use of Native American imagery and nicknames in professional sports, the Post’s Mike Wise and USA Today’s Erik Brady were unsparing in their criticism of the Washington football team’s name, and made no secret of their discomfort of sometimes having to write it in their columns. Meanwhile, two of Wise’s colleagues in Metro—Courtland Milloy and Robert McCartney—have written in the past week that it is long past time for the local NFL squad to change its branding. The Post’s ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, joined that chorus yesterday.

Unfortunately, as Wise said at the National Museum of the American Indian last week, the only way team owner Dan Snyder will even consider authorizing a name change is if the team’s financial success hinges on such an action. “If one athlete can kick Dan Snyder in the pocketbook, I believe he will begin to look at the issue differently,” he said.

A top assistant to a Univisión news boss trashed Sen. Marco Rubio on his aide’s Facebook page, calling the Republican lawmaker a “loser” and “a token slave boy.”

It’s the latest attack in a lengthy feud between the Florida senator and the powerful Spanish-language network that conservatives charge is anti-GOP and anti-Rubio.

The latest incident began Wednesday night after Rubio’s spokesman, Alex Burgos, announced the high-profile Florida senator would give the GOP’s first-ever bilingual rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

That led Univisión employee Angelica Artiles to let loose a string of partisan criticisms.

“Oh. wow, the loser is going to speak after our President,” Artiles wrote on spokesman Alex Burgos’ Facebook page at 9:33 p.m. Wednesday. “Anything to get publicity. Ask him to do us a favor and stay home that night.”

Just as New York area transwomen were extremely ticked off about the transphobic reporting of the New York that came to a head in the story that was done on Lorena Escalera, our West Coast sisters are highly pissed off about the transphobic reporting in the West Coast’s paper of record that has now come to anger raising levels with Sam Quinones’ recent LA Times article about Hollywood’s sex workers that focused on the murdered Cassidy Vickers.

The Quinones article disrespectfully referred to Vickers and the other trans sex workers as “male hookers dressed as women” and “men with women’s breasts and clothes”.

Friday Announcement: Native Youth Sexual Health Network Liveblogs 22nd International Two Spirit Gathering

The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, founded and led by the R’s Jessica Yee, will liveblog the 22nd International Two Spirit Gathering, which will be held this weekend, from September 3-6.

22nd International Two Spirit Gathering

The retreat, as described on the website:

The gathering will take place…at the Dr. Jessie Saulteaux Resource Centre, Beausejour, Manitoba, Canada (64 kilometers or 40 miles) northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Aboriginal/Native American gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people, their partners, friends & families are invited to gather in the land of the Cree, Dene, Dakota, Inuit, Metis, Ojibway-Cree and Ojibway.

Check here for the updates from the event.

Justice Delayed, Denied, and Disgraceful

by Guest Contributor Monica Roberts

It seems that no matter where we live or what decade we’re talking about, when the justice system concerns transwomen of color, justice is delayed, denied, and disgraceful.

Back in 1998, William Palmer, the man who killed Chanelle Pickett in Boston was given a 2 1/2 year sentence with 6 months suspended, and 5 years probation. Never mind the fact that Palmer strangled Pickett, then slept for six hours next to Chanelle’s lifeless body lying beside his bed before he turned himself in. The judge presiding over the case commented bitterly to the defendant at the time “Mr. Palmer should kiss the ground the defense counsel walks on.”

On August 12, 2002 Stephanie Thomas and Ukea Davis die in a hail of bullets on the same southeast Washington DC street corner that Tyra Hunter died due to EMT neglect. As of this writing there’s not only been no arrest, but the execution style killings aren’t even classified as a hate crime.

Never mind the fact that rumors in the community persist that the trigger men who executed the grisly crime are guys who picked up the two transwomen on dates and found out their transgender status after the fact.

Tiffany Berry’s killer, DeAndre Blake, walked the streets of Memphis, TN as a free man for almost two years after being released on a ridiculously low $20,000 bond. Blake admitted he had killed Berry on February 9, 2006 because he did not like the way she had “touched” him. He was arrested last month for killing his own two year old daughter.

Even across The Pond, the recent trial of 18 year old Shanniel Hyatt for the murder of Kellie Telesford had the same depressing results.

So what’s causing these miscarriages of justice?

For starters, we’ve always had the situation in this country in which the lives of people of color aren’t as valued as the life a white male or female. Toss transgender status into that mix, and it’s a foul recipe for injustice.

Add to this recipe for injustice trans panic defenses. What the defendant will do is claim for example, that when they discovered that the woman they’re with is discovered to be transgender, it causes them to become so enraged that they committed the crime they ordinarily wouldn’t have done and were not of sound mind and body when they did it.

In a nutshell, they’re trying to blame the victim and use the sensationalist nature of transgender issues against them in order to get away with murder.

And too many times it works. Continue reading