Saturday, November 26, 2011

Response to Rapper T.I.'s Claim of Un-American Gays

In his recent interview with Vibe Magazine, rapper T.I. offered his insights and opinions on a number of topics, including his thoughts on the response of the gay community toward anti-gay slip-ups and slurs from rappers and other celebrities. We have seen responses to the comments of 50 Cent, Eminem, and the incident T.I. is responding to, Tracy Morgan—an incident for which he is still trying recover from the backlash.

To over simplify T.I.'s remarks, he essentially argues that gays are becoming oversensitive about homophobia and that responses to these incidents of anti-gay outbreaks are un-American. I am personally a fan of rap, hip-hop, and T.I. However, this cover interview with Vibe really begs the simple question: "Really, T.I.!?"

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Walking with the Deathly Queer

More than 500 years ago, when the Spanish conquistadors arrived in what they perceived to be the “New World” (México), they encountered the indigenous peoples practicing a ritual that appeared, to them at least, to be creating a mockery out of death. They would keep skulls as trophies that symbolized not only death, but also rebirth. It was a ritual the indigenous people had practiced at for thousands of years. A ritual the Spaniards would try to unsuccessfully to eradicate. A ritual known today as Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead.

November 2 is celebrated as el Día de los Muertos in México and various parts of the United States. It is a day that is very close to my heart as I reflect on the lives and legacies of my own deceased loved ones.

We remember our dead, not as gone and lost forever, but a commemorate a day when they can cross into our plane of existence and be in fellowship and memorial with us. Unlike the Spaniards, who viewed death as the end of life, the natives viewed it as the continuation of life. Instead of fearing death, they embraced it. To them, life was a dream and only in death did they become truly awake. And that is what we celebrate today. What a way of queering the dead—and the living.