on frank ocean’s alleged coming out

hey y’all,

it’s been a while; life’s been busy busy busier than i’ve ever ever experienced it to be before in any sustained kind of way.

a guy i know wrote this great piece about, well, about how it kind of sucks when people jump to decide that love and affection between black men - cis or not, gay or not, whatever - is indicative of some gay or bi or queer or same-gender-loving identity, or of an attempt to hide or deny one. it’s really beautiful.

not reblogging it because he doesn’t use tumblr - this was originally a note on facebook.

As soon as I heard about this letter by Frank Ocean and everyone responding, labeling him. I thought OMG - this man didn’t say any of that.

I was also thinking about all the hetero, bi, none labeled, (and that does come in trans and cis by the way) Black men who crush on their home boys. Who circle jerk together, watch porn, did stuff like what wonderful Nathan McCall told us about and some of us nodded because we did messed up stuff like that also, or was quiet when we knew about it (we apologize). I was thinking… I hope this doesn’t run them off, run them further underground, stop the love.

Some times Black men really love each other so much - cause we recognize no one else does - and we do fall in love, have bromances, and love and respect each other in deep profound (secret ways).

I read it like that, when I read it. I was like DAYUMMMM brother said that shit? He let it out so poetically like that? Wow. I immediately called up two friends (one female and one male) from late teenage days and reminisced about our crushes on each other back in the day. We smiled and laughed at those….’remember that’ moments that we shared, over a summer, a couple of summers, the last time before you real grown and moved away. Just before you became best friends for life!

I was shocked cause within the next few hours I saw hundred of articles and blogs claiming and naming this man’s sexuality and experience. WOW! Noooo - don’t do that! Just let the letter ride and speak for itself. Being someone who is always mislabeled by others - not just mislabeled but folks get mad when I correct them about my own shit - Sorry, no I’m not transgender, no I’m not queer, no I’m not (just) African American - folks get pissed about it cause it feels like you don’t want to belong to them, with them. That’s not it at all - you just want to name yourself - for yourself - for what feels good and true to you - not what’s popular, hip or because that’s what they’re teaching you in gender studies class these days.

I hope all those Black boys, teens and men (who may or may not be gay, bi, queer or whatever) don’t get run off, turned off from the reactions. Not the negative stuff. But the naming and claiming. I read the story three times - I didn’t see that man say he was anything other than in love with this man friend of his and shared that experience and that can mean a LOT of things.

I just hope we don’t stop loving or crushing on each other because of this. Hope we don’t stop falling in love cause we see our worth, before anyone else does. We see that we need to be loved, encouraged, slept with, dapped, nodded out for our fly ass style and flavor. Black men have been pissing off our mothers and girlfriends forever cause they don’t understand why in the world we always hanging around with each other, calling each other, texting each other, why we jump up for our home boys, why?

Cause we’re in love with each other.

Shit, I’m crushing on Frank Ocean right now and I really hope this naming and claiming doesn’t stop from him loving other brothers - regardless of what he does or doesn’t do in the bed.

—- BT —-

West Side of ATL…Hood? Nah!

pharaohgsworld:

When you travel to a major city, like Atlanta, Chicago, or NYC, people would warn you about certain “crime-ridden” neighborhood with vacant houses.

In this chase, people tell me not to go the West Side of Atlanta (more so SW Atlanta) because it’s “hood”. I went to the West Side five times, including my trip to Busy Bee on Monday, and I conclude the following things:

  • Yes, the West Side have abandoned buildings for every like 3-10 decent housing. But so does East Atlanta, Downtown, and Midtown. In fact, I saw a lot of nice houses in some of the West Side hoods. Atlanta is just that unique place where there’s no clear distinction of segregated neighborhoods (Unless you live in Buckhead, where there’s nothing but expensive places and mini cities)
  • Just because a neighborhood is mostly black or another minority doesn’t always mean that it’s hood. For instance, Vine City and the hoods surrounding AUC is mostly African-American. But as far as crime…it seemed mostly peaceful. Unless you actually live there, don’t assume that a black neighborhood is violent. Besides, if you want hood, go to the South Side of Chicago, NYC, or South Central LA.
  • Remember this: crime happens in ANY neighborhood, from Grove Park to Inman Park. The local media just blow things out of proportion about crime in certain areas (i.e., hoods with black people).

You could add more to this or dispute my claims if you want. At the end of the day, I’m convinced that the West Side is not that bad (depending on where you live in that general area) as it seems in the media.

i agree

there’re definitely more violent parts of the west side - but there’re little pockets of tension and crime everywhere in atlanta, and the way that folks paint anywhere west of the georgia dome like there’re constant shootouts on every corner is fucking absurd and racist

from pharaohgsworld-deactivated20130
Moya Bailey | Polyphonic Feminisms Gallery | S&F Online

Lamont
From the series The Obsidian Project: Black is the Color…
Photograph, 2010'…It seems that having dark skin keeps me more visible and vulnerable compared to my other Black friends. While growing up all the way through high school, I was condemned by my peers for having dark skin. But now as an adult, I am mostly praised because of my dark complexion. While I accept compliments, both situations give me a great amount of anxiety at times. It has become overwhelming when someone's first words to me center on my skin. … My dark complexion has defined me as pure ugliness or exotic.'Framed to the left, Lamont’s body drapes across a white couch, his face not visible. His arms and legs are visible as he sits with one leg crossed over the other at the knee with his hands on his shin. His navy blue t-shirt is only partially visible as are his dark grey stripped shorts. The contrast between the pink flesh of the inside of his and fingers and the rich deep brown of his skin are the focal point of the image.

Moya Bailey | Polyphonic Feminisms Gallery | S&F Online

Lamont

From the series The Obsidian Project: Black is the Color…

Photograph, 2010

'…It seems that having dark skin keeps me more visible and vulnerable compared to my other Black friends. While growing up all the way through high school, I was condemned by my peers for having dark skin. But now as an adult, I am mostly praised because of my dark complexion. While I accept compliments, both situations give me a great amount of anxiety at times. It has become overwhelming when someone's first words to me center on my skin. … My dark complexion has defined me as pure ugliness or exotic.'

Framed to the left, Lamont’s body drapes across a white couch, his face not visible. His arms and legs are visible as he sits with one leg crossed over the other at the knee with his hands on his shin. His navy blue t-shirt is only partially visible as are his dark grey stripped shorts. The contrast between the pink flesh of the inside of his and fingers and the rich deep brown of his skin are the focal point of the image.

Moya Bailey | Polyphonic Feminisms Gallery | S&F Online

The Obsidian Project: Black is the Color…
by Moya Bailey
Abstract: I want a feminism that doesn’t tokenize or fetishize the marginalized folks within the movement, i.e. people of color, queer folks, people with disabilities, etc. To this end, I am really interested in the margins within the margins and how people with intersecting marginal identities create the world they want to see and resist others’ attempts to use their representations for their own purposes. How do we see ourselves? The Obsidian Project focuses dark skinned queers of color, seeing them/us in new light and listening with intention. By promoting the physical visibility of dark skinned queer folks of color I hope to counter dominating representations that only invoke black skin as a sexualized other. With detailed verbal description of the images, I intend to craft a new narrative based in people’s own realities. In talking with my subjects, I am learning a lot about what it means to be a dark skinned person in a world where colorism is still a difficult conversation, even among folks with a queer politic. This is a project about deepening our understanding of how internalized oppressions are operationalized in activist communities and healing these unspoken wounds.

Moya Bailey | Polyphonic Feminisms Gallery | S&F Online

The Obsidian Project: Black is the Color…

by Moya Bailey

Abstract: I want a feminism that doesn’t tokenize or fetishize the marginalized folks within the movement, i.e. people of color, queer folks, people with disabilities, etc. To this end, I am really interested in the margins within the margins and how people with intersecting marginal identities create the world they want to see and resist others’ attempts to use their representations for their own purposes. How do we see ourselves? The Obsidian Project focuses dark skinned queers of color, seeing them/us in new light and listening with intention. By promoting the physical visibility of dark skinned queer folks of color I hope to counter dominating representations that only invoke black skin as a sexualized other. With detailed verbal description of the images, I intend to craft a new narrative based in people’s own realities. In talking with my subjects, I am learning a lot about what it means to be a dark skinned person in a world where colorism is still a difficult conversation, even among folks with a queer politic. This is a project about deepening our understanding of how internalized oppressions are operationalized in activist communities and healing these unspoken wounds.