Say his name: Dexter Pottinger

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Via Facebook: Dexter Pottinger

His name is Dexter Pottinger. He was a model, fashion designer, LGBT activist, photographer, makeup artist, the face of Jamaica Pride and judging from the multitude of condolences from people he’s touched, a brilliantly kind, creative and devoted human being. “Never apologize for being yourself”, he said, “they should apologize to you for asking you to be someone else”. He was murdered in his home last week in Jamaica. As a gay black man from the Caribbean, this hits uncomfortably close to home.

 

 

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For Orlando 

It’s a hard day for our community- it’s been one year since the Pulse nightclub attack. Through the devastation we came together, rallied world wide and pledged our commitment to building a stronger, more unified community in the face of hatred. That gut wrenching feeling after hearing the news that night hasn’t left me. It looms every time I pop into a gay bar, club or any queer gathering.  But as we’ve demonstrated time and again, backing down is never an option.

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Queer Black History- Deep in Vogue: Willi Ninja

willi1Before voguing made it’s mainstream debut via Madonna in 1990 and the classic Jennie Livingston doc Paris is Burning in the same year, voguing was a dance pioneered by black drag queens in the 1960’s  NYC Harlem ballroom era. The dance itself began as an admiration of the lifestyle of the rich and the famous, the fifth ave steppers and high fashion magazine models and their poses- hence the name. By the 80’s, as shown in Paris is Burning, the dance evolved into a form of shade and was used to distinguish who was legendary and who wasn’t. One such legend was Willi Ninja, the mother of the House of Ninja who not only mastered the dance form but aspired to take voguing from the ballroom to the real Paris and make the real Paris burn. And did he ever.

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Lessons from Obama

obamaTo do right in a world of wrong requires strength, compassion and sheer determination. All of which were pillars of the final presidential address delivered by Barrack Obama earlier this week. ‘Change only happens when ordinary people get engaged and come together to demand it’, he said. And this is true not only in the political sense but especially so in our growing society of indifference towards each other.

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World AIDS Day: Fuck Stigma

red-ribbonIt’s the 28th anniversary of World AIDS Day. It’s an important day for the community- a day of remembrance for everyone we lost to the disease and a day when we should reach out to those affected and let them know we’re here for them and that we won’t stigmatize or pass judgement. This year’s campaign’s on point- has our knowledge and attitudes towards HIV changed with the times? Or is HIV Stigma on the increase? If you’ve used a gay dating app recently it’s pretty clear that stigma still exists and it’s right here in our own community.

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