Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Share Your Testimonios

Please consider sharing your testimonios with the StoryCorps Historias project. There are mobile and storybooth locations all over the US. Please spread the word.

Visit the StoryCorps Historias project page. Read en espanol.

Bi's Greatest Hits of 2009 part 5

I'm going to post links to some of what I think are my best/favorite postings from this year in this space (or on others that I write at).

Sexual Baggage & Values

Read yesterday's greatest hit: Sexuality, Disability & Teaching

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From My 'Hood

I grew up in Montgomery County & my hermana goes to the college they are speaking of here and my father has also taken classes there and is considering teaching! Here, a news story covering a condom wrapper contest!

Bi's Greatest Hits of 2009 part 4

I'm going to post links to some of what I think are my best/favorite postings from this year in this space (or on others that I write at).

Sexuality, Disability & Teaching

Read yesterday's greatest hit: My Last HIV Test

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bi's Greatest Hits of 2009 part 3

I'm going to post links to some of what I think are my best/favorite postings from this year in this space (or on others that I write at).

My Last HIV Test

Read yesterday's greatest hit: How To Become A Sexuality Educator

Sunday Night Common Sense

today i'm sharing a quote my homegirl pazenlavida shared from one of her homies:

"If you go home with a person and they don't have any books, don't f*ck them" - John Waters

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bi's Greatest Hits of 2009 part 2

I'm going to post links to some of what I think are my best/favorite postings from this year in this space (or on others that I write at). Today's greatest hit is how you can become a sexuality educator and/or find ways to get involved in the sexual science field. We need more sex educators NOW more than ever!

How To Become A Sexuality Educator

Read yesterday's Greatest Hit: Please Be Advised: Latina Sexuality

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Bi's Greatest Hits of 2009

I'm going to post links to some of what I think are my best/favorite postings from this year in this space (or on others that I write at). Let's begin with this post about Latina Magazine's decision to hire an adult porn star to write their sex column:

Please Be Advised: Latina Sexuality

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ask Me Anything!

my homegirl fiqah made this and I'm biting off her! So, ask me anything (anonymous too); here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On Dreams

"If you have a dream, don't waste your energies explaining why." by Paulo Coelho

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

Today I want to quote one of my favorite people I follow on twitter who is also a scholar and who I would be incredibly honored if she mentored me (it's already surreal the advice she shares and the convos we have on twitter)! She hosts the blog Like A Whisper where our love for popular culture, media, feminisms, intersectionality, and ending oppressions via social justice and change merge:

if your response to someone drawing your attention to intersectionality is to ask "what have you done to effect change" you are the problem

By profsusurro

Friday, December 18, 2009

Condom Wrapper Contest

I've read about an art contest for the NYC condoms that has begun by a columnists on Amplify Your Voice

NYC is looking for new condom wrapper designs to help people stay excited about condoms. I'll be honest I think these are some of the best looking condom wrappers I've seen in a LONG time! There's no prize, and you must be a NYer, but this will look AMAZING on anyone's resume or portfolio!

Find out more here.

foto credit:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cheap (but Fabulous) Gifts!

Alright, there are tons of holidays coming up, and when my parents were together I not only had to get end of year gifts, but birthday gifts for both parents and anniversary gifts for them all within a 10 day period! Needless to say I was pretty broke.

Because I've stayed pretty broke, I've found some amazing gits for folks that are under $20, which is usually my budget for people in my life. Here are some of my favorite gifts to give that are within that $20 budget! (Dag, I'm sharing all my secrets with this post!)

Crafty Chica's Wooden Frame $5
You can decorate it yourself or give as a gift to the crafty person in your life! I also suggest the Mojito papers and consider the Love Shrine. I've got the Love Shrine and have shared what I created earlier this year.

Eyes Lips Face $1

This cosmetics line by Nordstroms has almost all of their items priced at $1. I'm a HUGE fan of their nail polish in plum, their blending eye brush, and have gifted these lip balms in fun tins to younger girls/people in my life. (For some of my homies reading this DON'T buy yourself some until AFTER I give you your holiday gift because you may get some of this!)

Socks $7.50

I LOVE socks and I love giving socks as well! I've found this spot Sock It To Me, and I've also given th0se socks that are the "softest socks ever" kind of feel. I have large calf's and a size 10 foot, but these socks in "portland" (because that's where I first purchased them) go up my calf without leaving a mark because they aren't tight and stretch easily.

Books! Discounted or FREE
I love books and I love giving books I know have helped me in the past with hearing a new story or helping me see things differently. One of the ways I've decided to go about this is to look on the sales racks at major bookstores, but also I've signed up at which you swap books with others, set up a wish list of books and it's all FREE. All you do is pay for shipping which is usually about $2.50 for standard paperbacks. 90% of the books are brand new or in excellent condition so they are in great gift giving condition. I've also visited the library and found great finds for only twenty five cents!

Stamps $6-$13
I love to send mail, and I love to get mail too. One of the things I've done is give as a gift stamps that are fabulous and fun and can still be used to send snail mail! I love the Ella Fitzgerald stamp, Vintage Black Cinema stamps, Love: King & Queen of Hearts (although heterosexist super cute for the heteros in your life) UPDATE: I purchased the King & Queen of Hearts & they are NOT heterosexist as they are individual stamps per image so you can make them queer or poly!, Celebrate! stamp, and the Polar Bear.

Wine $10

I'm not a big drinker, many people know this about me already. However, I do like sweet flavored wines, such as Moscato, and I've been working my palette up with Sangria and Cosmopolitans. My favorite Moscato is Barentura and it is also Kosher! Beware, the three times I've gifted this wine I've been told people look at grapes in a whole new light!

Handmade Soap $5

I went to Rehobeth Beach one year for spring break and we stumbled upon the Soap Fairy. Handmade soaps by a queer couple. I can speak personally to the amazing scents of the Milk & Honey, Almond Oatmeal, and Sensuous Sandalwood.

Microfiber Screen Cloth $6
Many people I know have computers but rarely have the items that they need to make sure their computer is working properly. One of the things I've found to be extremely useful is this cleaning cloth to make sure your screen is clean. There is even a Plasma Screen cloth as well.

Capsule Pill Container $5
I carry one of these all the time. It fits over 30 ibuprofen's in a round shape in the container. I've had mine for over 5 years and it's still going strong. Although the color is coming off a bit, it gets the job done and it is compact.

Here are gifts I've received and would definitely gift especially because they are created by some of my favorite people!

Super Hussy Shop Cards
My homegirl Super Hussy has crafted some amazing and beautiful images of Black women on these post cards that are essential for any educator, or parent of a child. I've seen them for myself and they are of the HIGHEST quality!

Welfare Queen Bag

I carry this everywhere I go if I don't have my backpack. Actually, even when I am carrying my backpack I have this too. Not only does it have a wide strap which is great for me because I have big arms, but that wide strap is great for colder weather when you layer on heavier coats. It also fits lots of stuff! I've packed this bag with 6 loaves of bread from the bakery, I've also carried 2 large cartons of orange juice along with a few lighter items. Seriously, you can fit 2 infant children in this bag, which is probably more appropriate than the groceries I carry.....

Girl Tuesday Jewelry $14 and up

I bought some barbed wire earrings from her, but she has amazing silver jewelry that she handcrafts. She's in NJ so you get your items fairly quickly if you are on the East coast!

Speak! CD & Zine $12-$17
From the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective comes a CD and zine featuring and created by some of my favorite activists: La Mamita Mala, Black Amazon, and cripchick as well as baby bfp of spoken word, poetry, and song! I've used this album in my teaching on Women's Studies and they even created a curriculum with some guiding questions and ideas to encourage conversation among listeners. It is well worth the price and helps to support the ability for all Speak! members to go to the Allied Media Conference. These are going fast so I encourage you to contact them to see if supplies are available!

Adipositivity 2010 Calendar $19

Now, I've shared already that I've been photographed for the adipositivity project semi-NSFW (I'm December 3rd, September 3rd, April 2nd, January 1, and December 12, 2008)January 19th). Although none of my fotos are included in the calendar, they are still spectacular, and I'm included in the poster.

Musica $10-$14
My homegirl Sirena Riley is a jazz singer and you MUST buy her album. You see Sirena and I met in DC and then she moved to the UK to live her dream! What better gift to give than one that inspires in this way? You can purchase it on Itunes and at this music website. Here's her video

Handmade & Upcycled Accessories & Charms $10-15
My homegirl Li Bruno just left Chicago to head to the other side of the pond where all the Dutch culture is! However, she's still creating amazing and fun items that she's coined "from the sublime to the ridiculous." Here are a few examples. You can check out the rest of her store products here. Which one are you going to get?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

I want to share a quote I provided on the Love Isn't Enough website's Open Thread this week. In response to some resistance regarding the name change from Anti-Racist Parent to Love Isn't Enough, I quoted Kenaz Filan author of Vodou Love Magic (I'm commenter 28):

“Some would have you believe that if you love your partner (or child) long enough and fiercely enough, that person will be healed of old emotional wounds that reach the potential that you saw all along….Nobody claims that love alone is enough to cure cancer. No one writes romance novels about people who were once diabetic, but we can now snack on candy bars thanks to their partner’s undying devotion. And yet we have this odd idea that we can cure alcoholism, mental illness, or other psychological behaviors by love alone. What’s worse, we often blame ourselves when our unrealistic expectations aren’t met! (”If only I were a better partner (or parent), maybe he wouldn’t behave like that.”)…Your love for each other can certainly help, but only if it is combined with deeds and actions, not just words and promises.”

() were my additions.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

BEST Marketing Campaigns!

I LOVE the Adopt US Kids ads for adopting youth in the foster care system. As many of you know I have worked with youth in care, still do, and advocate for them. I am still offering FREE trainings on working with LGBTQ youth in out of home care. Here are some of my favorite ads:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bianca’s List of Best Sex Toys & Books for 2009

I did this last year (there’s no link because my computer crashed and I lost all those old posts) and provided some of the top toys of various texture, material, and price and I’m here to do it again! These toys I’ve actually USED and have reviewed 98% of them and the reviews are posted with links. Now, many of these are NSFW along with the links they go to so please keep that in mind.

I’ve selected toys that are not only ranging from the very affordable ($1) to the splurge worthy ($80), but also toys that can be useful for people with disabilities, latex allergies, and all sorts of interests and sexual orientations. Let’s begin with the least expensive toy to the most expensive and I’ve also linked to some books that maybe of interest (and great gifts) as well.

Elbow Grease Lube $1.

My last long-term partner was very well endowed, and I’ve admitted that I’m a size queen. When he hinted that he wanted to have some anal play I called up my homeboy R and asked him what was a good lube for “big dick butt sex” as I called it then. He suggested Elbow Grease and I’ve never looked back! I tried a small sample like this one for just $1 and then purchased larger containers as I saw fit. The lube lasts long (which is GREAT) and comes in numerous variations including a silicone one. Try these out for $1 and see which one, if any, works for you!

Bondage Tape $6.50

Sometimes getting into some role-play or experiencing pleasure in various ways, which for some people includes experiencing pain and/or being humiliated, the items used can be intimidating. One of the ways I’ve realized I can introduce such play to my partners are through this bondage tape. This tape works well without having to pull your pelitos off (unless that’s your fancy), but it’s also not very intimidating. My experience has been that introducing someone to something new with an item they come into contact with on a regular basis means they are sometimes a little more open to experiencing more. I’ve found that with this tape. The tape also comes in various colors (red, purple, pink, white, and black).

Suction Cup Plug $7

Suction cup anything usually makes my day. You see it’s not often you find a good toy that has a suction cup that can be put in numerous places for some action. That’s what you’ll get with this toy. Not only can you use this by itself (it’s kind of short with a few ridges so keep that in mid) but it’s main use is to be used with your favorite penetrative toy. The catch is that you have to have a toy that can be inserted into the suction cup. Not many toys come with this feature, so make sure before purchasing this that you check out the stash you have to make sure you can use this with the toy you have in mind. I also appreciate this toy because it can be used with/for people with some disabilities.

Prostate Pleaser $17

I can’t recall if this was on my last list or not, but if it wasn’t boy was I wrong! Sometimes there are toys that I’ve reviewed that I gave a low score to. Then I spend some more time with the toy and I realize that I should have given myself more time with the toy. This is one of those toys. I originally wrote my review of this toy and only gave it 3 stars. Today it’s one of my “go to” toys for certain activities. I’m impressed with the flexible material that very easily moves, the poppers are great, and the material can pick up various sensations when I use other things with this one. Originally created for men, I’ll admit that I don’t use this for its intended purpose but still have a fabulous time!

Inflatable Position Master $30

I’ve always wanted a toy like this, but more dense. When I realized I had nowhere to put such a toy I was too happy when I got this toy to review. Not only does this toy work with people with various disabilities, but it also can be hidden out of site, and work for non-sexual activities, such as having your legs elevated to help relieve back pain. The toy is inflated by the user and you can also deflate whenever you like. One of the aspects of the toy I did not appreciate was the velvet fabric which does not do well with stains, which is inevitable with any form of sexual expression. It also has handle on the side for gripping of either person, yet the velvet feel does supply some level of resistance and neither partner experiences a slipping off of the item.

Climax Silicone Wavy Shaft $31

I really do adore toys that come with different parts that are removable and can be used with other toys. That is exactly what this one does. There are two parts and one is the main part that can be used for penetration. The second part is a baby bullet that can be removed. It comes with it’s own batteries and you can use it with anything else. The sound isn’t as loud as others and the toy is waterproof! You can read my full review of the toy here.

Sportsheets Under The Bed Restraints $45

I met the creator and owner at a SAR in Arizona at the AASECT conference. He said the interview he did with SexHerald, the publication I write for, was the most extensive and thoughtfully crafted he’s done with industry folks. I then gave his sheets a try. He focuses on “relationship products” to enhance the relationships people have with one another. I’m a fan of the under the bed restraints specifically, but there are several other products to choose from that do not necessarily attach to sheets. They are a bit pricey, but if this is an activity you enjoy than these will be well worth the cost. They are sturdy and machine washable. What I most enjoy is that this product has been thoughtfully designed. You can always tell what the thoughtfully crafted toys are especially by how they work when you use them.
Spare Parts Joque Harness $89

My homegirl Laura suggested I give this toy a try and review. It is the Bentley of harnesses. As many of you know: I’m not a small girl. Finding a harness that is going to fit all my juicy goodness and not result in chafing of my thighs or legs is extremely difficult. When I got the Joque Harness to review I was immediately impressed. Not only does it come in 2 different sizes (of which I received the larger), but it also comes in various different colors. It is extremely thoughtfully designed, does not have chafing when I put it on, is machine-washable, and does not need adjusting after you get it to fit you properly. The only downfall of this toy is it’s price. But the price is very much worth all of what you get in this harness. It fits various sizes of dildos has a compartment for extra toys, rides low, and is just an amazing investment!

Here are several books that if I didn't read to review I would loved to have received as gifts. I'm sure you ahve someone in your life that may be the same way and so I hope you consider looking these up and getting them!

Queer Ricans: Cultures and Sexualities In The Diaspora
($20) by Larry La Fountain-Stokes came out in 2009 to amazing reviews. Mine is forthcoming and I'll post it when it is available. This is a book that I would place in the same company of Chela Sandoval's Methodology of the Oppressed and Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Mask. Not only is it groundbreaking in migration and Puerto Rican studies, but it is also interdisciplinary and puts into conversation theorists and scholars with communal activists and artists.

Sweat Tea: Black Gay Men Of The South ($35) by E. Patrick Johnson is also a very revolutionary text that centers the narratives and testimonios of Black gay men living in the southern US. This is something that has rarely been done, and although there is some controversy over Johnson, who is a performance art scholar, performing some of the narratives he collects, this text is nonetheless an amazing addition to what we know of Black men who are gay and living in the south. Read my full review here.

Iridescence: Sensuous Shades of Lesbian Erotica
$15 is an edited text focusing on lesbians of Color. It is rare that I find a text that is edited and focuses on people of Color that I actually enjoy. Often erotica is pretty predictable. What I enjoy about this text is that the authors are people of Color and they express and explain their characters and all the complex aspects of their identity that are unique to people and women of Color. You can read my full review here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

My mom called me at 9:15 pm and told me that my abuelo died an hour ago. We talked. We don't know too much about funeral arrangements right now. He was my maternal grandfather. He was my mother's last parent. It is not a surprise, he has been extremely sick for the last month. Yet things like this, even when they are not sudden, are still very shocking.

I know I've written about my experiences growing up in a racially White family as a girl of Color. My grandfather was one of my only family members who came to visit us on a regular basis.

After my grandmother died he immediately married the Black Dominican woman he had hired to care for my grandmother. She had children in the RD and is about 20 years younger than him. Needless to say it was a scandal in the family. The racism that was "dormant" and "covert" came to the surface. I remember very vividly my mother pulling my sister and I (17 years old) aside at the funeral parlor and saying "if you see a very dark Black woman don't let her touch you."

You see they thought that she practiced/s VooDoo. Regardless if she does or not, her warning to us was coded in so much racist language, so much ethnocentrism, fear, judgment, pain, I got the message that maybe other parents say the same things about me to their children.

You see out of all my family members my abu was the only person who even remotely, and very obviously, quietly made a powerful statement about race in our family: he married a racially Black woman. A woman darker than me. He is the only person in my family to have done this. He married her, she became a US citizen, her children moved in with them and she cared for him.

I've never met her. I don't know if I will meet her. I don't know if I can afford to go to the funeral as it's in PR and tickets are NOT cheap and your girl has no disposable income.

Although I've never met her, I know she loves him. I know she loved him. I know she experienced the same kind of hatred and racism that I endured by the same family members. This creates a relationship that I share with her. This also makes my grandfather the only man who even remotely gave me the impression he thought I was worthy, beautiful, valuable. He reminds me I'm loved regardless, and because of, how I look.

Peace Abuelo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

Comes from Francine Reed who sings "Wild Women Don't Get No Blues"written by Ida Cox in the 1920s!

I hear these women raving 'bout their
monkey men
About their trifling
husbands and their no good friends
These poor women sit around all day and moan
Wondering why their wandering papa's don't come home
But wild women don't worry, wild women don't have no blues
Now when you've got a man, don't never be on the square
'Cause if you do he'll have a woman everywhere
I never was known to treat no one man right
I keep 'em working hard both day and night
'Cause wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues
I've got a disposition and a way of my own
When my man starts kicking I let him find another home
I get full of good liquor, walk the streets all night
Go home and put my man out if he don't act right
Wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues
You never get nothing by being an angel child
You better change your ways and get real wild
I wanna tell you something, I wouldn't tell you a lie
Wild women are the only kind that really get by
'Cause wild women don't worry, wild women don't have their blues

Saturday, December 5, 2009

History of Media Messages on HIV & AIDS

This is cross-posted from my Media Justice Column and as I think ALL my entries on my MJ column are fabulous and important, I think this one is especially important for this time we are in and in educating ourselves especially because I've spoken about this film to friends all week.

This entry is a part of our World AIDS Day Blogathon. During this week we share our experiences, stories, and ideas about how HIV affects young people around the world. Join the blogathon.

Many of you reading this already talk about HIV every day, not just on World AIDS Day. Yet, as time progresses I realize that not many of us know what role the media played in HIV and AIDS prevention and education. The history of HIV has been overlooked as efforts in prevention focus on the here, now, and future. Yet, the history of HIV and AIDS in the US and around the world, and the role media played is, in my opinion, essential to crafting, creating, and implementing new prevention efforts.

When I begin to teach about the sociology of health and illness, HIV is always part of my anticipated class discussions. You see, I remember a time in this world when HIV was not something I had to worry about because it had not yet existed (same thing with computers, but that’s another post). This is not the case for all of us today. As many of my students were born after 1990, their understanding of the history of HIV and AIDS in the US and the world is limited.

In some communities the idea that HIV and AIDS only infects gay White men is still prevalent. Yet, many people do not know where or how this myth began. Part of my essential reading list for my students is to watch the PBS Frontline documentary: The Age of AIDS. I ask students to at least watch the first hour of the documentary (which is over 5 hours long). PBS has created a timeline of AIDS around the world and many of the cases are stunning to see how far along we have come in technology to be able to detect infection in blood samples from the 1950s.

Watching the documentary and hearing from doctors who worked with patients in the late 1970s and early 1980s informs us that people all over the world were infected with HIV and/or dying of AIDS. Not all of them where White, gay, or men. In fact Black, heterosexual Haitian men and women were infected, injection drug users on the east coast of the US become infected, gay men and heterosexual women in Paris, heterosexual men in Portugal, and Central Africans of every sexual orientation became infected. Instead of recognizing how this disease affected all people around the world, the US government, at the time, chose to use the media and their power, to send a very specific message about HIV and AIDS.

This message was not just in cutting the budget for HIV and AIDS research. The media was used to isolate, target, and marginalize specific communities. In 1987 President Reagan speaks about HIV for the first, and only time, prior to that he said nothing. For people who wonder where the “Silence=Death” mantra comes into play, for many activists it was created in response to the silence among the US government. Silence is a very constructed message. [Please don’t confuse this type of conscious silence with the silence some people exercise because they are doing hard work: thinking, being thoughtful. This type of silence implemented is the type where thoughts have already led to a decision to remain quiet.]

Not all leaders reacted the same way. President of Uganda since 1986, Yoweri Museveni , spoke of challenging stigma, myths of transmission of HIV or AIDS, and had said: “you can only find AIDS if you go looking for it.” Uganda has one of the most effective HIV and AIDS prevention efforts in the world. Their initial program was ABC (A for Abstinence, B for being faithful, and C for if you can’t do the first two use a condom). The messaging in Uganda is drastically different from what we see in the US, even today. At the same time Uganda recognized how HIV and AIDS affected their people, it is from a heterosexist perspective as President Museveni has proposed to introduce laws that will isolate and incarcerate people who identify as anything other than heterosexual.

Even though the media was used in such a way towards the LGBTQ community in the US, it is through the activism of many LGBTQ people that we are able to do the work we do today around HIV prevention and education. It is also through the efforts abroad that we have been able to examine how utilizing the media can create change and awareness surrounding HIV. For example, the documentary states that Thailand was the first country to utilize mass media for prevention and education. Prime Minister of Thailand, Anand Panyarachun, supported national condom distribution efforts among Thai people with specific focus on sex workers. The rates of HIV infection among sex workers decreased by 90% over a 10 year time period. One of the first countries to utilize mass media, Thailand has been on the vanguard in prevention efforts especially with media use.

We continue to see how the media can be useful, especially social media. Many of my friends on Facebook and Twitter have posted about World AIDS Day. We see how some progress is being made utilizing the media (even if it is Bono speaking with President Bush about HIV around the world, President Clinton shaking the hand of Chinese activists who are living with HIV and having Chinese Deputy Ministers shake his hand as well during a largely televised session, celebrities and musicians speaking to youth to get tested, and famous people living with HIV sharing their stories). Yet there is so much more to do, so much more that can be done. This week I hope you don’t find exhaustion, I hope you find excitement in continuing such efforts and utilizing the media in ways that have yet to be done.

The media is powerful. With advancements in technology we become media makers, and thus have power. How will we utilize our power to create messages that can combat stigma, eliminate myths, and encourage people that they are valuable and powerful?

Friday, December 4, 2009

International LGBT Psychology Summer Institute

Call for Applications

International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Psychology Summer Institute at the University of Michigan

We are pleased to announce that the 2nd International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Psychology Summer Institute is now accepting applications for the 2010 program.

A collaboration between the Departments of Psychology and Women’s Studies at the University of Michigan, the Summer Institute is a week-long residential program in Ann Arbor, Michigan from August 2 - 6, 2010. The Institute will provide a unique venue for an intensive exchange of ideas among senior, junior and graduate student scholars located across LGBT psychology. Ten leading scholars in the field of LGBT Psychology from the US and the UK aim to foster their professional development as emerging LGBT psychologists. These “senior scholars” represent expertise in LGBT and gender studies and many sub-fields of psychology including biological psychology, clinical psychology, community psychology, developmental psychology, feminist psychology, health psychology, sexology, social psychology, and the history of psychology. It is our hope that the Institute will help us create an “invisible college” of interdisciplinary and international psychologists working in this area.

Senior Tutors:

Meg Barker (The Open University, UK)
Anthony D'Augelli (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Paisley Currah (Brooklyn College, City University of New York, USA)
Cynthia A. Gómez (San Francisco State University, USA)
Peter Hegarty (University of Surrey, UK)
Lih-Mei Liao (University College London, UK)
Brian Mustanski (University of Illinois, Chicago, USA)
Charlotte J. Patterson (University of Virginia, USA)
Anne Peplau (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
Leo Wilton (Binghamton University, SUNY, USA)

For further information about the Summer Institute, visit our website

The program

1) Opening Reception. An opening reception will allow all participants to meet one another as well as colleagues in the University of Michigan community.

2) Workshops or seminars. The senior scholars will each conduct a 1 1/2-hour workshop on some issue or practice important to LGBT psychology. The same workshop will be conducted three times during the week, and groups of attendees will rotate through the workshops over the course of the event.

3) Colloquia. Each senior scholar will present a 1 hour presentation on his or her research program inclusive of time for questions, discussion, etc. All participants will be expected to attend all colloquia.

4) Roundtables. Different small groups of postdoctoral/faculty attendees will lead roundtable discussions of important topics in LGBT Psychology each day. The themes will be selected and shaped from among those posed by the attendees. Participants are expected to attend one roundtable each day.

5) Poster Displays. All participants (graduate students and postdoctoral/faculty scholars) will bring a poster representing some important aspect of their work. Posters will be displayed all week, and will provide a particular focus for exchange during breaks and lunches, which will take place in the same room.


Up to fifty individuals will be invited to attend. Up to 25 faculty /postdoctoral scholars will be selected. Faculty and postdoctoral scholars of any rank are encouraged to apply (e.g. postdoctoral fellows, untenured junior faculty or tenured senior faculty). Among tenured faculty, we will give preference to those who are interested in developing a research specialization in LGBTQ issues (regardless of the nature of their previous research). Among untenured faculty and post-doctoral scholars, we will give preference to those already specializing in research on LGBTQ issues. Up to 25 graduate students will also be selected. Graduate students will ordinarily be enrolled in doctoral programs, but students in Masters (e.g. M.Sc.) programs who show exceptional commitment to, or achievement in, research in LGBT psychology will also be considered. We hope to pay for some portion of the travel or accommodations for the graduate student participants and to provide limited support for the faculty and post-doctoral participants.

How to Apply

Applicants must send a letter of application, a CV, and the names and contact information for three people who can be contacted for a recommendation (i.e., a reference). The letter of application is limited to two pages and should articulate the applicant?s past participation or exposure to research in LGBT Psychology, goals for future research activity in that area, and any particular reasons for wanting to participate in the Summer Institute.

Faculty/postdoctoral applicants should also provide a one-paragraph abstract of a roundtable topic they would like to suggest for the Summer Institute, in which they would be willing to participate. The selection committee may reorganize roundtable topics to be inclusive of various interests, but these proposals will offer initial guidance to the committee.

Places in the Summer Institute will be filled on a continuing basis beginning December 15. All applications must be received no later than March 1. Applications should be submitted to this website.


Inquiries about the summer institute can be directed to the planning committee at

The Planning Committee is composed of Peter Hegarty (University of Surrey), Abigail Stewart, Terri Conley, Sari van Anders, Nicola Curtin and Samantha Montgomery (University of Michigan).

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My Last HIV Test

The last time I took an HIV Test was at the end of August 2009. I was at a conference on HIV and they provided free anonymous testing. I took the orasure test where they take a sample of the mucus membranes in your mouth. It only took 40 minutes in total (including waiting). When I got my test results they gave me a packet of information along with proof I had gotten my test and a free $4 metrocard.

I'll admit that I was nervous during and while I was waiting for my test. I had a lover for two years and we had agreed about 6 months into our time together that we would not use condoms anymore as I had an IUD and we had both been tested and agreed if we had other lovers to use condoms each time with them. We set up boundaries. Yes it was somewhat of an "open" relationship, I was his primary lover, not his primary "partner" as we were not emotionally tied to one another as people usually think/expect in monogamous situations.

We did care for one another; after all we gave our bodies to one another with no barrier methods. At the same time my last HIV test was almost a year prior to us making that decision. I had not been tested and our relationship had ended. I waited. Thought about support people I would have that could help me if my test came back positive. I honestly believe that if I do have a positive HIV test I probably would not tell my parents immediately. I would tell my partners and one of the employers I work with doing HIV education and prevention. I knew I would have to contact him again and honestly, that was more scary/nerve wrecking for me than having to cope with HIV. At that moment thinking about communicating with a lover who had hurt me and I was still very raw from the pain of our break up, was more devastating.

Then my results came back negative. I am HIV negative. Shortly after this test another lover came into my life. I asked him if he had an HIV test and he got upset with me. I took that as a HUGE red flag. He didn't want to tell me, he didn't want me to ask, he didn't want to talk about it. So I didn't want to have sex with him.

Dammit I'm important! If something happened to me do you KNOW how many people would be looking for me? Calling me? Worrying and missing me? It's the SAME for you reading I'm sure of it. Someone WILL miss you. There's a little bit of Leo in all of us.

I've been celibate for a very long time (or it feels like it). I did have sex with that "potential" lover, once this year, with condoms, and only after he got tested for HIV. People always assume that if you are a sexologist you are 1. always having sex and 2. rarely scared with testing of any type when it comes to reproductive health. That is NOT the case! We are humans as well. Just because I do this for my profession does not make me or any other sexologists, educators, activists, immune to fear, confusion, sadness.

Five months after I first got my IUD inserted and began having unprotected sex with my partner at the time my period was late. It was over a holiday weekend, so it was much longer and I knew no health clinics would be open. I was very VERY anxious. So much so that I scraped together $15 to get a pack of 3 pregnancy tests because I couldn't wait. That test came back negative too. I was not pregnant.

Even though I'm pro-choice, an abortion doula, and know I would have chosen to terminate my pregnancy if I was pregnant, I was still anxious and confused. I don't have an "action plan" in place if something occurs, even though I KNOW what I will do, I don't know how I will react. This goes back to my Sunday Night Common Sense quote for this week. We do feel so much we don't understand.

Please understand that I know the fear that comes with avoiding an HIV test. I know. I also know that it is essential for every person to know their HIV status (especially if they want to have sex with me!)

I encourage you to take a deep breath. Go to this website to find an HIV testing location near you. Put your zip code in. Find a location near you. Go to the testing site. Take another deep breath. Go inside. Take a deep breath. Get tested. Take deep breaths while you wait. Take deep breaths before you hear your results. Listen to your results. Take a deep breath and make the best decision for you at this moment in time.

You are loved. You are important. You matter. You deserve to know.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Speaking to Octavia Butler

My homeboy Carlo posted this first video and I had to listen to the entire series. I was introduced to Octavia Butler's work by my homegirl who is a writer and journalist. There is so much just in the 4 minutes of talking with Butler about her books that speaks to gender, race, sexuality, isolation, knowledge production, and social justice that I just couldn't keep it to myself!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

I went to the opera 2 weeks ago with a friend. We went to see Don Giovanni and it was fabulous! Funny, beautiful, entertaining, and with a touch of magical realism (rumors have it that the show is similar to the tale of "Don Juan." In any event, there was a translation during one of the aria's that read:

"there is so much that we feel that we do not understand."

Ain't that the truth?!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Blacks In Central & South America

I came across this article today. It is an editorial from a newspaper in Belize Amandala. One of the main reasons I'm posting this article and the link to it is because of this sentence:

In 1995, the descendants of Africans in Belize and Central America, founded an organization called the Central American Black Organization (CABO). (In Spanish, the acronym is ONECA.)

I did not know of this organization and hope to spread the word so more people from all over the continent can join and increase the numbers!

Read the article in full here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marijuana & The Law

I'm posting this because I know many people who have questions about marijuana use and sexuality. Whether it be for medicinal purposes or recreational, you should know what the laws are in your state/country. This video is specific to the US and focuses on NYC because of what research has demonstrated people believing NYC is the most liberal city. These videos from Flex Your Rights blog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

Today's quote comes from the mother of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, Miriam Mercado:

“When my son told me he was gay, I told him, ‘Now, I love you more.’ I want to tell the world that hatred is not born with human beings, it is a seed that is planted by adults and is fostered creating a climate of intolerance and violence. We must change our ways and understand that anyone …could have been my son. And I want everybody to know that Jorge Steven was a very much loved son.”

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bisexuality; Sex & Disability

Found these two items today and wanted to share them!

Bisexuality and Self-Empowerment through a Latina Lens interviews Argentine filmmaker Florencia Manovil on her film "Fiona's Script." Below are some film clips

If you are interested in an online training/course on sexuality, disability and rights, Sexuality Guide, Cory Silverberg has provided information on the upcoming CREA training that lasts 9 weeks and is only $50 (but also offers waivers for people and organizations that request them). I'm signing up!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Vigils for Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado

If you have not heard of the brutal decapitation of a young gay Puerto Rican male named Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado that occurred this week in Puerto Rico please head over to Vivir Latino for coverage.

VL has also provided and updated list of cities that are organizing vigils for Jorge Steven. If you know of or are organizing a vigil please leave your information in the comments section at VivirLatino.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Do You Know Your Rights?

As I begin my section on the social construction of crime, I show a video so that my students are clear about what their rights are. Far too often people living in the US are unaware of their rights and easily waive them when interacting with law enforcement. Below is the video I show them. It's called BUSTED! A Citizen's Guide to Surviving Police Encounters and was created by the Flex Your Rights organization. You can purchase the film for a donation of $20, which is a great price for a film of this length! And yes, if you were wondering I have posted this video before!

Monday, November 16, 2009

100 Greatest Quotes from The Wire

For folks who are going through withdrawal from The Wire too:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Musings

Alright I know I haven't been writing too much lately, but I have still be writing in other places about all the things I love about being LatiNegra and about sexuality. Check these out:

My latest article on my Media Justice column is up and it's a Media Justice Mash-Up!

My review of the cd Palo! This Is Afro-Cuban Funk is finally posted!

Check out the film Buena Gente if you are in NYC! It's about Dominican youth, STI transmission, and relationships. Below is the trailer!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Disconnect?

I've been updating and reviewing a film so I've been a bit quiet. I've come across a story about "dirty lyrics" among songs produced and distributed in Jamaica that reminds me of some work I've done in the past.

The Broadcasting Commission in Jamaica has reported that complaints about "dirty lyrics" from listeners has decreased. However, parents, school officials, and teachers have connected "lewd" and sexually explicit songs being distraction to youth and students.

This reminds me of the work I did with young people living in the Lower East Side of NYC regarding gang involvement and affiliation. As a part of a team, my co-worker/researcher spoke with law enforcement who claimed that there was no problem regarding gang activity in the community. When we spoke to youth and parents, they claimed that gang involvement, recruitment, and activity was a HUGE problem affecting them.

What does this disconnect, this miscommunication, this lack of listening to the community and not trusting the NYPD do? It's complicated is what we realized. But there is something to be said when NYPD believes there is no problem, yet adults of the community fear for the young people.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sunday Night Common Sense

Today's SNCS comes from my time watching films this week. Watching Akeelah and The Bee and being reminded of this Marianne Williamson quote is what I'd like to share with you all today:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

From A Return To Love

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

LatiNegras I ADORE: La Lupe!

If you don't know about La Lupe please watch these videos! If you adore her like I do, please watch these videos!

From La Lupe: The Queen Of The Latin Soul from E! Entertainment Television Latin America (sorry only in Spanish!). My only complaint is that besides Celia Cruz, only men were interviewed to talk about her impact and musica.

Learn more about the PBS Independent Lens Documentary about La Lupe

Know which Almodovar film this song was on the soundtrack?

foto credit [un]common sense y soundcrank

Friday, October 23, 2009


I've got a free week coming up the first week of November and I will be spending time updating the site I host

If there are organizations, people, place, events, books, or any other space/object/cosita that you think must be included please leave the information in the comments section, or email me

Also, if your organization has information in Spanish online send that too!


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Remember Angie Zapata y Gwen Araujo

Angie Martinez foto credit to GLAAD Blog

Gwen Araujo foto from Washington Blade

As some folks watch CNNs Latino In America and keep those of us without cable (or desire) to watch updated on twitter or facebook, I know that Angie Zapata and Gwen Araujo will not be included.

Just because CNN forgets our women doesn't mean we should to. Here is a list of the HANDFUL of Latino organizations/spaces that actually covered Angie y Gwen's murder and the trial that convicted the individuals who killed them (several mainstream and national media outlets like these and these, did not cover their murders or trial at all). If you know of other LATINO spaces that covered their murders and trial please leave a link in the comments!

Multiple media on VivirLatino about Angie Zapata

Gwen Arajuo, Rest In Peace from Blabbeando

A Candle For Angie
from Nezua at The Unapologetic Mexican

Support Justice for Angie Zapata
from bfp at FlipFloppingJoy

Young & Out: Anything But Safe by Daisey Hernandez posted on FIERCE!

Light A Candle for Angie Zapata from the ColorLines Blog RaceWire

Transgender Teen Angie Zapata Murdered In Colorado
from Guanabee

Monday, October 19, 2009

Doulas! Not Just For The Wealthy!

My homegirl Sparkle posted this video and I think it must be shared!

Taye Diggs on Jimmy Kimmel this week discussed how he and his wife chose to have a doula for the birth of their son. He also speaks about placenta encapsulation. As you may already know, I'm an abortion doula in NYC and Sparkle is a birth doula.

One of Sparkle's statements when she posted this was that doulas are not just for the wealthy! If you are planning to have a baby, or if you find yourself needing an abortion, look into the benefits of having a doula to assist you.

Sunday Night Common Sense (On Monday)

I'd had a hectic and fabulous weekend, so the Sunday Night Common Sense is a bit late. But one of the reasons I was late with this was because I enjoyed myself so much at my new book club: Caribbean Literature Book Club which I read about from the Literanista.

Our reading selection was Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks. It was just the founder Marcia and I but we had a fabulous time together!

So, today we have one of my favorite quotes from Fanon:

Yes to life. Yes to love. Yes to generosity.
p. 222
emphasis in original

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anatomically Correct Slow Jam

My homegirl Tamika of Tamika & Friends, Inc. posted this video and I think it's great! I'm going to use it the next time I teach!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Links I'm Loving: The Sexuality of Our Communities

Here are some links that I find fascinating today. Not all of them are directly connected to sexuality or Latinos, pero they are all important for us to be "in the know." If you follow me on Twitter you already know about these stories.

First some shameless plugs:

My book reviews are up of the following books (site NSFW):
The Slow Fix by Ivan Coyote.

Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire By Lisa M. Diamond

Vodou Love Magic: A Practical Guide to Love, Sex, and Relationships
By Kenaz Filan

Do you know of the Zoot Suit Riots? Did you know that women also wore/wear Zoot Suits? If not read on! Zoot Suits Make the Man --And The Woman! The author of Women In The Zoot Suit gives an overview.

Protest are going on in Puerto Rico regarding the economy, unemployment, and general unrest. Read more about the demonstrations here and see a fotogalaria here.

A young man asked President of the United States (POTUS) Obama "Why do people hate you? They supposed to love you. God is love." Watch the video and hear Obama's response.

A lesbian high school student was banned from being in her school yearbook. Why was she banned? For not conforming to the gender expectations for how she *should* express her gender identity.

If you are in the DC metro area check out the DC Latin American Film Showcase!

Jamaican performer Buju Banton meet with gay activistsprior to his San Francisco show.

An interview with author/artist Sapphire (Push) on Charlie Rose.

Today a lot of people were saying "Happy Birthday" to Fela Kuti. It's important to know more than one story, here's a video of author/artist Chimamanda Adichie (Purple Hibiscus) speaking on The danger of a single story: