Community Voices: Why choosing ‘with respect to’ instead of ‘regardless of’ can change underlying meaning

I have to admit that I don’t like the use of “regardless of” when it comes to talking about resources, opportunities and all those things that people should have just and equitable access to. What I mean are statements like “everyone should have access to employment regardless of their race, gender, ability, etc.” “Regardless of,” in those instances, seems to perpetuate that sort of colorblind/genderblind/blind-to-whatever state of mind. I mean, the phrase is literally saying that people’s identities, experiences, etc, should not be regarded when thinking of how resources, opportunities and whatnot are allocated – that everyone is “treated the same.” The thing is – and I’m only about the millionth person to say this – people’s needs and desires aren’t all uniform. Continue Reading

No cops, no racists, no phobias: QTPOCI claim their own Twin Cities nightlife scene

After fights broke out in Chicago during the 2012 Pride Festival, Phillipe Cunningham approached a police officer to ask about a safe route to walk home. At the time, Cunningham had recently transitioned and noticed during this interaction a different type of aggression and animosity directed at him. “The more Black and masculine I began to look at first glance, that’s when the aggression had an uptick,” Cunningham said. “That was my first experience interacting with cops as a Black man. It shook me.”

Cunningham, a queer, transgender Black man running for Minneapolis City Council in Ward Four, said many queer and trans people of color and Indigenous folks (QTPOCI) have stories like this – times when they were trying to have fun, ask for directions or simply occupy public space – and a police officer responded with hostility. Continue Reading