Blaque/OUT Magazine January 2021 Issue#004

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After a year like the one we just completed, I barely know what to say to close it out. I guess simply this, ‘what you don’t heal you are doomed to repeat. I don’t blame anybody for what they did to survive the last 12 months. It has been a BITCH. But you owe it to yourself to heal your heart, heal your hurt and take a real look at what needs to go and what needs to stay in order for you to truly and authentically move forward. I feel like we in the QTPOC community know everything about pushing through to be our authentic selves in terms of sexuality and gender identity but we often forget some of the very real, very human pieces of authenticity. Figure out who you really, really are. Let go of the pains and rejection, shade and shame of your past. Step into your 2021 with a new look at yourself and new eyes to see the world. If you battled through COVID, quarantine, loneliness, racism, homophobia, transphobia- rejoice in those big wins but recognize the small ones that are just as real, just as important and just as integral in your survival. Let your heart DREAM in 2021. Fear nothing! How can you after all you’ve battled through to survive? Love again, learn more, be fearless, be unstoppable. Be YOU!

We closed 2020, (the year we deemed this time last year, the year of the FEMME) celebrating beautiful femininity and everything it encompasses. So we are celebrating MASC energy as we step into 2021. In it, and all throughout the magazine we celebrate and ask you to stretch your imagination to challenge what masculinity means to you. And why? Special thanks to Zaire Knight, our cover model and feature photographer, all the incredible models for the Center Spread. And a huge shout-out to Rahzie Seals out of Syracuse, NY for coordinating the shoot.

Thank you all for being a part of this 1st year of Blaque/OUT. The best is yet to come!!

Silencing the Cries of the Wounded Okay, Let’s Talk… What is Masculinity? By definition, it means qualities or attributes regarded as characteristic of men. What does it mean to be toxic? Well, it means, to be very harmful or unpleasant in a pervasive or insidious way. Okay, now, what is ‘Toxic Masculinity?’ Toxic Masculinity can be defined by adherence to traditional male gender roles that consequently stigmatize and limit the emotions boys and men may comfortably express while elevating other emotions such as anger or sexual aggressions. It can also be that its when the male ego is challenged and masculinity crosses that dangerous line into the realm of toxicity; hence, Toxic Masculinity.

Often times when we hear the term or think of toxic masculinity we picture it being a heterosexual male thing - WRONG! Toxic masculinity plagues both the heterosexual and the LGBTQ+ Black, Brown, and Latinx communities. Why? Because in these communities, boys are raised with structural or traditional constructs that men should look, act, walk, and talk a certain way to be considered a “Man” in that community’s eyes. Unfortunately, this underlined abuse can add to the dangers these Black and Brown young boys can potentially face in their adulthood as Black and Brown men. It can also put the lives of Black and Brown women in a dangerous position as well. Growing up with restrictions of what when can and cannot say or do when dealing with certain men.

Now, according to Dr. Jeffrey Gardere, Ph.D., ABPP of Farley and Associates Advanced Crisis Management Firm. Masculinity within the LGBTQ community shows up in many ways as to create power dynamics within the lines of sex and gender. “Masc” and “Fem” are often directly linked to sexual positions and used to shame those in the less so-called dominant role. Gay men often shaming trans people shows just how far the divisions are even within a marginalized population. Dr. Gardere goes on to say, “Lesbians have also exhibited these characteristics when discussing ‘dom’ (dominant) and ‘butch’ in comparison to those who are considered fem. Masculinity is seen as the peak power dynamic in most communities; therefore, its quite natural that other populations or sub-communities would adopt such structural hierarchy, essentially creating a class and power system.

During my experiences as a child it wasn’t uncommon to hear men say to each other when it came to feelings: “suck it up”, “toughen up”, “be a man”, “stop being a bitch” or “you’re acting like a pussy”. Being male, and being vulnerable in many different communities of several races or ethnic backgrounds can be looked upon as being weak, or unreliable. So what can we do about it? We can continue to educate every chance we get, and teach the young ones the best we can to show them a better, more productive and healthy way of living and expressing themselves. We can honor our traditions and still educate our boys and men that sharing, showing, or expressing how they feel does not make you weak, but shows strength, character, and sound mental stability. But I’d like to hear all of your thoughts on this matter. Let me know what you think. Give me a shout at:

So until next time, this is your girl, Javannah saying, Be good to you!

The MOCHA Center connects LGBTQ people of color with events and programs that promote healthy, sex-positive living. We are a safe place to hang out, talk, and get connected to health services – including free HIV and STD testing.

NEW LOCATION! 470 W. Main St., Rochester | 585.420.1400




Ask Masculinity And You In the fashion world, being androgynous is considered a humongous edge to have on your competition as a model. I’d like to think the same applies to everyday life. Basically, embodying the characteristics of both feminine & masculine energy can provide us all with an advantage when navigating this crazy life. Today, we’ll be focusing on celebrating the masculine aspect of this divine energy we’re learning to conquer.

How do we define Masculine Energy?

When we think of channeling that masculine source energy, we like to view it as taking an aggressive and more action-oriented approach but it can be said that masculine energy moves silently as well. We’ve all experienced it in motion in our lives whether we knew it then or not. Whenever we’re being called to make leadership decisions that effect not only ourselves but others, when we stand up and speak out using fierce courage in the face of adversity and even when we express tough love to those coming after us to guide them & provide adequate balance with our affection. It’s always been there working for your benefit.

What are some common misconceptions about masculinity?

It’s often believed that “toxic masculinity” is the only type there is. Truth be told, there’s actually nothing masculine about being toxic at all. We hear the word masculine and assume fear-inducing or deprecating tactics should immediately follow. That’s simply immaturity at its finest so don’t be deceived. When we celebrate masculinity, we revere it for its true power not some immature reign of childish behavior. I’m sure as we all look around, theres at least one person you know who foots the bill. Just set the example for them & they’ll surely follow. We can conquer the world one uneducated brain at a time! That’ll definitely inspire true change in the space around you.

How do we heal the pain caused by toxic masculinity?

Just today I was so frustrated that I’m always having to step up to the plate and fight a battle bigger than me all alone. With the effects of the pandemic and social injustices being fought all over the world weighing heavily on me, on top of the injustices I fight in my own life daily... I was just so angry. Angry but also tired at the same time. Tired of hearing the narrative that’s constantly being told in a person of color’s life that because they chose change, because they chose to stand out and accept themselves or just because they went “against the grain” in any way, they’ve been put out & are left fighting alone. We spend holidays alone, we fight fires alone and

Marshay goes away. There’s honestly nothing that can be done outside of living for yourself. Don’t choose to carry the weight of other people’s trauma, be it family or foe. You made the necessary changes to live for you and that’s where we place the period. We fight seemingly alone but that’s because when we finally get to bask in that victory, the throne will only hold that one seat for you because you made it to the finish line. I’m with you in your fight & remember, a healthy balance of both masculine and feminine source energy is truly key to breaking through whatever is trying to break you.

A Final Note For 2020:

Listen, I don’t know about ya’ll but I’m running out of 2020 like I stole something! So many things came to light this year and we appreciate all experiences we’re granted the chance to have...but 2021 is here! I love the idea of new, clean slates for everyone after we experienced a tragedy-filled Pandemic and continue to make every day count. So I’d say one thing I’m leaving in 2020 is complaining energy! I spent a lot of time beating myself up for what didn’t work out and then complaining about it after that and what a waste of healthy breath its been. I honor the part of me that tries really hard and gets frustrated when things go south because that’s just apart of the human experience. With that, I choose to take an attitude of gratitude with me into 2021. To realize how life is short and that you’ve been given the gift of life for another day...even just one more day, is all I need to ring in the New Year right.

Happy New Year to my fellow soldiers in this battle of life! Eternally & Truly Yours,



Need Advice? Email your questions about love, life & entanglements to: & you might see it answered in an upcoming issue of Blaque/Out Mag!!

5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE US COVID-19 VACCINATION PROGRAM The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) changed all our plans in 2020. Many of us have stories of our family, friends and colleagues contracting the virus. Some of us have personal stories of contracting the virus ourselves. Following the announcements of the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of two COVID-19 vaccines by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), many people began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. On December 11, 2020, the first vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 developed by Pfizer, Inc. was authorized by the FDA. On December 18, 2020, the second vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19, developed by ModernaTX, Inc. was authorized as well. With the announcement of these new vaccines and implementation of the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program, many people are left with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the facts surrounding it.

COVID-19 has affected millions of people globally 
 COVID-19 has wrecked havoc on millions of people globally, warranting the need for the research, production, and development of a vaccine. On a global scale, there has been more than 77.9 million COVID-19 cases and more than 1.7 million deaths from COVID-19, as of December 16, 2020 (New York Times, 2020). While opponents of vaccinations may argue against receiving a COVID-19 vaccine for a myriad of reasons, the fact that we must do something is irrefutable. Vaccines, in general, train our immune systems to create proteins that fight disease, known as “antibodies”, just as would happen when we are exposed to a disease but crucially- vaccines work without making us sick.

COVID-19 vaccines will not give you COVID-19
 One of the common myths surrounding the COVID-19 vaccines is that they will give you COVID-19. This is completely a myth. A wealth of research has been done on the topic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared that the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection. However, if your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

The Elderly and people with underlying medical conditions should strongly consider getting the vaccine.
 Honestly, everyone should strongly consider getting the COVID-19 vaccine but those who are elderly or dealing with underlying medical conditions, such as Diabetes or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), should make it a priority to meet with their primary care provider (PCP) to discuss whether getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is right for them. Individuals with underlying medical conditions or those with compromised immune systems are at an increased risk for contracting COVID-19 and experiencing the most severe complications of the virus such as shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Getting the vaccine could be the first step to ending this global pandemic.

Herd immunity is our last hope in the fight against COVID-19

Herd immunity is our last hope in the fight against COVID-19 Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected — not just those who are immune. There are two paths to herd immunity for COVID-19 — vaccines and infection. A vaccine for the virus that causes COVID-19 is an ideal approach to achieving herd immunity. Vaccines create immunity without causing illness or resulting complications. Herd immunity makes it possible to protect the population from a disease, including those who cannot be vaccinated, such as newborns. Using the concept of herd immunity, vaccines have successfully controlled deadly contagious diseases such as smallpox, polio, diphtheria, rubella and many others. Reaching herd immunity through vaccination sometimes has drawbacks, though. Protection from some vaccines can wane over time, requiring revaccination. Sometimes people do not get all of the shots that they need to be completely protected from a disease. In addition, some people may object to vaccines because of religious objections, fears about the possible risks or skepticism about the benefits. People who object to vaccines often live in the same neighborhoods or attend the same religious services or schools. If the proportion of vaccinated people in a community falls below the herd immunity threshold, exposure to a contagious disease could result in the disease quickly spreading. Measles has recently resurged in several parts of the world with relatively low vaccination rates, including the United States. Opposition to vaccines can pose a real challenge to herd immunity.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will not excuse you from mask wearing and social distancing.

Unfortunately, the requirement to wear masks in public and socially distance from one another will continue to be mandated nationwide. Even those who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will continue to be required to follow these mandates. While the vaccine is strongly encouraged for front-line workers, elderly adults, and people with compromised immune systems, very soon, the vaccine will be widely available to any and everyone. It is important to be mindful that vaccinations does not excuse us from the need to practice good hand hygiene (handwashing) and other infection control techniques.

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The Bottom Line Getting vaccinated is one of many steps you can take to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Protection from COVID-19 is critically important because for some people, it can cause severe illness or death. Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

Do you have a health question for our resident health expert? Send it to: and he may answer it in an upcoming column.

Jenn, 32

she/her/ hers

Syracuse, NY

Masculinity means, in a sense, the same thing to me as femininity. It’s half of who I am. The half that I express myself outwardly as, but not the half that makes me the person that I am. I need both my feminine and masculine sides in order to be my true self, but I also see them both as the same thing; powerful, strong, unique features of myself that I also see as interchangeable. If you ask me what’s masculine or feminine about me, my answer would be simple, everything.

In theory of course, I didn't care. But as the years went by these shortcomings got inside my head. I started to try and live up to the standards for men and to beat myself up when I couldn't.

Like a lot of people, my first model for masculinity was my father. I did not know him for long. To me he was an intense and frightening man. He was physically abusive to my mother, they split up when I was 2 years old and he sent her threatening letters for decades afterwards. My mother would collect them in a shoebox in case she ever needed to call the police.

I always had a fear in the back of my mind that he would turn up at the house one day when I wasn't there and hurt her, but he never did. A few years ago I heard that he returned to Lagos. As well as my first model of masculinity, this was my first model of a Black man.

Being a trans man, of course, I wanted to be one of the 'good guys'. One who protects women from toxic masculinity. But I found that in relationships I had a lot of toxic traits, mostly related to childhood, but now viewed through the lens of masculinity, I felt I must be one of the 'bad guys'. This binary made me feel guilty and inadequate. I feared I was turning into my father.

I'm biracial, my mother is white, and I grew up in a small town on the south coast of England. I was the only Black person I knew. The place I'm from is kind of rural and the standard for a man involves being able to handle tools and fix things, having a trade like carpentry or roofing, having a car or van, being a husband, not getting emotional and paying for things.

I transitioned at 23. By then I knew what it was like to be read as female and androgynous. Being read consistently as male over time, I began to feel the burn of society's standards for men.

I noticed shortcomings that had never existed before: I went from average height to short, my ability to speak about sports was lacking, I was too quiet and emotional, I had a laughably small dick, I was impotent, I was weedy, I was young looking and not responsible, I was a threat to women, I was probably going to steal something, my presence sometimes irked middle aged white guys.

I struggled at the beginning with shame for transitioning at all and for abandoning my label as a lesbian woman. It felt like being a transgender man was somehow offensive to women, as many trans-exclusionary feminists will gladly confirm.

Shame has been a big part of my life both as a Black person and a trans person. These are labels which can incite a great deal of ugly and dangerous hostility. I internalized this hostility as self-hate and have spent a lot of energy unlearning that self-hate. In the past I wanted to remain unseen, believing my life would be safer if I could blend in as much as possible. Now I want to be seen so that I can be recognized by others like me so that I can feel less lonely and belong where I belong with others who are either like me or who can empathize with my experience as a Black trans man.

I've only recently begun to claim what

masculinity means to me. I no longer feel guilty for being masculine. I no longer want to be validated by being chosen over a cis man. I no longer even want to be seen as cis. I see myself as a free soul with a beautiful human body and a strong inner compass. I do my best to be loving, strong and encouraging. I'm nowhere near perfect, nor do I need to be.

This may not be how others see me, but one of the things about the sense of masculinity I am discovering is that I am most invested in my own standards, not those of others.

This month’s BlaqueOut theme is masculinity. I think about masculinity o8en as someone who has friendships with gender- expansive adults, but also as a professional who works with families. Over the last few years, I’ve noCced more tolerance for men in their exploraCon of what it means to be a man, although I fear the Black community may be slower in that tolerance than others, someCmes. I’ve been delighted to talk with more fathers who fighCng against the cycle that taught them emoConal intelligence and nurturing connecCons are less important than physical strength and control. Men are enjoying more rewarding relaConships with their children and their partners. More men are allowing themselves to stay home with their children while their partners work. More men are wearing dresses and makeup. As a woman, I don’t have direct experience of what it means to confront a too- Cght expectaCon for masculinity and decide that it is no longer for you. But I offer two memoirs by authors that do. through his experiences with his family, friends, and trauma. He talks about his relaConship with food a8er he discovered that it could be a comfort and a distracCon and then again when he needed to feel more in control of his life. I think about this book at least once every few weeks. It’s a powerful book and Professor Graham (and commenters) offer a powerful review.

Here are a few quotes to Cde you over unCl you can get the book: “And don’t fight when you’re angry. Think when you’re angry. Write when you’re angry. Read when you’re angry.” “It ain’t about making white folk feel what you feel,” she said. “It’s about not feeling what they want you to feel. Do you hear me? You beNer know from whence you came and forget about those folk.”

“My body knew things my mouth and my mind couldn't, or Heavy by Kiese Laymon: An American Memoir (Nonfic7on, essays) I read this book as part of the discussion group led by Rochester, NY cultural leader, Tokeya Graham. You can see her discussion recorded live back in March: hNps:// Heavy is basically a leNer to Laymon’s mother. He explores how he came to quesCon his own understanding of what it means to be a man

maybe wouldn't, express. It knew that all over my neighborhood, boys were trained to harm girls in ways girls could never harm boys, straight kids were trained to harm queer kids in ways queer kids could never harm straight kids, men were trained to harm women in ways women could never harm men, parents were trained to harm children in ways children would never harm parents….. My body knew white folk were trained to harm us in ways we could never harm them.”

All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir Manifesto by George M. Johnson (Non-fic7on, essays) This book is geang quite a bit of buzz and I think is in talks to become a show. It is a collecCon of personal essays in which Johnson reflects on his early family relaConships, growing up as a gay Black male in New Jersey and Virginia. He always felt like he stood out in his close- knit family. He speaks about the tensions that he felt between his queer and black idenCCes and how he has integrated them. Johnson implores his readers to consider how their own idenCCes have been shaped by society’s condiConing and to define themselves with more freedom. Honestly, this book won’t make my top picks for 2020. It’s organizaCon is a liNle loose for me; the book is a mix of “story Cme” and leNers. I don’t always connect to Johnson’s story. But it’s not my story to connect to. His “be who you are” message is far-reaching but he’s offering a hand down to young Black boys who might feel stuck in a small box. You’ll find that people o8en use the excuse “it was the norm” when discussing racism, homophobia, and anything else in our history they are trying to absolve themselves of. Saying that something was “a norm” of the past is a way not to have to deal with its ripple effects in the present. It removes the fact that hate doesn’t just stop because a law or the Cme changed. Folks use this excuse because they are o8en unwilling to accept how full of phobias and -isms they are themselves or at least how they benefit from social structures that privilege them. You someCmes don’t know you exist unCl you realize someone like you existed before.

Ok, Dear Reader. There you have it. As always, feel free to drop me a line at: if you have thoughts about my recommendaCons or if you have recommendaCons for me.


The Fresh Breath of 2021 It is that time of year again where we have celebrated with loved ones and now it's time to face who we are again. We have shared moments and created new memories with chosen family and friends. Thought about yesterday and yesteryears in hopes that this upcoming year would not prove to be worse than the last. Maybe, it won't prove to be better either. Or, maybe all of the motivational books, posts, memes, manifestations and vision boards were just ways for us to recognize that some life goals will take more time while others are proven to quickly come to life. What’s the saying “New year, New me?” And as we’ve continued life, the memes of women and men climbing up to success, totting their bag of things they will carry into the new year, we must recognize that there will still be moments where we reflect on the past and it will not harm us as much. Take a moment. Maybe 10 seconds to just breathe in this moment. Do not try to focus on the things around you. Drop that baggage. As we often find our gratitude by remembering our blessings through the objects we see versus the moments that we feel. And, maybe the items in your home, car or on your body remind you of a specific moment. Whether those moments had been positive or negative, just take the time to sit. It sounds crazy to tell people who have been sitting in a pandemic to sit, but we’ve for so long have battled trying to navigate both the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, but it is okay to not have to feel the need to make the weight equal out. To not recognize either but to feel them instead. You feel the love while you feel the hurt. Experiencing the laughter in the midst of the tears can be refreshing. This year is what this breath feels like. Take this quick exercise to get your 2021 started off in the right spirit and mood. Got your pen and paper ready? Got your mind and breath ready to release then lets do it! Here are ten fired up ways to move forward from the past year into a year of gratitude and a year of manifestation. No you do not need crystals, sage or anything outside of listening to yourself and moving to the spaces that serve you. 10)

Name 10 things, places, or people from this past year you are grateful for.


Write down 9 Goals you hope to accomplish in 2021 that are not from 2020.


Note 8 ways that you can “Get out of your Own Way” and get these accomplished.


Find 7 new ways to say “I love you” to yourself in an unselfish, unsarcastic, hopeful way.


Take 6 seconds to inhale and 6 seconds to exhale. Do this for 60 seconds.


Close your eyes and enjoy 5 minutes of quiet time.


Find 4 spaces in your life that bring you comfort and note these as your brave spaces.


Recognize 3 days out of each week that you will work towards your goals.


Name 2 people who will hold you accountable.


Don’t forget to say I love you on a daily basis.

Refresher cont.

In just 5 minutes, you can do something that changes your life forever. For the Good or the bad. I hope you are able to take 10 minutes out of a busy day and remember the joy that was captured in your heart for yourself and those around you. May this new year bring you joy, laughter, love and peace. May it make you flexible on and off the yoga mat. Remember to stay hydrated in all facets of life. Eat fruits and veggies, that not only nourish the body, but the soul.

But most importantly, always be yourself.

Doreen Scanlan, Intuitive Tarot Card Reader

Looking for insight into the things along your path? Online readings available. Call (585)615-8494 to schedule

BlaqueOut Interview: KC Washington (pronouns: He,Him,His) JD: What is your personal definition of masculinity? KC: An individual that shows strength; is bold, and authoritative. JD: What do you feel the relationship is with Black Queer men and the idea of masculinity? KC: I feel that there can be a conflict when it comes to the idea of masculinity, opposed to it being something someone embraces as an individual. Based on life experiences, or what one sees in the media, it’s easy to adopt an idea of how you should act to be considered masculine. This can cloud perspectives regarding masculine gay black men who embrace their manhood, and values they have as men. JD: Do you find that "toxic masculinity" is a factor within the Queer community? KC: Yes. I do feel that there can be toxic masculinity within the Queer community. Especially when it comes to one's own preference. Being a masculine gay man, I prefer to date masculine gay men, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It becomes harmful and/or “toxic”

KC resides in Charlotte, NC He is a licensed barber, model, and singer of the international R&B group AHMIR.

when masculine gay men start to berate, or shame feminine gay black men for not being as masculine as they think they should be, instead of accepting and appreciating the differences between them. JD: What does it mean to be considered feminine or masculine in the LGBTQ community from your perspective? KC: Feminine is someone who is dainty, soft, and submissive. Masculine is more aggressive, assertive, and dominant. This is my perspective of the


two. This is the way things were when I was growing up and everyone lived in the respective roles of who they were. If you didn’t like it, you moved on. If they were for you then there would be that connection. JD: Do you feel heteronormative roles( masculine/feminine) can be harmful to individuals of the LGBTQ+ community? KC: I believe it could. I think it can be harmful to certain relationships. Heteronormative viewpoints have the capability to misconstrue the way the individuals cater to one another. i.e. whose the man or woman; Instead of just living in dual roles as individuals. JD: Do you feel like it's different in the QTPOC community? KC: It seems to be very different. I don’t identify as Queer, and don’t know many who do, but for those I do know it seems as if the traits of masculine and feminine depends on how they feel throughout the day, or for the moment. JD: Are there any misconceptions you think need to be cleared up in terms of masculinity? KC: I believe the most common misconception when it comes to masculinity in the QTPOC community is that all masculine individuals are aggressive, or dominate all the time. There are those that live in the truth of their masculinity, or even their femininity, because it represents us as individuals. I can also safely say that no matter how masculine a man is in our community, his feminine side always shows at some point. JD: How do you feel the perspective of this generation (ages 18-34), differs from the older generation (ages 35-50)?

Your shoulders are heavy from the pressure of the world. So many duties forced your way It’s ok to let loose and become unfurled I take notice to your silent cries all day And letting a tear shed doesn’t make you weak Nor does releasing yourself to feel It’s not street power that you yearn to seek But wisdom is the power you lack to reveal Kings stand up, Rise not fall I realize it’s not the easiest task to do But we call for you to stand for us all For the ones who wish they could stand with you Stand for your mothers and for your sisters Stand for the children left behind by brothers who chose not to Stand for your rights and past the blisters Stand for those who don’t realize what to do Know your worth no matter who speaks otherwise. Because royalty does not occur cheap Remember, you can make it no matter the time And to never accept defeat Kings what I’m seeking to convey is you're a remarkable part of the puzzle So never feel different, my friend Speak up, never muzzled And remember to consistently, no matter what


KC: I honestly believe that the generation today are alot more outspoken about their feelings and emotions, opposed to the men and women of my generation.

- Ashanti Taylor-Alexander

I COULDN'T DO IT ….. I JUST COULDN'T DO IT !!!!! I COULD NOT GO ANOTHER MONTH ….. I know you're wondering what i'm talking about. Well … if you haven't noticed … I DID NOT write an article last month. IT HURT ME. I HURT ME. I REALIZE IT. So … I COULD NOT do it AGAIN!!!!! I could not not make it my business to go to my safe haven and let it flow … IN MY OWN WORDS !!!!! If only you could understand how I am really out of my element HERE. SHOUT OUT TO Blaque/Out Magazine. A LOT has happened in a month. In the world. In my own world. The good being overcrowded by the bad. Them AURAS be REAL.!! GET IN TUNE !!!!! Get In Tune!!! Get in tune! That's not why IM HERE (<---peep it?) this month. Another time - “Rain Check”. I was asked what ‘Masc’ meant to me. I had to look it up myself because i already feel like definitions are just getting ridiculous if they weren't already before … to a certain extent. REMEMBER: I LOVE WORDS/ DEFINITIONS. (That's how I met my name/my SELF .!!) I don't vybe with the whole definition of a word altering or adding on another meaning to it. It just doesn't go for me. Slang is different. But to have something approved to be published as it mirrors societal norms and culture … I don't rock with that. I already don't approve/agree with the shenanigans of the system, of the world, of views, of beliefs, of A LOT. So my idea is to publicly put forth my own ideologies … as does the world anyways. What does ‘Masc’ mean to me? - Well let me tell you one thing. I answered - TRAITS. That was my one word summary because my mind went everywhere and I didn’t have the time or the lines and i wasn’t going to cut myself short when i could just share it here - IN MY OWN WORDS !!!!! I planned to go into how both men and women are or could be Masc. Men and women take out trash, are in the Army, play football, braid hair, cook and clean, are mechanics, and obviously more. As I finally sat to start this article, I first looked up the definition of ‘Masc’. I was expecting it to be an abbreviation of masculine. I WAS FOOLED .!! Or was I? According to the Urban Dictionary: “"Masc" fetishizes and exaggerates the notion of what it means to be manly, adding to the culture of toxic masculinity within the gay community, especially among men of color.”. According to Wiktionary: “Noun. masc (plural mascs) (LGBT) A person whose gender (identity) is masculine (but who is not necessarily a man).”. According to Collins Dictionary: “1. possessing qualities or characteristics considered typical of or appropriate to a man; manly, 2. Unwomanly”. According to Merriam-Webster: “having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man”.

NOW DO YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN ?!! I can't believe this bs definition of whatever a Wiktionary is. Should be named Wankstanary. One of the reasons for all the confusion in the world is being brainwashed from regulation. We grew to believe this and believe that. How many of us have checked origins. How do you know who made the word spelled as such and defined it. Or made a definition to something and put a word to it. I'm pretty sure that's done too. So, I'm cautious. As should you. I'm freeing myself constantly - everyday. You may think or say ‘The other day you said this or identified as that’ … LET ME MAKE IT CLEAR: I AM ME ….. ZENITH IMHERE !!!!! PREFERRED pronoun(s) (for people who tend to use pronouns): he/him. When I address myself as a transman, it's because TRANSMEN ARE THE SHIT. On a serious note, I have to address society as such so that they can go through their own confused compartments of understanding BEFORE I can correct them and drop jewels.. Medically and surgically transitioning DOES NOT make me or anyone else any less of who I am or who they are. My core - my mind and spirit - my beginning and end, has ALWAYS been the same. In conclusion … I won't define a word I don't agree with when it's used to define someone or something. I am me. You are you. We all have different characteristics that society puts into a box of masc and femme. GET OUT THE BOX .!! FREE YOURSELF .!! Say F*** THE WORLD the same way you blow other things off with a F*** it. And really mean it. Not just when it benefits you. That causes major confusion as well. INCONSISTENCY. We've fallen off from the spirited community we once were because we've distanced ourselves from our own self and others. Old and young. No ones excluded. I REFUSE TO NEGLECT MYSELF ANY LONGER. I don't care how anyone looks at me or how they may talk about me. At least I’m living my authentic life, i’m happy, i’m carefree, and most of all… I AM PROUD2BME!!

Zenith is one of the founding members of and is still an active part in Next Generation Men of Transition. He visits schools, appears in podcasts and media to help educate the community, writes the “In My Own Words…” column monthly and owns his own Locksmith company that services Upstate New York.


Blaque/Out Magazine as born out of a desire to create a platform and give voice to a community that although utilized for it’s talent and skill, admired for it’s style and consistently duplicated as the origin of most pop-culture trends- rarely receives the respect it deserves. We are not a monolithic entity but we are the heart, soul and backbone of most things. We are the frontline of the movement, we are the evolution of identity and the architects of authenticity. We are the “you” that most of “you” are afraid to be. We are FREE. This magazine is community, it is family, it is vision and it is voices. Yours. It is hometown, nationwide, small town, coast to coast. It is many, one, all and everything. It is of you, for you and by you. If you are here to see you, we hope you did. If you didn’t, that is a problem and it’s one that needs correction. Everyone who is Black, Brown & Queer should be reflected somewhere in these pages. If you aren’t- we need you. If you are- we need you- because we want MORE.

We are ALWAYS seeking new writers, whether it is a one off occasional submission, a monthly column, to be our featured artist, photographer or cover artist. If you have a story to tell, let us know, if you have an event coming up, come here and tell the word. If you have a business, advertise with us so we can support you and your dreams. No story is too small, no individual too unimportant. This is your stage.. use it.

Submissions are due the 15th of every month. With stories, art or ideas, email:

Articles inside

In My Own Words... Zenith Fulton

pages 34-35

Be A Part of the Blaque/OUT Family of Contributors

page 37

Next Generation Men of Transition

page 36

KINGS by Ashanti Taylor-Alexander

page 33

ONE-ON-ONE Interview Series with Javannah Davis: KC Washington 

pages 32-33

Reviews May Vary: Book of the Month with Dr. Kenya Malcolm

pages 27-28

How To Be A Man      Jed Kass

pages 25-26


pages 10-11

Subscribe to Blaque/OUT Magazine

page 7

Living In The Light: Silencing the Cries of the Wounded by Javannah Davis

pages 5-6

Blaque/OUT Contributors Affirmations & Manifestations

page 4

Letter from the Editor: Tamara Leigh

page 3

Table of Contents

page 2

Blaque/OUT January '21 Photographic Editorial: "MASC" featuring work by Zaire Knight

pages 1, 12-24
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