I’ve been mulling over the gay zulu wedding fiasco over the past few weeks. I was excited to see it, but something left me unsettled. Here are my thoughts, inspired by a TEDTalk by one of my favorite writers, Chimamanda Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story.”
In light of the struggles of LGBTI Africans, the desire to celebrate any kind of progress – especially when it comes in the form of a gleeful Zulu wedding – is understandable; the vibrant ceremony presented a sharp contrast to the media’s grim and, at times, gruesome depiction of violent homophobia on the African continent. However, it is dangerous to assign wide-sweeping gains to all LGBTI Africansbased on the perceived victory of a few.
What of gay Africans who view marriage as the least of their problems – young people, for instance, who have been disowned by their families and, above all, seek a stable alternative to homelessness? What about transgender women who experience rejection (and violence) from both gay and straight communities alike? And lesbians–forced to live in fear of so-called “corrective rape”–will marriage mean social acceptance for them, too?
If we’ve learned anything from criticism of the same sex marriage equality movement in the U.S., it’s that too much emphasis on marriage as a pathway to acceptance could only end up benefiting a small segment of the LGBTI community (e.g. gay men, or members of the middle class–while the groups most at-risk e.g. women, youth, transgender people, etc.–are likely to go unheard, and even unfunded.”
QWOC Media Wire is a media advocacy organization and online platform that amplifies the voices and thought leadership of sexual minorities around the world.
We are happy to announce that we’re seeking THREE new editors to join our team! Non-US candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Applications now open via our online submission system.
The ideal editor will be a seasoned writer, blogger, or publisher of online content. The ideal editor will identify as part of the queer and trans community of color (even if using a pseudoynm/alias), or as a racial/ethnic minority. (Note: As our site is dedicated to the voices and thought leadership of queer women, gender non-conforming and trans people of color, we give preference to editors who identify as such.)
Who We Are
Currently, we are: latina, African, mixed-race, femme, masculine of center, gender neutral, east coaster, west coasters, trans-nationals, professionals, scholars, activists. There’s still a lot that can be added to that.
Who We’re Looking For
We are actively searching for editors who don’t look like us—who share enough of our experiences as qpoc with multi-identities, but contributes a new lens to our collective vision. We aren’t looking for people to be marginally involved to deflect criticism; we are seeking people to be fully vested editorial partners, who are willing to volunteer time and energy alongside us to 1) recruit writers, 2) edit submissions, 3) moderate comments, 4) manage the space, and 5) grow QWOC Media Wire from a startup to a sustainable social enterprise.
This is a Volunteer Position
This will be a volunteer position. QWOC Media Wire is a labor of love. The funds for this site come out of our pockets. Therefore, we cannot provide any compensation for editors at this time. We do guarantee, however, that you’ll continually learn (we all do), you’ll be supported as an individual with their own career path, and your contribution to this project will be celebrated and honored. Lastly, but most importantly, as we recognize that this is a volunteer project (and we all have commitments outside of it), you’ll be part of a team that holds you accountable to your commitments, but also practices community care and support when critical.
Strategic Growth and Planning (Hopefully With You On Board)
Part of our strategy to become a full-fledged, sustainable media advocacy organization includes the recruitment and development of a team that is grounded in our principles and committed to our mission, before implementing a growth strategy plan for this social enterprise in 2014.
Our team currently comprises a serial social entrepreneur and digital media expert, an organizational development consultant, and a scholar interested in exploring the way intersectionality is reported or consumed by the media. We look forward to adding more core strengths and expertise to our team! What would you bring? We hope to find out through your application. f you’re interested in being part of something exciting, intentionally innovative, strategic, and collaborative—while working within a fun, affirming, and very smart team—we strongly encourage you to apply.
We strongly encourage you to use our ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM. However, if you are applying from outside the US and/or unable to use the online submission system, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for a downloadable submission form.
Note: We will be interviewing until we find the right people. But this particular call for applications will close on May 20th, 2013 (with a possible earlier start date, schedules permitting).
bklyn boihood seeks a SPRING.SUMMER’13 INTERN!
DEADLINE TO APPLY: May 1, 2013
Are you a boi of color and/or ally who is 18+ in/near bklyn? Intern with us this Spring.Summer!
Between May 15-Sept 15 we’ll need you several days a week (max. 3) and more if you’re down. We promise to keep you well-read and well-fed. :P
We’re searching for interns who are nice with:
film/editing * blogging/writing * bookkeeping * scheduling * social media * events * organizing data * photography
* fundraising * networking * logistics * merchandising * graphics/web
Interested? Along with a short little cover letter either:
Make us a video or send us a resume (or both)!
We’ll hit you up by May 15th
'Cause this is so familiar. Multiply by Q, T, and (POC) and yeah…
Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954) Mexican
Arguably Mexico’s most famous bisexual woman, Frida Kahlo is best known for her haunting self-portraits. Although she did not reach widespread fame during her life, today her art is celebrated by Mexican people in Mexico and in communities abroad for its strong links to indigenismo and for the harsh candor in which she explored femininity.
Jaime Bayly (1965 – present) Peruvian
A writer, journalist and TV personality, Jaime Bayly‘s life has been full of controversy. Beloved for his self-deprecating humor and loathed for his unrelenting self-promotion, Jaime came out to the Peruvian public as bisexual in his 1994 best-selling book No se lo Digas a Nadie (Don’t Tell Anyone). According to Perú Económico, he is the fifth most influential person in Peru, with 13 novels and a nationally syndicated column.
Ana Carolina (1974 – present) Brazlilian
A Latin Grammy nominated singer, composer, and musician, Ana Carolina is one of Música Popular Brasileira’s (popular Brazilian music) best known stars. Openly bisexual to her family since the age of 16, Ana Carolina famously came out to the Brazilian public in 2005 in Brazilian magazine VEJA. With 8 albums under her belt since beginning her career in 1999, Ana Carolina continues to create music, her last album N9ve reaching double-platinum status in Brazil.
Julio Bocca (1967 – present) Argentinian
Said to be the most important Argentinian dancer of all time, Julio Bocca is one of ballet’s biggest stars. With his own dance company, Ballet Argentino (which he founded in 1990), Julio performed on stages all over the world before retiring in 2007. Out as bisexual since 2001, he admits that coming out lifted a weight from his shoulders, since prior to then everyone inquired about his personal life and since then no one cares.
Raúl Esparaza (1970 – present) Cuban
A US born Cuban Broadway stage actor and singer, Raúl Esparza has been repeated nominated for the Tony Awards. He is best known for his performances as Philip Salon in Taboo and Riff Raff in the Broadway revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Raúl came out as bisexual to the US American public in 2006 when the subject of a New York Times profile. Raúl has since expanded on his career, with roles on the TV series Pushing Daisies and Medium.
Gabriela Mistral (1885-1957) Chilean
The first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Gabriela Mistral was poet, educator, and feminist. A prolific writer, Gabriela published over 800 essays in magazines and newspapers throughout Latin America and the world. Although her bisexuality was not confirmed in her lifetime, scholars of her poetry and works point to underlying themes of female eroticism to support the notion that Gabriela was in fact bisexual.
Jaime Saenz (1921-1986) Bolivian
One of the greats of Bolivian literature, Jaime Saenz was a poet, novelist, and writer of short stories. Known for his dark poetry that is often described as hallucinatory and transcendent, Jaime was openly bisexual and unashamed of it. His poetry is studied in Latin America for its strong ties to the indigenous culture(s) of La Paz, where he lived his entire life.
Mad respect for this woman.
“Cradled in one culture, sandwiched between two cultures, straddling all three cultures and their value systems, la mestiza undergoes a struggle of flesh, a struggle of borders, an inner war. Like all people, we perceive the version of reality that our culture communicated. LIke others having or living more than one culture, we get multiple, often opposing messages. The coming together of two self-consistent but habitually incompatible frames of reference causes un choque, a cultural collision.”
- Gloria Evangelina Anzaldúa
Nominate your favorite queer women, trans people, and gender non-conforming poets of color for our Q-Trends list in celebration of National Poetry Month. The only condition? They need to have a website/online web presence we can link to.
Inspired by Pariah: My Personal Story about Coming Out as a Nigerian “Boi”
“My cargo shorts and graphic tees weren’t exactly what my mother had in mind when she envisioned showing off her daughter who’d “just returned from America with an MIT degree!” to her friends at church.”
Read more at
After “Same-Sex” Marriage, What Next?
I wonder what the big white gay inc movement will fight for once LGBT peeps win the right to marry.
Will middle class gay white people finally face queer youth (of color) homelessness?
Will male-identified LGBT activists ever prioritize addressing homophobic violence against women?
What about the unjust incarceration of sex workers (many of who are part of the trans and undocumented community)?
Will the marriage equality movement fight this hard, and this long for immigration reform, which affects binational couples and multi-status families like mine?
I want equality for everyone. A favorable outcome today will get us closer to that, but I encourage everyone to make commitments (now) to continue fighting for those who have been marginalized by the LGBT movement long after we’re done celebrating.
QWOCTALK: Vanity Is My Middle Name: How Loving Her Made My Femininity Vain
I’ve never been one to toot my own horn. Okay, that’s a lie, but I so modestly tooted, when I did. I was always the one to never be afraid to show off my stomach or two inches too much of leg. I was never shy of stating my opinions in a way that made me feel irresistible to seventy-five percent of the world. I thought I had it all wrapped around my finger – the petite abstract painter, feminist with the yarn-braids down to her ass who cussed like a fucking sailor.
I was certain that I had my femininity on the forefront and I was ruling the streets of Northridge, California.
That is, of course, before I met her.
The quirky sexy one in the corner of my eye when explaining the meaning behind the ‘warrior’ piece at my art show on black womyn. I don’t date a lot – I mean every year or so, I stumble across a being whom intrigues and tickles my fancy enough to begin a love affair that leaves me addicted and intoxicated.
She was worse.
The undeniable connection made between us was seriously so fucking scary that I denied it and pretended like I didn’t feel a damn thing. Alas, began our love affair.
The late nights of pillow talk and bitter taste of beverages shooting down our throats just to break the ice because honestly, I made her a bit nervous. I never admitted my uneasiness. Hence, how the fuck can loving, sexing, sharing, creating this alternate universe of art make you so vain that you have to write about it?
I tangle with that thought while in bed loving myself so effortlessly remembering the feelings she made me feel in a million different ways of feeling. I thought my femininity was just fine. I thought I had already discovered the secrets of me. I was wrong.
She new the concaves of my breast. The dimples of my ass. The swift moves of light I would make when I applied that crush rose blush or plum violet lipstick. She new the way my lips would curve up and how my hands would move seductively when speaking about love languages and honey-smoked bacon. She told me my femininity was showing when I would give seminars and workshops on college campuses using terms that she didn’t quite understand fully but she new it sounded sexy coming from my lips.
I’m a bit more radical than she. The one who is so much immerged into the social justices of the world that it becomes apart of my eating habits. She is a bit more subtle. So to explain to her now how she made my femininity vain would only give her a headache.
My femininity understood hers. It was an unspoken connection between our energies that I guess she felt before I did. The connection that gave my femininity a bit more depth. The connection that helped me see hers. My femininity became more and more vain before my eyes. It came out to her and I never felt more feminine and sexy. It’s amazing how when someone becomes so decadent that they leave an imprint on your being and accentuates a part of that being you’re forever aware of, forever changed.
My femininity has never been more liberating, self defining, or connected. It’s never been more me. It’s never been vainer. It’s never loved her more.”
Kayla Bitten is a twenty-something wild-haired, barefooted writer, educator, and artist. The founder of SAGE|the blog and The Little People and a queer, femme womyn making noise and strutting topless in Los Angeles, California.