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When I found myself as the victim within an abusive relationship, one that was marred by queerness, blackness, and a profoundly turbulent love resonating between the two of us, I was stunned into submission.

[TW/CW: descriptions of emotional abuse and physical violence.] Last month while sitting in a smoke lounge on the westside of Atlanta, a friend leaned over to speak directly into my left ear, trying to whisper under the music. “Speak in my other ear, I’m partially deaf in that ear,” I said, as I have to often. “Wait, really? I didn’t know that.” She responded. “Why are you deaf in that ear?” Such a simple question leads me to the painfully uncomfortable conversation, by which I spend several minutes thinking to myself how to tell her, or even if I should tell her, that I am deaf because I used to date a super villain. And he beat the shit out of me. The first time it happened, he left my right cheek with a red tint over brown skin; an awkward silence dwelt within our kitchen in that moment. He no longer looked quite like an honest man, especially the man I’d fallen in love with, rather he resembled one of the grotesque villains I’d watch my favorite cartoon characters fight when I was a child, The Joker maybe. “Why did you embarrass me in front of my friends?” he would say, then a push, one strong enough to knock me off my balance and onto my knees. “I didn’t mean to,” I’d reply, not even remembering what I did wrong in the first place. I would say whatever to make the moments when the super villain was in my kitchen stop, or at least slow down. I thought I was seeing past it, always telling myself it was my fault, blaming myself for the speed and the force with which I was hit. The thoughts that raced through my mind this time were fleeting embarrassments and angering confusions that left our kitchen in an awkward silence for a moment: this wasn’t normal, this doesn’t happen to our kind; these types of violences are surely rare for us, and I’m now feeling as if I am a part of an anomaly within a sea of already demonized love. Here I was months deep into a love which was once all power and puff, now saying and doing whatever I could to defuse a situation I thought I was to blame for. When I found myself as the victim within an abusive relationship, one that was marred by queerness, blackness, and a profoundly turbulent love resonating between the two of us, I was stunned into submission. The person whom I was giving so much to, and borrowing so much from, became the very person who made a mess of me; the one who swore he wanted to build a nest up high with me began clipping my wings.
Related: WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT ABUSE IN QUEER RELATIONSHIPS

For those in the queer community or any other marginalized group that believe that their siding with white supremacy will save them: it will not.

It's no secret that true equality for marginalized groups is still long from being accomplished in full. Intersectionality and it co-option has led to further division from its original purpose – to uplift and center the experiences of Black women and femmes. But how far do we have to go when the queer community, in particular, shows that the valuing of Black lives within the queer community is still, largely, not accepted. Lavender Magazine is Minnesota's most notable LGBT biweekly paper. Bringing a mix of news, culture, and nightlife writing, Lavender Magazine is one of the few spaces that allows queer culture to exist front and center. So last month, the biweekly got in hot water with readers after choosing to put two white police officers on the cover of their Pride Issue. This came shortly after the news of Philando Castile's murderer being acquitted. [caption id="attachment_47308" align="aligncenter" width="308"]Lavender Mag 2017 Pride Cover Lavender Mag 2017 Pride Cover[/caption] The choice to put cops on the cover of the Pride Issue is not just a choice done in bad taste, but one that firmly roots Lavender Magazine with a clear stance: Black lives, even queer ones, do not trump white supremacy within the LGBT+ community. This isn't the first time that Lavender Magazine was called out for being problematic, last year readers launched a petition to demand an apology from the magazine for their consistent whitewashing and anti-Islam bias. For QPOC, this comes as no surprise – we have long known that queerness has always been synonymous with whiteness, and any expression to push that definition beyond that is met with racism and dismay.
Related: WHITE SUPREMACY AND ISLAMOPHOBIA LIVE EVERYWHERE, INCLUDING LIBERAL COMMUNITIES

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