Stranger in the Industry: Message to the Great White Travel Writing World

2015 has so far opened a door of opportunities. I received word that a piece I wrote on struggling with gender identity while on the road in South America made it into Brooklyn Boihood‘s forthcoming anthology Outside the XY: Queer Brown Masculinity. It will be available in print and some of it online by summer. I’m also taking part in an Outbounding.org‘s (liked reddit but for travel writing) discussion with some other dope folks of color on privilege, language, and the poc travel movement. Finally, I’ve been asked to join a Google Hangout on travel writing (more info forthcoming) which you could stream on All Digitocracy. But not all of the news has been good.

With new opporunities come new microaggressions. So I lashed out on Twitter and Storified it for the first time. Feel free to share far and wide. Read the original Storify post here.

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What did you think? Share your thoughts below. Sharing links are below too, or share the original Storify post here. If you consider yourself an ally feel free to donate via the Paypal button on your right hand side or directly to heyitsbani@gmail.com.

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5 thoughts on “Stranger in the Industry: Message to the Great White Travel Writing World”

  1. I really appreciate everything you posted and tweeted; from one queer traveller of color to another it was all point! I’m always interested in understanding how our own privilege shapes our travel experiences. As a queer woman of color also from the hood in nyc I’m constantly running into fellow travellers who look and are nothing like me forcing me to either travel completely alone or with folks who more often than not say shit that drives me up the wall in terms of constant microaggressions. However, whenever I come back to the US and am back on the block and talking about these experiences it definitely puts everything into perspective when I realize that I’m talking about a world most other poor brown folk can only dream of seeing because of real socioeconomic barriers. Different aspects of my own privilege have opened these doors to me (my parents despite being immigrants and working “menial” jobs in the states were both doctors in our home country which definitely shaped my upbringing, they fought tooth and nail to get me into the best public schools even if they were outside of our district which lead to a university scholarship that paid for two travel experiences, and my education which allows me to teach abroad and continue to travel). Traveling has been a process in re-education also, and has shaped my understanding of systems of oppression and privilege that extend out of the first world which it hadn’t as deeply before.

    Now that I’ve rambled your ears off, I was wondering–I’ve done some research but am notoriously bad with the google, do you know of any organizations that help fund travel for folks who otherwise wouldn’t be able to?

  2. Thanks Mechi, so glad to have found your blog! To answer your question, I haven’t the slightest clue and don’t really think anything of the sort exists. But I always keep an ear to the ground checking for travel opportunities especially for marginalized folk and usually have a few on my radar. I usually post such things on the VONA fb group (do you know of VONA? POC-only writing workshop? You should apply : ). BTW, if you could drop in on this convo and add your two cents I think that would be awesome – http://outbounding.org/discussion/view/the-privilege-of-place-diversity-and-cultural-representation-in-travel-writing

  3. Thanks for liking my Munich photo, Bani! I totally agree with you that it’s bullshit when businesses look to struggling writers for free content when they’re making more than enough in profits. I hope we can stay connected!

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