Monthly Archives: July 2017

From ‘The Breakfast Club’ to White House, transphobia takes center stage

From the corners of hip-hop to the nation’s capital, trans lives are on display in a violent intersection of politics and pop culture. During the same week that President Trump announced a military ban on transgender service men and women, popular radio show “The Breakfast Club” has yet again found itself in hot-water after guest, Lil Duval, a low-budget comedian, joked about…

Trump’s military trans ban is disgusting and sadly expected

President Donald Trump has again proven to be no friend to the LGBT community. In a series of tweets Wednesday morning, he makes clear that transgender individuals cannot serve their country in any capacity.

According to your president:

After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow… Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.

Last June, the Pentagon ended the ban of transgender people being able to serve openly in the U.S. military. Under then-President Barack Obama, this was part of the increasing progress of the inclusion of gays, lesbians, and bisexual service members. Certainly everything was not perfect and much was to be desired about military service – because the focus was more on inclusion and visibility than safety – but it was a conversation worth happening.

Read the full article on The Grio.

PrEP and Pleasure: We Need More Holistic Sexual Health Conversations

I have concluded that I hate condoms: the smell, the feel, the removal of pleasure. Hate them.

I understand that not wearing them -- and not forcing sexual partners to wear them -- could expose me to a greater likelihood of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (with the exception of HIV, as I am now on pre-exposure prophylaxis [PrEP]). But, I have enough sexual health knowledge to understand the informed decision I am making. That's the beauty of holistic sexual health and informed consent: understanding potential risks from actions, but being invested in one's body enough to realize that bodily autonomy and integrity also matter.

Read the full post on The Body PRO.

Maia Campbell’s viral videos are no laughing matter

Recently, a video surfaced online of former actress Maia Campbell appearing to go through a relapse or experiencing a mental health break. The video shows Campbell missing a tooth, wearing a black bra, pumping gas, and describing an alleged rape. For people born in the 1980s, what makes this painful to watch is that we saw Campbell – and all of her beautiful dark-skinned glory – star as Tiffany Warren in NBC/UPN’s In The House featuring LL Cool J and Debbie Allen, from 1995-1998.

What’s even more heartbreaking is the realization that a person – “friend” (a rapper later identified as “T-Hood”) or otherwise – was quick to record a troubling interaction as opposed to finding a way of being helpful. In the day of hoping to find popularity from a viral video and using a person’s pain as fodder, this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Read the full article on The Grio.

NRA’s racist propaganda will get Black people killed

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is no stranger to using white supremacist rhetoric to target Black people. Founded in New York in 1871, the NRA is a U.S.-based organization for firearms safety training, shooting skills, and most significantly, gun owners’ rights advocacy. NRA boldly hails itself as the oldest civil-rights organization, a claim as laughable as it is fictitious. What is factual, however, is the historical anti-Blackness of the NRA and that is clear with its latest recruitment video—an all-time-low, even for this racist organization.

In a short, 1 minute and 4 second clip, the NRA exposes viewers to America’s longest, never ending tradition: racism. Though the video— ‘The Violence of Lies’—stops just short of explicitly calling for violence against Black and brown people, it’s rather simple to understand the video’s intention.

Read the full article on The Grio.

Black and Latinx queer people need safe spaces, too

This past Pride month marked the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla. At approximately 2:00 AM, 29-year-old Omar Mateen – who allegedly pledged allegiance to ISIS on a 911 phone call during the hate crime and terrorist attack – walked into Pulse on June 12, 2016, killed 49 people, and injured 53 others on the club’s weekly “Latin Night.”

As a Black queer man, it’s hard not to see myself in the victims and survivors. Despite much of the media’s attempt to whitewash this tragedy, the fact that the victims were largely Latinx and Black queer and trans people matters because our communities are often told that safe spaces are not a reality, and only part of our fictitious imaginations. But if Pulse made anything apparent, it is that spaces for Black and Latinx queer people are now, and always have been, necessary.

Read the full article on the Black Youth Project.