If you missed out on the first two releases, then your luck just took another swing. The opportunity might be upon us for an all-white colour way of the Yeezy low sneaker. Kanye was spotted at James Harden’s birthday in Houston wearing an all white outfit, matching Kimmy K.
Layers made up of pb smoothie - buckwheat, oats & chia soaked overnight in unsweetened coconut milk and then blended with ½ frozen banana, tbsp sugar/salt free pb, tsp maca and a little coyo and blended.
The berry layer was - soaked buckwheat, oats & chia blended with a cup of frozen mixed berries, tap baobab, 1 date to sweeten and more coyo then blended. Layered & topped with crushed raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, red currants & strawberries.
I’m 19, and this is my first time at Sydney’s infamous Arq nightclub. I feel like an Israelite before the Red Sea, except that I’m facing an infinite expanse of white twinks.
My friends have interesting notions of ‘fun’. One of them enthusiastically declares: “We’re going to tell the drag queen it’s your birthday!”
Oh, joy. I play along, and suddenly I’m up on stage with 4 other men. A drag queen is staring me down.
“What’s your name, love?”
“Fahad,” I offer.
“What was that?” she asks, holding a hand to her ear and a mic to my mouth.
I try again, pronouncing each syllable more deliberately. “Fahad.”
She turns to the crowd and pulls a confused face. “We’re going to have to skip you,” she insists, to the laughter of a hundred twinks.
This is not the height of the racism I’ve experienced in the gay community. It’s not even particularly egregious compared to some of the things I’ve faced. But I’ve decided to begin with this because it represents a truth which I’ve come to realise over the years: people like me, because of the colour of my skin, because of my name, don’t belong in the gay community.
I mean, ex-fucking-cuse me. Fa-had. And before you start, it is literally two syllables, neither of which are foreign to English. ‘Fa’ as in ‘fan’, ‘had’ as in ‘had’. I even deliberately pronounce it wrong to make it more palatable. No, my name is not difficult to pronounce. The only thing “wrong” with my name is that it is Arabic. There is no other reason my name should provoke a sense of aversion. It is not difficult to pronounce. And if it were? Uzo Aduba recounts her mother’s words: “If they can learn to say Tchaikovsky and Michelangelo and Dostoyevsky, they can learn to say Uzoamaka.”
That observation holds within and without the gay community. But here is a basic fact: as a gay man of colour, I feel more secure within ethnic communities than I do within the gay community.
The gay community has a problem with colour.
People who have not endured racism cannot conceive what kind of effect it has on a person. It’s more than a concept - it’s an experience. It cuts right through to your soul. It eats away at all that which makes a person: their dignity, esteem, and sense of self. Racism leaves deep wounds, some of which may remain irreparable.
So when I go onto Grindr and I see people describing their preferences as “no spice, no rice, no Asians” - how am I supposed to feel? In what world is it sensible to describe people as “spice” and “rice”? In what world is it sensible to suggest that an entire race of people is sufficiently homogeneous that you can say with absolutely certainty that you will never be attracted to any given member of their race?
And here’s the thing: even gay men who have the good sense to avoid propagating absurdly racist stereotypes will suffer from some degree of bullshit. You’re either looking at me like an exotic piece of meat, or you’re not looking at me at all. Of course, this isn’t a universal occurrence, but it is common enough to be a safe assumption.
One thing this taught me that took so, so long to unlearn was the idea that somehow I was unattractive. That somehow my dark eyes, my full lips, my olive complexion, and my thick, unruly hair are unappealing. And that’s part of the power of racism - it teaches you that you are worthless, and over time you come to believe that this is true. You believe in everything negative that is said about you, you believe that every single piece of shit flung your way is deserved.
Racism can also be unspoken. You can feel it when you’re standing in a club and you just know that you’re invisible. There’s only two situations in which I’m ever approached in a gay bar: when someone has had enough white bread for one night and wants to sample some exotic cuisine, or when someone is looking for drugs and assumes that as the only brown man in the room I must be selling.
No, I’m not saying that all white gay men are racist. I’m not suggesting that that they’re all the same. But they all must take responsibility and stand up to racism when they see it. Everyone, including myself and other queer people of colour, must interrogate their assumptions, their biases, and even their desires. Why am I attracted to white people? Why have nearly all of the men I’ve slept with been white? Those questions are relevant to even people of colour because we too are victim to social conditioning and constructed ideals of beauty that are propagated every single time you turn on the TV or look at a billboard.
Think about it. Think really hard. What stereotypes do you hold onto, and what dynamics do you enliven that have the potential to hurt queer people of colour? Do you really think I’m going to be flattered when your response to my Arab heritage is to say “big dick crew”? Are you fetishing me? Are you seeing me at all? Does any other aspect of my personality come through?
Sex may be at the centre of it all, but there is so much more to this picture. How many leaders in the queer community are people of colour? I was once told that the queer community didn’t have a problem with people of colour, and by a “progressive” white man, no less, because I was once elected as a Queer Officer at university. This is made more absurd by the fact I was the first person of colour to hold the position for half a decade.
We’re little more than furniture in the queer community. Our voices are silenced and our concerns are pushed aside. We only hear lip service and we only see ourselves in images that fetishising, tokenising, or humiliating.
Any positive images of people of colour will be erased because they do not belong. The leaders and agitators at the Stonewall Riots were people of colour, but Hollywood has decided to whitewash our history and replace our heroes — Raymond Castro, Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, and so many others on the front lines — with white twinks. I can promise you that a white gay boy didn’t incite the riots by being the first to throw a brick.
Often the hardest part of existing on the margins is having to force people to see you, and see you as you really are, unfiltered by the lens of cultural stereotypes and preconceptions of race. So yes, I’m fucking furious. Yes, I will cut your dick off if you try to fuck with me. I’m loud because I’m proud. I’m angry because we deserve better, as a whole. There is no reason for young queer people of colour to face higher rates of depression and self-harm than their white counterparts. There is no reason for gay culture to be completely devoid of diversity.
We’re here. We exist. We’re not going anywhere. And we need to walk together because the alternative is frightening. There is more than one colour in the rainbow.
I was going to write something short and eloquent here, but I think I’m going to have to settle for short. Although I’m not much of a poetry buff, I have always loved Frost, and when thinking about the criteria for this challenge these particular lines stood out in my mind. It seemed to fit well with FFVIII’s running theme of appreciating meaningful moments, but not dwelling so much on the past that you fail to look to the future. The passage of time, a moment of rest and reflection, and progression into the hopeful unknown were very important bullet points. In order to grow, you have to move forward, and having a common destination helps people grow together, rather than apart. That’s what I was going for, anyway. I never know if I actually capture these things well.
If we did, I really have to give skribleskrable the lion’s share (har) of the credit, though, because she drew and redrew panels and moved things around and put up with my dialogue micro-editing and pacing picky-ness all month long, and her suggestions were invaluable to the writing. Whatever work I put into this, she put twice as much. It’s been amazing and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to work with her.
Well, so much for short! I hope you enjoyed this piece. We had a blast making it.
Japanese streetwear label FACTOTUM has taken inspiration from classic novels for an imaginative release of a number of key pieces. Its designer, Koji Udo’s creations include an everyday man’s essentials that have been given a contemporary and imaginative touch with bold prints, clever details and well embedded washes. The standouts? The bleached distressed denim jacket, slim fit jeans, band collared shirt and long sleeve t-shirts. Check out their website for more imagery.
This has to be one of my favorite looks from Zoe Arku and I immediately fell in love with it the minute I saw it. I styled it with a crystal studded belt I got from a bridal store a year or so ago. Its perfect since it goes with everything. I hope you enjoy the images. Photography by the incredible Ksenia.