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    bois will be bois blog

    Entries in brooklyn (3)

    Friday
    Jan212011

    F**k the T-Shirt, I Really Can't Afford To Love NY.

    by The U.N.EYEwitness.



    It’s the 20th of January. I sit here typing this article from my $1937 apartment in Flatbush, with glee, knowing that I’m 12 luxurious days away from having to shake my bank account dry to pay my $664 share of the rent. Some may say this cost isn’t that costly. It’s not the $1000 and up shoebox rooms in Williamsburg, Park Slope, or any other rapidly gentrified community in Brooklyn. But, it’s well on the way to being so. 

    As someone who did not grow up in NYC, it’s hard to imagine what these neighborhoods were like before their sharp, sweeping transitions from the hood to hood chic, from Black and Latino to mixed, aka, young white college-educated hipsters as your neighbors. We know the stories – we’ve got an A-list of BK emcees to flesh out ‘90s ski-mask tales and crack sales. Where these used to be red (and blue) lights flashing to caution said individuals away from neighborhoods like Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, Bushwick, and Flatbush, they have now become selling points – a “cool” factor, of sorts. A chance to frequent the new bars, coffee shops, and restaurants, without all thatsketchy crime stuff. But this is no new news to you.

    Us queers of color are clustered up in these exact same neighborhoods – a community within a community. Some of us were born and lived here our whole lives, others moved in from other cities and settled down where we’d feel most comfortable. But sometimes I wonder, am I one “young professional” who moved in and hiked up the rent for that family that’s been living here for generations? Am I the cause of Flatbush being bombarded with cops walking in packs of 8? Did they build that organic market up the street for me? What’s the thin line between simply moving into a neighborhood you can afford, and gentrifying it?

    On the surface, I look as if I’ve been here for years, just by being Black. I'm aware, though, that my income as a single person probably matches some families I live next to. But don’t get it twisted – I am extremely far from a trust fund baby. My parents can't pay my rent, since they’re struggling to pay theirs. I lived on a very modest budget of $32,000 for a year and four months, only for that to be slashed by 55% with unemployment. This barebones income now covers my basic living expenses. In keeping that gentrification is as much about class as it is race, I’m as expendable as my Caribbean neighbors are. The uncomfortable truth is, being white and living in these neighborhoods means you physically embody an inevitable change in the neighborhood, and even more striking, an inevitable change in NYC. 

    The definition of “low-income” according to City Hall is anyone who makes $68,000 or below. $68,000. Obviously, this means some millions of New Yorkers simply aren’t even on the map. The blitz of luxury condos and rehabilitated apartments have been built in these neighborhoods, without a second thought to whom they’re displacing. Rent-stabilized apartments that hit the $2000 mark for rent can pretty much kiss “stability” goodbye (our $1937 number has me shaking in my boots). I’m seeing more sushi places than Kennedy Fried Chicken spots…

    And I’m wondering how much longer I can realistically last here. 

    I’ve been to several going away parties in the community, as some of our folks want to experience other parts of the US where you’re not paying for a NAME when you’re paying your rent. (And if you are, it’s significantly less.)  I’ve also been chatting with many college juniors and seniors who are pondering where they should move, and seeing NYC as an option. I immediately screech to them, “DON’T DO IT. It’s not for us anymore.” I really want to remain optimistic, and bask in the shopping list of Brooklyn perks that I don’t get many places else, but that list is getting shorter and shorter. I own up to my privilege of being able to bounce to another city, but this time, it would be out of necessity rather than pure desire. Bloomberg wants NYC to be a “luxury product”. The underbelly of the Brooklyn, or the working class that built its legacy and culture, are being traded for bike lanes and Crunch gyms. 

    What does that mean for queers of color? We come from various class dynamics, so I can’t profess that all of us going to the same $10 party are living comfortably. Sure, we may frequent the same bars, restaurants, or galleries, but what happens to those of us who can no longer afford to stay here? What happens when we start getting citations for “trespassing” for walking in the park? Or denied that new apartment because we don’t make enough income? 

    I’ll let the good times roll while I’m here. But by the time they start rolling out red carpets at subway stations for people carrying Whole Foods bags, I have a good feeling I’ll be gone. Smooches. 
    Tuesday
    Jan112011

    THE STUD MAGAZINE LAUNCHED Today!!!

    Our fam out in Toronto just launched "The Stud Magazine" The online magazines tag line is: "Shift Thought, See Differently". They're working to provide insight, visibility, education, and more to the under served and underrepresented stud community. Dope shit right?! Check out the press release below: 

    Where do masculine woman go to get information and support? Nowhere! The Stud Magazine is a Toronto based magazine to be launched this January 11th, 2011 that offers a dynamic and comprehensive look into the topics, issues and lifestyles of non-gender conforming females.

    We define stud as a person belonging to either female or intersex sex that blurs societies understanding of gender. Often displaying "masculine qualities"(strong, dominate, powerful, independent, and leadership) and/or varying degrees of "masculine" appearance. Stud culture isn’t about sexuality; it’s about the way you express your gender. The Stud Magazine will dramatically change the way people think and classify gender.

    This community includes females who are also a part of the gay community. The topic of homosexuality has been on the radar for years now, from political debates, large public parades, web, print and TV publications, to androgynous mainstream fashion. Yet, large sections of this community are left out and gay subject matter is exposed predominately to white homosexual men. This leaves out lesbians, people ofcolour, and intersex persons. These communities face issues around isolation, depression, and discrimination from family, work, school and society as a whole, but there are many individuals who have jumped over these hurdles to live successful lives. The Stud Magazine will enhance, showcase and promote Stud culture as well as Stud identities.

     The magazine approaches these gaps and offers high quality multimedia and a content rich source for masculine women we call ‘studs.’ The magazine includes explosive sections such as, essential information on health, successful Studs and ways you can access them, career options, fashion, a comic and much more.

     The magazine launches January 11, 2011. Check out the site www.thestudmagazine.com and follow us on facebook and twitter. The Stud Magazine launch event will take place on January 15,2011.

    For more information and media related inquires, email info@thestudmagazine.com or call 647.975.STUD (7883). 

     

     

    click here to link to the site

    Check for bklyn boihood in the Stud Connection section of this issue

     

     

     

     

    Saturday
    Feb062010

    Welcome to the bklyn boihood blog - bois will be bois

    Yo yo!

    Welcome to the official bklyn boihood blog - bois will be bois! This is the place to get all the latest bbh news, events, exclusive photos and more... Plus, stay tuned for sneak peeks of the upcoming 2010-2011 bklyn boihood calendar.