Window Seats and Baggage

This morning, I made my way to Washington, DC. Boarding my connecting flight in Atlanta, I approached my designated row only to find a woman already occupying my seat. She looked to be southeast Asian and only a few years older than myself. At first I assumed it was a mix-up. As I stuffed my duffle bag in the overhead bin I noted her mistake in seating.

“I’m sorry ma’am, I think I’m the window seat.”

But it wasn’t an accident. She had the tray down, a coffee mug and muffin placed atop, her headphones were in. She looked up at me.

“Oh I know, if you want I can move,”

At first I hesitated. I have nothing against the aisle seat, I just prefer the window. I like being able to rest my head against the wall of the plane. I like looking out when we’re taking off.

Another second passed and I considered relenting. It’s a short flight, I thought, I’d probably be asleep for most of it anyways. It’s just a seat. But then, I decided the window was what I wanted. (more…)


What the Hell was Anthony Michael D’Agostino’s “‘Bye Sierra”?!

by contributing writer Quinlan Mitchell

Let’s get real. For just a minute, let’s get really real. Anthony Michael D’Agostino’s oh-so-lauded article in the HuffPost, for all its fanfare and academic jargon, is essentially a new dress for old and tired rhetoric. I repeat: it’s not new. So everyone stop spilling tea all over the place, and let’s unpack the issue.

To the article’s credit, it does an adequate job of picking apart Sierra Mannie’s highly controversial Time Magazine opinion piece, “Dear White Gays: Stop Stealing Black Female Culture”. D’Agostino skillfully takes issues which are compressed in Mannie’s piece and unfolds them in all their complexity within his own.

But that’s where the credit ends, unfortunately.

Anthony Michael D’Agostino’s response to Sierra Mannie’s article is often completely delusional. And it is truly ignorant of how the underlying power relationships that define how this country function, even at its best.

Mannie’s article in Time Magazine represented a first, and earnest stab at dismantling some of the extreme patriarchy and racism that pervades gay culture. When she tells white gays to stop stealing from black women, she’s touching on a long tradition of appropriation and mockery that hurts black women deeply, and allows white gays, even as minorities, to exert control over another minority group for community gain.

Which, coincidentally, is exactly what D’Agostino does (and ignores that he’s doing) in his response essay. (more…)