Tag Archives: allies

When Being An Ally Means Being Quiet

This piece is a guest post by Shannon Hall-Bulzone.  It was originally posted in BuzzFeed Community: 

Learning to be silent is crucial if you want marginalized groups to consider you an ally.

“I can’t wait until Trump gets rid of you fucking faggots.”

These words were hurled at a close friend as she walked into a bathroom at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Ten days after the election there has been no shortage of bigotry fueled attacks by those Hillary described as the “basket of deplorables.”

Well, they’re speaking up and making it known those of us who are not cis straight white men or women are unwelcome. Minorities are largely fearful, angry, and unsure if and when they’ll be on the receiving end of these attacks.

It was with these attacks in mind that I created a thread intended to be a space for people of color to heal, share their stories without intrusion, and to feel validation in a world that normalizes racism and intolerance. I shared my friend’s story and stated – “Don’t comment on this thread if you’re white. I’m sorry. I don’t want to hear your solidarity, your regret, or your apology. Too little too late, get your people and go to work – save the kind words for now because they’re empty when we are being targeted. Words and safety pins don’t fix a damn thing.

The exclusion of my white friends from this thread was inevitably ignored, and that is a problem.

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Missing the Mark

Photograph of Martin Luther King JR at a press conference, standing at a podium behind microphones and speaking, 1964. Text Reads "Why Can't W[ait]"

[This post was originally published at Feminist Mormon Housewives by Natasha Smith on February 9, 2015. The original text can be found here.]

Let’s be real, Feminist Mormon Community. We just had a major opportunity to embrace intersectionality, and we squandered it. What am I talking about? Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On that day, I watched as post after post dribbled through my social media co-opting Dr. King’s message. I saw many posts that talked about how Dr. King’s words apply to issues today as if racial inequality is not an issue today. I’m all for equality in every form, but given the current political and racial climate of the United States and the recent racial deconstruction of the Feminist Mormon Community, we needed to do better.

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Transgender Awareness Week

This week is Transgender Awareness Week. I’ve collected a few resources for people who are interested in participating in events and increasing community and individual awareness of trans issues and, specifically, trans PoC issues. Trans PoC are at a disproportionate risk for violence and poverty when compared to white trans people. This year, there has been unprecedented  violence against trans people. There have been at least 21 or 22 (depending on the source) known murders of transgender women. Most of these women were trans women of color.

The video below features several trans women of color who tell their stories in honor of TDoR.

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Public Anouncement

I, Natasha Smith, publicly and unabashedly support the rights of LGBTQIA people and marriage equality.

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That is all.

Be Supportive or Be Quiet!

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I fell asleep last night in front of the television (a common occurrence with me and even more so since my recent carpal tunnel surgery).  I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and beeping and pinging with notifications from Twitter, Facebook, etc.  Hesitantly and (a little) fearfully, I began to read the notifications.

As I read, my eyes filled with tears.  The physical pain in my hand was swept away by the intense emotional pain I felt as I read how the Church I love has decided that the children of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers cannot “receive a name and a blessing” and cannot be “baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service” unless they renounce and disavow their parents and receive permission from the First Presidency.

I cannot imagine having to explain to my child why he or she cannot be baptized.  I cannot imagine as a teenager being told that I would have to disown my parents or disavow our family in order to be accepted in my church.  I cannot imagine the pain or the anguish that so many of our sisters and brothers who want to continue to be part of the LDS Church are feeling.

All I can do is open my arms and my heart and let my sisters and brothers know that they are loved and that they are wanted.  I can acknowledge that this new policy is a vile and violent act and that no part of it is worthy of being adopted by a church that includes the name of Jesus Christ in its name.  I can mourn with my brothers and sisters and I can bear their burdens.  I can let them cry, talk, scream, or all three.

What I do not need to do is to detract from their pain by drawing any sort of comparisons with any pain I am feeling or I have felt or with situations that I or others have experienced.  Their pain is not a game.  It is not a competition.  I will not make them feel better by making someone else feel worse.

I simply need to step up and be there for them and with them.

I invite each of you to do the same.  If you cannot, I invite you to be quiet.

New Feature: Dear FEMWOC

*We are starting a new feature where people can anonymously submit questions to the community in an effort to cultivate constructive and sincere conversations in a place that is safe for WoC. We would like the community to engage by answering the questions in the comments section.* Continue reading

FEMWOC DOES SUNSTONE : Choose the White

I almost overlooked my husband. Actually, I did overlook and dismiss my husband upon meeting him. When I saw him, I thought, “Maybe I’ll marry that guy.” Immediately I corrected myself, “No, he is Mormon, and he is white.” I’m a convert, and based on the things I learned and behavior I observed, I thought good Mormons did not marry people outside of their race. Translation: Good Mormons only married other good Mormons who were also white. My fear of never being able to marry in this life is one of the reasons I left the Church when I was 17. Based on the things I was taught in church, I believed and was told that it was unlikely that I would get married before I reached the Celestial Kingdom. That is the last thing a hormonal teen wants to be told.

White is the epitome of righteousness and purity throughout Mormon culture. It is no wonder that that same ideal is perpetuated in our relationships with one another. We are part of a religion that believes that righteousness can be manifested physically through one’s appearance.

The cultural teachings and practices of the Church in the Mormon Corridor coupled with my own race based self-hatred greatly impacted my short-lived dating life, decision to marry, and sex life.I learned when I was young that being a good Mormon meant emulating whiteness and setting aside blackness.

If I really wanted to be righteous, I was going to have to marry and that meant marrying white.

If you want to hear more about how the cultural and doctrinal practices of the Church have impacted WoC’s personal and sexual relationships, come to the FEMWOC panel in the Crimson View room on July 31, 2015 at 3:45 PM.