Not Just Guilty: A White Response to the George Zimmerman Case

This is the first of two essays that reflect on what has happened in the months since the trial of George Zimmerman. You can read Apogee’s original response to the not guilty verdict here.   by Melody Nixon, Editor-at-Large   Have we already forgotten about Trayvon Martin? There’s a kind of disbelief that is so strong it makes you wish you didn’t have a body. When I first learned of the not guilty verdict I was punched in the gut with horror and surprise. The deep horror of Trayvon Martin’s story – and George Zimmerman’s story – is tied so inherently to the body: First, to Trayvon’s body with darker skin, with smaller frame than George’s, without armor. Secondly, to George’s body, to the car it sat in, the gun it held, the property it thought it was defending. W.E.B. DuBois wrote, “How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assumed to be criminal, violent, malignant?” How does it feel, too, to be consumed and distorted by your own power? What malignancy, crime and violence wait there? The horror of this story is tied in an indirect...
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A Queer Aperture: Mia Nakano and the Visibility Project

by Cecca Ochoa,  Editor   Mia Nakano is a photographer, served as the  founding photo editor for Hyphen Magazine, and is currently the lead artist for the Visibility Project. In August, Ochoa met with the photographer in her Oakland home to discuss the project. All images copyright of Mia Nakano, visibilityproject.org.   A thought experiment: Imagine a body without race or gender. What do you see? Imagine a body with race and gender. Who do you see? Last week, Germany announced that it will be the first European nation to put a third gender distinction on birth certificates. Nepal instituted a third gender citizenship certificate earlier this year and Sweden has recently established a third gender pronoun. These are exciting wins for the LGBTQ community whose mainstream US efforts have been ardently and monogamously wed to gay marriage at the expense of issues like trans healthcare and representation for (binary) gender non-conforming individuals.

Representing Difference In Writing – The Rumpus

The Rumpus has posted a thoughtful essay by Delaney Nolan about writing poor, black characters as a white fiction writer. The purpose of good literature, as far as I can tell, is to find a common human ground that we can all relate to. So I’m not going to represent difference by pretending like I know exactly where Marie’s coming from, or by throwing in a rainbow-colored cast. But I know, at least, some things we have in common now. I know what it’s like to rely on family who’re in a hard place themselves. I know what it’s like to be isolated, to be powerless. I know what it’s like to be, in some sense, unhoused. I don’t know precisely what life is for the people on Marais Street, but I can get myself partway there, and the rest of that bridge is what makes fiction necessary and superlative—empathy, understanding, and a sincere belief in some common thread of humanity. Read the rest here.