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sexuality in color

Queering Sexuality in Color: Casa

If you're gay, lesbian or bisexual (LGB) and also of color, you don't need us to tell you how challenging that can be, nor that a lot of people -- especially those who aren't of color or who aren't queer -- don't realize, see or acknowledge much of what you've gone through or what you deal with. We're rolling out a new blog series today we hope can help counter that compound invisibility.

Even if you're not of color and queer, not LGB or not of color, we think it's critically important to cultivate an awareness of what it means to be not just a member of one of those groups, but of both. If you are queer and of color, what we're hoping this new series can do is help illuminate some of your own diversity, allow you to feel less isolated and know you're not alone. Queer youth (and queer people on the whole) are often isolated, and that isolation hurts and can do and does very real damage. LGB young people who are also oppressed, marginalized and rendered doubly invisible because of race

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POC: Tell Us What You Want!

This year, we'd like to invest some extra energy in being sure we're doing our level best to serve our readers of color well.

By all means, a lot what we do here is applicable to everyone and can serve everyone, and there are a lot of parts of sexuality and relationships that are fairly universal. At the same time, we know -- either firsthand or by proxy -- there are some issues or aspects of sexuality, sexual life and relationships and sexual health which are different for people or communities of color, or where there are additional barriers or complexities.

For example, being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender often poses additional challenges when you're of color. Access to sexual and/or reproductive health services is often more limited. How the media treats the sexualities of people of color is sometimes radically different than the sexualities of white people are treated. Body image issues in white communities can be very different than in communities of color. Compound

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Assumptions about race; Or, "So, where are you from?"

This morning I had class at 7:45 am, which is brutal since A) I live way off campus which means that I have to get up more than 15 minutes before I need to be there, and B) I left campus last night around 10 pm. Also, I had not had any coffee (devastating, in my case), so as a result, during the break I ran over to the nearest cafe to grab some. While I was in line, a (white) person that I had never before seen in my life, walked up to me and asked me if I was Chinese. My immediate reaction was "uhmm, what?", while I tried to process this stranger in front of me, asking this randomly intrusive question without having had any coffee in my system. The kid held up a Chinese language workbook. "I need help with my homework, and I was wondering if you speak Chinese." he explained. I (politely, mind you, though it took a lot of restraint) told him no, I'm not Chinese and don't speak it.

I tried to process the situation over my cup of coffee, during the last remnants of my break. Why did thi

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The holidays are here, and so are uncomfortably racist conversations with family!

The holidays are here and you know what that means! Well, if you're a person of color in an interracial relationship, it may mean having to sit through yet another uncomfortable, racially-charged conversation with your significant other's fam. I know I have, and December's barely here. When your significant other's (SO) parents tell you that they wished they had an African American relative in their ancestry, just to spice things up a bit, and then correct themselves to say that, really, any person of color would do--you've got a problem on your hands. Or when they joke about how they "thought you were Mexican" when you're Japanese (both are comments that I've encountered in the course of my dating history), playing on the 'they all look alike' myth, haha--Not. So while one of the best parts of being in a new relationship has been being made a part of my SO's family, the hardest part about being in a new (interracial) relationship is the culture shock of getting to know the peopl

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The Sticky Situation of Interracial Attraction

Are you in an interracial relationship? Do you have the hots for someone of another race? Attraction is all well and good until someone gets targeted for their race. Here’s the scoop: attraction is different than fetishism. People can have fetishes about all kinds of objects and acts, which can be part of a normal, healthy sexuality. Fetishes about people—particularly about specific races—are more complex than having a fetish about feet or breastfeeding, for example. Let me give my distinction between attraction to those of a certain race and fetish. Attraction is finding a person beautiful or sexy, part of which may be their race. A fetish is finding an object (or a huge, diverse category that someone perceives as an object, like say, race for example) sexy. The key here is looking at the whole person, not how their racialized characteristics fit into your preconceived expectations of them, and seeing that person as a person, not as an object.

Another distinction is that fetishes are

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MEMO: Race is not just a POC thing, we all got it!

Okay, quick quiz: What do these things have in common? Getting accepted into college, meeting people for the first time, walking down the street in your neighborhood, going to the airport. Answer: In all these situations, your race affects how you are perceived and treated by others, as well as your own outlook on the situation. This doesn't only go for people of color (POC), but everyone. Okay, now I'm going to blow your mind: everyone has race, even white people! It sounds silly, but people forget this all the time. Race is a big part of who we all are as individuals, and logically, it also factors into our sexual relationships in a major way.

The reason that race is such a big issue comes from our long history of racism: slavery, genocide (see Jessica Yee’s post), rape, persecution, the list goes on. That kind of history doesn't just go away. And it's reflected in the more subtle (but still destructive) racism that POC regularly experience in the United States today. Becau

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Chlamydia on the Rise, Particularly for People of Color

From the Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look At Race, Ethnicity And Health:

Blacks were disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infection rates in 2007, including chlamydia rates that reached a record high and syphilis rates that increased for the seventh consecutive year, according to a CDC report released on Tuesday, Reuters Health reports (Dunham, Reuters Health, 1/13).

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Ever Smiling Doll

I used to play with Barbies a lot when I was little. No wonder I wanted to be blonde.

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Native+sex=strong, sexy, powerful and unapologetic

I'm going to tell you something.

I'm proud to be Native/Aboriginal/First Nations.

I'm proud not only because I have a legacy of ancestors who have stood up against some of the truest tests of time so that this great culture of ours still remains today, but because I need look no further than in my own culture to do the work that I’ve wanted to do my entire life: sexual health.

Before the invention of clinics, anatomy textbooks, or even this fantastic website, my people were practicing sexual education, living as feminists, and utilizing reproductive justice to live as a healthy, strong, autonomous nation.

We might not have called it sexual health, or labeled it with any sort of clinicized connotation, but we sure as hell have always believed in our rights over our own bodies, and how foundational that is to our continued existence.

I mean, what do people really think we used to do? Wait for the colonizers to come and teach us about sex?!

You would think however that we would get the r

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Coming Soon: Sexuality in Color & The Scarleteen Voting Guide

Newsflash: I'm white. Who cares, right?

Well, I do. Because one thing that means with the work I do is that I hear it, see it, compile it, write it all through the lens of a white person. I can be as mindful, sensitive and careful as I want, but that still doesn't change that.

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Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.