‘Say That!’ is a space on Black Girl Dangerous for all the rants, the rage, the sadness, the joy, the interventions, the messiness. It’s our way of channeling the dialogs often had in private conversations or individual Facebook threads into something more visible. ‘Say That!’ offers QTPOC opportunities to contribute to community discussions without submitting an entire article or essay. Every month, we focus on a single question or theme, and solicit responses from the community. Responses can include from 100-150 word blurbs (blurbs over 150 words may be edited for space), visual art, videos under 2 minutes, photographs with short captions, or whatever you can dream up that’s short and accessible. We will choose 1 or 2 of these submissions to publish on the ‘Say That!’ page each week. We invite our QTPOC readers to continue the conversation with us on the Facebook page.
Submissions to ‘Say That!’ can be made anonymously (or not), and can be sent, like any other submission, to Janani at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com. Please include the words ‘Say That!’ in the subject line. Please also indicate whether you’d like to remain anonymous, and if not, send us your name, a photo, and your city. ‘Say That!’ submissions are not eligible for an honorarium.
2013 was quite a year for us at BGD. We learned a lot. What did you learn on 2013? Tell us in a short (100 to 150-word) blurb; make a 1 or 2 minute video; caption a photo. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.
remember that year you learned to be vulnerable
and to touch everything with open hands with lines that connected to
a heart that said, be present, be unwavering, be passionate
(after those people
that have tried to keep you from being whole)
I AM STILL HERE
I AM STILL BRAVE
I AM STILL FILLED WITH LOVE
you are more alive than you have ever been
do not let anyone tell you
to be anything less than
–Sam White, Minneapolis
The topic for December’s Say That! is Getting Free. What does it mean to get free? How do we do it, in big and small ways, on a daily basis? Share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, love and ideas with us. Write a short (100 to 150-word) blurb; make a 1 or 2 minute video; caption a photo. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.
right now getting free feels like deep, deep water. it’s unlearning the coping mechanisms that helped me to repress and survive childhood abuse, to remember and forgive myself. it’s recognizing that i have been and always will be black, even though i was taught that i was everything but. it’s teaching myself how to pull myself as far away as possible from whiteness and the approval that i crave from it, and at the same time getting free is also learning how to open all the most secret parts of myself to ones who see all of me and want to love even the darkest, softest bits. i feel freer with every word that i strike into permanence, with every tear i allow myself to shed, with every kiss, and hug and expression of love that i share with the black women in my life.
The topic for October’s Say That! is Polyamory. Share your thoughts, feelings, experiences, rage, love, and ideas around polyamory and/or non-monogamy in QTPOC life and community. Make a 1-minute video about it! Or send a 100-150 word blurb. Or whatever you got that’s short and accessible. We’ll choose a few to share in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Tina at submissions.bgd @ gmail.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Come back throughout the month to check out our fave submissions.
This is a part of a larger conversation, but we might as well start it here. Polyamory in the life of a queer brown boy offers a fundamentally alternative option to an otherwise inapplicable method of relating to others romantically. What I mean is that, in the ‘program’, the hetero-normative monogamous program, there is little room for anomalies like me. The picture doesn’t look like me, the story doesn’t sound like mine. The costumes don’t even fit. And so, if I have been categorically excluded from it, why shouldn’t I find every way to look outside of it to find my way. I’ve only been able to have successful relationships by understanding that they are a thing defined by the people engaged in them, as opposed to mutually trying to cram each other’s long limbs into the confines of some box that doesn’t even have our name on it.
–Jason Williams, Oakland CA
I’m polyamorous for pay. That means in order to have a loving, honest and healthy relationship with my gf AND be able to still pay the rent, we have to talk and negotiate what sexual intimacy in the context of work means for our relationship. Our form of polyamory is less about pleasure/desire and more about economics. I’m a sex worker and I deserve to be loved and for me that means monogamy just doesn’t fit my life right now.
The topic for September’s Say That! is Femmephobia in QTPOC Community. Share your thoughts and experiences around the ways in which femme-identified and femme-presenting people are marginalized and invisibilized within our communities while masculinity is centralized and prized. How can we do better? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Femmephobia in QTPOC Community
I am a gay woman who identifies as Fanm (that word is Haitian Creole) and it is all encompassing. A Fanm is your modern day Feminist. She is the mother, the lover, the warrior.
During many dialogues, I hear the same story: I am so done with these femmes out there. They’re all looking for a sugarmama and take the life out of you. In a nutshell, we’re categorized as gold-diggers. The paradox of a needy woman is an aggressive one should it be spoken that we seek companionship that primarily nurtures the emotional self, equality, love and sexy fun.
It is bewildering to witness patriarchal norms in our communities. This is yet another battle in the war. To be a Fanm/Femme, be honored and loved as the fierce beauty that we are. We must continuously remind our people of the glory that we all are, that we have a common enemy and it is NOT each other, wherever we may fall on the gender spectrum.
–Sherley Accime, Brooklyn, New York
sista souldier share and receive this
The topic for July’s Say That! is Racism Within QTPOC Community/POC solidarity. What are your thoughts and experiences with racism in mixed communities of color? How is it different (is it different?) from racism perpetrated by white folks? Is it worse? Not as bad? Or maybe you’re not sure if it’s even possible? And what can we do/what are we not doing enough to show solidarity across POC communities? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at email@example.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Racism Within QTPOC Community/POC solidarity
–Hrishekesh Kashyap, San Francisco
We’re featuring a special Say That! space now for the DOMA ruling. What do you have to say about the victory of “Marriage Equality” the day after a key point of the Voting Rights Act was obliterated by the Supreme Court? What do you think about the fact that the plaintiff who took the case to the Supreme Court is a wealthy white woman who did so because she didn’t want to have to pay $300,000 in estate taxes? Or maybe you are a radical-left QTPOC who still really wants to get married and sees it as a priority for some radical reason we haven’t thought of? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions (IN THE BODY OF THE EMAIL, NOT AS ATTACHMENTS) to Janani at firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Check out submissions below. And keep em coming!
When the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was gutted, I knew that DOMA would be abolished the next morning. It was another method of maintaining the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy: antagonizingly smother the voices of now disenfranchised black and Latino voters in rainbows, thereby outraging us and maintaining the ideology that POC are inherently homophobic and/or self-loathing. QPOC know that neither the mantra of “human rights” nor the millions of dollars that adorned the white-faced movement for marriage equality will lend themselves to our battle to buy IDs and vote. As a QWOC deeply rooted in the southern black Baptist church, I fear that the mouths of clergy whom I trust and love may be so full of homophobia that they choke on the necessary discourse: how to work towards restoring our voting rights. I stand amidst the crossfire of my two identities paralyzed; wondering “which me will survive/all these liberations?” *
*quote from Audre Lorde’s poem, “Who Said It Was Simple”
–Lauren G. Parker, Richmond, Virginia
Do I get mad at the fact that I’m POC and find myself facing the threat that the double-edged sword of Affirmative Action may be taken from me?
Do I get mad at the fact that I’m a POC and protections that sought to affirm my ability to vote have been removed?
Do I get mad at the fact that a POC has had their parental right terminated AGAINST THEIR WILL in another case in a LONG history of the government taken POC’s (particularly those of American Indian heritage) children?
Or do I just get happy about the fact that I am gay and now my marriage is recognized at a Federal level? Do I just put on my super cute Pride Outfit this weekend and dance, cheer, and watch the beautiful women dance and cheer?
Is there a party that all of me is invited to?
–Andrea Dionne, Brooklyn, NY
–Roseanne Chanchall, New York, NY
i’m interested in talking about marriage as a heteronormative institution founded on the buying and selling of women, and how queers (and other alternative family forms) challenge that institution. and i’m interested in talking about citizenship as an arbitrary violent division of some people from others, and why an invisible line in the sand determines whether you will have a higher or lower life expectancy. and i want to talk about why health care isn’t seen as a universal right, rather than a privilege reserved just for people/relationships who are recognized by the state. and i want to talk about why we think regulating relationships or movement of people is even necessary.
–Piage Kumm, San Francisco, CA
For the month of June, we’re focusing on Pride Season. Rant, rage, cheer, question, laugh, confront, or cry about it! Are your streets plastered over in rainbow Bank of America stickers? Is the endless sea of white cis gay men starting to roll in? Is your town hosting its very first Pride? Tell us about experiences you may have had with Prides in the past–have they been violent, exclusionary, uplifting, productive? Does your group have great radical qtpoc alternatives to the gaystream festivities? Share your thoughts, rage, love, and ideas with us in any form, and we’ll select a few to publish in this space. Email submissions to Janani at email@example.com with ‘Say That!’ in the subject line.
Check out this month’s fave submissions below.
Pride is problematic; I get that. It essentializes and minimizes all queer experiences into a rainbow-parade, largely for the consumption of white, cis-het allies, and does little to address intersectionality or aspects of marginalization within the queer community. But as someone who recently “came out” – or rather, let people “in” to my sexual orientation – I feel a comfort and curiosity in Pride that I want to explore. This year, I am spending it with close friends and a special someone. I feel a(n imperfect) sense of solidarity being around people who share this aspect of their identity with me. I wasn’t expecting to feel anything when I attended my first Pride last year, and I didn’t for the most part. But when I saw those five South Asians skateboarding down the road, carrying the national flags of their heritage, it gave me something. It made me feel less alone.
Dear SF Pride,
You are colonizing my queerness. You, on Ohlone land, sitting atop Mission Dolores Park, dripping gentrification all over the streets. But I’ve done you, been drunk on genocide and praying my ancestors’ voices away. I’ve done you, pissing on pavement that cannot forgive me like the earth ever could. But I don’t need you. Your kolonization, korporatization, and kompromise. Colonization made my queerness filth, banging into me this internalized homophobia. Now I fear homophobia as I go home instead seeing you this year, silently wishing that my girlfriend wouldn’t insist on coming with me so I’d be a little less visibly queer cuz my people stay colonized like you. Like you, they think they’ve gained some pride in an identity, while they sweep my queerness under the rug, like you sweep blackness, brownness, homelessness, immigrantness, poorness, and trans*ness under your rug. We all have shit to work on, but fuck your imperialistic mess.