What It’s Like Being A Faggot At A Black Barber Shop

CHATpdx:

“For almost a decade my staple barber shop was Smooth’s in New Haven, right on Whalley Avenue, right next to Popeye’s. I’d roll out of my dorm on a Saturday morning and put on the most heterosexual, straight-acting drag I could think of and, really, whatever was left on the floor: sneakers and my ugliest, least skinny pair of jeans, a plain white t-shirt. And I would even sometimes wear a baseball cap or a hoodie and cover my head, just so my queerness wouldn’t be legible. This wasn’t me, this was the boy I needed to be to get a haircut.”

So thoughtful – This is what intersectionality really means.

Originally posted on Thought Catalog:

When I was younger my grandmother forced me to go to the barber shop and I hated going because it really hurt. But I had to look presentable for the Lord and, well, “Pretty Hurts,” Beyoncé would tell me. Now I barely go two weeks without getting my hair cut, but I hate going for different reasons. After more than 20 years of linings and shape ups, going to the black barber still gives me serious anxiety.

They give me anxiety because black or latino barber shops can be some of the most homophobic spaces for gay men of color.

For almost a decade my staple barber shop was Smooth’s in New Haven, right on Whalley Avenue, right next to Popeye’s. I’d roll out of my dorm on a Saturday morning and put on the most heterosexual, straight-acting drag I could think of and, really, whatever was left on the…

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Emmerdale

CHATpdx:

Great personal message from outside the US!

Originally posted on Alex Sparrowhawk: HIV & Me:

13.01.14

“I’m HIV positive” – not a line I was expecting to hear whilst watching Emmerdale a week ago, they’d kept this storyline quiet from the online spoiler pages and press, but I had an immediate and instinctual feeling that this was a good thing.

There are many reasons why this storyline is important. Firstly it isn’t conforming to modern stereotypes society holds of the ‘typical’ HIV patient. Val isn’t a gay man, a black man/ woman or an intravenous drug user. Val is a middle aged, white and married woman living in the countryside ‘up north’ not a council estate in one of our major cities. She’s not portrayed as someone outstandingly clever but nor is she pictured as stupid. Val has a husband, grown up children, one of whom is gay. She runs a bed and breakfast business, in essence she’s really rather normal.

And that’s the fundamental message…

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Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. by Musa Okwonga

Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel.

by Musa Okwonga / @okwonga / http://www.okwonga.com/?p=869

Dear Revisionists,

“Mandela will never, ever be your minstrel. Over the next few days you will try so, so hard to make him something he was not, and you will fail. You will try to smooth him, to sandblast him, to take away his Malcolm X. You will try to hide his anger from view. Right now, you are anxiously pacing the corridors of your condos and country estates, looking for the right words, the right tributes, the right-wing tributes. You will say that Mandela was not about race. You will say that Mandela was not about politics. You will say that Mandela was about nothing but one love, you will try to reduce him to a lilting reggae tune. “Let’s get together, and feel alright.” Yes, you will do that. …

Mandela was about politics and he was about race and he was about freedom and he was even about force, and he did what he felt he had to do and given the current economic inequality in South Africa he might even have died thinking he didn’t do nearly enough of it.”

Read the rest: http://www.okwonga.com/?p=869

Powerful, Radical, Honest. Remembering a great human

nelson