qpoc news


Toronto Pride just voted to ban police floats from pride festivities, putting QPOC needs first

  • Pride Toronto voted to ban police from official participation in future pride parades, Vice reports. 
  • The vote to ban police comes only a few months after queer people of color within Black Lives Matter Toronto protested at the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade. 
  • BLM Toronto activists presented a list of eight demands to the parade’s organizers. Among the demands were more support for the organization Black Queer Youth, increased funding for LGBTQ people of color party Blockorama, a commitment to diversity within Pride Toronto’s staff and, most notably, the removal of police floats from the celebration.
  • BLMTO co-founder Alexandria Williams told Vice that the “glorification of police at Pride is just completely irresponsible and disrespectful to a community that has been heavily policed, heavily controlled, experienced an extreme amount of violence by this force.” Read more

Holy spaces where you thought nobody could hurt you. 

The space of prayer in a prophet’s mosque during Ramadan.

The passenger’s seat in a family car where your daughter sits right behind you. 

A gay club promising you a night of being free.

Holy spaces, human rights and human lives, hunt like game and irreversibly destroyed.

Tune in to the ascending whistle of the kettle and realize it’s an immutable cry.

This is the boiling point. We must fight for what we stand for.


“We can’t claim to be for equality if we show up for marriage and not black lives.” Watch this video. 

Sara Ramirez comes out as bisexual
She opened up about her sexuality while speaking on behalf of homeless LGBT youth.

The bi team has one more member! Sara Ramirez came out as bisexual over the weekend at a summit for the True Colors Fund. Ramirez plays the bisexual character Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy. 

“So many of our youth experiencing homelessness are youth whose lives touch on many intersections – whether they be gender identity, gender expression, race, class, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship status,” she said in her speech, which can be viewed in the video above. “Because of the intersections that exist in my own life: woman, multi-racial woman, woman of color, queer, bisexual, Mexican-Irish American, immigrant, and raised by families heavily rooted in Catholicism on both my Mexican and Irish sides, I am deeply invested in projects that allow our youth’s voices to be heard.” […]

“It made sense for me at this time as it was one piece of a larger context I was communicating,” she told HuffPost. “Our most marginalized youth touch on many intersections, and in describing the concept of inter sectionalities, I decided to describe the ones that exist in my own life.”

She went on to note, “The days of pressuring our LGBTQ youth to conform to one homogenized way of presenting LGBTQ are over. We must acknowledge and maintain awareness around their complex narratives.”

Simply wonderful. <3 

In honor of World Book Day, I want to tell you about this book, the best queer novel I’ve ever read. 

It’s called Juliet Takes a Breath, it’s written by my dear friend Gabby, and it’s about a Puerto Rican lesbian from the Bronx who’s figuring out identity, relationships, allyship, family, and everything else that happens all at once when you’re coming out. Juliet is the young queer woman of color protagonist that the YA scene desperately needs. Her voice is fresh, funny, thoughtful and authentic. And her story is the book I wish I’d had when I was 16. 

Gabby has lovingly agreed to make a video with me to talk about Juliet, and I’ll also be doing a giveaway of the book (maybe even signed copies!), so be on the lookout for both of those in the next month. In the meantime, buy the book, follow Gabby on Twitter and Tumblr, and support queer writers of color who are making the world better one book at a time. Happy World Book Day! 


Queer poet Danez Smith takes on police brutality, racism, homophobia, violence and so much more in this stunning Brave New Voices performance. 

Being bisexual, lesbian, gay, or sexually queer in a heterosexist society means you’ll be subject of heterosexist violence. Being female, feminist, transgender, or genderqueer means you’ll be the subject of sexist, misogynist, or patriarchal violence. Being a person of color means you’ll be the subject of white supremacist violence. Being two or more of those things compounds the violence you experience and the reasons you’re experiencing it. It also makes it more difficult to feel some semblance of safety because you could be targeted for one of those identities in a space that is set up to be safe for people with [an]other one of those identities.
—  H. Sharif “Herukhuti” Williams, PhD, interview with Vox
In the Black Community and the Black Church, if you’re queer, you’re forced to wear a scarlet letter. People don’t want to hear about it. They’d rather you suppress your sexuality to accommodate their insecurities, self-hate and comfortability. It wasn’t until one day, I realized something: No one is forcing me to do anything. No one is responsible for holding this scarlet letter to my chest, but me. I have the authority to free myself. The same way God gives us the authority to bless ourselves and our neighbors. We have the authority to free ourselves and free our minds, bodies, and spirits of things that are not of him. Hate being included.
—  Black, Gay Christians Do Exist, And It’s Time You Hear Us | Brent Thomas Whiteside for the Huffington Post Queer Voices
As a black gay man, owning up to my sexuality and being out with it came with a price tag and one that has discouraged many other people to follow suit. ‘Would I do it again’ is a question many black gay men have asked me. In the face of rejection, depression and loneliness, the answer might not be yes. However, when we take time to see the impact coming out has on the lives of many black LGBT people who unfortunately have limited role models in the media, then we realise that every time a famous LGBT person of colour comes out, a taboo is dead somewhere.

I found solace in my friendships with other gay Latinos, men like me who loved their families but who were estranged from them, men who still craved the flavors and music of home — a nostalgia for comforts that managed, if only for a few minutes, to assuage the pain of separation, of distance. But most importantly, perhaps our strongest bond to our homelands was our language. What a relief to communicate in Spanish, perhaps a chance encounter with the slang or lilt or speech of our towns. For many of us, our first tongue. For many of us, the words through which we first expressed love and fear and sadness and joy. And to have those words while inhabiting our queer bodies felt just right.

The club. Let me be clear about something I’ve learned as a gay Latino: No place is entirely safe, no building is a sanctuary. I have encountered violence and prejudice, or at the very least exclusion, in every social space. Like home, like school, the gay club was another complicated network of human interactions. It was not always pretty, it was far from perfect, but it felt necessary because my queerness was necessary, because my body hungered for attention, for the pleasures of movement on the dance floor where I was in close proximity to the other bodies I desired.

—  I Found A Home In Clubs Like Pulse In Cities Like Orlando | Rigoberto González for BuzzFeed
Black and Latino MSM, in facing a risk of HIV infection that’s wildly disproportionate to other populations, are embroiled in a genuine public health emergency. Of course, this won’t come as news to advocates already working on HIV/AIDS among those groups; but it reiterates the need for education, community-specific messaging, and, above all, access to prevention tools in the effort to stem the tide.