You’re quiet out there now that your leader is gone. Don’t expect us to lower the volume while celebrating this victory.

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

It’s funny how an election changes situations.

Many of you have been uncharacteristically quiet over the last couple of days, or maybe Facebook’s algorithm gods are just sparing my sanity. Either way, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the silence right now. Crickets all over.

Unfortunately, posts from some of you popped up all through Election Day/ week, when President-elect Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump in those crucial swing states. You started to plead with everyone to suddenly get along and sing “Kumbaya.” …


Times were different then, but I’m perfectly fine judging them by now standards.

Clockwise from top left: 7th US President Andrew Jackson, 3rd US President Thomas Jefferson, and 28th US President Woodrow Wilson (Photos: whitehouse.gov)

If you’re a gay person of a certain age who came out in the ’90s or earlier, you’ve probably heard it all before. Someone who cares about you was probably speaking, trying to rationalize the homophobic reaction of an older relative.

“Well, they are from a different time.”

It’s a line I’ve also often heard White people use to justify the racism of their older relatives. Lately, some are spinning it to pardon past-tense racism of people they don’t even know who lived and died hundreds of years ago. It’s a way of downplaying the effect of past racism on…


They’re hiding in plain sight everywhere.

Photo: Tim Pierce/flickr

Does anyone actually think they’re racist? Apparently, not even the guy in the picture above, which was taken at a 2010 Tea Party Express rally in Boston, did. According to the photographer, the man claimed he was being “facetious” with the declarations on his sign.

Racist is a trait nobody wants to claim — not some random dude at a Boston Tea Party gathering, not the most-rabid White nationalist, not proud card-carrying Klansmen, not the last person who called me a n****r. If a White person is willing to acknowledge or own their racism, it’s typically in past tense —…


The other big lie.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey of St. Louis issue a warning to Black Lives Matter protestors. (Photo: YouTube/Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

“Stop making everything about race.”

If you’re Black and American, you’ve surely heard that one before. It’s always struck me as the grandest of ironies, though, considering who has made everything in America about race practically from day one. (Hint: It’s not Black Americans, who may have built this country but didn’t shape its priorities.) This is never more obvious to me than when someone tries to pretend it’s ever about anything else.

Yesterday that person was Anthony Scaramucci. In the 2020 documentary #Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump, which I watched for the first time, the wealthy entrepreneur who…


Pull your head out of the sand and face the new day dawning.

Photo: flickr/Tabitha Kaylee Hawk

You can learn a lot from people in the comments. It didn’t take the murder of George Floyd or any of the unarmed Black people who have been killed over the last decade by violent and trigger-happy White people to convince me that race remains the greatest divider in the US, the root of our evil. All I had to do was pay attention to the comments after any article about race.

They reflect a society split in two, with the lesser half (yes, lesser) holding on for dear life to a status quo that benefits them above everyone else…


Slumming in hostels and lowering your culinary standards are completely optional.

Me in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Photos from my personal collection)

I used to sleep around — a lot. In fact, I did it non-stop for more than a year. In the first 12 months after I packed up and left my old expat home of Sydney on June 4 of 2017, I woke up in 60 different beds, on two continents (Europe and Asia), in 15 countries (with an emphasis on the Balkan peninsula and capital cities), and in twice as many cities.

My first-year itinerary included mostly extended stays in Albania, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Montenegro, Myanmar, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, and…


Can the Republican Party be saved from itself?

From left: Former US President Donald Trump (Photo: flickr/Gage Skidmore) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite its train wreck of a recent trajectory, the Republican Party didn’t really have that far to fall.

For most of the 20th century on, the GOP has been more concerned with obsessing over tradition and hoarding personal freedoms than championing the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. It has prioritized preaching phony evangelical morality over being a beacon of Christ-like charity and compassion. …


It can create a slippery slope, but it doesn’t always deserve the outrage it inspires.

The name of Michael B. Jordan’s new rum brand earned him accusations of cultural appropriation on social media. (Photo: Instagram)

The times they are a-changing — and so is the language we use that define them. As racial awareness continues to steadily rise, our lexicon has become inundated with race-related buzzwords and phrases no-one was using a decade ago (“microaggressions,” “antiracism,” “White fragility”), and for many, some of those words and phrases, like “cultural appropriation,” are as misunderstood as “racism” continues to be.

This week, the buzzwords flew as watchdogs on social media leveled accusations of cultural appropriation against actor Michael B. Jordan over a new business venture. …


Is it really necessary to keep writing entire articles about it?

Photo: flickr

I recently gave a newcomer to Medium some writing advice that didn’t have anything to do with writing. It didn’t cover syntax, spelling, punctuation, headlines, ledes, or kickers. It was purely about motivation.

I told her the best reason to write here isn’t for followers, claps, or financial gain. It’s simply for love of the game. I received the same advice a decade ago when I started writing my first book. …


The Emmy-winning drama reminded us that gay White men aren’t the center of the LGBTQ universe

Clockwise from top: Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson. Photos: FX

“Live. Werk. Pose.”

From the day it debuted on our television screens in 2018, announcing itself with those three words, Pose simultaneously told LGBTQ+ history and made it. The FX drama celebrated the same 1980s New York City underground ball and drag culture that the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning explored nearly three decades earlier to ecstatic reviews.

Paris Is Burning is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that gave LGBTQ+ people of color the unprecedented screen time that made the mainstreaming of RuPaul and his Drag Race possible. Similarly, Pose — which recently completed its three-season run — was a…

Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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