USA Race Inequality

Violence against Native American women and children is finally being taken seriously

Oh, Trump, President Trump. You know, the orange racist who just so happens to be president of the United States?

Yeah, that guy.

I honestly still can’t believe that he is president some days, but hey… could he possibly have tried to do some good during his time as president?

It would seem so.

Recently President Trump signed into action an executive order that will establish a task force that will address the violence against missing and murdered Native American and Alaskan natives. This issue is one that the administration has actually been focusing on for the last few months. 

The White House official website even has a quote from President Donald Trump himself that states that “We remain committed to preserving and protecting Native American cultures, languages, and history while ensuring prosperity and opportunity for all Native Americans.” 

This task force will be overseen by the attorney general, William Barr, and interior secretary David Bernhardt. Specifically, this task force is tasked with developing protocols that will apply to new and old unsolved cases. This task force will also create a multi-jurisdictional team that will review cold cases. 

For years, Native American women have faced abuse on reservations by non-Indians without there being any negative repercussions to the non-Indians that inflict such abuse. 

Missing and murdered indigenous women and girls have been an epidemic in the United States for years. This epidemic is particularly bad in Alaska, which is one of the most dangerous states for women in the U.S. For, nearly 60 percent of women in Alaska have experienced intimate partner or sexual violence. Often times these women have experience both intimate partner violence and sexual violence. 

Rape in Alaska also takes place at 2.5 times the national average. 

In addition to this information, The National Institute of Justice estimates that 1.5 million Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime. This includes the many of them who experience sexual violence during their lifetime. 

Native American women face this type of violence at higher rates than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. 

This problem is particularly prevalent in native villages in rural Alaska. These villages are incredibly remote and lack access to necessary law enforcement. Alaska also lacks a uniform 911 emergency call system. This makes it very hard for residents of this area to access the necessary law enforcement resources, particularly in remote villages. 

Thankfully, Iowa senator, Joni Ernst introduced the Senate Republican’s version of the Violence Against Women Act. This was a reauthorization bill. This legislation includes provisions that address this epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women. 

Unfortunately, there is a bit of a catch to all of this supposed good news. 

If Ernst’s proposal were to be put into action it would give non-Native abusers who won’t comply a way out. So, this law essentially makes it easier for abusers facing prosecution to skip the appeal to federal court and process as a whole. 

The bill by Ernst also weakens sovereign immunity for tribes. The bill does this by allowing for these convicted abusers to sue if they feel that their civil rights are being violated. 

For, this move comes with the Republicans making an attempt to make it harder for these Native Americans to put non-Native abusers behind bars. 

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center stated that this type of legislation aims to destabilize tribal systems. This is done by putting “undue burdens and restrictions on tribal courts far beyond those imposed on federal and state courts.”

Does this come as a surprise to anyone at all? 

Considering the fact that this comes from the Trump administration, this comes as absolutely no surprise at all. 

TV Shows BRB Gone Viral Pop Culture

Why are ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ still so white?

I love reality television, particularly The Bachelor. 

The roses, the crying women in limos, the wine I drink while watching it… I love every bit of it and its experience. What started as something that I simply wanted to try out has now become a beloved show that I tune into every Monday night it is on. 

The Bachelor premiered in 2002 as a simple dating show and soon became one of the most popular shows on network television. It has several spin-off shows – The Bachelorette, Bachelor Winter Games, Bachelor Pad, and Bachelor in Paradise – yet, like many reality tv shows, this show still has its very present flaws. 

For it is still lacking one very important thing, diversity, particularly when it comes to the show’s leads. 

There have been 23 seasons of The Bachelor and 15 seasons of The Bachelorette to date, but only two leads of color have been featured: Juan Pablo who is Venezualan and Rachel Lindsay who is African-American.

Every other lead has been white. Let that sink in. 

There have been 23 seasons of The Bachelor and 15 seasons of The Bachelorette to date, but only two leads of color have been featured.

Now, this has not been for lack of trying from the viewers’ end. This year, in particular, many viewers rallied together in support of contestant Mike Johnson in hopes of him becoming the first black bachelor. Throughout The Bachelorette season he was a contestant on, Johnson was charming, classy, and very well-received by many of the show’s viewers.

As per usual, though, the franchise decided to go with another white lead, Peter Weber, from the upcoming season of The Bachelor. While I am a fan of our guy Pilot Pete, I would be lying if I wasn’t a bit disappointed when I found out the news. 

So, why have The Bachelor and its franchise shows been so white throughout all of these years? 

It isn’t because of a lack of contestants of color. Throughout the years, the franchise has featured many contestants that have come from a wide variety of backgrounds but these contestants typically get much less screen time, with many sent home at an early point of the season, and so are much less likely to be chosen at the end of their season.

More than 23 seasons and this show is still basically Barbie meeting Ken and vice versa, over and over again. 

The bias that the franchise has towards its white contestants can be seen through social media as well. Typically, contestants of color have a much smaller amount of followers in comparison to their white counterparts. 

For example, black bachelorette Rachel Lindsay has 872,000 followers on Instagram, while Jojo Fletcher, a white bachelorette, has around 2.2 million followers. So, while Lindsay is not disliked by the fanbase or franchise, she does have a much smaller following online, compared to the other white bachelorettes. 

The ratings of Lindsay’s season were also lower than in previous seasons. The first five episodes of her season had around 5.7 million viewers instead of the typical 6.7 million. This occurred despite Lindsay being extremely camera-friendly and charismatic. 

Lindsay even criticized the franchise for how her season was made. She said, “I was denied my on-camera happy ending and labeled an angry black female.”

“Bachelor Nation just doesn’t care about people of color.” – Rachel Lindsay 

With all this being said and taken into consideration, one could say that it will probably be a while until we get our first black bachelor, if at all, because of the franchise’s attitude towards its contestants of color. For, as Lindsay said herself on the Bachelor Party Podcast, “Bachelor Nation just doesn’t care about people of color.” 

Look, as someone who is definitely in the minority of the show’s viewership, I know that these facts are disappointing. Is this the best they can do? More than 23 seasons and this show is still basically Barbie meeting Ken and vice versa, over and over again. 

This franchise can, and should, do better. Hopefully, if fans keep pushing for change, more diversity will come to this cheesy yet entertaining show. 

Movies Pop Culture

7 upcoming female-led movies that you absolutely need to see

I love going to the movies. The snacks, the popcorn, the films, I love all of it. One part I don’t like about it, though, is the lack of female-led films. Especially in 2019, there so many films that are very male-centric and focus so little on their female characters. We may be doing slightly better than in the past, but the numbers speak for themselves.

According to the Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film, women made up only 45% of all speaking characters in 2018-19. This is an increase from 2017-18 when women made up only 40% of all speaking characters on television. Women and Hollywood reports that only 9% of the movies that came out during 2017 and 2018 had gender-balanced casts. 

Statistics like these are disappointing, to say the least. 

Thankfully these upcoming movies feature quite a few female leads in them: 

1. Charlie’s Angels, November 15

A new version of the classic television series, Charlie’s Angels features stars like Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Banks, and many more. These women work for the mysterious Charles Townsend in his expansive investigative agency. They fight crime with new technology and the support of each other. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new film brings to the table as opposed to the one we grew up watching.

2. Margie Claus, November 15

A brunette woman smiles joyously as she pokes her head between a wreath.
[Image description: A brunette woman smiles joyously as she pokes her head between a wreath.] Via MovieWeb
Margie Claus is about Melissa Mccarthy’s character Margie, who must save the day when her husband, Santa Claus, goes missing. Since Santa Claus went missing while delivering presents, Margie must put together a team to rescue him. She then leaves the North Pole for the first time in decades to save both Santa Claus and Christmas

3. Frozen 2, November 22

“Come on, Frozen 2? That is for kids and definitely not empowering at all.” Think again!

Not only was the first film about two sisters fixing their estranged relationship, but it was also about them coming together to fight evil and save their kingdom. The sequel sees the two sisters, Elsa and Anna, team up again with Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven to take on an adventure far from their home, the kingdom of Arendelle. Plus, who’s not excited about all the new songs that will be stuck in our heads for months?

4. Bombshell, December 20

Based on the true scandal, this drama film is about the story of several women that set out to expose Fox News executive and founder Roger Ailes for sexual harassment. This film stars Margot Robbie, Charlize Theron, and Nicole Kidman, who play characters committed to doing more than just exposing the truth about Ailes. They are taking down the toxic male culture that exists in their workplace. This film also shows just how much women are trained to censor themselves as a result of workplace sexism.

5. The Rhythm Section, January 31, 2020

Ok, this one has to be one of my favorites out of these seven films. Not only is it about a badass woman getting revenge, but it stars the incredible Blake Lively. This film is essentially about her character who is seeking to get revenge on those who set up a plane crash that killed her family.

6. Birds of Prey, February 2020

All of you super villian lovers and DC fans get ready for Birds of Prey. This film is about Harley Quinn after her split from the Joker. She then teams up with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya to save a little girl, Cassandra Cain, from the evil crime lord in Gotham City, Black Mask. This film is also the eighth film in the DC Extended Universe Series, and is definitely going to be worth the wait! 

7. Mulan, March 27 2020

A live-action version of the timeless Disney classic, this movie is sure to wow crowds with its special effects and high definition technology. So, despite the many controversies surrounding the movie, we can at least all look forward to watching our favorite Chinese badass save China once again.

These films not only have female leads but also tell stories of women overcoming challenges and taking on adventures. Some go out on their own while others have a sister by their side. 

What female-led movie are you most excited about?

Gender Love Inequality

My mom doesn’t agree with my feminism

Growing up, I remember being very aware of the things I often had to deal with as a girl, that boys never had to think about. I would ask myself so many questions and became so curious about everything. It was almost as if the whole world was keeping this huge secret from me and I just could not figure out what that secret was. The older I got, the more curious I became, and the harder these questions were to ignore. There were so many double standards and subtle settings in society I began to notice. I knew that dress code requirements for girls were different than the requirements for guys, because of the different dress code requirements I had when I went to private school. I knew that there were certain situations where girls were treated differently than boys, but I just didn’t know why.

Here’s the truth: I didn’t really start learning about feminism until the end of high school. It wasn’t until I started college when I really started learning about what it really meant to be a feminist, and how I could get involved in the fight for equal rights. When I began learning about feminism, all of those questions I had when I was younger began to get answered. Yet the answers I was getting were far from comforting.

Why did I have to wear a sweater to cover up my arms when the boys didn’t? So as not to “distract the boys.” Why did I have to be so secretive and discreet when I went to change my pad in the school bathroom? Because periods are stigmatized by society and aren’t supposed to be talked about.

All of these answers kept going back to same thing: sexism.

The revelation of all of these double standards and disadvantages took me by surprise. It was as though I had been walking around with rose colored glasses on and they had finally been taken off. The reality of our patriarchal world finally started to sink in. These questions were no longer just naive curiosities I sometimes thought about – now, the answers to these questions were like a gateway to all this knowledge I was struggling to unlock.

Even though I felt like I was getting answers, I still had a lot to figure out. When I started identifying myself as a feminist, not only did I begin to see myself differently or even the world around me differently but I began to see everyone around me differently.

I knew that my somewhat conservative upbringing and views played a part in this experience. Yet, I didn’t realize just how much until I started forming different opinions on my own. I in no way wish that these experiences had not happened but there definitely have been times when those different views and opinions have struck quite a chord with me.

I realized my my mom had taught me a way of looking at things that didn’t really mesh with my new feminist questions. My mom and I have always had different opinions on things, and feminism is definitely no exception to that rule. Even though I’m at the age where I am able to make my own decisions, I know that my parents still have certain things that they expect of me. There have definitely been times when they thought my dress was too short or that my v-neck was too low cut. I still have yet to be able to leave the house in a crop top, without my mom asking me to put on a jacket to cover it up.

A part of me may always wish that I had one of those moms who didn’t care about what her daughter wears – the kind who proudly supports the pro-choice movement. At the same time, though, I love everything our differences taught me. I love the fact that I can say that I literally educated myself on everything feminism-related, from sexist dress codes to double standards in the workplace. Every activist’s autobiography, every article, every YouTube video, was found by me.

All of those different sources were a part of my journey to becoming an intersectional feminist. I went from knowing almost nothing to constantly learning about so many different topics. I had never felt this excitement for learning about anything before.

Even though I know that there will always be differences between my family, friends, and I, I know that continuing to have conversations and be myself is still an absolute must. We are now at a place where having these conversations is easier than it used to be. I truly do feel like we are getting to a place where these discussions will be more open and accessible to have.

I know that my mom and I will never agree on everything,but I am hopeful that we will be able to grow and learn together. One thing I have learned through educating myself about feminism online, is that no matter what happens, you should always keep talking about the issues you care about most. Regardless of how anyone feels about my feminism or approves of my skirt length, I will always keep voicing my opinions and educating myself on issues that matter to me.

Politics The World

5 terrifying reasons Ted Cruz is the next Trump

l don’t know about you, but the thought of Donald Trump being the next president of the United States makes me want to get on the next flight to Canada. Unfortunately, Trump isn’t the only candidate that makes me want to run for the hills.

Even though Trump has been a very popular Republican candidate, Ted Cruz comes in a close second. In the primaries, Cruz has racked up 545 delegates so far.  The only Republican candidate with more delegates is Trump, who has racked up 743 delegates.

When it comes to Cruz’s campaign strategy, a large part of it consists of him attempting to market himself as the hero that will save us all from Trump. But when you look at both these candidates’ behaviors and beliefs, their differences are very limited.

1. His beliefs are just as conservative and just as ridiculous.

For starters, Cruz is against discrimination protections for LGBT people: he opposed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, voting against it in 2013. As far as his views on women’s issues go, they are just as disappointing. Cruz was one of eight senators to vote against the recent re-authorization of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act.

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, he’s also anti-choice. Cruz’s understanding of modern day birth control is definitely lacking as well. Like many former conservative presidential candidates, Cruz believes that Plan B contraceptives cause abortions by preventing a fertilized egg from entering the uterus. This claim has been debunked by many scientists and medical experts. To top it all off, Cruz even has a history of voting to defund Planned Parenthood. 

2. He’s overbearing in debates and not afraid to talk over you.

I’m pretty sure anyone who has watched any of the GOP debates at this point can agree when I say that there have been many petty arguments on stage.

As obnoxious as these candidates are, some have been yelling just a little louder than others. When Trump and Cruz argue, it’s like when two 5-year-old boys fight in their elementary school sandbox.

At the end of the day, does it really matter who started it? Yeah, didn’t think so.

3. If either Trump or Cruz were president, minorities would suffer a hell of a lot.

As well as having very sexist opinions and beliefs, Cruz also has a tendency to be very islamophobic and anti-immigration.While Trump says that there are good Muslims in addition to “bad ones”, Cruz has shown that he has a strong discomfort of the Muslim community as a whole. Cruz appointed Kevin Kookogey, former chair of the Williamson County, Tenn. Republican Party, as the chair of his Presidential campaign. Kookogey oversaw the end of a condemning of Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. This was done because Haslam had appointed a Muslim lawyer to Tennessee’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

When it comes to his views on immigration, Cruz wants to deport all illegal immigrants in the U.S.He also wants to build a wall that will keep future illegal immigrants out. Sound familiar?

4. His supporters’ ignorance is eerily similar to that of Trump’s supporters.

While Cruz’s supporters are different from Trump supporters in some ways, they also have some scary similarities. While Cruz’s supporters are less aggressive and authoritarian, they still hold on tight to their conservative beliefs.A large majority of his following is Evangelical Christians. These Evangelical Christians tend to have very traditional values that are often very problematic. For example, when Cruz ran a very homophobic campaign in Iowa his numbers went way up.So even though his supporters might not be as loud and violent as Trump’s supporters they still support some very harmful ideas.

5. His pride in his ignorant beliefs is just as scary.

Even though Cruz might not be screaming and shouting as loud as Trump is, his bigoted political views are just as bad.  And while you don’t always know whether Trump believes in everything he says or is just pandering, Cruz genuinely believes this stuff. With his runner-up following and very confident composure, Cruz might actually have a chance at the nomination.

Politics The World

I’m deeply ashamed of North Carolina’s new law against transgender rights

Ah, North Carolina. The home of Tar Heels, shagging, and good ole’ homophobia. Wait, homophobia?

Yep. You read that right. Recently, the NC legislature passed a bill that will ban local governments from extending anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. This law particularly affects transgender people and their right to use the correct bathroom. All public schools, government agencies and public colleges will have to designate bathrooms for use only by people based on their biological sex.

I love calling North Carolina my home. But I am very disappointed in our legislature right now.

Disappointed North Carolinians and other concerned Americans took to Twitter to voice their anger and disappointment with the trending hashtag #WeAreNotThis.

Beauty Lookbook

33 beautiful reasons why #blackoutday is my favorite day

Black Twitter came together once again to celebrate their love for blackness and black pride online, under the hashtag #blackout. Black women, Afro Latinos, and everything in between came together to show off their beautiful melanin.

I adore this day. Although I’ve seen more and more opportunities for black pride being taken advantage of these days, it never fails to bring a smile to my face when I see my Twitter light up with beautiful people.


































Gender Inequality

Land’s End, Gloria Steinem and unnecessary apologies

If not for their ability to provide fresh khaki pants for my private school uniforms during my early school years, I otherwise would not have supported this clothing company.

Recently, Land’s End issued an apology to its conservative audience for featuring Gloria Steinem in one of their catalogue’s Legends series. The original goal of the series was to “feature individuals with different interests and backgrounds that have made a difference.

Yet many Land’s End supporters were offended by Steinem’s presence in this series.

Why? Because of Steinem’s well known pro-choice stance, and her previous public statements about receiving an abortion at the age of 22.

When angry comments started piling up on Lands’ End’s Facebook page and private schools who bought uniforms from the company began cutting ties with the company, Lands’ End quickly backpedaled.

“We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality,” they said in a statement. “We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t. For that, we sincerely apologize.”

There are certainly many valid reasons to be dubious of Gloria Steinem. See her controversial comments about Bernie Sander’s audience with young women, and frequent accusations that Steinem of representing the worst parts of feminism.

But this? Come on, now.

Politics The World

30 kickass moments #passiveterrorism was taken down

When I first heard about the U.S. Military White Paper declared women wearing hijabs as “passive terrorism”, to say I was a little disappointed is a huge understatement.

According to The Intercept, the report, issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory, was titled Countering Violent Extremism: Scientific Methods & Strategies, and includes a chapter setting forth unsubstantiated theories of radicalization, including the idea that support for militant groups is driven by “sexual deprivation” and that headscarves worn by Muslim women represent a form of “passive terrorism.”

Seriously: are we really going to go there and assume every woman who wears a hijab is terrorist?

Thanks to an incredible community of women online, the white paper was turned from serious to a whole lot of ridiculous.

































Gender & Identity Food & Drinks Life

Why is veganism still a “white person thing?”

Growing up, like a lot of kids in mainstream America, I was told that you have to eat meat because it has protein and drink milk for the calcium. It wasn’t until I got older that I learned the truth about how animal products affect our bodies. According to the U.S. FDA, foods such as meat, poultry and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks. Still wondering about whether you should drink milk to get your calcium? Studies have shown that not only is there no evidence that dairy is good for your bones. Ironically enough, the animal protein in dairy has actually been shown to cause bone loss!

When I started doing research and getting involved in the vegan community online, I learned so much about both myself and the world around me. Not only did I learn about how to give back to both the environment, but I also learned about how to take care of myself and my body. The only thing I didn’t like learning about? Just how similar this community is to so many others.

As far as mainstream vegans go, representation is about as white as the poultry they refuse to eat. Not surprising, I suppose. But if people of color can’t see people who look like them living that lifestyle, then why would they want to join in?

There’s a lot to be said about racial and economic privilege in developing healthy diets, as the bloggers at Vegans of Color have dissected. And there’s a frustrating amount of unfiltered racism in the vegan community that’s alienating to people of color who are interested in the ethical consumption, health and animal advocacy issues that draw people toward veganism. Sometimes it’s simply annoying, as in the exoticization and appropriation of “ethnic foods.”

Other times it’s harder to ignore: “The routine comparisons of animal abuse to the enslavement of Black people shows exactly how little value white members of the vegan community, generally considered a liberal breed, place on Black life,” Claire Heuchen writes. “Vegan activists take to Twitter, questioning whether Black lives – Black, human lives – are as significant as the lives of cows and chickens.”

The cultures many people of color are brought up in feed into this lack of diversity, too. There are so many ways that we have become personally attached to the foods we have come to enjoy for so long. Let’s face it, those fried chicken drumsticks and sweet potato pies sure taste good, but their lack of nutritional value? Not so much.

I mean, I don’t know about you, but if I told my grandma that I didn’t want to eat her famous cornbread or collard greens because I was trying to save the planet she would probably hit me with the spoon she used to stir the batter with.

Now, listen. I’m not saying we all have to go drop everything and start soaking almonds to make our own almond milk as newfound hippie nomads on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere. What I am saying is that you don’t have to be a skinny white it girl to take on this lifestyle that is so good for your body.

So, maybe vegetarianism or veganism is something you have been wanting to embrace but are reluctant to because of your family ties or long-lasting relationship with your Grandpa’s famous pulled pork barbecue. Take this opportunity to push past those traditions and expectations and try something new.

Race Inequality

Here’s the one thing I would change about Black History Month

For stories of Black history and excellence, check out our Black History Month series. Celebrate with us by sharing your favorite articles on social media and uplifting the stories, life, and work of Black people.

February, as Black History Month, is dedicated to highlighting important accomplishments of black activists, leaders, and just anyone in our community whose voices would otherwise would not be uplifted and silenced. Yet as great as this month is, I can’t help but feel at least a little bit of bitterness towards it all.

“Shouldn’t you be excited?” people tell me. “I mean, it’s Black History Month and you’re black.” Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying I’m not glad we have Black History Month, but I know there are some things we could do better as far as representation and celebration goes during this month.

Growing up, I felt like the main black activists that were talked about were Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. It wasn’t until I got older that I really began to learn about the lives and experiences of other important black figures, like Ida B. Wells and Angela Davis. This was when I began to really learn about what blackness really meant.

It was when I finally started going beyond the basis of black education that I began to truly appreciate the beauty of what is known as Black History.

As important as it is, Black History Month should be about more than just reflecting on the past. We should see more celebrations of our important figures of today. We need to go beyond just teaching our kids and ourselves about the tokenized handful, and really expand into telling them about the voices that aren’t as heard.

Instead of allowing our school systems to simply teach their students about the glorious end of slavery along with some sweet-sounding MLK quotes so they can pat themselves on the back, we need to go above and beyond.

We need to show young kids of all backgrounds and races just how much there is to Black History. There also needs to be an extra emphasis on the voice of black LGBTQIA+ activists and black women.

In early February, I went on Twitter and saw what was honestly the best thing I had seen on social media in a long time. The hashtag #blackhistorymonth emerged on Twitter, highlighting so many different experiences and accomplishments from so many important figures of color. Being able to see all those stories being shared online seriously made such a difference with how I experienced black history month this year. This was the first time that I really felt like I could see myself in

As I continue to enjoy using hashtags like #blackhistorymonth and #blackgirlmagic, I can’t help think of all the little black girls out there who haven’t tapped into the Internet jackpot I’ve been lucky enough to find yet.

So, what exactly do I want out of this celebratory month? I want the usual 12 Years a Slave showings and Martin Luther King documentaries, but I also want Proud Family reruns and musician highlights on MTV. I want every black person, of every age, gender, and sexuality to feel like their voice is being celebrated during this month. I want to be able to have fun during this month and not have all of it feel so serious and solemn.

In the past, I’ve thought that I have a certain obligation to like something related to my identity. I’ve felt that I am not allowed to criticize it or say that there are certain things I would like to change about it. But if we don’t criticize anything we have, how are we going to improve?

Now, excuse me while I go reblog gifs of Nicki Minaj while watching The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.

Love + Sex Love Interviews

Breaking the Binary through Youtube Fame: An Interview with Milo Stewart

Milo Stewart is a non-binary, trans, asexual, aromantic q*eer YouTuber “who doesn’t care about your cisgender feelings.” Their videos discuss everything from trans allyhood to finding your pronouns to dealing with popular holidays as “ace” and “aro” people.

“Aromantic people can kind of take the back end of Valentine’s Day celebrations,” he explains in one of his videos. “Because it’s just not really a holiday that I’m really able to celebrate. Unless I take to be just, show your love — like, your platonic love — for your friends.”

“So when people argue in defense of Valentine’s Day, it often comes off as very ignorant to the existence of aromantic and asexual spectrum people,” they explained to The Tempest.

Their first encounter with YouTube was when he started watching silly videos like The Annoying Orange. They later found YouTubers like Laci Green, whose videos introduced them to the realm of online feminism.

The 17-year-old first started making videos with a collab channel associated with their high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. When the excitement died down and the other members weren’t posting as much, they continued, eventually moving on to their own channel.

We spoke to Milo about their journey with their gender identity and inclusion of asexual people in society.

You identify as asexual, aromantic and non-binary. How did you come to identify with those labels?

I started questioning my sexuality in like 8th grade. As I got older I realized there was a difference between how I am attracted to people versus how others are attracted to people. About a year ago, I started identifying as nonbinary.

Do you have any personal preferences as far as who you are attracted to?

I don’t really have like preferences. I just want your face next to my face so we can cuddle.


What was it like when it came to accepting yourself as asexual, aromantic, and nonbinary?

It was at first hard to be like, hey, you’re not a heterosexual girl. YouTube was what sort of helped me normalize my identities. My internalized transphobia was initially hard to get over.

What would asexual inclusion in society look like as far as romantic holidays and occasions go?

It would include a lot of ironic puns and finding a way to celebrate the little things and not necessarily the over romantic gestures. You can be a little romantic in platonic relationships.


Is there anything you wish people knew about the asexual community as a whole?

You can have a happy fulfilled life without sex. There are so many other ways to enjoy life. Our culture shows sex as a part of adult relationships; having sex doesn’t make you an adult.

Find Milo Stewart on YouTube and TwitterThis interview has been edited for length and clarity.