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Cultural appropriation happens when members of the majority (in this case, white men) decide that blackness is a performance, a set of vocabulary, and some exaggerated hand gestures that white men can put on and off in the same way that they perceive black women do. Cultural appropriation happens when white men determine what the essential qualities of black women are and only see black women with those qualities as worthy of attention and praise. In the case of white gay male appropriation of black womanhood, those qualities are being fierce and the undefinable “sassy.”
Zanele Muholi: Of Love & Loss (2014) - Currently showing at Stevenson Gallery in Johannesberg (South Africa) from 14 February - 4 April 2014.
The opening coincides with the presentation of a prestigious Prince Claus Award to Muholi.
In times of increasingly homophobic legislation enacted by African countries and in a climate of intolerance towards homosexuals in the Western world, South Africa distinguishes itself with a Constitution that recognises same-sex marriages; yet the black LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) community is plagued by hate crimes. Black lesbians are particularly vulnerable and are regularly victims of brutal murders and ‘curatives rapes’ at the hand of neighbours or ‘friends’.
Since 2013 Muholi has been documenting weddings and funerals in the black LGBTI community in South Africa, joyful and painful events that often seem to go hand in hand. The show features photographs, video works and an installation highlighting how manifestations of sorrow and celebration bear similarities and are occasions to underline the need for a safe space to express individual identities.
As Muholi writes:Ayanda Magoloza and Nhlanhla Moremi’s wedding in Katlehong took place four months after Duduzile Zozo was murdered in Thokoza. Promise Meyer and Gift Sammone’s wedding in Daveyton took place on 22 December in Daveyton, 15 days after Maleshwane Radebe was buried in Ratanda. Six months earlier, Ziningi and Delisile Ndlela were married in Chesterville, Durban. Many in the area attended the ceremony, blessed the newlywed couple and prayed for them and their children. We long for such blessings as we continue to read about the trials and tribulations that LGBTI persons experience in their churches, where homosexuality is persecuted. In 2014, when South African democracy celebrates its 20 years, it seems more important than ever to raise again our voice against hate crimes and discriminations made towards the LGBTI community.
The exhibition includes also a series of autobiographical images, intimate portraits of Muholi and her partner taken during their travels, a tender counterpoint to the tension still generated in South Africa today by same-sex and interracial relationships.
Meet Aderonke. Before fleeing to the UK, her family was killed and she was arrested and sentenced to death in Nigeria - all because she’s a lesbian.
Now, she might get deported back to danger. Please sign and share urgently - we can stop the UK’s unfair #LGBT deportations:
Here’s the sexuality section of the posters my GSA will be putting up around the school!
These posters are by no means exhaustive and I only put the bare basics of each sexuality on the poster. If there’s a glaring error in a definition or something please tell me so I can fix it before we put these up in real life!
The Shot Glass Heard Around The World
In 1969, the Stonewall riots — precipitated when the NYPD burst into the famed gay bar and started being their usually abusive selves — defined the modern gay movement.
Among the first to physically resist the police was Marsha P. Johnson, the now infamous transgender rights activist who co-founded S.T.A.R. (Street Transgender Action Revolutionaries) with Sylvia Rivera in the ’70s.
At 1:20 in the morning on Saturday, June 28, 1969, four plainclothes police officers entered Stonewall Inn and announced “Police! We’re taking the place!"
Officers forced the customers to form into two lines divided by perceived gender and show them their genitals to confirm if it matched the gender on their identification card.
At some point during the raid, Marsha Johnson proclaimed, ‘I got my civil rights!' and then threw a shot glass into a mirror, adding on to the tension and creating an atmosphere of resistance. Some witnesses and historians believe her action is what instigated the riot.
Patrons began to refuse to produce their I.D. and police decided to arrest everyone still at the bar. Those who were not arrested gathered outside the bar and quickly drew a crowd of over 1,000 queers. As rumors spread through the crowd that those inside were being beaten by cops, they began throwing pennies, beer bottles and other items at police.
A drag queen who was shoved by an officer in front of the crowd responded by hitting him on the head with her purse as the crowd began to boo.
Soon after, an unidentified lesbian was hit on the head with a billy club after complaining that her handcuffs were too tight. She faced the bystanders and shouted, “Why don’t you guys do something?”
Police threw her into the back of a patrol wagons, at that point the crowd became a mob and collectively resisted the police.
Along with Sylvia Rivera, the two transgender revolutionaries created S.T.A.R. and STAR House in which they housed, fed and clothed homeless drag queens and trans* youth by hustling in the streets of NYC so that their children didn’t have to.
Marsha P. Johnson is often credited for inciting the Stonewall Riots, yet she receives close to no recognition by mainstream Gay Organizations and the queer community. I have no doubt that the erasure of Marsha’s participation in the riots and the Gay Liberation Movement is due to her being a black, transgender radical. Had she’d been a white gay cis-male, her name would be permanently embedded in every queer’s mind.
I know Marsha as a courageous queer revolutionary, a queen of Queens, a Stonewall Veteran, a dedicated activist, a mother of S.T.A.R. and a personal idol. She deserves more than anyone I know, to be recognized by the queer community.
In July 6, 1992, Johnson’s body was found floating in the Hudson River off the West Village Piers shortly after the 1992 Pride March. Friends of Johnson claims she was harassed near the spot where her body was found. The police disregarded this and ruled her death a suicide without any evidence. However, in November 2012, the NYPD re-opened the case.
Click here to watch “Pay It No Mind”, a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.
Photographer Gillian Laub's portraits of punk rocker Laura Jane Grace, her wife Heather, and their daughter Evelyn. These photos and the accompanying Cosmo article marked one year since Grace began her MtF transition after years of performing under the name Tom Gabel.
This family is so cute I could die. Literally the only thing that could make these three cooler would be if they balanced their rock ‘n roll lifestyle with doing some vampire hunting on the side. Moms in black, daughter in a pink tutu.