Silent Scream: Conversations Rarely Had About Suicide & One Activist’s Mission

“It’s my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
― Jennifer Niven, All the Bright Places

Fake-cation – Tracing Illusions of Black, Queer Luxury in China

“To subject to scrutiny the mechanisms which render life painful, even untenable, is not to neutralize them; to bring to light contradictions is not to resolve them. But, as skeptical as one might be about the efficacy of the sociological message, we cannot dismiss the effect it can have by allowing sufferers to discover the possible social causes of their suffering and, thus, to be relieved of blame.”
― Pierre Bourdieu, The Weight of the World: Social Suffering in Contemporary Society

Queer Sexual Economics: Tracing Shame and other Fun Activities

“What we have invented, Hans, is a new religion. Oh, not the moralistic and old-fashioned theological kind with that God who does not want us, but one with brutal splendours, magnificent contemporary rites and rituals, scenes, gestures, sacrifices, humiliations, terrors, tremblings, mortifications, degradations, phantasmagoric transfigurations into other realms of feeling, new realisations that will come from this cleansing purge, and then transcendencies unto a New World of our own making, with our own new rules and rewards and justifications.”
― Larry Kramer, Faggots

Queer Sexual Economics: Top + Bottom= Vers?

“And every faggot couple I know is deep into friendship and deep into fucking with everyone else but each other and any minute any bump appears in their commitment to infinitesimally obstruct their view, out they zip like petulant kids to suck someone else’s lollipop instead of trying to work things out, instead of trying not to hide, and…unh…why do faggots have to fuck so fucking much?!”
― Larry Kramer, Faggots

Americanah: Delightful Parallels with the Queer, Migrant Story

“If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

Queer Covid Chronicles: Where Were You When it Started?

“Genghis Khan said the hand Is the first thing one man gives To another. Not in this war. A gesture of limited distance Now suffices, a nod, A minor smile or a hand Slightly raised, Not in search of its counterpart, Just a warning within The acknowledgment to stand back.”
― Ilan Stavans, And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again: Writers from Around the World on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Double-edged Sword: Enduring Misconceptions About Bisexual Men

“Many bisexuals might indeed feel comfortable and well represented by [creating images of ‘stable, monogamous, appropriately sexual’ bisexuals], but what of the many people who don’t fit in this standard of the “normal” or “good” bisexual? Some bisexuals are sluts (read: sexually independent women), some bisexuals are just experimenting, some like people of certain genders only sexually and not romantically, some like to have threesomes and perform bisexuality for men, some are HVI and STI carriers, some don’t practice safer sex, some are indeed indecisive and confused, some cheat on their partners, some do choose to be bi, as well as many other things that the “myth-busting” [or simplifying/sanitizing] tries to cast off. A very long list of people is being thrown overboard in the effort to “fight biphobia.” In this way, the rebuttal in fact imposes biphobic normative standards on the bisexual community itself, drawing a line between “good” and “bad” bisexuals.
Either way, benign docility and unthreatening citizenship are not exactly what I would want my bisexuality to be associated with.”
― Shiri Eisner, Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution

Piquing’s Picks – Queer News Stories You Should Read Today

We have scoured the internet to find the most LGBTQIA+-relevant stories that are either trending, worth a read, or long-forgotten but still relevant and thought-provoking, so that you don’t have to. Each week, Piquing Duck will summarize a handful of stories, often tied to relevant facts, historical events, or current affairs in the LGBTQIA+ world globally, providing links and resources for those who wish to read the stories in full. Please be sure to follow the links provided to read the stories summarized in detail, and access more resources to further enhance your understanding of the stories shared.

It’s All Just Drag: What’s the Tea on the Drag Scene In China? – Podcast Episode 4

“Barry prided himself on his ability to keep his lives separate. . . He was Bianca on two Saturday nights a month, and otherwise, he pushed her out of sight, even though he thought about her, shopped for her, planned for her eventual return. Barry went to faculty meetings and family reunions and church, Bianca always lingering on the edge of his mind. She had her role to play and Barry had his. You could live a life this way, split. As long as you knew who was in charge.”
― Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half

Gays and Girls Behaving Badly: The Dynamics of the GBFF Relationship -Podcast Episode 3

“This is my game within our game—to try to come up with the scenario in which it would work out better. Maybe if I met him now. Maybe if I met him in college. After college. Once he’s comfortable with who he is. But every time I do this, I feel awful. Because I’m sacrificing our history. I don’t love him for who he is now. I wouldn’t love him for who he is two years from now. I love him for all the hims he’s already been with me. I guess that’s the contradiction. I want a fresh start. I would fight for that fresh start. But I also want it to be a continuation.”
― David Levithan, You Know Me Well

A Response to Optimism

“Teach the ignorant as much as you can; society is culpable in not providing a free education for all and it must answer for the night which it produces. If the soul is left in darkness sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who causes the darkness.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Now What? Finding Healing After Trauma – Podcast Episode 2

“Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious, and calm, a Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival. Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process”
― Bessel A. van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Podcast Episode 1 – The Importance of a Chosen Family

“ten reasons to love being queer

viii.
the people within our community are so supportive and so caring and so loving, most of the time towards people they don’t even know
and it is in moments like that when you realize that the queer community is more than a community
we are a family”
― Courtney Carola, Have Some Pride: A Collection of LGBTQ+ Inspired Poetry

Invisible Leash: Realities of Living Abroad as a Queer African (Pt 2)

“One miner at Robinson Deep Mines, Daniel, […] claims that as an induna or “boss boy”, he had sought the company of a “girlfriend”, that is, a young Basotho man, because he was not authorized to go in town to “see women”. However, when he got special permission to leave the mining complex, he recalls with barely suppressed emotion that, during such leaves, he would soon long to be reunited with his “boy-wife”. He and his peers claimed that “[they] loved them better” and preferred them over the experienced (female) city streetwalkers.”
― Chantal Zabus, Out in Africa: Same-Sex Desire in Sub-Saharan Literatures & Cultures

Invisible Leash: Realities of Living Abroad as a Queer African (Pt 1)

“There is such a thing as too much loss. Too much has been taken from you both – taken and taken and taken, until there’s nothing left but hope, and you’ve given that up because it hurts too much. Until you would rather die, or kill, or avoid attachments altogether, than lose one more thing.”
― N.K. Jemisin, The Obelisk Gate

It’s Not You, It’s Me: Meditations on Imposter Syndrome Within Beijing’s Queer Community

“We are hunting the demons that haunt others. We get a smell and off we go. And you know why, Sunil? You know why we are so good at hunting the demons of others? Because we are so good, gifted even, at stalking and evading our own. But all demons hunters think that they are really heroes, and you know what all heroes need?”
― Chris Abani, The Secret History of Las Vegas

Beijing’s Nightlife: The Straight, The Queer, and The Ugly

“If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want your life to reflect your deepest desires, values, and needs.”
— Cheryl Richardson

Druid in the City: One Black Woman’s Loathe Letter

“I said, “No, I don’t see why.” After a moment I realized that I did know why. The reason was suddenly obvious to me. I said, “Actually, Mama, yes, I do see why. The men offered up the women because they were cowards and the worst kind of men possible. What kind of men offer up their daughters and wives to be raped in place of themselves?” Mama stared wide-eyed at me, then, very calmly, she said, “Ijeoma, you’re missing the point.” “What point?” “Don’t you see? If the men had offered themselves, it would have been an abomination. They offered up the girls so that things would be as God intended: man and woman instead of man and man. Do you see now?” A headache was rising in my temples. My heart was racing from bewilderment at what Mama was saying. It was the same thing she had said with the story of Lot. It was as if she were obsessed with this issue of abomination. How could she really believe that that was the lesson to be taken out of this horrible story? What about all the violence and all the rape? Surely she realized that the story was even more complex than just violence and rape. To me, the story didn’t make sense.”
― Chinelo Okparanta, Under the Udala Trees

Snap, Crackle, and Shot: Inspirations Behind Queer Photography

“The God of Imagination lived in fairytales. And the best fairytales made you fall in love. It was while flicking through “Sleeping Beauty” that I met my first love, Ivar.
He was a six-year-old bello ragazzo with blond hair and eyebrows. He had bomb-blue eyes and his two front teeth were missing. The road to Happily Ever After, however, was paved with political barbed wire.
Three things stood in my way. 1. The object of my affection didn’t know he was the object of my affection. 2. The object of my affection preferred Action Man to Princess Aurora. 3. The object of my affection was a boy and I wasn’t allowed to love a boy.” ― Diriye Osman, Fairytales for Lost Children

Dune – Of Barren Wastelands and Meditations on Touch

“Up until then, i’d never understood how people could just keep on living (…) Maybe I had a place to belong, but it wasn’t something definite, like a seat. It was flowing and formless… Perhaps inside of me, perhaps outside of me. A reason to live, the power to live, a place to belong in this world… I think the essence of that sweet nectar varies from person to person.”
― Nagata Kabi, My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness