Stop Saying “That’s So Gay!” — Six Microaggressions That Hurt

Psychology Benefits Society

Sad Asian teenage boy

By Kevin L. Nadal, PhD (Associate Professor of Psychology, John Jay
College of Criminal Justice – City University of New York)

When I was a little kid, I used to hear my brothers, cousins, and friends say things like “That’s so gay!” on a pretty regular basis. I would usually laugh along, hoping with all my might that they didn’t know my secret.  My parents and other adults in my life would tell me things like “Boys don’t cry” or “Be a man!” which essentially was their way of telling me that being emotional was forbidden or a sign of weakness.

When I was a teenager, there were a few boys at my high school who ridiculed me, almost everyday. When I walked by them in the halls, they called me a “faggot” or screamed my name in a flamboyant tone.  I learned to walk by without…

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“You Can’t Do That! Stories Have to Be About White People!”

Media Diversified

Young Writers of Colour

by Hip Hop Teacher

I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.

1)    Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.

2)    Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.

Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.

Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”

is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.

Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial…

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On Writing, Life, and Margaret Atwood

The Paperbook Blog

University is a strange institution. Ever since I can remember it has been preached to me that it is a necessity in achieving life’s dreams, an establishment designed to enlighten and educate me. Without completing a university degree, I was told, I would end up going nowhere. I would be bound for failure, shunted off to one side in the employment game. A great Tertiary Entrance Exam score saw me enrol in Law, for no other reason than that I could. What followed was a year and a half of partying punctuated by the occasional lecture or exam, before I dropped out spectacularly in a haze of tears, recriminations and gin.

Now here I am, six years later, working my way through a different university degree. Does this mean that I finally bought into the concept of tertiary education, a convert to the institution? Not at all. Rather, and this is painful to…

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Cigarettes: Just Like Candy

Carla Prieto

Cigarettenot my hand

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

My love affair with cigarettes began at an early age. The first one I ever tried had no filter and had a bumpy and chalky texture. It came in a long, flimsy, red box that read “KINGS” with a crown underneath, which I had gotten in a goodie bag from a friend’s birthday party. It was candy.

I took mine out and began chewing it after my mom took hers out and lit it, the smoke billowing elegantly above her and blending into the hot summer air like thin branches of an infinitely tall and bare acacia. She sat on our hardwood porch, lined with impatiens and gardenias and buzzing with bees, while I sat on the green summer grass not too far away, watching her lounge coolly with wonder and admiration.

At four or five, I didn’t know much about cigarettes. Why didn’t…

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Voices from the Syrian Tragedy: Three New Poems

Amazing.

Arabic Literature (in English)

Fawaz Azem has translated three new Syrian poems — one from Dima Yousf and two from Nihad Sayed Issa — all responding, in some way, to the nation’s current landscape:

By Fawaz Azem

Dima Yousf, courtesy of the author. Dima Yousf, courtesy of the poet.

Dima Yousf, a Syrian Palestinian born in 1986, graduated from Damascus University with a degree in Arabic literature and a teaching diploma. She teaches Arabic in Damascus schools, and is pursuing a graduate degree “but with a stay of execution.”  A recent post on her Facebook page reads “I have so many stories to tell, if I survive.”

Yousf’s poem is untitled.

#

Oh, if I only had a knife
like those that are forgotten on necks,
after massacres.
If I only had the fingers of a murderer
and his unblinking eyes.
If I could only utter the cry of his victim
the moment he gathers in the voices
from all four corners…

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