The Trials, Tribulations & Turning of True Blood’s Tara Thornton

An autostraddle writer considers the responsibility the uncharacteristically diverse HBO program has to empower its only black, female leading character. From the editorial:

Much like last season’s attempt to heal Tara’s soul wounds by making her a lesbian, this season so far says that the only way for Tara to be a survivor and rise above all she has been a victim of is to make her a VAMPIRE. To the margins of society with ye, O damaged woman! It seems the writers couldn’t conceive of a female character who could survive several seasons worth of enslavement and rape and still be a successful human. So time to try a different form of existence. And time to Other her even further.


I am hoping above all other hopes that True Blood gets this situation under control. Now that she’s a lesbian and a vampire, it’s not like there are many more things she can come back as if this season once again wears her into the ground. Angela Robinson [former L Word writer], will you liberate Tara from the cycle of enslavement that others have forced her into? And will you do so in a way where all the things – queerness, femaleness, race, a history of sexual abuse, vampires – are respected? Say yes. We need this.

Keep reading here.

Frankly Speaking: Hip Hop’s Move Towards LGBTQ Tolerance

A  well-researched editorial chronicles the evolution of hip-hop as it relates to homophobia and gay rights, including quotes from the most successful artists and references to past lyrics. Excerpt from the HipHopDX article:

Aside from Hip Hop, what do these three men have in common? They’re renowned businessmen. What really goes on in Hov, Rush, and Tip’s minds is anyone’s guess. But one thing’s for sure: those calculating cogs never stop turning. Jay and Simmons may or may not actually support the LGBTQ cause, but their businesses and investments cannot entirely escape the grasp of politics. In fact, who’s to say they aren’t interested in becoming more actively involved in the political front? That would, at least, explain Simmons’ baffling presence at the Occupy Wall Street rallies in New York. And as for Jay and T.I., both men know that the LGBTQ community is not only a community that has been ostracized by Hip Hop culture, but as also an untapped market.

Read more here.

​Black Pastors Protest NAACP Convention ​in Houston

An excerpt from’s response:

He told the Huffington Post that“This is supposed to be an organization for black people who were beaten, who were mistreated and who were enslaved. You’re advocating for something that’s not normal, that’s not natural. It’s still out of line, it’s against moral law. Gay marriage is leading us down a bad path. Our young people are already hurt. They’re already damaged.”

Enslaved? No…but beaten, murdered, executed, emasculated, tortured, raped, lynched? Yes. At one time, it was legal to put lesbians and gays into jail in the United States for nothing other than having sex, and it was legal to put them into insane asylums where they were often tortured in attempts to get them to stop being gay. Lesbians were often raped by those inside the asylums and there was no legal course of action that could be taken to stop the attacks.

Read the rest here.

​”Endgame” on PBS Highlights AIDS Crisis in Black America

PBS recently aired a TV special underlining several root causes and consequences of the AIDS epidemic’s disproportionate impact on the Black American community. New York Times writer Neil Genzlinger muses, “The program focuses largely on institutional causes that have been suggested by various studies, a play-it-safe approach that omits a core question: With so much known about the disease and so many years of safe-sex messages out there, how can anyone still be cavalier or uninformed about this subject?” Read more about the program and his response at

​Director Yoruba Richen receives Guggenheim Fellowship Grant for “The New Black”


The New Black is a documentary that “uncovers the complicated histories of the African-American and LGBT civil-rights movements,” as the short, simple description reads (its Facebook page describes it “an explosive new documentary about race, sexuality and the church“), and it was one of 5 documentaries selected to receive $10,000 in grant money from the Tribeca Film Institute.

Continue reading here.


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