Black, indigenous and women of color are not your sin-eaters, we don’t exist to endure pain for the sake of our communities.The 1st of May marks the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Month, and Wear Your Voice’s writers and editors have always worked on shedding light on the mental illness, health and the stigma attached to both. Mental health is a feminist issue—it is inextricably linked to oppressions like misogyny, queerphobia, transphobia, racism, ableism and a multitude of others. Studies have proven what we already know through our experiences: racism is literally making us sick. Micro and macro-aggressions take a toll on our mental health, and for those of us with mental illnesses, treatment is often difficult, heavily stigmatized or ignored. In our worst moments, mental illness can lead to the police killing us rather than helping us. Our pain goes unnoticed or untreated because there are limits to the empathy people feel for us, especially for indigenous and Black women and femmes. Resilience happens to be the thing people praise about us rather than our vulnerability or softness. But when do we get to be open, honest and broken without being discarded because we cannot take care of everyone around us? Why is it that people expect us to fix everything without taking the time to heal from our own wounds?
Anger, beyond happiness, has been a driving force and a focused laser beam which has led me to some of the most cathartic moments of self-care. [TW: mention of sexual assault and the word r/pe] The beginning of April marks the start of
As Women's History Month rolls by, focus on our past, present and future. We have a lot to get done, but we are ready.We're creeping closer towards the end of winter and with it we say goodbye to Black History Month and a multitude of culturally enriching achievements — Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther", Janelle Monáe's release of two visual singles from her new album, "Dirty Computer", as well as the unveiling of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's portraits by Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, just to name a few — and we welcome Women's History Month to celebrate not only women's past achievements and our ancestors, but our futures as well. Needless to say, the past year has been tumultuous and we continue to grapple with the death rattle of oppressive forces. Patriarchy, white supremacy and other insidious forms of hatred are lashing out at us as we continue to push back and harness our energies to love and support each other as marginalized peoples. February was a time of self-reflection, internalization and laying the groundwork for manifesting our hopes and dreams — the past 28 days have been confusing, devastating and maddening but our resilience, anger and softness binds us together. This month we focus on our power, our power as women, non-binary and trans folks who are creating safer, stronger pathways for ourselves and our futures. Many of us here at Wear Your Voice are practicing witches, we use the energy of our ancestors and the earth itself to protect and nourish ourselves. Our self-care and ability to find ourselves in the midst of chaos has been essential since the beginning of humanity and it will continue to be that way.
Shop WYV: Healers and Witches of Color
We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month.After what seemed to be an interminable first month of the year, January is finally over and we welcome February after a full moon filled with purpose, set intentions and energy. Wear Your Voice turns four today(!) and our birthday is not only a celebration for us, but for our dearest readers too. While times are difficult and fraught, we have consistently been in awe of what our fellow creatives, activists and witches have been building and nurturing. There is no better time than the present to actualize projects which intend to help our Black and brown communities. Over here at WYV, we have been creating resources, developing ideas and opening up discussions which prioritize OUR voices — the voices of the marginalized, the voices of queer and trans BIPOC who have been systematically tokenized or ignored in favor of white cishet voices. This is truly a space for us, by us. We welcome Black History Month on our born day, and we set our intentions for this month. As managing editor, I am thrilled to say that this “Letter from the Editor” will be the first of many monthlies to come and it is only natural and fortuitous that the first edition of these letters should be today. This Black History Month we celebrate the Black queer women, femmes, trans and non binary people who are often left out of the discussions of Black History Month in favor of cishet male voices and historical figures. WYV is also celebrating Black women through our marketplace, with our Black activists and creatives shirts featuring some of history’s most groundbreaking women: Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, Angela Davis, Octavia Butler, Lucy Parsons, Assata Shakur and many more. The intentions I am setting for Black History Month include making Wear Your Voice an even safer space for our readers as well as our writers. WYV would be nothing without the hundreds of voices we have been lucky to make space for on our site, and part of the integrity of our magazine means making sure our writers’ voices are not only nurtured, but safe. This being said, our editorial team has decided that we will no longer have a comment section on our site. Readers are welcome to engage with us on our social media platforms instead. As an intersectional feminist publication, we are targeted by misogynists, racists, queerphobic people who simply show up to derail conversations and threaten our writers with bile. Nothing good can come from making space for that kind of energy and there is no such thing as a good debate with people who don’t consider us as equals or even deserving of humanity.
"As the founder of a self-funded intersectional publication, intersectionality isn't just about having other people tell our stories; it's about providing opportunity and economic access for marginalized Black and brown folks to have autonomy over their lives. -Ravneet Vohra, WYV