Tag Archives: Queens

Here, Queer, Going Everywhere: #FlyingWhileTrans and Remembering #Pulse One Year Later

Hey people. I hope that, wherever you are, you’re being extra gay, whether you’re gay or not. (Yes it DOES make sense.) Today I wanna share two works of mine that went live last week. The lighter one is an up-to-date, well-researched, comprehensive guide to navigating air travel across different trans identities. Save a trans person some stress and share this one with ’em.

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Via Cheapflights.com

The other piece is a personal essay reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the #Pulse massacre that I wrote for Bitch Magazine. I traveled back to the times in my youth that I spent in Orlando and mused on safety, solidarity, queer Latinidad, loss and mourning, and the importance of the LGBTQIA+ movement.

Silence can only be used as a tool for survival in the short term, elsewise you’ll get gangrene of the throat. I had chosen sanctuary over blood, to live unapologetically like the other sociocultural rejects who paved the way before me, even if it meant living under attack—at the end of the day I could return to a home of my own, even when that meant no home at all.

Give it a read, share it if you’re into it, and most importantly, understand, uplift, and join the radical efforts taking place by POC and trans+ folks in pride marches across the country this June, like the #NoJusticeNoPride protest in DC last week. Corporate, mainstream, pro-police prides belie the history of Stonewall and oppress people under attack by those powers today, and they have no place in our movement.

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I’ll be back Monday to share an interview I did with the one and only Shailja Patel. ‘Til then, take care of each other and raise hell. They’re not mutually exclusive!

Come See Me At The Queens Book Festival!

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For you New York area folks, come out to the Queens Book Festival to see a million brilliant, diverse and famous authors do their thing at Kaufman Astoria Studios next weekend! I’ll be on the 5pm publishing panel talking about DIY culture; reserve your seats here. It’s free, just a first come first serve type thing. The line-up is incredible; I’m personally *mad* excited to see Edwidge Danticat, Nicole Dennis Benn, Daniel Jose Older, Taye Diggs,  Ibi Zoboi, JP Howard and Zetta Elliot, among others. If you’re not in NYC, you can follow the fest on social media at #QBF. I’ll be tweeting as much as I can from @bani_amor. And if you are in NYC, come say hi. See you there!

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The Revolution Will Go Viral: Kwame Rose, Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Uprising

Hey people, so I injured my knee either swimming, hiking or running alongside vehicles hoping to jump on them in Ecuador last month – on acid – and now I’m watching Fall go by from my bed in Queens, New York, unable to walk. Getting better is the most important thing for me right now, which means working less and earning less when I need it the most. If you wanna support me in any way (besides donating, obvs, which you can do by clicking on the Donate button on the left column or sending cash money to heyitsbani@gmail.com via Paypal) you can share my work with folks you know, collaborate with me, come over with bottles of liquor (a popular option with my friends), lend me books, or send gushing statements of solidarity.

Click on image for full article
Click on image for full article

Anyway, before the fit really hit the shan I was able to profile Black Lives Matter activist Kwame Rose whose confrontation with Geraldo Rivera on Fox News went viral during the Baltimore Uprising earlier this year. If you like it, share it (and credit me!) and follow up with the organizing going on in Baltimore right now, where just last week 16 activists were arrested for demanding a meeting with police commissioner Kevin Davis.

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Next week, my #Dispatch interview with writer Pooja Makhijani on what words like expat, migrant, refugee, exile and immigrant really mean will be up. In the meantimes, you can follow me on the facebook, the twitter, the instagram.

Expats and Legends

hey people, last week i mentioned writing for Nowhere’s Magazine’s blog, and i just wanted to expand on that, ’cause i know some of y’all will be down to hear it! i’m working on two different series: Expats, a series on diaspora that focuses on places foreigners form communities, stories about displacement and profiles of people who lived between identities. Legends is a series profiling personalities and places that have left a mark on our social landscape but are on the verge of lore, like communities at risk of endangerment, people with obsolete skills and explorers whose stories ended in mystery.

Photo by By Alejandro Linares Garcia
Photo by By Alejandro Linares Garcia

Here are two examples and excerpts that were recently published on the site. Feel free to like, comment, share & shit. Legends: Flying Circus Balancing a reed flute in one hand and beating out an ancient rhythmic prayer on a small drum with the other, El Caporal stands 150 feet above the ground atop an erect pole, overseeing the flight of four young dancers gliding counterclockwise around him, like a human pinwheel. The acrobats, known as “bird men” among the Totonac of Veracruz, Mexico, are connected to the pole by a cord of rope wrapped around their waists, and slowly uncoiled from the top, the acrobats descending upside down, with arms outstretched, to the High Priest’s unrelenting tune. Expats: Babble On Jackson Heights began to draw in a boom of enterprising immigrants when reforms loosened New York immigration laws in the 1960s, and today represents the city’s second-largest population of foreign-born residents. One can walk through streets like Kalpana Chawla Way, where bearded vendors canvass gold bangles and spangly saris over a soundtrack of Bollywood hits beating from the nearest shop window, while the IRT # 7 “International Line” rattles overhead every few minutes. And a few blocks away on Calle Colombia, you can order a cafe con leche from a Beijing native in the neighborhood’s most beloved Chino-Latino joint.

Celestial Maps and the End of an Era

heyy folks. i’m here, looking for day jobs during the day, cutting up black and white copies of celestial maps for the new zine by night, working on cover letters as i apply for guidebook gigs, watching my old copy of brother to brother on vhs (truly horrible audio, but i recommend this movie to all QPOC* artists!) and lamenting the end of 5pointz. New York is truly over for me, and any connection I might’ve had with my hometown can only exist in memory. lame. 

in other news, i just put up a new “Work With Me” page over here for prospective clients, collaborators and anyone with a comment. get in touch! while i work on all this stuff at once, please support by simply liking the facebook page, following the tumblr page or ordering a zine. have good weekends! hope that condos don’t replace good art in your neighborhoods.

*queer people of color, duh