DEAR BLACK PEOPLE

DEAR BLACK PEOPLE

Let's come together as a community
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Dear Black People,

Why are you screaming “Black Lives Matter” when you really don’t believe that black lives matter? If the lives of your fellow brothers and sisters mattered, you would be in the community protesting when we murder one of our own, not just when other races do it. When a black man is gunned down in the streets by another black man, we divide as community. We turn a blind eye, because in most neighborhoods “Snitches end up in ditches.” Homicide cases go unsolved because people are too afraid to speak up, but the people who aren’t scared would rather take matters into their own hands. As soon as a white person guns one of us down we can come together. Why? Because no matter who was in the wrong, the black community wants justice for the black kid. Siblings have a saying “Just because I can talk about my brother, it doesn’t mean you can.” Blacks have a similar saying “I can kill black people because I am black, but you can’t because you aren't black.” Does that make it right? If you can't stand for BLM when it involves blacks killing blacks, then don’t stand for it when whites kill us. If you really have the right intentions and are involved in the movement, race would not play a factor; you would be fighting for justice no matter what. Let's come together and defend our fellow brothers and sisters from all races, including our own.

Hair shouldn’t even be an issue within the black community. Just because we like our real hair long and straight doesn’t mean we have forgotten our genetic traits. Just because we put four bundles of Brazilian hair in our head doesn’t mean we are bald underneath. Just because we prefer our natural kinky hair doesn’t mean we are necessarily for the culture more than anyone else. Wear your bundles and straight hair proud, embrace 4c hair the same as you would embrace 4a hair. Men, we love your afro/thot boy cuts, just as much as we love your waves. Be yourself and WEAR your hair however you please.

Let’s embrace our multiple shades and really understand what my black is beautiful means. If you are light skinned, then own it. Don’t hide your true beauty because others say you aren’t dark enough for the culture. If you are dark skinned, don’t let anyone tell you your melanin isn’t popping. Let’s stop bringing each other down and love one another; let’s show the world that black girls rock and spread some black boy joy. We may be different shades but we are one race. Light skins are not outdated and dark skins are not ugly. Black people, let’s please stop dividing each other by our skin tone.

Can we accept the fact that we are different and get along with one another? It is time for the black community to come together and stop letting foolish things separate us as a people. Let’s learn to love our brothers and sister for who they really are. Lets show younger generations that the black race is a great race.

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9 Queer Pride Flags That You Probably Didn't Know About

The rainbow flag is certainly the most recognizable, but it isn't the only Pride Flag there is.
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It's Pride Month yet again and fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies are celebrating. Normally around this time of year, we expect to see that all-too-familiar rainbow colored flag waving through the air, hanging from windows and sported on clothing of all types. Even when not strictly a flag, the colors of the rainbow are often displayed when showing support of the larger queer community. But what many people do not realize is that there are many, many pride flags for orientations of all kinds, so Natasha and I (Alana Stern) have created this handy guide to some others that you may not yet be familiar with:

1. L is for Lesbian and G is for Gay

The most recognizable letters of the entire acronym, L (Lesbian) and G (Gay), represent the homosexual people of the LGBTQ+ community. Homosexuality is defined as being exclusively sexually attracted to members of the same sex. Again, although the rainbow Pride flag is easily the most iconic and recognizable, there is a Lesbian Pride Flag as well. Specifically for "Lipstick Lesbians," this flag was made to represent homosexual women who have a more feminine gender expression. Here are the Lesbian Pride Flag (left) and Gay Pride Flag with the meaning of each stripe (right).



2. B is for Bisexual

Bisexuality is defined as the romantic and/or sexual attraction towards both males and females. They often go unacknowledged by people who believe that they cannot possibly feel an attraction for both sexes and have been called greedy or shamed in many ways for being who they are, but not this month. This month we recognize everyone and their right to love. Here is the flag and symbol that represents the big B!


3. T is for Transgender (Umbrella)

Gender identities are just as diverse as sexual orientations. Transgender people are people whose gender does not necessarily fall in line with their biological sex. That is to say, someone who is born male may not feel that calling oneself a man is the best way to describe who they are as a person; the same can go for someone who is born female or intersex (we'll get to that in a bit). Someone born female may feel that they prefer to be referred to as a man. Someone born male may feel that they don't mind being referred to as either a man or a woman. And someone may feel that neither term really fits. Identities can range from having no gender, to multiple genders, to having a gender that falls outside of the typical gender binary of man/woman, to anything in between. The colors of the flag are blue (the traditional color for boys), pink (the traditional color for girls) and white (to represent those who are intersex, transitioning, or have a gender that is undefined).


Okay! Here's where we get into the lesser-known letters of the acronym. You may have heard of some of these before but didn't quite know what they meant or how they fit into the larger queer community, or you may not have heard of them at all. Either way, we'll do our best to explain them!

4. I is for Intersex

Intersex people are people who are have a mix of characteristics (whether sexual, physical, strictly genetic or some combination thereof) that would classify them as both a male and a female. This can include but is not limited to having both XX and XY chromosomes, having neither, being born with genitalia that does not fit within the usual guidelines for determining sex and appearing as one sex on the outside but another internally. It is possible for intersex people to display the characteristics from birth, but many can go years without realizing it until examining themselves further later in life. Here is an older version of the intersex flag which utilizes purple, white, blue and pink (left) and a more recent one that puts an emphasis on more gender-neutral colors, purple and yellow (right).


5. A is for Aro-Ace Spectrum

The A in the acronym is usually only defined as Asexual, which is a term used to describe people who experience a lack of sexual attraction to any sex, gender, or otherwise. People who are asexual can still engage in healthy romantic relationships, they just don't always feel the need or have the desire to have sex and are not physically attracted to other people. If that's confusing, think of it this way: you are attracted women, but not men. You may see a man and think, "He's kind of cute" or "That's a pretty good-looking guy," but you still would not feel any desire towards that person, because that's not what you're into. Asexual people generally feel that way about everyone. That's the "Ace" half of "Aro-Ace."

"Aro," or Aromantic, is a term used to describe people who do not experience romantic attraction. Aromantic people still have healthy platonic relationships, but have no inclination towards romantic love. The reason Asexual and Aromantic are together is because they are very heavily entwined and oftentimes can overlap. Underneath that spectrum are also other variations of asexuality (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are asexual but experience sexual attraction in very rare circumstances, or only after they have a romantic connection) and aromanticism (including but not limited to people who still feel as though they are aromantic but experience romantic attraction in very rare circumstances).

Below are two versions of the Aromantic Pride Flag (top and middle) and the Asexual Pride Flag (bottom).





6. P and O are for Panseuxal and Omnisexual

Pansexual and omnisexual people are not limited by gender preferences. They are capable of loving someone for who they are and being sexually attracted to people despite what gender their partner identifies as. The word pansexual comes from the Greek prefix "pan-", meaning all. Pansexuals or Omnisexuals will probably settle for whoever wins their heart regardless of that persons gender.


7. But what about the Q?!

The Q can be said to stand for Queer or Questioning, or both. "Queer" is more of a blanket term for people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community or who identify as something other than heterosexual or cisgender (a term that has come to describe people who feel that their gender does fall in line with their biological sex; i.e. someone born male feels that he is a man). It is also possible for someone to identify as queer, but avoid using it to refer to specific people unless you know they are okay with it; some people still consider it insulting. Questioning means exactly what it sounds like: it gives a nod to those who are unsure about their sexuality and/or gender identity or who are currently in the process of exploring it.

There's no one flag specifically for the letter Q, as all of the above sexualities and identities technically fall underneath this term.


This list is hardly comprehensive and there are a number of other flags, orientations and identities to explore. Pride Month is still going strong, and there's always more to learn about the ever-changing nature of sexuality as a whole and the way we understand it. It's a time for celebration, but also a time to educate and spread the word.

For a more in-depth description of different types of attraction and how they work, click here.

For more complete lists of gender identities throughout history, click here or here.

For a general list of commonly used words in the LGBTQ+ community and their definitions, click here.


Now go grab a flag and fly it high--you've got a ton to choose from!

Cover Image Credit: 6rang

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I'm Straight And I Love And Support Pride Month

You don't have to identify with the movement to support it.

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In honor of Pride month, I felt like it should be addressed that while you may not be a part of the LGBTQ+ movement directly, you can still support it just as much.

In fact, you could not be an identifier of any marginalized group, but you could still provide the protection and support they deserve.

Many refer to this support as being an "ally" or using your privilege as an advantaged or privileged demographic in America to spread awareness and protection for this marginalized group.

It doesn't require much, you may not even immediately support the cause, but having an open mind and an open heart are your first tools.

Simple things such as posting your support for their movement or reading up on articles and news about the movement mean so much to the people involved. As a marginalized or oppressed group in America, their voice may always be loud but may not always be heard. Using your platform and ability as an "accepted" part of society, such as a cis male or female, not only makes the people of the movement feel accepted but also raises their voices to be heard.

If you're feeling extra supportive, attend an event or a parade.

Almost all of the Pride parades are about acceptance and celebrating identities, and while you may not directly relate to the cause, attendance may change your life. You may meet people you never thought you'd be friends with, or you might lose preconceptions about those who identify as LGBTQ+. Ultimately, educating yourself about the particular marginalized group will create yet another voice that will hopefully make the change they are seeking for their community.

I do not have any personal reason to support Pride and the LGBTQ+ community besides believing every human deserves respect and love. I do know people who identify with the community and they have become some of my best friends, but I have always supported equality in love.

Pride month is special to me as a cis black woman because I believe every identity deserves a chance in the world. The beauty of the month being so powerfully celebrated shows me that while we are slowly making social progress, our strides are not going unnoticed and the bigger the Pride parades get, the bigger the movement gets.

So, as we celebrate Pride month, remember: you can be straight and still love and support the movement.

You can protect and promote the people within it so their voices are heard and they receive the change they are looking for. You can support the movement and many other movements you may feel you do not fit into.

Happy Pride!

Cover Image Credit:

upload.wikimedia.org

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