Em-URGE-ing Voices

Posts Tagged: race

NQAPIA: The Foreign Concept of Home

The biggest parts of my identity consist of being API, queer, and a sweet southern gentleman. Never in my life did I think these three communities could possibly come together. The National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA Southern Summit launched its first of five regional leadership conferences this weekend! Being from red states and located in the Bible belt, it was important to hear about the political momentum necessary to overcome being such a small community. For the first and only time in my life, I felt at home. Everyone says y’all and complains about the weather just the same and southern hospitality has never been more comforting than warm fried rice and catered Indian cuisine.

The Non-Issue of “White Face”

A few days ago, singer, songwriter, and actor Nick Cannon took to Instagram to promote his upcoming album “White People Party Music” by donning a white persona he calls Conner Smallnut. While some fans thought Cannon’s impersonation was on point, others took to their keyboards in protest, claiming that Cannon’s actions were ignorant, racist, and hypocritical. As a black person I have to admit that I occasionally forget how easy white people seem to get their panties in a bunch over fear that they are being victimized by racism. It continues to boggle my mind that this is a true worry for many white people, because it’s so clear that these people do not grasp the concept of racism.

Sex-Selection Abortion Bans: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

In 2012, Congress failed to pass the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), which would ban sex, and race based abortions. Shrouded in faux feminism and blatant Asian Pacific Island (API) discrimination, officially 8 states now allow for these laws. Doctors are now investigators and patients are now suspects, especially API women. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum calls South Dakota’s recent passage of HD 1162, “a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Supporters of South Dakota’s bill called opponents hypocritical for not supporting a bill that incites “gender violence.” Let’s be clear here. This is the first time some of these lawmakers have given two shits about women. It clearly reflects in their Congressional demographic. It’s upsetting that politicians want to use feminism and women’s rights to drive a wedge between abortion supporters when they’re normally the same lawmakers denying women… Read more »

An Open Letter to White Queer People

In 1969, in the early hours of June 28th, in a small corner of New York City, police raided Stonewall Inn. It’s been close to fifty years since that day and a lot has been lost and convoluted to fit the more dominant discourse of queer activism. Now, I am not claiming to be an expert on the Stonewall riots in any way. But let me be clear about what I do know. I do know that a budding concept of trans* identities were coming to fruition in the late 1950s and 60s. And that a lot of these people, men, women, and non-binary, began their transitions through drag. And I do know that on June 28, 1969, it was a black drag queen that picked up the first brick and… Read more »

Why You Need to Know About Telemedicine Abortions

Imagine that you are a college student who has just taken their first unexpected positive pregnancy test. You decide that an abortion is your best choice, but the closest clinic is across your state, 3 hours away. You’re practically eating ramen for two out of three meals a day, and the cost of an abortion, plus possible gas money and a night at a hotel, adds up quickly. What do you do? That’s where a telemedicine abortion would come in. Telemedicine abortion: Sounds like a thing of the future, right? 

Creating Change: The Importance of Belonging

This past weekend I had the amazing opportunity to attend Creating Change 2014, a conference hosted by the Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in Houston, Texas. I must admit, I entered the conference with certain expectations created and based off of my experience with previous conferences. But my expectations were completely blown out of the water. Creating Change was more than I could have ever hoped for. It was a safe space. It was a place for activism. It was place to see people like myself and those different from me come together and embrace our similarities and celebrate our differences. Never in my life had I been able to be surrounded by other queer identifying people who looked like me. For someone in that position, seeing so many queer… Read more »

Black Herstory Month: Audre Lorde and Lessons I Learned about Black Womanhood

The first book by Audre Lorde I read was Sister Outsider. It was March and I was getting ready to go home for spring break. I didn’t want to go back home after the months of freedom I enjoyed being away at college. To prepare for my trip home I went to the library to pick up two books I had waiting for me. Essex Hemphill’s Ceremonies and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sister Outsider happened to be sitting next to Ceremonies. I almost didn’t pick it up, thanks to white feminism. You see, like most Women’s Studies departments around the US, the Women’s Studies Department at my school is really great at talking about intersectionality. Doing intersectionality however, is another story. I had gotten so sick of seeing white… Read more »

The Other “F” Word: Enough Mansplanation

“Feminism: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche The use of language and the connotation attached to words we use can be quite divisive. The word feminism, in itself, has become a word many men are turned off by. Gender, sexual orientation, and race have a default image response to the oppressed group, but we never examine the other half of the equation—the privileged group. I definitely benefit from male privilege myself. I still have trouble checking my privilege and acknowledging my faults, but we are all still venturing in our own feminist journeys and there’s still a lot to learn along the way, especially for me.

What Banning Books in Schools Says About Who Matters in America

I got into a lot of trouble as a teenager. But this time was different. It was spring of 2008. I was sitting by our desktop, my father was getting a cup of water in the kitchen. I don’t remember exactly what we were talking about but I remember distinctly saying “I don’t like people, I’d rather read.” My father’s face after I made this statement was…distressing. My father will gladly tell anyone how I distress him with the things I say, but this proclamation, me preferring the company of books over people was beyond distressing to him. It’s not that I don’t like people, I just like books better. Any time I have to socialize, I agonise over the fact that I’m losing hours I could spend reading. Nine… Read more »

“Hey Mrs. Carter”: Navigating Beyonce’s Feminism

The queen Beyonce unexpectedly dropped a new album and it has been a holiday gift for all. Her 17 music videos and 14 tracks on her self-titled album has had feminists chiming in on her new songs with messages of empowerment, positive sexuality, and changing what it means to be a feminist of color. We must first understand that Beyonce’s feminism, like most,  is not perfect and has a lot of growth, as do all the work done in the reproductive justice movement. Constantly criticizing each other can be detrimental, but we must give credit where it’s due and reinforce constructive criticism.