so day one of the the democratic national convention has come to a close. i would say that there had been so much tea but then i remember that the flint water crisis is well, still a crisis and drinking homemade tea is still a privilege in this country.
much like how this country was built, black and brown people did the heavy lifting tonight. our voices, our hearts, our stories, our struggles and our inspirational spirits on full display tonight. oddly enough, still the no one uttered the words “black lives matter.” but to be fair, there are still two more days to go.
i would review some highlights but i want to focus on bernie sanders, his campaign, his disappointed followers and the future of the revolution he helped to inspire. first, let me say that i am fighting the urge to add quotations to the word revolution but i want to honor the inspiration he has ignited in voters, specifically young voters.
bernie, the same dude who promised that he would contest the nomination of hillary clinton, actually endorsed her tonight much to dismay of many of his loyal followers. chyle, they were white folks crying while he spoke. admittedly, i am not sure if they were crying because he was endorsing “killary” or because they were so moved by their messiah. either way, i was unmoved.
part of me gets it tho. his campaign was driven by emotion, inspiration and was oriented in hope. people not only donated their time and money but practically gave their hearts to bernie. tonight they felt that he broke their heart.
maybe it is because i survived crack, molestation, poverty and violence. maybe it is because i watched my mother make a dollar out of 15 cents. maybe it is because i am socialized to survive disappointment. but i could not muster any sympathy crying white bernie supporters. especially those who had tape on their mouths. my feeling is that they are not crying for me as a brown queer or for the oppression my black son is sure to experience. they are sad for bernie. for his lost and for their disappointment. there are not my crying for my community.
BUUUUTTTT, i will still generously share three reminders because who does not appreciate reminders?
1. the fight for freedom and revolution continues. it is a privilege to bow out now when things don’t go your way. my mother didn’t get to bow out when shit didn’t go her way. when she buried her son, she didn’t cuss the world, she had other kids to care for. she had to keep going. still stuck around long enough to make sure that her faggot son would continue the fight. i cannot bow out now. even with broken hearts, bowing out is NOT an option. especially now!
2. chyle, yes, bernie was cheated because the system was scared of his ideas. elections are rigged! they have always been! even the olympics are rigged! lol but let me remind some of y'all that they killed and destroyed many black and brown leaders because of their radical ideas about freedom. bernie is going home to his wife tonight.
3. cry. then turn that pool of white tears into rage. then turn that rage into armor. then put that armor on and join us at the next black lives matter march. join us as we try to put an end to all detention centers. join us as we fight to free Puerto Rico. join us as we work to end imperialism. join us wherever and whenever we need white social capital to create policy or shift change. join us on the battlefield after November.
be hurt and feel the burn of disappointment. black and brown people know that burn all to well but we don’t bow out. if you are truly committed to revolution, know that it is not found at the polls but on the battlefield.
louie a. ortiz-fonseca
**please forgive any typos. it is 1.35am and i am hella tired. :)
just the other day, while at a networking event doing my damn thang, i began chatting with a few folks. i already had a few tasty cocktails in my system so i was at ease, feeling good and even wittier than i was just 20 minutes earlier. all was going well - until - one of the women, who absolutely loved all of my damn jokes, (even the ones that weren’t all that funny. not that there were many, but you get my point) - invited me to her upcoming party. i said “sure” knowing damn well i will be in philly that weekend. she then says, “yeah, you should come, you’re funny as hell and my friends will get a hoot out of you!” now, i know somewhere in that statement, lies a compliment. sorta in that way when someone says “you’re handsome….for a thick guy” or “you speak so well.” naturally, i rolled my eyes so hard that i could feel my retinas dislocating and asked her “do i look like a clown you book for parties?” of course, she looked confused and looked around. the others returned to drinking their cocktails readying themselves to watch a good read. but because i have a heart and had to refill my drink, i simply said, in my finest DC voice, “will you excuse me, i need to go refresh my beverage, it was great meeting you all.”
so this post is inspired by homegirl with the whack as party invite and every aspiring fag hag i have ever met in my life who i am sure all “mean well” but DO NOT well with interacting with beautifully spirited queer men like myself. so this post is dedicated to all of the them, the fag hags who confuse allyship with microaggressions.
we just met and yeah, we have a connection but no, i am not your here for you or to be your best friend. i already have one. no you cannot hug me and take selfies with me so that you can show all of your other gay best friends. please, just enjoy the moment. gay men are not something you can claim and bottle for your consumption.
voguing is an art form that has historical ties to community building, healing and expression. it is not something to merely gawk at and consume because it “intrigues” you. yes, you can admire it. you can celebrate it. but do that on your own time. please do not assume that i know how to vogue because i am a gay man and do not ask me to vogue as if i am a dog who is willing to do tricks for you. what i can teach is how to see gay men and voguing beyond your narrow lens…but that depends on how much i actually like you.
gurl, stop! if you think that attributing your “larger-than-life” personality to your past life as a drag queen, you are part of the larger homophobic institution that consistently erases the art, lives and magic of queer men. drag performance takes skill and commitment. drag performance art has historically provided a space to discover personal freedom and liberation. drag is not about simply being loud and obnoxious. it is about creating space and holding space in this lifetime.
if you understood the journey some gay men must travel to get to a place to speak about sex openly and positively without shame, you would not offensively assume that we all comfortable talking about sex. even if we were, what makes you think that we would feel comfortable enough with you to talk about something so perosnal? would you ask your sister to teach you how to suck dick? would you ask your cis-gender female friend how to get fucked in the ass? if you have answered “no” to these questions, then you may not be as sex positive as you assume all gay men are. yes, we can talk about sex but gay men are not your entry into finding your personal sexual liberation.
if i had a dime for every time i met some “well intentioned” and
“open minded” straight woman who thought it was cool to touch my ass without my consent, i’d actually be able to
pay a web designer to spruce up the gran varones website. but i don’t.
what i do have is millions of awkwardly painful experiences that border sexual harassment.
somehow, somewhere fag hags learned that touching our bodies was okay. fag hags were also tricked into believing that saying “if had sex with you, i’d have you switching teams!” i cannot even begin to dissect all that is problematic with that statement that reinforces the fallacy that identifying as gay determines what our sexual behavior and pleasure is. i will save that for another article. but let’s imagine for one moment that i said the same thing to a straight identifying dude? i’d be accused of sexual harassment and rightfully so. let’s say that this straight dude beat my ass because he felt violated, because you know male masculinity is so damn fragile in this country and everything that threatens it must be destroyed. most people, including fag hags, would say that the ass whopping was in order because “you can’t just be disrespecting people like that.”
so yeah, don’t touch my ass. don’t sit on my lap. don’t ask me to kiss you. and no, you and your whack ass sex will not and cannot “change” my identity and/or orientation.
so these are just a few of the experiences i experienced when straight women cross the line from ally to fag hag. what are some of yours? please comment and share. oh yeah and use the lovely and poignant #ByeFagHag :)
special thanks to my friends who have shared similar experiences and providing me with great laughs and healing during the creation of this list.
- Louie A. Ortiz-Fonseca
twitter and instagram @lou_rok
This is about a bar in my area. Suerte Bar & Grill in McAllen, Texas, released footage and photos, on their Facebook page, of people who stole from a tip jar in their bar. They outed, misgendered, and encouraged hate against a trans person in the process.
I’d like to start first by saying how sad I have become as a result of this whole situation. I made the decision very recently to not leave the valley because I discovered how beautiful a place it can be. However, someone once told me, “Potential means you haven’t done a damn thing.”
I am going to try and break this situation down for my own peace of mind and maybe to help others that don’t, understand why this is all a big mess.
Theft is wrong. Thieves should be punished. I am a strong supporter of local business. The RGV’s nightlife is a growing and booming local economy in itself. I’m not even sure it bothered me that Suerte posted the persons picture. However, whoever posted it participated in a micro-aggression, a “small” act of violence. They chose to label this person who presents as feminine, “he”.
From what I remember (since the original post has been deleted) it read “Please help us find out HIS real name”. A commenter asked if the person at question was male or female to which whoever was moderating the page replied, “Male”. That’s when this mess began.
People started tossing around slurs both transphobic and homophobic. And lost sight of what this post was originally about. Petty theft. ($8 allegedly) Suerte could have prevented all this by living up to their name as a safe space for queer* folks. To which they proved themselves to be one of the biggest disappointments/failures I have witnessed. I loved going to Suerte. It was fun. I felt comfortable.They could have been true allies to the community and somehow put a stop to it all. But they did the opposite and perpetuated bigotry. Suerte let our community down.
The hardest part of all this is that our own community let us down. I began seeing from multiple people that they “have trans friends/relatives/family” and “I’m a gay guy but…” Just because you associate yourself with or as part of the LGBTQIA community does not mean that you aren’t a complete piece of shit. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time because of the work that I now do.
Often times, people who are assigned male at birth and identify, present, or express, as anything that is other than machismo are targets of systemic or interpersonal violence. And it’s all rooted in misogyny and the need to not be “that” part of the community. Why do we hate women? Why do we hate queer people? Why do women hate other women? Why do queer people hate other queer people?
It annoys me to no end when I hear people say “welcome to 2015 everything offends everyone! Lol”
Please shut up. I couldn’t care less what someone thinks of me or others. (Kinda.) BUT, when a group of people, LIKE TRANS WOMEN, are being murdered and attacked at such a high rate, I’m going on the offense when people are attacking or shaming them online. When Suerte rides on the coat tails of progressive thinking people then acts otherwise and doesn’t put its patrons in line for calling a person “IT” and “joto” then they’re fake as fuck.
I implore those of you who identify as gay and were saying that “those people give our community a bad name!” to ask yourself why you said that. Because they stole and queer people can’t be thieves? Because latinx people can’t be thieves? Because you feel the need to separate yourself as far as you can from the rest of us to prove to cis hetero people that you matter?
I’m sorry that queer, latinx, and queer latinxs hate ourselves. Suerte, your apology is bullshit. You “took action” after you saw actual community forming against your hate.
While you’re busy shelling yourselves out, some of us are trying not to die
Adrian Castellanos is a twenty-three year old HIV and AIDS advocate/activist. He was born and raised in the southern-most part of Texas known as the Rio Grande Valley. A border area of Texas to Mexico and South Padre Island.
Adrian studied art and fashion for a brief amount of time in Texas before he moved on to becoming a hair stylist in his home town.
At twenty one, Castellanos’ path was redirected as he was diagnosed with AIDS, while he spent two weeks in a hospital room, he decided to “make his mess his message”. Since being diagnosed on March 26, 2014 he has gone on to receive a Youth Initiative Scholarship to attend USCA in OCT. 2014, acquire a position with the Valley AIDS Council (the only HIV/AIDS Agency in his area) JAN. 2015, receive a separate scholarship to attend AIDSWatch in APR. 2015 and receive a Social Media Fellows Scholarship to USCA 2015. Adrian now spends his time doing free HIV screenings at two universities in his area and for the community with his agency. He also participates in outreach and education efforts to raise awareness within his community.
Castellanos utilizes social media to deconstruct stigma and engage with as many people as possible. He is just out of his first year of diagnoses but already has a strong outlook on what he plans to do for the fight to end the epidemic.
You can follow Adrian at: