Black Gurls and Suicide: Loving Each Other to Stay Alive

I was taking a Black Feminism/Womanism class at Portland State University when I first read about bell hooks’s struggle with suicidal thoughts while she was at Stanford. I thought, “Wait, I’m not the only one? And people actually talk about this!?” At some point, I breathed an audible sigh of relief that my classmates misinterpreted as boredom; yes, they actually thought that a black, queer gurl in a Black Feminism class was bored. How simple people can be sometimes!

What really happened was, in that moment, I felt as though a hand had reached out and plucked me from the crosswalk just in time for multilane traffic to speed by. It felt like, even if just for a second, I wasn’t alone. If this successful black woman scholar can fight it, then maybe I could too?

Continue reading on Black Girl Dangerous.

WATCH: Tearjerking Story of Teen Who Comes Out to Dad Who’s Been in Prison for 7 Years

via SheWired.

Despite Advances, Poverty Persists for Baltimore’s LGBT Residents  

Courtney, a 20-year-old transgender woman from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has been trying to get a job for more than a year but has been unable to do so because of her gender identity and expression.

She said during a recent interview that she has been able to work odd jobs and received some money from her parents. Courtney, who spoke on condition that her last name not be used, is working with Free State Legal Project, a Baltimore-based organization that advocates on behalf of low-income LGBT Marylanders, to legally change her name.

“I don’t have a job,” said Courtney. “I can’t afford to do it myself.” Courtney is among the estimated 50,000 to 75,000 Marylanders who live in poverty, according to Free State Legal Project Executive Director Aaron Merki. LGBT rights advocates with whom the Blade has spoken indicate the problem is most acute in Baltimore.

Read more over at the Washington Blade.

Lesbian Nigerian Immigrant on Struggle to Come Out

There are many challenges for LGBT people whose sexual orientation or gender identity intersects with other identities, such as race, gender, or nationality. In addition to the challenges that many Americans face when coming out, first generation immigrants often face additional hardships.

I recently discussed this topic with a lesbian, Nigerian immigrant, who agreed to speak with me under the condition of anonymity. She is a 34-year-old woman who immigrated from Nigeria as a teenager. She attended college and graduate school, lives in the D.C. area, and is employed in a professional capacity.

“I’m doing this anonymously because being Nigerian and gay, it’s a safety issue,” she said. “I also want to spare my parents.”

See more at the Washington Blade.

Five Men Arrested for Gang Assault Against Black Gay Brooklyn Man: Sources

Five Hasidic men were arrested Wednesday for a disturbing attack against a gay black man in a case initially investigated as a bias attack, police sources said.

Fashion student Taj Patterson, 22, has said he was headed to his Fort Greene home after a night of partying last December when over a dozen ultra-Orthodox men assaulted him on Flushing Ave. in Williamsburg while shouting anti-gay epithets.

More from the Daily News.

Supreme Court Upholds State’s Ban On Affirmative Action In College Admissions

A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

The 6-2 decision upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan Constitution that forbids the state’s public colleges to take race into account. That change was indeed up to the voters, the ruling said, over one justice’s impassioned dissent that accused the court of simply wanting to wish away inequality.

Continue reading on the Huffington Post.

People-Magazine-Lupita-Nyongo-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOLupita’s Elevation to ‘Most Beautiful’ Distracts from the Lack of Racial Progress

On Tuesday, the US supreme court upheld Michigan’s ban on race as a factor in university admissions. Less than 24 hours later, People magazine put Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of its “Most Beautiful” issue. And today we are left to ask: what does it mean for Lupita to be lifted up the day after affirmative action was struck down?

We live in a post-racial society, many claim. With Obama as president, Pharrell making people of all races happy, and Lupita as the new Hollywood sensation, things are clearly better for black people, right?


Continue reading over at The Guardian.

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