"These Digital Publications Are the Ones to Watch in 2020"
Wear Your Voice (closed on 11/1/2021)
From the Article:
Color Bloq was co-founded by four queer people of color: Niq D. Johnson, PhD, who serves as Editor-in-Chief; Chief Esparza, who serves as Executive Director; Nic Perales, who serves as the Communications Director; and Sean-Paul Rocero, who serves as the Design Director. The platform is building a safe community celebrating and uplifting the voices and experiences of QTPoC. Empathy reigns throughout their organization, where they curate a quarterly digital magazine and small community events like panel discussions and parties. They feature non-fiction essays, cultural critique, and visual art media by queer and trans artists of color.
SF Bayview National Black Newspaper
"Diversity Talk Highlights Anti-Blackness and Black Erasure Within the LGBTQIA+ Community"
From the Article:
In association with Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, ColorBloq.org and The Michelle Meow Show on Oct. 25, the Commonwealth Club sponsored a roundtable on anti-Blackness in the LGBTQIA+ community called “When POC Is Not Enough: Anti-Blackness in the LGBTQ+ Community.” ColorBloq.org is an organization that serves queer people of color. Chief Esparza, the gay cismale Latinx co-founder and executive director of ColorBloq, centered this talk on the issue of Black erasure.
“This conversation about anti-Blackness in the LGBTQ community is important, and it’s something that rears its ugly head in the work that Color Bloq does. We often hear that we are all LGBTQ, so why bring race into this? We often see people say things like that we are all people of color, (so) we all experience racism. And we see this in places like San Francisco, when people employ Black language and politics without Black people—without Black people in their lives, in their workplaces, and in their activism,” said Chief Esparza.
Speaking October 25 at the Commonwealth Club of California, the panel, "When POC is not enough: Anti-Blackness in the LGBTQ Community" was sponsored in association with Compton's Transgender Cultural District, www.ColorBloq.org, and "The Michelle Meow Show," which has a partnership with the club.
The panelists explored the ways anti-black attitudes affect them in navigating spaces in the community and discussed ways LGBTQ folks can work together to uplift each other, regardless of race, gender, identity, gender expression, or anything else.
Panel host Aria Sa'id, a transgender woman who is a founder and executive director of the Compton's district and founder of the Kween Culture Initiative, warned the audience that the evening's conversation "will be uncomfortable" and may not have a "happy ending."
"The Lesson of Into: As long as queer media depends on corporate support, it will always be conflicted and precarious."
From the Article:
One way out of this toxic relationship, at least in the realm of queer media, is to look for alternatives to the corporate funding model. Efniks [Color Bloq’s previous name], for example, is a queer outlet that is funded by donations and volunteers. Launched in 2016, its creation was concurrent with the trending hashtag #GayMediaSoWhite, where nonwhite writers and readers aired their frustrations with the homogenous and exclusionary culture of queer media. Its founder, Chief Esparza, says his funding model allows him to be directly accountable to his community.
“The route we have taken is the harder one in the short term,” he said. “But we chose it because we get to center our own community and answer to them. We get to shape conversation rather than react or respond to the news and events that are driven by the corporate, the white, and the [cisgender and heterosexual].”
Such a model might sound difficult to sustain, but it’s worth noting that Efniks launched before Into and is still producing content and pays its contributors. Media professionals like myself ought to consider such an enterprise as worthy of personal investment if we truly want alternatives to our present options. Even if it comes at the risk of lower traffic and less pay, such outlets truly embody the “by us and for us” mentality that larger outlets only use as branding.