six ways to Respectfully be a better lgbtq ally - Adapted from Francisco Pallarés-Santiago’s Article for OprahMag.com
1 - Recognize your privilege and use it for good.
Simply existing as a cisgender person and not facing discrimination for your gender at work is a privilege. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in four transgender adults have lost their job due to bias, and more than three-forths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.
2 - Ask educated questions and do your research.
Learn, learn, learn. As a Black and Native American woman in America, I don’t see it solely as my burden to educate others about the racism and discrimination that I experience living in America. We should also not place this burden upon the LGBTQ community. Learn first, Google, and then ask educated questions later.
3 - Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You may make mistakes along your journey as an ally. I know I certainly have, and I’ve learned that that is completely okay. The important thing is that if you do make a mistake as an ally, that you don’t dwell on the negativity that may come about and instead reach out to your LGBTQ peers to learn how to not make the same mistake again.
4 - Take your online activism into real-life scenarios.
Social media is a wonderful tool to learn to be a better ally, but be sure you are not speaking on behalf of the LGBTQ community. The biggest reason I adapted this article for The Mod Little Melanin, was to make sure that I did not speak on the behalf of a community that I was not a part of, because I do not experience the same struggles as someone in the LGBTQ community. Instead, use your platform to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ community as their voices are often silenced.
5 - Speak up for the underrepresented.
This best way to be an ally is by speaking up! If you see someone mistreating a member of the LGBTQ community, say something! To be silent is to be complicit with the behavior.
6 - Follow the lead of your LGBTQ peers.
This article mentioned an important phenomenon that is sometimes used by allies, known as performative allyship. During this phenomenon, the ally attempts to defend their LGBTQ peer but overshadows and occupies the queer person’s right to speak up for themselves. Instead, use your privilege to benefit the LGBTQ community, not to benefit your ego. Ask how you should be involved as an ally instead of assuming a role for yourself. #themodlittlemelanin
Link to Oprah Magazine article -
What is Juneteenth?
Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated annually on June 19th in Texas, and around the country. On this day in 1865, Union General Gordon Granger read a federal order in Galveston, Texas, proclaiming that all previously enslaved people in Texas were now free. The Civil War ended when General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, opening the door for slaves to be freed around the country.
So why did it take so long for news to reach Texas even after General Robert E Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865?
Texas, which at the time was more isolated geographically than any other southern state, was home to migrants who left the eastern states to escape the fighting of the Civil War and brought enslaved people with them. Presence of Union Troops was low within the state, and the western Army of the Trans-Mississippi refused to surrender until June 2, 1865. The refusal of Confederate troops to surrender further delayed the freeing of those enslaved in Texas.
But what about the Emancipation Proclamation?
In 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation delivered by then President Lincoln “freed” those who were enslaved in the Confederate south. I use the term freed loosely because slaves in the south were not officially freed until the passage of the 13th Amendment in December 1865.
The first celebrations of Juneteenth date back to 1866, and originated in Texas churches. Early celebrations which were originally called Jubilee Day, were used as political rallies to give voting instructions to newly freed slaves. Many cities attempted to bar Black people from using public parks because of state-sponsored segregation of facilities. Eventually Black people across the state of Texas pooled their money together to purchase land in order to hold celebrations. This land eventually became known in Houston as Emancipation Park. Jubilee Day eventually became known as Juneteenth by the 1890s, and in 1898 an estimated 30,000 people gathered to celebrate Juneteenth. Eventually the celebrations spread throughout the south, and by the 1920s the celebrations had become commercialized and evolved into grand celebrations centered around food and music. Celebrations declined throughout the 20th Century as racially segregated laws were enforced throughout Texas, and much of the South. Following wins for the Black community during the Civil Rights Era, the 1970s brought back large scale celebrations of Juneteenth throughout the state of Texas. On January 1, 1980 Texas made Juneteenth an official state holiday, and denoted it a partial staffing holiday in Texas. This means that government offices do not close for the holiday, however, they often operate with reduced staff on the day of Juneteenth. Although the holiday is widely unknown outside of the Black community, there has been a great push throughout recent years and especially under the current climate to recognize Juneteenth as a National Holiday. Many companies around the country are choosing to celebrate Juneteenth today, by closing their offices and giving their employees the day off.
How can you celebrate Juneteenth?
Many cities around the country typically hold Juneteenth celebrations to commemorate the holiday. With Covid-19 majority of those celebrations have been cancelled due to social distancing guidelines set in place by the CDC. Many families may hold small gatherings within their household to celebrate Juneteenth, instead. As an ally, one of the ways you can partake in the yearly celebrations of Juneteenth is by educating yourself about the plight that was once faced and is still faced by the Black community. Consider reading books, attending lectures, or watch documentaries that highlight the Black experience. The Listen, Learn, Teach approach that I shared a few weeks ago in my blog post is also a wonderful tool to use to continue to help amplify the Black voice.
Here are a few of my favorite books that are excellent resources for allies to use to further amplify the Black voice:
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendo
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Please note that the words above are mine and mine alone. If you would like to share what I have written, I ask that you reach out to me first before doing so.
- Chelsea Nicole, The Mod Little Melanin
Being a medical student involves frequent hand-washing and constant glove wearing. But in between all of that, I still find time to keep my nails manicured and painted.
During the quarantine, I decided to test out a few different options to keep my nails looking salon professional without ever stepping into the salon. I ordered a ton of different nail polishes and press-on nails to try. I had the most luck with these Kiss press-on nails! Im wearing Kiss’ Everytime I Slay Nails from their Masterpiece collection.
I discovered them one night when I was at Target and decided to give them a try! They’re easy to apply, and give you all the glory of salon manicured nails without the hassle or price of the nail shop. Simply apply them with the nail glue that comes in the package, or try my favorite nail glue, IBD 5-Second Brush On Nail Glue. For just $10.99, I was able to have gorgeous rhinestone, and blush pink matte coffin shaped nails that stayed on my nails for days without ever needing to be reapplied.
After a few days, a few nails did need to be reapplied with glue (I have a dog that can be a bit rough) but I’ve had them on for nearly two weeks and they still look fresh and neat as ever.
Press-on nails are an easy option for people like me that love the look of long, manicured nails but are forbidden from having them due to a career in the medical field. I frequently use this particular brand of press-on nails as a medical student for special occasions such as my birthday or a girls night out.
I give these press-on nails from Kiss five out of five lightening bolts, they’re absolutely 100% Mod Little Melanin approved.
- Chelsea Nicole, The Mod Little Melanin
Back with another edition of XOMandySue Monday! Today’s look features one of my favorite pieces to style in the summer, a romper!
If you ever have to go somewhere and literally have no clue what to wear, I promise you that no matter what you will look put together and stylish in a romper or jumpsuit. I usually only wear jumpsuits because I’m tall (5’8”) and rompers can be just a bit short on my long legs. However, after shopping at XOMandySue a few times, and learning that the owner and models are tall like me, I knew that I would finally be able to rock a romper, or two or three.
Today’s look features the Milania Romper, which unfortunately is currently sold out on the website. It’s a khaki, collared, cargo style romper, which features double pockets on the chest and brown buttons down the front. The Milania Romper also cinches and ties at the waist for an adjustable fit that you can alter to your liking. I received so many compliments on this outfit when I wore it out, and directed so many people to the XOMandySue.com website to shop!
I styled my Milania Romper with a pair of flatform gladiator style sandals that I purchased at a local shop in Kansas. I kept my accessories to a minimum and only added a small gold chain necklace, and a pair of gold, oversized earrings. I am also carrying my Louis Vuitton Multi Pochette Accessories Handbag that has been one of my favorite bags to carry this year. Swipe back through a few blog posts to see how I am able to afford this handbag using @affirm.
Back in October I purchased the entire Pattern Beauty collection that was developed by the great Tracee Ellis Ross. I was thrilled to try this product because my hair at the time was in dire need of some much needed TLC. I was still straightening my hair my hair at the time, so my first couple of washes with Pattern Beauty weren’t showing me any major results. In fact, the only results I was seeing at the time were heat damage.
I continued to rehab my hair for the next five months with a few other products, that I’ll mention in later posts, and have been heat-free since January. In May, I once again picked up my Pattern Beauty products to determine if they could really give me the wash and go results I was dying to see and was pleasantly surprised.
My wash and go turned out phenomenal just from using the Hydration Shampoo, the Heavy Conditioner, and the Leave-In Conditioner. My hair was soft, well moisturizered and easy to detangle. Swipe through the photos to see my results. My hair still has a good amount of heat damage in the front, although my hair has always been a looser curl at the front even before I got my first relaxer, so that may not ever change. However, the curls at the back of my head were luscious, juicy and springy, a sign that the Pattern Beauty hair care line did just what it was meant to do.
The Pattern Beauty collection has three different conditioners, designed to best fit your curl pattern. The Medium conditioner is designed for both curly and coily hair textures. My hair is 3B/3C, so I initially used this conditioner, but I quickly realized I would need the next conditioner in the line to achieve the results I desired. My favorite conditioner is the Heavy conditioner, that is designed for coily and tighter textures. If you’re a 3C texture, this is likely the shampoo that will provide you with the best results. It’s formulated to provide serious hydration to your hair, and allows for easy detangling and great curl clumping. The Intensive conditioner is perfect for those with tighter textures, and was formulated for those with Type 4 hair. It’s also perfect for low porosity hair that often struggles to retain moisture. There are a few different hair serums offered by Patten Beauty, but I haven’t tried those quite yet!
I give Pattern Beauty four out of five lightening bolts. I love the way my hair feels after using the products, and I love how easy it is to detangle my hair as I’m washing it, and even post-wash. However, at this time there aren’t any styling products available from Pattern Beauty. When I use a product, for the first time at least, I prefer for all of the products that I am using to be from the same line. I’m hearing that styling products are in the works and will hopefully be available soon from Pattern Beauty. When they are available, you can be sure that I’ll be purchasing them to try and review!
- Chelsea Nicole, The Mod Little Melanin
The Mod Little Melanin
The Mod Little Melanin
A Fashion Blog by Chelsea Nicole.