Current Project: Queer Zine in Orange County
Radio is power. Listen to UC Rebel Radio!
"the importance of imagining an alternative to the current order is not to lay down a precise programme for the future, but rather to provide a point of alterity or exteriority as a way of interrogating the limits of this order. Moreover, we should think of utopia in terms of action in the immediate sense, of creating alternatives within the present, at localised points…. Utopia is something that emerges in political struggles themselves." -Saul Newman
Here are white men poised to run big marijuana businesses, dreaming of cashing in big—big money, big businesses selling weed—after 40 years of impoverished black kids getting prison time for selling weed, and their families and futures destroyed. Now, white men are planning to get rich doing precisely the same thing? …
After waging a brutal war on poor communities of color, a drug war that has decimated families, spread despair and hopelessness through entire communities, and a war that has fanned the flames of the very violence it was supposedly intended to address and control; after pouring billions of dollars into prisons and allowing schools to fail; we’re gonna simply say, we’re done now? I think we have to be willing, as we’re talking about legalization, to also start talking about reparations for the war on drugs, how to repair the harm caused. …
At the end of apartheid in South Africa there was an understanding that there could be no healing, no progress, no reconciliation without truth. You can’t just destroy a people and then say ‘It’s over, we’re stopping now.’ You have to be willing to deal with the truth, deal with the history openly and honestly.
Michelle Alexander, associate professor of law at Ohio State University and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness quoted from White Men Get Rich from Legal Pot, Black Men Stay in Prison. Alexander’s thesis is that the USA is addicted to caste systems, regardless of what is deemed legal or illegal. (via nezua)
1) having white privilege doesn’t make you a bad person. Not admitting you have privilege and then not working to educate other white folks on that privilege means you are NOT standing in solidarity with people of color/anti-racist work. Period.
2) if you’re white, you benefit from society. You have the luxury to walk through this world without judgment BASED ON the color of your skin. You don’t have to change your vernacular and your body language around the cops or around possible employers. You see people with similar body types consistently in the media. You are never asked to speak on behalf of your entire race on issues.
3) White people do not have perfect lives. White people have hardships. So do people of color. But white peoples’ hardships are not created because of their race. People of color have hardships BECAUSE of their race.
4) White people can always walk away from a conversation about race and racism. People of color cannot, they are reminded of their skin color and their “difference” every day.
5) White people can never fully understand what it is like to walk through the world as a person of color.
6) It is not a person of color’s responsibility to teach white folks about anti-racism and anti-racist work. Being an ally and standing in solidarity means doing a lot of the work yourself. Demanding it from PoC and then rationalizing away your ignorance is not only selfish, it’s another symptom of your privilege (see number 4).
7) Again, having white privilege doesn’t make you a bad person. Being aware of your privilege and reflecting on it makes you a more considerate, awesome person.
8) Histories of colonialism, slavery, and genocide are very much alive and well. And being from Western countries, we are all complicit in its continuation. Only by acknowledging our privileges (I certainly have privilege in many other areas which I constantly reflect on) can we start to break down the violently racist systems that create our current world.
9) White privilege and reflecting on that privilege is a lifelong task. You can never fully develop a tool kit or a set or “rules” to be completely anti-racist. But approaching the ideal is the goal.
10) You are an awesome person for reading through all of this. Now start reading and learning!
I never understood how someone would actually try to debate that having a race preference isn’t racist and that it’s somehow should be accepted. It makes no sense logically. Let’s take black people for example, One would say that they don’t like black people as romantic partners. That’s millions of people that you’ve written off from the get go. Why? The skin color? That doesn’t make sense. The black race has entire spectrum of skin colors and tones. Are all those different skin tones unwanted because they belong to black people? What about other races with similar skin tones? Are they preferred because they are simply not black? Same with hair, culture, language. What about mixed people? Are they not preferred because they are part black or does the non-black part make them valid. It’s completely racist to judge and entire group of people as undesirable because they fall under an abstract grouping. It removes the idea of individuality and denies people humanity. And that’s without the context of certain races have been called ugly and undesirable by entire societies for the past millennium.
preach. I’m especially side-eyein’ you cis normative gay men.
- Intergenerational Relationships/Interactions: I’ve observed and experienced a lot of older queer folks attempting to fuck a younger member of the community under the guise of mentorship. It’s fucking abusive and disgusting, and I think we need to work, as a community, to hold those people accountable.
- The lack of healthy queer relationship resources. We have no examples of healthy queer relationships, and I think that a lot of queer couples regurgitate the heteropatriarchy because that’s what we’re fed - and it’s not us. I think trying to navigate the manifestations of heteropatriarchy in queer relationships is so daunting that we never have community conversations about it and drag it into the light for everyone to confront - leaving queer survivors of intimate partner violence to go at it alone. For queer abusers, I think there’s a huge potential for re-education about healthy relationship ways and we should find some ways to do that.
- Intra-POC bullshit. The anti-blackness, the appropriation of black culture by non-black queers, the appropriation of various brown cultures by non-indentifed folks, light skinned folks not taking into account the fucking space we take up, the invalidation of immigrant queers. It’s the small end of the wedge that is just going to grow unless we sit down and address this shit together. I want to say “people of color” and not have any shitty feelings about how that term doesn’t even remotely approach the divisions between our separate communities.
- Masculine-of-center queers who are held up as the face of the queer community. /gag. WHY IS FEMME PRESENTATION ONLY REVOLUTIONARY WHEN MASC FOLKS DECIDE THEY WANT TO PUT ON LIPSTICK AND SOME GLITTER FOR THE NIGHT AND LIKE A TUTU OR SOME SHIT. TELL ME WHY. I do this shit every day, but it’s considered decidedly not-queer because I’m femme presenting most days. Unless I’m with a masc person, my femme presentation renders me invisible in queer community. Arm candy for queer masc person = visibility. My queerness is contingent upon masc folks I surround myself with and THIS IS LITERALLY NEVER OKAY
all of this!!!
Jared Leto has been winning multiple awards for playing the transgender character of Rayon in the film “Dallas Buyers Club.” The transgender community has then watched him throw them under the bus.
1. LETO: "It was the role of a lifetime," he said. "It was an incredible thing to represent this group of people who largely are ignored."
Ignored. Leto ignored criticism from the trans community and allies who don’t want him representing this group of people in the way he has been. "wouldn’t it have been better if the starring role had gone to an actual trans person" - La Times. Despite complaints and Leto having one of the most powerful publicists in Hollywood, Leto claimed in December that he had never heard criticisms that trans roles should go to trans actors. When asked what research he did for the role he said “a lot” but he did not formally engage, pay, or study under any trans people.
Transgender roles should go to transgender actors and if that is not possible (for whatever reason) productions should hire transgender consultants to “get it right” instead of perpetuating negative stereotypes.
Jared ignores this:
2. LETO: "you wouldn’t want to stick a transgender person with only transgender roles, so it goes both ways."
Transgender people DO NOT GET cisgender roles. It does not go both ways due to systemic oppression. Cisgender people take transgender roles then do what Leto is doing instead of the advocating and “possibility modeling” of Laverne Cox in “Orange is the New Black.” She represents trans people beyond the screen role in the media in positive ways never experienced before. This creates “teachable moments” as Katie Couric put it after her problematic questioning. When a cis person takes a trans role, trans stories are exploitation, not representation.
Meanwhile, Trans Hollywood’s experience is that trans people are often told they do not have enough experience for key roles. It’s a systemic problem, cis people take trans roles, trans actors are left with nothing.
3. "I thought I’d look pretty good in a skirt."
No Jared, the character of Rayon is fictional in this film “based on a true story.” She was ahistorically written in order to be the “most gay” and visually problematic for Matthew McConaughey’s character Ron Woodroof. You removed your eyebrows (?) and played her with intense makeup, hair, and clothing to make Ron uncomfortable and a very unlikely ally.
You weren’t there to look good, you were there to look bad. You are perpetuating the “man in a dress” stereotype of transgender women.
What if the role had gone to these transgender women? Would the theater laughed as hard at Ron ripping down Rayon’s photo while masturbating? How would the supermarket scene have played out if Ron was just seen walking around with a beautiful woman vs. a straight cis male playing….what…..
4.LETO: ”This wonderful creature who was unfortunately addicted to drugs and dying of AIDS and fighting for her life.” and “beautiful creature….”
While you’ve made it clear in interviews that Rayon was living life as a woman and wanted trans related medial care but you don’t talk about playing a woman or trans woman. You talk about playing a “creature.” USE THE WORDS “TRANSGENDER WOMAN.” Again, how do you feel you are representing “this group of people” if you never use the terminology? If you call one of us a creature. We don’t want you up there Jared if you are just going to be a bro about it.
5. LETO: ”It’s wild, even putting on lipstick is a very shocking thing, [and] putting on heels is a very shocking thing, putting on tights is a shocking thing” “. One of the things I did was wax my entire body including my eyebrows,’ 'I'm just fortunate that it wasn't a period piece so I didn't have to do a full Brazilian [wax]. 'Ladies, you know what I'm talking about though…and so do some of you men, I think.'
All superficial gendering. People are not giving the award to rockstar Jared Leto who talks about how weird it is to do things femme cis women and femme trans women do every day. They gave it to what seemed like a serious actor in a demanding role. Jared did not use the role as a learning moment to be forever changed by trans struggle. Instead he jokes about it like a cis man does, it’s trans misogyny. When asked about leaving the role behind….
6. LETO “I tucked those balls firmly away… I’m still coughing them out.”
Come on, is he our drunk uncle making fun of us? And on criticism for his Golden Globe’s speech…
7. LETO “obviously I didn’t prepare a speech.”
But he did! He gave nearly the identical speech at the Hollywood Film Awards.
Hollywood Film Awards Speech:
Golden Globes Speech:
This led to proper criticism over the transphobia and exploitation:
Jared Leto and Michael Douglas’ Homophobic Acceptance Speeches
The Golden Globes gave Jared Leto an award for playing a trans woman because Hollywood is terrible.
So is anything changing? YES!. Leto’s SAG AWARD Speech dispensed with the cheap jokes and had some class, dedicating the award to the groups he borrowed emotional equity from instead of being about himself, his waxing, and his return to film after six years, and the great parties:
8. LETO: " I’d like to share it with the Rayons of the world. To the people who have made a choice to live their lives … as they have chosen to dream it. I’m so proud that i’ve been able to glimpse the world through your eyes."
There is learning happening but it seems more as a response to backlash than actual learning or community. What is next? We do not identify as “Rayons.” Say the word “TRANSGENDER.” We appreciate the attempt at recognizing a marginalized group but Leto is avoiding our self identity, making up his own point of view on what we are and should be called. We are organizing so this learning curve never happens again. We need trans actors in trans roles for visibility, representation, and positive models instead of wanting to vomit listening to a cis man make fun of us. We don’t want to be writing Tumblr posts and articles defending ourself from a person who thinks they are representing us. While in this period of civil rights, we want to see ourselves truly represented and moving forward.