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Strange Fruit: Racism in Gay and Gay-Friendly Places

Performing as DJ Syimone, Victoria Syimone Taylor spends a lot of time in gay and gay-friendly bars. She joins us this week to talk about racism in queer spaces--including a recent incident in a local bar, and the community's response.

Taylor was celebrating her birthday in a crowded local bar when a patron got angry about where her bag was. He repeatedly called her the N-word. She says she felt victimized for a second time when some people in the community minimized her experience, and encouraged her not to make a fuss about the incident. Taylor describes "being pulled into a corner and then being told by certain people, 'Just ignore that. ... Don't let that bother you.'"

Taylor says she was shocked in the moment, and didn't know how to respond. "It happened so fast. I couldn't even process it," she says. "It's like being in a movie."

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She also says the issue is bigger than just her recent experience. "We know this goes on at every gay bar, anywhere." She hopes that by telling her story, she'll encourage more people to have difficult but necessary conversations about race. "I need people to understand that they need to really dig deep within themselves and understand how to approach race. How to talk about it. How to not be uncomfortable with it."

Our own Jaison and Kaila share similar experiences with being called the N-word in spaces they believed to be safe for them as queer people.

And in our Juicy Fruit segment, we talk about Caitlyn Jenner's coming out, her Vanity Fair photo shoot, and the role she plays in the trans movement and in trans visibility.

Laura is LPM's Director of Podcasts & Special Projects. Email Laura at lellis@lpm.org.