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Gather Your Good Judys & Trade! A New Dating App for Gay People of Color is Here!

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Finally a gay dating app for men of color that is black owned!! Somebody finally did it! Gather around and let me tell you about this new experience for black queer men. FOR US! BY US!

After a swift development cycle, Noir 1.0 has been released!

What is Noir?

Noir is a mobile dating application for Gay People of Color & Lovers of Diversity.

The creation of Noir came out of a community need for a dating application geared towards all people of color. The creator of Noir is a gay person of color himself. A common issue found on the more popular mobile dating apps is the ever-looming presence of discrimination against people of color. No matter the community. It is common to see member profiles that use discriminatory language that leaves gay people of color feel unwelcome. It is not uncommon to find language such as, “No blacks/latinos/asians, it’s just a preference” on member profiles. It is no secret that people of color in the gay community face unique challenges, with the most hurtful being such blatant discrimination from many in the one community that boasts an embracing of all people.

The overall feeling is that gay people of color are merely tolerated in the gay community. This is not just with the members on these dating apps. Let us look at the imagery we see all around us. How often do we find these apps feature few people of color in their app advertising? How often is it that when we do see people of color it is in a fetishized way? How about events? How often are people of color included in the promotional material? Recently we have seen people of color being rejected from entering clubs and other gay establishments. Of course, it all goes unsaid and is displayed in the actions. Right down to the default user icons for these apps, we have no representation. We have very little visibility and when we are visible it is usually in a light that has a negative connotation, usually in ads regarding STDs or abuse.

Noir aims to change all of that! Noir is explicitly a dating app for all people but focuses on and caters to people of color. Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Natives, people who love people of color etc. are all welcome in Noir. People of color are featured in the application’s advertising in positive situations. Discriminatory language will NOT be tolerated. The imagery within the application itself involves positive imagery of people of color. We went as far as to ensure that even the default user icon represents a person of color. Representation, positive visibility and an environment where people of color are the focus is what Noir presents. A place where people of color are the feature but all are welcome.

What was the direct inspiration?

The inspiration for Noir comes from the Black owned nightclubs in Harlem during the 20s 50s. The Black owned nightclubs where safe havens for people of color. Black people did not have to enter through the back door, they could sit where they wanted, speak to whomever they wanted, get the same food, the same drinks, and the same service as anyone else. These were also among the first safe havens for gay people.

Noir seeks to recreate this kind of environment. Noir is a place where people of color run the show and those who want to be with us can do so. The hope being that the obvious catering to people of color automatically weeds out those who have no interest in people of color. The idea is that this will create a social media community where diversity is celebrated.

Where can I get it!?!

Noir is a labor of love and can be downloaded for the iPhone via the app store at

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/noir-mobile-dating-for-gay-people-of-color/id1231546600?ls=1&mt=8

or from the Noir website at

https://noir.savage-code.com

How can I help!?! Donations?

Noir does not ask for donations. Noir’s success relies on the support of the community. Basically, tell your friends to join Noir and use Noir. Make suggestions for improvements and request new features. Use your voice to make Noir uniquely OURS. The more people join, the better the app gets. Noir is a free application to download but with restrictions.

A free membership is ad supported and feature limited. The best way to contribute without buying anything is to simply use the app, click on and check out the advertisements. The ad revenue from many members can cover the costs of running it.

Of course, if you want to not have to deal with the interruptions of advertisements, a member can go to the shop screen and buy the Ad-Free version. It is a one-time fee of $4.99. From that point, after a logout and login, the user can use Noir, ad-free, for life. Of course, the other restrictions still apply. This is akin to a donation.

Lastly, there are monthly memberships. The membership can be purchased in increments of 1 month, 3 months and 1 year. Each tier saves you money off the membership per month above 1 month. Memberships will be the lifeline of Noir.  With a membership the global members limit is lifted, allowing you to view more international users. The local limit is lifted and distance increased, allowing you to view more members near you! The flirt limit is increased; your favorites will also be increased.

With the revenue from these three methods, I can add new features to Noir, implement user requested features, research/develop new features and more. Programming is a full-time job and keeping Noir up to date will be a full-time job.  I have an Android version planned but that depends on the iPhone version making enough money to allow me to do it.

Noir depends on the community of gay people of color to survive. We, as a community, have expressed our frustrations; many wondered where the black programmers are to make something for us. Noir is created by a person of color and is for people of color. With the support of the community, Noir can rival some of the large apps that have corporate backing.

Noir has no corporate backing!?

Not a single investor. This is an independent endeavor. I created Noir because of love the gay community and I love my fellow people of color. I did not want to have corporate influences in the direction of Noir nor to have it held hostage by the funding provided by investors or a corporate entity. We want Noir to be something WE control vs something created to exploit us for corporate gain.

 

What are you waiting for? Trade ain’t gone message himself! 

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For The Culture

Alexandra Shipp Doesn’t Understand Colorism and It Shows

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Alexandra Shipp is suffering from the same light-skin plight that Tinashe claimed stifled her career two years ago. Oh well…

After hearing that KiKi Layne was in talks to step into her queendom as Storm, Alexandra Shipp wasted no time chiming in on Twitter. Her hot garbage take has since sparked yet another conversation about colorism in Hollywood. Alexandra stated, in so many words, that Black people aren’t supporting her because of her skin tone. Proving she, like so many, does not understand colorism as a system of oppression, Alexandra makes it clear there’s still work to be done.

You see, Alexandra, no one is attacking you for having light skin. They’re simply expressing joy over the much-anticipated portrayal of Storm as she was intended — a dark-skin, beautiful Black woman. This was a monumental opportunity for you to offer praise. Instead, you chose self-pity because a skilled actress is taking a role you aren’t entitled to. Let’s look at receipts, shall we?

KiKi Layne has been nominated for:

  • The Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
  • The Gotham Independent Film Award for Breakthrough Actor
  • The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Ensemble.

You, Alexandra, have been nominated for a Teen Choice Award and a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award.

Because you, and others who look like you, have not had to search for representation to feel included, you may not know how to respond to this. I get it, You think you worked hard, earned that role, did it justice. Sorry, baby, but you thought wrong. The one-time wife of T’Challa deserves to be a dark-skin queen and there’s nothing you should do about it.

It’s bigger than you.

For two decades, we have waited for the mantle of Storm to be assumed by a woman who truly looks like her. For once, little Black children who share that skin-tone would feel seen as they look upon their favorite superhero. Imagine children looking at Storm the way they knew her and the way they thought they could be; strong, beautiful, dark-skinned, and more talented than you.

Furthermore, your conflict with the change in the cast should not be conflated with other pressing issues. Don’t weaponize Black Lives Matter to represent losing a job because you’re talentless. Where is your grace, queen? You’ve been coasting on mediocrity in an industry that has made you proud of your light-skin privilege. Now that dark-skin is profitable, the industry is accepting of some actresses with melanin more popping than yours, and you want to play the victim? Ms. “90 percent of the racism I’ve experienced in my lifetime has been at the hands of fellow Black people.”

Girl, bye.

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Protests Ensue Over Death of Jameek Lowery

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Jameek Lowery streamed his final moments as he sought assistance from officers in a Paterson, New Jersey station. Having passed in police custody, community members and family want answers.

Scared and Alone

Jameek Lowery was disoriented, foaming at the mouth, and shoeless. Asking for water and visibly unsettled, 27-year-old Jameek admitted he’d taken ecstasy just moments earlier. Hoping officers would help him find proper care, Jameek trusted them with his life.

Police say they called an ambulance and accompanied him to St. Joseph’s Hospital, but what happened during transport is unclear. The Passaic County Prosecutor claims although hospital records do not indicate acute trauma, Jameek suffered physical force and compliance holds during the ride. While transport took between five and twelve minutes, the prosecutor alleges that Jameek was unresponsive upon arrival. Jamir King, Jameek’s brother, says Lowery suffered a fractured eye socket and broken cheekbone after the recording.

We want answers now!

Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale maintains everything that could be done to help Jameek was.

 “They will do the autopsy, everything will come up and then we’ll know where we stand, and the answers will be given to you. I want you to have those answers. Right or wrong, I want you to have those answers.”

Jerry Speziale, Paterson Police Director

Unhappy with what Paterson Police have provided since Jameek’s death Saturday, protests have ensued. Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter attended the Tuesday night protest, providing his support to the family and commenting on what he knew so far.

“He was extremely paranoid, he was terrified, and he had no shoes on. What I did notice was his face looked good and within a few hours he was dead.”

Hank Newsome, Black Lives Matter of Greater New York

City Council members were also present during the protests, providing comfort to the family as they begged for answers. Lowery’s sister Jamilia Laurie said, “My heart hurts, I can’t explain how I feel because I don’t know how I feel. I can’t go to sleep at night. I’ve been up since this happened. I cannot sleep.”

Justice for Jameek

Late into the evening, things came to a head as protestors clashed with police on the street, spilling out of City Hall where the rally took place. Holding cell phones to record the officers, police lined up on the other side, equipped with mace. People began chanting “Justice for Jameek,” “Black Lives Matter”, and “No justice, no peace”. Police fired upon the crowd with mace and a large crowd was seen fleeing the Paterson Public Safety Complex building, shielding their faces and coughing.

Wana Fulcher, a protestor on the scene commented on the frightening state of police relations in Paterson.

“I have four sons myself and this is very scary. Your child can’t even walk down to the store without being harassed by an officer. Who can we run to?”

Wana Fulcher, protestor

Community leaders and Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh are supporting the investigation into what happened to Jameek. Several news outlets have attempted to reach Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale for further comment with no success.

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On the Subject of R. Kelly

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I was 14 years old when R. Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. It was 2002. TP-2 had been out for a while and everyone was vibing to “Fiesta” and “Feelin’ On Yo Booty”. He was preparing to perform at the opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City when the story broke. A videotape had surfaced, allegedly showing R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. The Black community was silent.

I overheard my adult cousins discuss the tape at family gatherings. Everyone that had seen it seemed to agree. Without a shadow of a doubt, they all knew they were watching Robert Kelly, the pied piper of R&B. Yet there was no outrage, no public outcry or demands for justice. It was sickening. At the time, I lived in Detroit, Michigan, home to DSA. DSA was known as The Detroit High School for the Fine and Performing Arts, but it was famous for birthing the princess of R&B, Aaliyah Dana Haughton.

Buried

When Aaliyah married R. Kelly in 1994 in that secret ceremony with forged documents, Detroit knew. When conversation surrounding the nature of their artist-protégé relationship was questioned, Detroit knew. In televised interviews and radio segments when their voices and body language could be dissected, the truth was bare and as a community we denied it. For the second time, I watched a city turn a blind eye to R. Kelly’s predatory behavior for the love of his music. For what? Because it was more difficult to hold one man accountable for his hebephilia than sacrifice music to bump to? We collectively did ourselves a disservice, the same disservice we do to little Black girls and boys who are preyed on by family and religious figures.

Ignoring the presence of sexual deviance in the Black community does not make the trauma survivors battle daily disappear. I couldn’t understand why people made excuses for rapists or held victims accountable for their pain. “Just separate the art from the artist.” How? Why? The artist is using his status and artistry to directly engage, lure, and abuse Black girls. R. Kelly isn’t the only person to do this. Many celebs have used the promise of fame for sexual favors. Hell, employers use this exact same tactic. In the working environment, people in positions of power will dangle promotion and incentive to bargain sexual favors and people excuse it.

Second Chances

As a community, we must demand better. From the moment those 21 counts of child pornography surfaced following the release of the infamous tape, R. Kelly’s career should have been over. But it wasn’t. He went on to release the Chocolate Factory album, selling more than 3 million copies and going platinum. With the help of a delayed trial, he worked diligently, released gospel music to clean his image. By the time he went to trial in 2008, the Black community had two-stepped his depravity out of their memory. He was found not guilty.

People use twisted language like “Those girls were fast. Where were their parents?” Working long hours to clothe and feed that child. No parent is in all places at all times so save that bullsh*t. Such rhetoric does absolutely nothing to absolve sexual predators of the reality that they took advantage of naive adolescents or starry-eyed adults. Just call it what it is. Or are you afraid that acknowledging his deviance means calling out the same evil in those around you?

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