Posts Tagged 'identity'

Listening to “White Privilege II” (Macklemore)

Listening to “White Privilege II” (Macklemore)

By now, you’ve probably heard the controversial track that Macklemore dropped a day or so ago: “White Privilege II.” The meandering 9-minute song addresses (among other things) white appropriation of black culture, his own burgeoning involvement with Black Lives Matter, his feelings about his role in culture, and what awareness looks like. Is it an earth-shattering piece of artwork that will change the shape and trajectory of hip-hop? Surely not. But that’s never been Macklemore’s schtick—he’s the posterboy of palatable rap, toe-ing the line of wholesome while borrowing the voice, the look, and the affect of blackness. And he knows this.

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On Trans Ally-ship and the Ethics of Visibility: a conversation

On Trans Ally-ship and the Ethics of Visibility: a conversation

Tyler is a lot of things: brilliant set designer and master carpenter, comrade-in-arms in various D&D campaigns, athlete and mentor-coach-athlete for the Special Olympics, dedicated employee and fiercely loyal friend. But last weekend, we sat down to talk specifically about allyship, his journey as a transman, and his role as an outspoken advocate for LGBTQA people everywhere.

Among the things to admire about Tyler is his iron-clad belief that his openness about his experience as a transman will make future transgender people’s lives a little easier. Two noble beliefs lie at the root of his advocacy strategies: 1) that when given the chance through education and dialogue, people are capable of being kind to and accepting of another and 2) that his willingness to discuss parts of his life outside of the realm of polite conversation will have real, tangible, positive consequences in the world. Tyler carefully considers the ethical dimensions of his decisions about his “outness” as he debates whether or not it’s “right” for him to stealth when he knows that his ability to pass as a man makes him less visible, which he recognizes is an option many transgender people, especially transwomen, don’t have.

Our conversation spanned a variety of topics but continually came back to the central theme of education and communication as ways, not to erase difference, but to render it at once more visible and more celebrated on all levels.

Politics of Style: Subculture and Circulation

Politics of Style: Subculture and Circulation

While the zoot suit remained more or less subcultural—it was never picked up by the (white) mainstream as anything other than a nostalgic emblem of a depoliticized jazz age—other forms of subcultural style circulate more widely and suggest a more complex relationship between subculture and mainstream than we usually suppose.