Cis straight white people are trying to shut Arkh down.
Yesterday, notice was received from Kate at Indiegogo that part of #Arkh’s pitch on indiegogo was “unlawful”. Namely, that the lines about using the money to hire queer people and PoC artists were “breaking anti-discrimination laws”. Now Arkh’s goal is to not only make this game, but to use the money to support the community at the end of its goals, the queer community and the PoC community. Therefore, it seeks to pay either queer developers or developers of color, because those communities are notoriously left out of the gaming industry, to the point where if they do manage to get a job at all, they are ridiculed and harassed until they quit.
I changed the pitch immediately and mentioned to Kate that I was upset about it. Kate responded with this:
* * * * * * * * * *
Thank you, I appreciate that!Just to give you some context, we had someone threaten us with legal action because of that clause on your campaign. We’re having our legal advisors take a look at whether or not those two sentences violate any “law, statute or regulation”. I’m hoping that the answer is ‘no’ so that you can return your pitch to the way it was, but I need confirmation from our lawyers first.
Thanks for your understanding,
* * * * * * * *
All I have to say to the obviously cis straight white jerk who is angry that you can’t, once again, make money from queer people and people of color? To someone so upset at not being able to have everything in the world you made that ridiculous attempt at us, that even Kate at Indiegogo made sure to thwart?
Thanks. Really. :) You’re so selfish that you cannot bear to see something that doesn’t include you, something made for someone that isn’t you. You could spend your time playing any one of a million other video games just for you, but you attack what is, for so many, the one chance they will EVER be able to see themselves in a fantasy game of a high level.
But it’s okay.
Things like this are exactly what the community needs to be pushed into going farther than they could have ever gone before. The fact that you went that far to try to stop us only guarantees that we’ll succeed. We’ll succeed and I’ll make sure to leave a SPECIAL message in the game JUST FOR YOU. :)
Your racism and queerphobia only served to further my agenda.
To all supporters of the Arkh Project and its philosophies:
Spread the word, folk. There are cis straight white people actively making attempts to shut us down because they hate us having anything for ourselves just that much.
Arkh is going to be Indiegogo’s Campaign of the day tomorrow, 1/25/12.
Now is the time, queer folks and non-white folks. Spread the word. Tweet #Arkh. Tweet everyone you know. Tweet writers, tweet artists, tweet famous people and tweet your cousin’s aunt’s sister. Blow it up. Blow it up so that we’re unstoppable.
Do not let the oppressors beat us. We are here, and we aren’t going away because they don’t like having to share.
Edit: To anyone complaining about the title of this post? The SPECIFIC individuals trying to shut down Arkh are ACTUALLY cis, straight and white. It is a fact, not a generalization.
I find it strange and very annoying when people label efforts to promote the work of minorities as discriminatory. Signal boost. Keep doing your thing.
I can totally picture the racist queerphobic ASSHOLE behind all this, crying their eyes out about “reverse racism” and whining about how it is not fair for queer PoC to create a game just for themselves. Because we obviously know that’s NOT the case for white cis. UGH
He didnt come out about his sexuality as James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin did.
He married a woman and fathered children when he knew he enjoyed sex with trans women.
He was able to pass into black hetero-normality and thus became a threat to the NOI and to white America
he stayed in the safe ass North. He never went South like KING who confronted racism head on.
Malcolm was not our shining manhood. James Baldwin is/was.
also: none of this equates malcolm x to being a coward… comparing and pitting one of our ancestor/heros over another is just plain… wrong. btw, how was the north so safe-ass when he was murdered in that safe-ass north? not even going to go there about the comparison to king, because as i said the comparison in and of itself is just wrong.
word, i dont understand how someone not coming out about their sexuality invalidates all he has contributed to Black America. and i don’t think that telling your people to turn their cheeks to violence and that ‘the only blood that should be shed should be yours’ is confronting racism head-on. both El Shabazz and MLK had their distinct strategies to confronting racism, which were effective in their own right.
I didnt say his contributions to black america. but his contributions to queer black men of color.
you implied it by including it in the political context of him confronting racism. and don’t you think queer black men benefited even from a racial aspect as far as Malcolm’s contributions to their racial struggle as black men goes?
I think Terrell you brought a really important point about black civil rights always being about black CIS civil rights. The erasure of queerness among black folks is startling and I find it depressing that so many black people still DO NOT understand that given the intersectioanality of race with sexual orientation , sex and gender, how important for black people it is to fight for black LGBT and black women’s rights, to successfully overthrow white supremacy. And I think too often, even the most progressive black people fail to understand that because of of either their male or cis-privilege. Only a queer black person could fully understand the importance of a mythical figure like Malcolm X publicly embracing his queerness.
However, I find it paradoxical that you would call him a coward for “not coming out”. Does this makes every queer person who doesn’t come out in this horribly homophobic and transphobic world “a coward”? The problem I have with this line of thinking is that it is far too similar to the homophobic attacks against down low black men in the black community. It is basically shaming and erasing the work and legacy of a queer person because, you - a person who knows nothing about their experience - think they should have handled their sexuality in a way that suits YOU. Isn’t this one of the main problems faced by queer people, to be perpetually lectured by a heteronormative society on how the should live their sexuality? This is what I don’t get in what you are saying.
Side note: I would rather you bring it up than those disgustingly racist white LGBT always looking for a way to exploit and appropriate the black struggle.
Shahana Abbas Shani, President of Pakistan’s She-male Association, has announced that she will run in elections as an independent candidate for the city of Muzaffargarh for the Punjab provincial assembly.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Shani said that she has made the decision because she wants to discuss problems faced by her community, which she says have been ignored by Pakistani society, in the assembly.
“There is no other way for us to be heard and now when the Supreme Court of Pakistan has allowed us to have an identity card, we will fight for our rights,” Shani said.
The landmark 2009 court decision recognizing a ‘third gender’ has not been enforced by authorities, which caused severe problems for trans people during the recent devastating flooding, particularly in Sindh province, through a lack of ID cards. In November of last year the court ordered that they be registered as voters.
During the disaster, transgender people were left out of the aid efforts and denied access to IDP camps because of general prejudice, their non-conforming appearance and their lack of proper identification documents.
Bindiya Rana, of Gender Interactive Alliance, explains that no third-gender ID cards have been given out. As a result, many transgender citizens lack any identification documents at all. According to Rana, this occurs because “a lot of transgenders get separated from their parents from a very young age and are unable to get their parents’ ID cards and other supporting documents which are required to get an ID.”
Similar instances of aid denial occurred in post-earthquake Haiti.
Shani said that the Punjab assembly should pass rights legislation and that there should be reserved seats for transgender people — known as ‘Hijra’ in South Asia — in the National Assembly. Women and minorities already have reserved seats.
Her association has participated in protests against the November 26 NATO attack and the killing of Pakistani army personnel — where Barack Obama’s effigy was burnt.
“We will fight at our country’s borders if the forces need us,” Shani said.
A few weeks ago, I broke a longstanding personal rule and left a comment on a mainstream, very popular, award-winning U.S. gay blog. A long string of comments by mostly gay men (if web identities count for anything) supported the U.K.’s decision to consider sexual rights in granting aid. Many of the commentators condemned not simply homophobia and transphobia in Africa, but African governments and African citizens, the former explicitly the latter implicitly. “My tax dollars should not fund homophobia,” was a typical comment.
Against these certainties about African governments and African citizens, I pointed out the wealth of blogs and articles by African queers on the state of sexuality and rights in Africa and suggested that it would make sense if those pronouncing on Africa engaged with these sources. I also directed readers to the recent statement produced by African queer activists and organizations about aid conditionality. (But also see David Kuria’s dissent from this statement.) My attempt to suggest that African voices are worth listening to was ignored for the most part by those who considered themselves to be, variously, authorities on Africa, authorities on gay rights, defenders of gay rights, and defenders of aid conditionality.
At this particular table, there was no room for an African guest.
And because such online encounters are more common than not, this particular African guest returned to his online conversations with fellow African queers, musing about the futility of conversations with queers in the Global North who already know too much, want to save Africans but don’t want to listen to Africans, and want to cling to the (imperial) illusion that the Global North leads the way in gay rights—one wants to point out that, at least legislatively, South Africa is way ahead of the U.S. But let me not cloud the issue with facts.
I recount what is by now a tedious, too-familiar story, and adopt the position of the African in this particular story rather disingenuously. I am, after all, as much a product of the Global North as I am of the Global South. In a few short years, I will have spent as much time in one space as I have in the other. My education, my frameworks, my labor are in the Global North. And I am, for many, an unlikely person to speak for Africans or even to speak as an African. I know all too well that were my English less fluent, were my manners more diffident, were I more reliant on the salvific goodness of helpful foreigners, I would be more palatable to certain kinds of philanthropists who want stories about the awfulness of Africa and the chance to save another African.
Alas: I read Fanon at a formative moment.
Following the U.K.’s example, the U.S. has bought into aid conditionality tied to so-called sexual rights. It’s not yet clear what this will mean. But it is worrying.
Multiple blog posts from the U.S. have celebrated this “victory” for gay rights, this assertion that gay rights are human rights, universal rights: the U.S. is now on board with gay activism.
I am not celebrating.
In fact, I am disheartened by what feels like myopic celebrations that confirm, or suggest, that what is at stake in such a decision has nothing to do with helping African queers and everything to do with domestic U.S. feeling and neo-imperial machinations. I have no problem with U.S. queers celebrating this decision as an advance for U.S queer struggles; but let’s not confuse the issue and claim this decision has anything to do with African queers. Or that African queers were in any way consulted—not that we need to be, of course: knights in shining armor rarely ask whether the maiden and the dragon are engaged in an inter-species romance.
I am not suggesting that some African queers might not support aid conditionality. I am suggesting that such decisions can often accomplish more harm than good. While I am not interested in repeating tedious blather that Africans are “communal” while “westerners” are “individualistic,” I do want to emphasize that we all live deeply embedded lives. Aid conditionality based on sexual rights, and, really, gay rights, risks marginalizing the many kin-based, friend-based, and neighborhood-based networks inhabited by African queers. For the most part, African queers do not live in gay enclaves: cutting off major arteries to save tiny capillaries does not work. It simply cannot work.
More to the point, and to repeat something I’ve written before: positioning African queers as economic threats or as economic competition to other local, regional, and national projects renders us more vulnerable. In a country like Kenya where money is King, telling government agencies that money will not show up for a government project because queers are not treated well will most probably not result in better legislation or, more practically, better living conditions for queers. (Given Kenya’s strategic importance in the region and that we are happily killing Somalis for the Americans, I think our aid is safe.)
I realize that aid conditionality often has nothing to do with those populations deemed to be at risk. Or, rather, is based on information provided by “experts” who have “conducted studies” to “determine what is needed” and rarely, if ever, takes into consideration local needs and local situations, except as these are filtered through really fucked up lenses. I have sat through multiple presentations where so-called “experts” diagnosed Africans—yes, such collective terms are used too often—and heard myself described in ways I found utterly bewildering, reduced to a helpless, clueless child. When one speaks up at such meetings, one is told that one is an exception; no doubt, my U.S. education helped me grow toward civilization.
These too-frequent encounters (and once a year is too frequent for my taste) cost too much psychically for me to engage them. Thus, I skip most Africa-focused forums advertised in DC and most talks advertised by “well-known” Africanists—these are, strangely, also in short supply.
After all, how can I remain a happy African when others are so determined to infuriate me?
Who is listening to African queers? Who is listening to those who traverse local and international spaces, who understand local needs not because they spent 2 weeks on a grant-funded trip, but because they receive phone calls at 3 in the morning and spend countless hours making sure that queers find safe housing? Who is listening to those who through years of activism and study have developed methods for how to engage with political leaders?
Are efforts to save African queers ever really about African queers?
Brilliant. My thoughts exactly!
More like FCK TRANS* H8, because everywhere I go I see shit about gay people and NOTHING about trans*/queer people.
FCKH8 campaign? - Claims to have donated over $250,000 dollars to LGBT charities, but has nothing about the trans*/queer communities on its site. Not even a little promotional button.
reddit? - So much trans* hate, I can’t even wrap my head around it. The bad part being, these threads don’t get deleted. This awful, hateful shit is still swimming around on the internet.
I’m sure there are many, many more examples of such, but my point is not to sit here and point a finger at all this bad, but instead, asking you, the people, to stop being so ignorant and hurtful towards the lesser-recognized spectrums of the queer community.
And, to my fellow queer brothers and sisters, stop promoting so much queer-on-queer hate. We all have it rough, don’t make it worse for one community. We should be working together towards a COMMON goal: Queer Rights. I support gay rights just as much as I do trans* rights. Stop breaking up a beautiful and wonderful community that could change the world.
“ANONYMOUS - DEC 28, 2011
Now Magic the homosexual aids tycoon want rap to defend homosexuality?? Guess why? Because the business world is ran by homosexuals so you gotta sell out yourself to get success in that hollywood spotlight. Why the fuck should i take my time to defend some homosexual? I already spend enuff time defending the right to disagree with homosexulity. They talk about rights but they don’t wanna give anyone a right to opinion. I disagree with homosexuality but if u wanna fuck the same sex it aint my problems. Just dont bring that shit to me”
I will never understand how people find logical to contest the right of others to be master of their body yet complain about their right to an opinion being threatened.
Why would a perfect stranger have an opinion on consenting grown people bodies?? Why would you have to agree or disagree with whatever someone decide to do in his/her private life?? Who are you?? What conferred you that right??
Dear Customer who stuck up for his little brother,
you thought I didn’t really notice. But I did. I wanted to high-five you.
Yesterday I had a pair of brothers in my store. One was maybe between 15-17. He was a wrestler at the local high school. Kind of tall, stocky and handsome. He had a younger brother, who was maybe about 10-12 years old. Thy were talking about finding a game for the younger one, and he was absolutely insisting it be one with a female charcter. I don’t know how many of y’all play games, but that isn’t exactly easy. Eventually, I helped the brothers pick a game called Mirror’s Edge. The youngest was pretty excited about the game, and then he specifically asked me.. “Do you have any girl color controllers?”
I directed him to the only colored controllers we have which includes pink and purple ones. He grabbed the purple one, and informed me purple was his FAVORITE.
The boys had been taking awhile, so their father eventually comes in. He see’s the game, and the controller, and starts in on the youngest about how he needs to pick something different. Something more manly. Something with guns and fighting, and certainly not a purple controller. He tries to convince him to get the new Zombie game “Dead Island.” and the little boy just stands their repeating “Dad, this is what I want, ok?” Eventually it turns into a full blown argument complete with Dad threatening to whoop his son if he doesn’t choose different items.
That’s when big brother stepped in. He said to his Dad “It’s my money, it’s my gift to him, if it’s what he wants I’m getting it for him, and if your gonna hit anyone for it, it’s going to be me.”
Dad just gives his oldest son a strong stern stare down, and then leaves the store. Little brother is crying quietly, I walk over and ruffle his hair (yes this happened all in front of me.) I say “I’m a girl, and I like the color blue, and I like shooting games. There’s nothing wrong with what you like. Even if it’s different that what people think you should.”
Big brother then leans down, kisses little brother on the head, and says “Don’t worry dude.”
They check out and leave, and all I can think is how awesome big brother is, how sweet little brother is, and how Dad ought to be ashamed for trying to make his son any other way.
file under: shit that makes me cry at work
Poor baby , No one should make you believe your wrongf or being you
and it would have taken all I had not to smother the small child in my bosom, kiss the older one on the mouth and let em both leave with free ALL OF THE THINGS