Empire and Queer Mothering

Nobody puts Baby in the corner --Dirty Dancing One of the most powerful scenes in Empire features a young Jamal slipping on his mother’s heels, wrapping a scarf around his head, and tottering into a gathering of family and friends, a young drag queen. When Lucious sees him, he loses it. He strides toward Jamal,... Continue Reading →

political homophobia

It is always strange to encounter oneself elsewhere, or, more precisely, the self that others think one is. I know enough to understand that all representation entails misrecognition: others’ images of us rarely accord with our images of ourselves and, strictly speaking, our self-representation is apt to be just as distorted. I have been thinking... Continue Reading →

African Queer Studies

The loss of stories sharpens the hunger for them. —Saidiya Hartman Like many other book-reading people, my path into queerness was as much intellectual as it was libidinal. In my Christian “youth,” I devoured articles in evangelical publications about the “scourge” of homosexuality. My body had yet to catch up with my brain, so I... Continue Reading →

Black Queer Studies Now

The possible shapes of what has not been before exist only in that back place, where we keep those unnamed, untamed longings for something different and beyond what is now called possible, to which our analysis and our understanding can only build roads. —Audre Lorde Anniversaries are strange things, especially at the juncture of black... Continue Reading →

Archive & Method: Toward a Queer African Studies

No. Can’t write it out. Not now. —Samuel Delany The problem, as always, is where to start. Which is to say, the problem always emerges where the political now demands an archive, and where the archive, in turn, demands a method. Given our present urgencies, in which we produce archives as their inhabitants and (disappearing)... Continue Reading →

“Do You Have A Dildo?”

The question marks a performance that has always started before it begins, a question deferred, unacknowledged as worth asking. To hear it spoken aloud is to hear the air sigh, tear, attempt to knit itself together. Accompanying it: do you have a bible? In this space, one can buy one and not the other. “Do... Continue Reading →

Black Gay Livability

An encounter from Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Shit and Eric meet Mr. Johnston, a white conservative who wants to shut down the porn movie theater they manage. Mr. Johnston, it turns out, once debated Robert Kyle, the black gay founder of the Dump. A brief exchange ensues between Eric and Mr.... Continue Reading →

Poppers

I am losing interest. Fucking: it’s afternoon, I don’t go to work until later, and I arranged my work schedule so I could fuck from 11 am to 3 pm and after I get off work at 11 pm. Today it’s indoors. I skipped the park. The display of “you want me” I reject, “I’m... Continue Reading →

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