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#LoveIsColourful Crowdfunding Campaign – supporting LoveIntersections.com & Our City of Colours!

Sometimes it can feel like our society is defined by our differences rather than our common values that bind us.

We can change that by connecting people to diverse stories of love – the stories of all of us.

We all know love has the power to transcend borders.

We’re a small team of dedicated volunteers and we just launched a powerful multimedia public awareness campaign to bring our stories to life —  To amplify the good in all of us and heal the divide.

Will you join us?

Our public awareness campaign will reach tens of thousands of people but we need your help.

For every visibility poster we are connecting you to diverse stories of love in 30+ languages across the world. We have already made 15 posters, 3 videos, and 3 film festival screenings. This visibility campaign is going viral!

It’s now time to help us expand our reach and share more diverse stories of love all around the world.

Please be a part of healing the divide now.

By supporting our visibility campaign, you are enabling us to create 30 more visibility posters with the potential to reach tens of thousands of people around the world. BOOM!

These posters are part of something huge – A powerful multi-media campaign including powerful videos and film festivals screenings!

Please support our #LoveIsColourful Campaign so that we can continue this public awareness campaign next year!

https://crowdgift.ca/love-is-colourful

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‘Hayfa’ – A Queer Palestinian-Lebanese-Canadian story

Hayfa shares her journey coming out to her Palestinian-Lebanese family, and how her mom became an ally. Hayfa talks about the impact of historical trauma – histories of violence and genocide – and how she came to understand where her parents came from…the love her parents have for their children’s future.

Hayfa shares her journey coming out to her Palestinian-Lebanese family, and how her mom became an ally. Hayfa talks about the impact of historical trauma – histories of violence and genocide – and how she came to understand where her parents came from…the love her parents have for their children’s future.

Love Intersections and Our City of Colours is crowdfunding until Nov 13th to raise $5000 towards next years Visibility Campaign! We want to make more videos like this, to share the stories of queer folks of diverse backgrounds. Please support us by donating!
https://crowdgift.ca/love-is-colourful

Launching the 2015 Visibility Campaign!

The Visibility Campaign hopes to increase the visibility of queer people of colour, including people
from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. This year’s campaign has different movie poster themes, and some of them are currently being displayed in bus shelter ads across Vancouver!

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 8.54.09 PMLove Intersections is excited to be partnering with Our City of Colours on their 2015 Visibility Campaign!

The Visibility Campaign hopes to increase the visibility of queer people of colour, including people from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. This year’s campaign has different movie poster themes, and some of them are currently being displayed in bus shelter ads across Vancouver!

Love Intersections has also teamed up with Our City of Colours to share stories through video of people walking different experiences in the queer community.  We will be rolling out these video’s in the next few months, so be sure to stay tuned!

The posters are currently also being displayed at Heartwood Community Cafe at 317 East Broadway, Vancouver BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

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What Does Accessibility Look Like? My journey as an Ally in the Disability Justice Movement

Talking to my friend and working with him to find ways to navigate the education system has been extremely frustrating, as I am learning that for someone like my friend who has multiple disabilities, there are an insurmountable number of barriers that he faces to receive even the remoteness level of equal opportunity that I received when I attended post secondary.

Co-written by Weldon Haywood

I recently started tutoring a friend of mine, who has some learning disabilities.  In preparing for a workshop on Accessibility for Disability Awareness Week at Simon Fraser University (SFU), I’ve been reflecting on my journey for someone like myself, who has the privilege of navigating the world, as an able bodied person in an ableist world, with enough resources to have mental health supports.

Talking to my friend and working with him to find ways to navigate the education system has been extremely frustrating, as I am learning that for someone like my friend who has multiple disabilities, there are an insurmountable number of barriers that he faces to receive even the remoteness level of equal opportunity that I received when I attended post secondary.

It has really made me reflect on my own experience attending Simon Fraser University (where my friend is now attending) – and how easy it is to take for granted the luxury of being closer to “the norm”, and how in our ableist and able-body-centred society, it makes life incredibly easy for someone like me, and really difficult for others, like my friend.

Things like taking notes in class – which in my ableist ignorance seems “normal”, and “a given”…I don’t even think twice about taking notes in class, is on the other hand a huge feat for someone like my friend, who has to navigate the services and accommodations that are provided by the school. Without a note taker note taking could take him several hours a day (which takes away time from studying, writing papers, etc), which severely impacts his learning experience.  Whereas for someone like myself it’s not something I even think twice about.

In preparing for a workshop that I am working on with my friend on Disability Justice and Accessibility, called (What Does Accessibility Look Like? ) that is focused on the education system partially in the classroom structure.  I’ve really begun to think about the ways that we can be transforming the communities we live in, so that we can begin to operate on the notion of “assumed differences”.

Norms are really dangerous.  

As queer people, we know that the “norm” of “heterosexuality” and the “norm” of the gender binary “male vs. female” has been dangerous, and often even violent, to our communities.  As a queer, feminist, person of colour, and having been involved with organizing against the norm of patriarchal male privilege, heteronormativity, cisnormativity, white supremacy/white privilege – I wonder how much of  my own involvement in movement building has actually integrated the importance of extending that notion of including differences of our abilities/disabilities? My friend has really enlightened me on the importance of Disability Justice within our movements in creating social change and what it looks like to be an ally to people with disabilities.

One of the things that I’ve been also thinking about through my recent engagements on this topic,is that there is a difference between a rights based, civil liberties based, movement – where rights are granted to you.  This idea that disabled people “should be granted the same rights” as everyone else.

Is that good enough?

Disability Justice offers us a different, more integrated approach – that it’s not about disabled people being granted the same rights as us, it’s the transformation of communities, institution, and systems, that needs to happen so that we create a society that fundamentally appreciates differences. As my friend had expressed to me ‘equallness’ does not mean sameness, since we all learn differently it means providing creative solutions that takes into account different ways students  learn, for example having other alternatives to exams, which in the end gives equal opportunity for success for individuals like my friend.  What I have also learned from my friend is that we need to challenge what inclusion looks like, so that people with learning differences like him do not need to self advocate and approach teachers for alternative learning methods – the alternative learning methods should have already been in place, not as an afterthought.

Afterall, let’s not forget that the idea that making the effort to make something accessible is helping a “minority population” – is a complete myth.  We are not all going to be able bodied for our whole lives, we are all – yes, that’s all of us – temporarily able bodied.
Working towards transforming communities to incorporate a Disability Justice discourse should be part and parcel of the work that we do as activists…and it’s something that I will continue to work on.

Leaves Change, Then Fall

How amazing is this, that we can literally hold each other through something as challenging as the ending of a relationship? How amazing is it that our hearts can hold our love and our hurt, our caring and our grieving, all at once? We feel mature, and deeply grateful for our growth leading up to this point.

Originally posted on Andrew Shopland’s Blog

There are very few things that can get me to clean my room, but my boyfriend coming to visit for a few days is one of them. I had just finished vacuuming when he texted me.

“Hey Are you by your phone?”

For a self-identified millennial he has a strange yet endearing habit of using his phone for actual phone calls. I reply and in a moment I can hear his voice. I know immediately that something is up so I sit down on my floor and breathe. He’s struggling to say what he needs to say. I don’t remember many of his words, but one sentence stood out.

“I love you, but as a friend.”

My heart drops. I’m not shocked; this wasn’t out of nowhere like my last break-up was. But it still hurts. When I finally find my voice, I’m a bit surprised by what comes out.

“Can you still come over?”

“Of course,” he says. He’ll be on the five o’clock ferry.

The call ends and I find myself laying on my newly cleaned floor, not sure what to do, but also confident that laying on the floor is exactly what I need in this moment. After an indeterminate amount of time my phone vibrates with a text from a friend. It seems like the world outside my room has continued on. I tell him what happened. I text my roommate. I text my faerie lover in the midwest. I text my mom. In response to their “how are you doing?” they receive my #sadgayfloorselfie.

I decide that I can’t just tragically lay on the floor until he gets here, so I put on some self-esteem (glitter in my stubble, and some eyeliner) and drag myself out the door. First stop is Waterfront Station to get myself a Compass Card. This is what self-care looks like for a transit nerd. It is hard to not smile a little when I tap it for the first time. Next stop is comfort food: tempura donburi. Finally I return home and add tea, pillows, and blankets to my floor kingdom.

He texts me to say he’s nearby. I put on pants. I light a candle, praying for ease in whatever comes next. Then he’s at my door.

We embrace, holding each other tightly, as if to never let go, knowing that’s exactly what we’re doing. We collapse onto my bed, taking turns holding each other as we cry. The magnitude of the situation only fully hits once my face is buried in his chest, his arms around me. This relationship is ending and I am full of sadness and grief. This relationship is ending and I am full of love for him. I marvel at my ability to simultaneously feel deep sadness and deep love. I know he is feeling the same way too.

I look up at him, tears in his eyes. He’s wearing a ball cap with pistols on it from a country bar on the island. The image is so indicative what I love about him. Unabashed masculinity and unabashed emotional vulnerability.

He says comforting things to me. They are platitudes and yet they come from a place of complete honesty. I know he means them. He affirms that he doesn’t want to loose me from his life completely. Again, I know he means this, and I let him know that it’s important to me too. I love this man. We’ve grown together. He knows me deeply and I him. That’s an invaluable investment.

We shift to talking about our adventures since we’d last seen each other. He had been to a music festival. I had been to a retreat. We share our experiences and the emotions that carried us through them. We laugh. We stare into each other’s eyes.

A new feeling arises in us. A sense of pride is bubbling up amidst the deep sadness and the deep love. How amazing is this, that we can literally hold each other through something as challenging as the ending of a relationship? How amazing is it that our hearts can hold our love and our hurt, our caring and our grieving, all at once? We feel mature, and deeply grateful for our growth leading up to this point.

And then it’s time for him to leave. I walk him to the door. Our last kiss lingers. He looks back at me across the threshold, his hands in the shape of a heart on his chest. I can see some of my glitter shimmer on his face.

I return to my room. I give thanks for how beautifully it went. I put out the candle and I say goodbye.

leaves change, then fall
the wheel turns

Joella and Jay: The Importance of Allyship and Family

while it may be challenging at times, queer folks can (and do) navigate the world on their own…but having an ally can make it easier, and more fun, to navigate the world together.

One of my favourite ways to explain the importance of allies, is something that I heard from Jen about allyship in the queer community. It’s this idea that while it may be challenging at times, queer folks can (and do) navigate the world on their own…but having an ally can make it easier, and more fun, to navigate the world together.

Allies are also critical to the queer movement, because allies can often access spaces more easily (and safely) than some folks, and can therefore advocate or do work in those spaces.

When we heard about Jay and Joella’s story, we were excited to capture and share this brother and sister relationship. After watching a documentary “For the Bible Tells Me So” on how five American Christian families dealt with their family members coming out, Joella was inspired to make a film about her own Filipino Roman Catholic family and when Jay came out to them. Though the film deeply resonated with Joella, she found that there was a lack of diverse representation of a person of colour’s experience coming out to their family (out of the five families, only one was a family of colour). This influenced the creation of their film “It Runs in the Family”, which documents Jay, his relationship with family and religion, and along with his sister traveling to the US and the Philippines to meet their other queer relatives. They have intimate conversations on how they have reconciled their Roman Catholic faith with their sexual orientation while maintaining their family ties.

“It Runs in the Family” produced by OUTtv Network and directed by Joella Cabalu will have a festival run starting late 2015 with a broadcast television release next summer 2016.

To find out more information please visit the Facebook page.

And be sure to check out the teaser below!

It Runs in the Family – Teaser – Courtesy of OUTtv Network from Joella Cabalu on Vimeo.

Connect with Joella on:
Twitter @joellacabalu
Instagram @joellacabalu
LinkedIn: Joella Cabalu

Connect with Jay on:

Website http://jaycabalu.com/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jaycabaluartworks

Twitter @jaycabalu

Instagram @jaycabalu_artworks

The Politics of Sexy: Race, Body Politics, and Desireability

Nomonde and I had conversation about sexual currency, “attractiveness”, race, and body politics

…and we filmed it for Love Intersections! 🙂
Sexual Currency is not something you choose, you are assigned it – but I think it’s something that, I think it’s important to emphasize, that you can reject. You don’t have to accept the way people see you or view you, you don’t have to accept the way people think about whether you are attractive or beautiful. That is something you choose. And the only way I think you survive this world? Is by deciding what your own sexual currency is going to be.”

Love Intersections is an Official Selection at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival!

“On Being Chinese, Culture, & Identity” will be premiering at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival Nov 5 – 8, 2015, at Vancity Theatre in Vancouver.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 6.40.29 PMOur film, “On Being Chinese, Culture, & Identity” recently competed in the Vancouver Asian Film Festival’s Red Pocket Challenge, where we won second place!

“On Being Chinese, Culture, & Identity” will be premiering at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival Nov 5 – 8, 2015, at Vancity Theatre in Vancouver.

We hope to see you there!

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 6.48.59 PM(David holding our second place trophy #MoneyCat)

Travelling Safety and Etiquette for POC’s: The Fat Black Girl & Gay Chinese Boy Edition

The ability to access spaces – and the ability to then exist in those spaces in an entirely natural and joyful way, to fully participate in those spaces – has often been a privilege I have had to do battle for.

 David and Nomonde recently travelled to Bali, and reflected together on some experiences travelling as racialized bodies

David: Nomonde is one of my dearest friends in the world – since we met in 2010 w11899797_10153467782959462_3467395100888588362_nhile we were both studying at the University of Cape Town, we have become very close friends.  Mondes is now living in Pretoria, and I’m back home in Vancouver, but every year or so, we make an effort to meet somewhere “half way” in the world to hang out, and travel together.

We recently visited Bali, Indonesia together, and something that we’ve had to talk about seriously – though we do (nervously) joke about – is that when we pick places to travel, we literally have to consider the likelihood of one of us getting lynched or gay bashed.

The reality is, that when me and Nomonde are together – whether it be in New York, Johannesburg, or Bali – we stand out, and often makes many situations unsafe.  The negative attention that we receive ranges from awkward, judgmental stares, to literal public mockery (pointing and laughing).

I’ve also recognized that in many cases, especially when I’m with Nomonde, I have the ability to pass more than she does.  My body, my skin, my accent, breeds a reaction sometimes, and while we have shared difficult traveling situations, I also recognize the differences in the challenges that both of us face.

When we are together, for example, people usually speak directly to me only – not to her.  Servers will always hand me the bill, and not to Nomonde.

Luckily for us, we always manage to navigate these situations with humour…especially when people ask us if we are on our honeymoon! 🙂

——-

Nomonde: The ability to access spaces – and the ability to then exist in those spaces in an entirely natural and joyful way, to fully participate in those spaces – has often been a privilege I have had to do battle for. Because of racial history, my class, education, the kind of work I do – many of the spaces I move in are very white spaces and I have often had to navigate those spaces with extreme caution. My fat black body is perceived as threatening by many white people. When I laugh, or talk, I’m told I’m fighting. When I express myself passionately with gestures, wide eyes and sincerity I am perceived to be angry. Perpetually angry. Eternally threatening. A big, fat, black freak in delicate white, light spaces.

Travelling with 11903843_1006688486037601_7857794658221783731_nDavid, who I adore, and not just because he always makes me feel so safe, has only confirmed and re-emphasised how difficult it can be for non-white bodies to access spaces of leisure. From sitting in a restaurant in New York and being ignored for a solid 45 minutes until David sat down and a waiter arrived at our side seconds later, to wandering a night market in Bali (which shall henceforth be known as the Night-market of Horror) and being laughed, harassed and jeered at while just desperately clinging to some form of dignity, to the reminder that yes I am a person and I do not deserve to be treated this way. To having those spaces turn threatening and dangerous, which I have never experienced with David, not yet anyway. At home in South Africa while at concerts, restaurants and clubs with other black women I have often been physically threatened and attacked by white men ‘defending’ their girlfriends from the existence of fat black womanhood in spaces they perceive as just their own. I have been spat at, stoned, shoved and punched right in my own back yard because I am a black body ‘trespassing’ where I do not belong and so when it comes to venturing to new shores, particularly knowing and acknowledging that David and I are both highly visible as individuals and even more so as a pair, I do intense research about black and poc experiences of the places we are visiting.

We had a very interesting, and amusing, conversation in Bali after our surreal and ugly experience at the Night-market of Horror, about how white travellers often boast about ‘getting to know the locals’ and ‘avoiding the touristy areas.’ While for black and other poc moving in those ‘authentic’ spaces can very often spell extreme humiliation, if not actual physical danger, and those are simply not conversations that I hear when black women particularly speak of travelling and exploration.

I desperately want to end this on a positive note because travelling has been overwhelmingly positive for me. I am beyond privileged to have the money to see the world, to have had the education and access I have had when the majority of women who look like me and come from where I come from struggle daily for the bare minimum of life and I acknowledge that fact with immense gratitude and humility. I suppose I just want us all to remember that there are many ways to kill a person. Always remember the power and the joy that can come from genuinely seeing each other.

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‘Regalia: Pride in Two Spirits’

We are very excited to finally be able to release the short film “Regalia: Pride in Two Spirits”, that premiered last night at the 2015 Vancouver Queer Film Festival this year, at the Bright Eyes, Queer Hearts youth shorts program.

Last night, we premiered “Regalia: Pride in Two Spirits”, at the 2015 Vancouver Queer Film Festival this year, at the Bright Eyes, Queer Hearts youth shorts program!

Regalia: Pride on Two Spirits from David Ng on Vimeo.

Big thank you to our team member and friend, Duane Stewart, who shares his story as a First Nations queer person, who identifies as “Two Spirited”.  Duane talks about the importance of culture in his life, and his journey coming out to his family!