When I decided to speak to you today about intersectionality, I knew right away that for some of you the word has its limitations — in certain political circles, it has come under scrutiny and criticism. But I believe it is an essential term, because when intersectionality is appreciated and applied with integrity and understanding, it leads to compassion. And if there is anything we need right now in our society, it’s more compassion.
Wikipedia — and I chose their definition because it is the one most people will read when they look up the term — defines intersectionality as “an analytic framework which attempts to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those who are most marginalized in society” and as “the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group — regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage.” I would add to that, creating interdependent systems of empowerment as well.
The term is attributed to legal scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and some say earlier forms of the word originated as far back as the late 1800s in circles of black feminist thought — accredited to Black scholar and educator Anna Julia Cooper and abolitionist and activist Sojourner Truth. Intersectionality and its evolution as a sociological theory are fascinating and complex subjects, and I am aware I will not be able to devote full scholarly justice to it in the time that I have with you tonight. But it is my belief that even a basic awareness of intersectionality encourages us to recognize the nuances of societal oppression; when it comes to discrimination and bias, we discover that one experience of oppression doesn’t fit all. Crenshaw’s work helps us to understand, for example, the ways in which Black women in the feminist movement of the Sixties dealt with both racism and sexism; racism from white women in the feminist movement, sexism from Black men in the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. She wrote in her seminal piece, “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color”:
The failure of feminism to interrogate race means that the resistance strategies of feminism will often replicate and reinforce the subordination of people of color, and the failure of antiracism to interrogate patriarchy means that antiracism will frequently reproduce the subordination of women.
Intersectionality also challenges us on our tendency to diminish the contributions of Black women to these movements, to see the face of social justice through a distorted, exclusionary lens — evidenced by black feminist titles like that of the anthology by Gloria T. Hull, Patricia Bell Scott and Barbara Smith: “All The Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some Of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies.”
We are invited to examine, as we seek justice and equality, what is required for us to be seen and appreciated fully for who we are, and how a lack of recognition of intersectionality undermines all our movements. What does it mean when an activist fighting racism or homophobia or class inequality, for example, has no compassion at all for oppressed transgender women and men?
When it works not only as theory but as practice, intersectionality allows us to be ourselves, our whole selves, and not just fragments. There are those who would prefer we prioritize our identities or leave some behind, as if we could check part of ourselves at the door. Many of us know what this looks like. “This is a movement about fighting racism. Once we achieve racial equality, then we can talk about homophobia.” Or, “Once we defeat sexism or achieve gay rights, then we’ll explore our racism. Until then, please wait.” You are expected to be a woman first, or a Black man first, disabled first, a lesbian first, working class or transgender first. Intersectionality demands that we insist, “I am everything first. And I refuse to wait any longer. When it comes to who I am, every part of me gets a seat at the table.”
I recently had the experience of seeing and writing about the film, “Black Panther.” Going to the movies is often a powerful intersectional experience. As a man of color, I was thrilled to see a black Superhero film. As a queer man, I was distinctly aware that queerness was not going to be included on any level in the movie, even though it was obvious to me that some of the characters were clearly bisexual or gay. The film I Am Not Your Negro, about the life of Black queer author James Baldwin, decided to feature a portrait of the artist based solely on race, to the exclusion of his homosexual politics. The experience I had in both films was the psychological equivalent of watching a movie you are excited by while sitting in a very uncomfortable seat; you are enjoying yourself on one level, but another part of you can’t relax, can’t surrender completely to the experience, because clearly something feels wrong.
I am not a sociologist nor an academic, and I know there are people who will resist intersectionality as a term because it sounds too “scholarly,” but I believe most of us are living, breathing examples of intersectionality. As a Black gay man, as a queer man of color, I have dealt with both racism and homophobia in my life. I have been objectified sexually because of my race by gay white men, and have met queer men and women who refuse to examine their whiteness or class privilege. I have also had arguments with family members and activists who insisted that Blackness was an identity assigned to me at birth, but that being gay was a choice. Within this context, there was empathy and support when I dealt with racism because being Black was my heritage. Homophobia, on the other hand, was the direct result of a decision I’d made to be gay, so basically, I was on my own. And for some, it was offensive whenever I compared the two oppressions.
A man I knew in college, for example, refused to make a connection between Black people desegregating lunch counters during the Civil Rights Movement and the queer resistance against the police raid at Stonewall. Having been called both a nigger and a faggot in my life, I believe as a Black gay man that I am a better judge than anyone about which derogatory terms feel most harmful to me, and which movements should inspire me.
When I think of those courageous young and old Black women and men who braved the lunch counters and marches in the South, hot coffee poured over their heads, cigarettes put out in their hair, beaten and jailed because they were asserting their right to live with dignity, I feel the same pride as when I think of activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera fighting the police, arrested, dragged through the streets and bashed at Stonewall because they were asserting their right to live with dignity as transgender women and lesbian, bisexual and gay men. I get a thrill from both stories, from both my ancestral legacies.
In other words, it doesn’t hurt any less, when I read about a Black man or woman murdered because of a racial bias, than when I listen to the news and hear about a transgender woman or gay or bisexual man killed because of homophobia or transphobia. Like many LGBTQ people, I’ve known what it feels like to feel splintered, cut off from my soul, when denying a part of myself just becomes too painful. I know gay men who have killed themselves over it. Intersectionality is in my blood and it fascinates me endlessly; which is why it is critical to everything that I write.
I approach each essay as a mystery I am trying to solve. At this moment in 2018, Bill Cosby is on trial for a second time for sexual assault. I’ve read estimates that close to sixty women have come forward claiming to have been violated by the comedian. When I first wrote about Cosby in 2014, the piece was inspired by the fact that at that time around twenty women had come forward. I spoke with people I knew, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and many of them didn’t believe his accusers or thought they were lying. As the number of women grew, and each of them seemed to corroborate the stories told by the others, I wanted to understand why there was such a resistance to acknowledging rape in our culture: why is rape so prevalent and where did those beliefs come from?
It feels right to mention Cosby in a conversation about intersectionality and violation, as Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw’s work deals specifically with domestic violence and the sexual assault and rape of Black women; on how their experience as survivors is defined by both gender and race. She wrote in 1991, “Within communities of color, efforts to stem the politicization of domestic violence are often grounded in attempts to maintain the integrity of the community.” I observed from the people I spoke with that women of color who accused Bill Cosby of assault often faced antagonism not visited upon his white female accusers. These Black women acknowledged the dilemma that by coming forward they were often perceived by others as, or felt as if they were, “betraying” the race by speaking out.
Intersectionality played a major part in my approach. While I hadn’t thought of the specific word while I was writing the essay, I knew I had been influenced by the Black feminist writers I’d read in college, writers who had inspired me by the intersectional connections made in their work. Cosby was a complex intersectional subject because all subjects of political oppression and empowerment led back to him. Because of Cosby’s extraordinary wealth and power in the entertainment industry, I knew we had to talk about class. We also had to examine race, because many people felt that Cosby was an African-American hero, and therefore couldn’t be a sexual predator — that he was a powerful Black man being framed by a white society out to destroy him. Obviously, it was impossible to talk about rape and Cosby without talking about gender-bias and sexism and violence towards women. And finally, as a gay man, I knew that if I was writing about secrets exposed, I had to talk about “closets,” and identity, and telling the truth.
In Cosby’s case, the mystery of the whodunnit wasn’t a particularly complicated one for me — I felt I knew exactly who did it. With societal oppression, brutality and abuse, we often know the who, the what, the when, and the where. It’s the why that is so profound.
The deeper human question which I am trying to answer in every piece I write is why we often refuse to make the intersectional connections between our own trauma in this society — our personal need for justice — and our willingness at the same time to victimize and to collaborate in the active destruction of others.
What forces are at play that make a working-class white man believe he is superior to the Black man who stands beside him at his job, as both men, underpaid and overworked, leave each day frustrated by the supermarket chain that exploits them both? Instead of joining forces, because united they could shut the place down overnight, one of them, having been told all his life that he is superior because of his skin color, refuses to speak to the other, which means they will never organize.
What does it mean when a Black man knows how it feels to be powerless at the hands of violent law enforcement, and yet refuses to make the connection to his own violence against his female partner or his children? What does it mean when a white woman knows she has been denied opportunities within her company because of gender bias, but refuses to pay her nanny, a woman of color, a fair wage?
We are living at a time when we are tempted to go deeper into the shadow side of “tribal consciousness.” Now, let me be clear: tribal identity is important. It matters that I know that I am Black, that I am gay, that I am male, that I am American, that I grew up middle-class. I need to appreciate what each of those identities means to me if I choose to claim them, and to explore the power and powerlessness in each. But existing solely for my tribes, without any appreciation of intersectionality and how my experience may connect me to your tribe, is like going home and keeping the shades drawn with a gun in your lap because it’s scary outside. When fear of “the other” defines our interactions, we don’t engage anymore, we stop listening.
We see this on the faces of the people around us. It’s the look that says, “I don’t want anything to do with any of you people. Let me just do my job, buy what I need while I’m in this store, and get the hell out of here.” You go home and lock the door. You watch the news. The president tells you whom to fear. Instead of expanding into greater discovery, which is the natural flow of life, your world begins to narrow. Everything becomes about me — my family, my race, my country, my bank account. Or them: “they” are taking my jobs, “they” are illegal, “they” are out there screaming “Black Lives Matter,” but what about white lives, don’t they matter too? You build a wall inside yourself and your president builds an outside wall for you. And this is where we are, in danger of our country’s being defined by our narcissism, our isolationism, our walls.
Recently, a woman wrote to me on Twitter with a critique of an essay I had written. The piece was about Jay-Z, Beyoncé, and the Black capitalist vs. the Black artist. I was interested in the idea of slavery and the Black capitalist — that those of us who have been commodities are now in the position to commodify. Would the Black capitalist make moral choices which the white capitalist didn’t, because of our history as slaves? The question is a compelling one, as more Black Americans are achieving greater economic wealth and power in America.
My critic said — and I’m very grateful to her — that while she really appreciated my essay, she felt it was limited by “binaries.” I later came to the conclusion that in some ways she was right. In a lot of my work, I do see issues through the lens of Black/white, male/female, rich/poor, queer/straight. I write this way because, to a certain degree, that is the world I inherited, this is how I was taught to see things. But the way forward means thinking in new, innovative ways, and this is where you come in.
We need a new conversation in this country, at our universities and high schools. I am encouraged by students who have organized around ending gun violence in our society. We’ve heard some extraordinarily courageous voices and we’re going to hear a lot more. There is no simple way to say it: in some ways, my generation — and I am the same age as Congressman Paul Ryan — has fucked up royally. We’re handing you a world that isn’t any safer than the one we found. I am astounded when I think about attending high school now, in 2018. I remember what I felt growing up, seventeen years old in 1987. School was complicated enough, having to negotiate sexuality and race, friendships, dating, grades, SATs, my parents divorcing, and my social status. But also having to worry about the quiet kid in the back with a duffle bag who may kill us all during fourth period, while hoping your term paper gets an A so you get into college, is incredible to me. It’s deeply unfair to live with this kind of pressure and daily horror and I apologize to you as an elder. You’ve inherited a world where we still have politicians arguing about where a transgender person can use the bathroom, where an alleged pedophile and rapist was almost elected into office last year. We were supposed to be better than that by now, and we’re not.
But out of this wreckage, my hope is that you will find your power and a greater clarity than we had. Perhaps you will use our terms as starting points and go beyond them. Perhaps you will find that our perceptions on gender, and race, sexuality and class are limited now, that we need new definitions, or new relationships to the old ones. When you see police brutality on television, you won’t perceive it as something happening to “those people” in “that neighborhood” but will see it as what is happening to “us,” and that we all must be responsible if we want change. I will always be grateful for the term, because at its core, intersectionality always returns us to empathy. It can even lead us to animal activism and protecting the environment — when we are in our right minds nothing and no one exists outside of our compassionate gaze, outside the circle of life.
Which brings us to the process of dehumanization that is on the rise in our society. We are watching the familiar process that occurs under rising fascism of making a person into an “It.” It’s hard to deport a Guatemalan man who has lived in this country for twenty years and separate him from his children, but it isn’t hard to deport an “It.” It may not feel right to build a wall to separate some of us from others of us, but it makes sense to build a wall to keep out the “Its.” As a police officer, you may not shoot a white person you take into custody, but, knowing you will not be held accountable by our justice system, you might feel justified shooting a mentally-ill Black female “It.”
The opposite of intersectionality is the ideological creation of the “It.” This is the psychological point at which one is not only unable to appreciate identity and intersectionality on any level, but when one no longer sees others at all in relation to oneself. In school mass-shootings, when the gunman lifts his weapon, he’s not shooting Chris whom he’s known since second grade, he’s not shooting Laquan who shares the locker beside him in gym class, he’s not shooting Beth who gave him the notes he missed in biology class when he had the flu — he’s shooting a bunch of “Its.” He’s reached that place — and we’re all capable of it, whether we are using a gun, or a hateful comment, or a voting ballot, where we cannot see the relationship between race, gender, class, sexual orientation and religious oppression — where compassion no longer exists, and we are committed to the daily destruction of the “Its.” Every society has them, and depending on the time and place, the “Its” can change. The irony is — and this has always been true — the more you see people as “Its,” the more you become an “It” yourself. Which is why these shooters almost always shoot themselves. It always takes an “It” to shoot another “It.”
We don’t need a world of “Its.” What we need is a world where people stand bravely in their truth; not with your head bowed in shame all the time, filled with liberal guilt, because that isn’t going to get us anywhere. We need you to stand in your identity powerfully, to wrap it around you voluptuously. To explore it, to know it inside and out. To know what works, what’s outdated, what you know to be true, what you know to be the bullshit that has been passed down to you by people who were afraid and would like you also to be afraid. To ask yourself: What will my legacy be?
I visited a college two years ago and spoke with a group of students in a sociology class about writing. They were writing their memoirs, and one of them raised his hand and said, “I’m white, I’m male, I’m straight, I’m Christian, and my parents have money, they belong to a friggin’ country club. I feel like I’m writing from so much privilege, that I have nothing interesting to say.” A few people laughed, but I knew from the look on his face that his doubt was serious.
I told him that what we all needed was for him to tell the truth about his life; to be honest about what he had seen and witnessed. “I don’t need for you to be a Black gay man,” I said. “I’ve got that covered, at least as far as my own experience is concerned. I need you to tell the truth about white people. We’re all negotiating pain on some level, we all feel we need to lie. I need you to be honest about your story, what you have been taught to cover up. Because the truth about your story will lead you to dignity; not a false dignity through white supremacy or male dominance or wealth, which is your societal inheritance, but the kind of dignity that means you use your power to help and inspire others.”
Now, I don’t know where this man’s life will lead, but because he was a student at an elite university, I believe he may find himself in a powerful position one day. And I want this man to know his story, to appreciate intersectionality. I want him to make the connection between a working-class woman’s son murdered by the police in her community and the love he feels for his own kids who may be in private school. Because it is entirely possible that this man may play golf with the chief of police one day at his family’s country club, and will say, “You know, Frank, this racial profiling by the police in our city really has to end.”
And because the world is changing, more people of color are getting into those same country clubs. If you are queer, a woman, a person of color, dealing with societal messages of “don’t exist,” we need you not to destroy yourself, we need you not to disappear, or go away, or be quiet, or hide. We need you visible, we need you intact. But we also need you to use your power responsibly, not to use it to oppress others. This means not being tempted by the idea of “specialness” — the special woman, the special Black, the special gay woman. We need you to know exactly who you are and not to betray your identity. Because you may be the one playing golf in the country club with the chief of police, you may be the one who says: “You know, Frank, I’ve been a congresswoman in this district for fifteen years and this racial bias by the police really has to end.”
It always excites me to speak to college students about social justice: I was born the year that women were first admitted to this college. When I reflect on my own experience, I remember that my first year at university was defined by intersectionality. I’ve shared these stories before, but I don’t think I’ve put them together until now. When I first arrived on campus and was unpacking in my room, a white woman knocked on the door, told me she lived on my floor, how excited she was to meet me, and how much fun I was going to have in my first year. My mother and sister had just left, and I felt a slight sinking feeling in my stomach, like the first day of kindergarten or preschool – I’d never been away from home. The woman held a camera and asked if she could take a picture while she scrutinized my face. I was hoping that I wasn’t going to appear on the front cover of some catalogue about diversity, which seemed premature, as I’d only been on campus for an hour.
At one point, she noticed a poster I had of a black woman with exotic scarves and asked if I knew which African tribe I came from. I told her I had no idea, and she said, examining my face, probably Yoruba, and mentioned the slave trade. She said something about more Black students on campus than ever before and how she believed strongly in “affirmative action.” Then she took my picture again. “Well, I’ll leave you to your unpacking,” she said with a smile as she left. “Very nice to meet you. And welcome!”
I won’t tell you exactly how I felt about the exchange, because the image that comes to mind is disgusting, but I remember sitting down on my bed, not quite sure what had just happened. If she had slipped a flyer under my door that said, “Monkey go home” — which had happened to Black students on my campus the year before — that probably would have devastated me too, but at least it would have been honest. I was confused by my feelings, unable to discern if she meant to harm me. It occurred to me that perhaps I was being too sensitive, but hours later, I found I was a little defensive when others welcomed me or smiled. I couldn’t shake her violence, belied by her soft voice, her “sweetie-pie” intonations, her Tinkerbell racism.
That same year, as I was dealing with race on campus, and the question of whether hate speech should be protected as free speech, I came out as a gay man. There was a flyer on the bulletin board on my floor about coming-out groups for gay and bisexual men. I suspected that that was me, but I was too terrified to ask for help. I had a phone in my room, and one day I picked it up to call the number with the trepidation that people in horror movies have when they answer the phone and find out the killer is calling from somewhere inside the house. Hand shaking, I hung up twice on the woman who answered, but the third time, a few days later, I told her my name, that I thought I might be gay, and made an appointment to join a coming-out group.
That was thirty years ago. Recently, I met a young Black woman, college age, who has a close friend who currently attends my alma mater. Her friend told her that there have been incidents on campus, Black students dealing with racial epithets, hateful comments not unlike what they had said to Black students in 1989 when I attended — basically variations on a theme: you don’t belong here. Monkey go home. The woman in the story could have been my daughter. I felt sick to think that thirty years had passed and nothing had changed.
And I think it is safe to say that these contemporary racist students, thirty years apart, probably aren’t part of some secret society that compared notes with the students from my graduating class; I think we can also conclude that there is something deeply wrong in our culture if we continue to churn out racists. And it should be our collective heartbreak that these aren’t wizened, embittered cynics who have been around for a while; these are our babies, now adults, our best and brightest, talented enough to get into great schools, yet deeply ignorant in crucial ways. As Americans, we often love to congratulate ourselves on how free we are, and on our racial progress; but hearing this story, it made me think of the Black student who must have attended my school in 1959, thirty years prior to my arrival, and what she saw when she looked at the white faces on her way to class, what notes had been slipped under her door. I tried to imagine a way she could have warned me through osmosis before Ms. Tinkerbell humiliated me when she walked into my room on my first day.
I’ve shared these stories with you to express my hope that a commitment to intersectionality will help you to create a world, a campus, where racial bias no longer exists. If you are a white gay student in an American university, I’d like to imagine a time when appreciating and fighting racism isn’t something you do as a courtesy to Black people, or as extra-curricular politics, a minor in “race” to your “gay” major, but rather as something intrinsic to your own struggle for liberation, essential to your completion as a human being. In other words, I hope that you appreciate, in ways that we didn’t, that you will never be fully empowered as a gay man until and unless you examine racism. As heterosexual Black men and women, we need to be unequivocally vocal in our outrage about homophobia and transphobia, appreciating that a racist society, which demonizes us because of difference, will never reward or include us for hating others. We need to see that hatred of the LGBTQ community isn’t about resisting “white gay men,” but has a direct effect on the lives, and often murders, of queer people of color.
My hope is that we will eventually lose terms like “minority enrollment”; that students of color and the cultural contributions we make to universities will be seen, not as something extraneous, but as vital; that if a university doesn’t have a diverse student body and faculty it will be as ashamed to show its face to the world as if it didn’t have working plumbing. I have spoken to students across the country, and another thing hasn’t changed: predominantly white organizations, who consider themselves progressive, “inviting” students of color to their groups and events, and feeling exasperated when the students don’t stay or participate. “What do they want?”
What they want, at least the ones I’ve spoken with, is to be involved at the earliest stages, to shape the structure of the event or organization, and not to be included when it is time to start handing out the flyers, or after the charter has already been established. I told one white student, frustrated with this dynamic, that before they held their meetings, they should meet with the Black leadership they wanted to work with, even if it meant the two heads of organizations meeting one on one, to have a dialogue — planning together, sharing the power. There must also be a sensitivity to oppressed groups who need to create safe spaces, who may have a need, at times, not to engage. In our pursuit of justice and loving kindness, I believe we will get there, that we are closer than we think. But we have to tell the truth to each other, to ourselves. We have to be honest about where our fear and anger come from if we are ever going to overcome them.
When I wrote about Donald Trump last year, I wrote about my own experience with bullying in my family. I also knew I had to come clean about my addiction, how his administration was triggering for me as an addict, and how I wanted to get high to escape his presidency. Next month I am celebrating fifteen years in recovery. In 2003, when I began my sobriety from alcohol and drugs, I went to meetings and listened to other people tell the truth because their lives depended on it. I also wrote my first political essay that year. I find now that telling the truth can be a dynamic, liberating, sensual experience.
In my 2014 essay about Bill Cosby, I wrote:
The truth. Queer people have always had an interesting relationship with the truth. When we come out of the closet, we risk everything. Many of us deal with physical or emotional violence, and the loss of family, often because of religious intolerance. We may even face death.
There are those who would argue that things are different now, that there is more acceptance in our culture. And in some places that may be true. But in the city where I live, New York, and in too many cities in America, the homelessness of gay youth is still a major crisis; gay teens are being put out onto the streets every day; having to prostitute themselves, and risking their health or lives in order to survive, to eat, to have a place to sleep at night. Saying to your family, “I’m lesbian, I’m gay, I’m transgender” can still be a terrifying experience, and still have devastating consequences.
But another thing is true: coming out can be an exhilarating, life-affirming experience, one that is filled with joy and enormous relief. You are saying to the people you love, “This is who I am. I’m not going to hide anymore.” Even today, despite all the progress we’ve made, coming out is still an act of enormous bravery.
So, when you see someone else come out of her closet (and there are so many closets), you feel a sense of exhilaration. And the rape closet is overcrowded too. When someone says, “I am a survivor, this happened to me”, you feel liberated, you feel inspired, and the lock on your closet, whatever kind of closet it is, is loosened that much more. Courage is contagious, and hearing a truth finally told is the ultimate rush.
Some people who tell the truth get to stand with others who welcome them. Others face a firing squad and stand alone. But whatever happens, one thing is promised: truth can never be untold, and nothing is ever the same.
I am honored to be here with you at this pivotal moment in our history. And we could have talked about Stormy Daniels, about signed agreements, and lawyers, and indictments and presidents and crumbling legacies, but I wanted to talk about something much more fascinating in this moment; you. And possibilities. And the reminder that no matter how difficult things get — and things may get more difficult — we are all beautiful and necessary and required. Because an intersectional world is a compassionate world with room for all of us. The artist's responsibility is to take what is ugly in the world and make poetry; when we have done our work well, we return you to the poetry of yourself. We make you curious about the mystery of the person standing next to you on the train platform, excited about her difference from you, and the story she has yet to reveal.
April 19, 2018
Schenectady, New York
*(This piece is an amalgam of my prepared address for the evening, comments made in an intersectional dialogue group, and my responses given during a question-and- answer session.)
(I’d like to thank Tom McEvoy, Associate Dean of Students and Director of Minerva Programs, Jason Benitez, Director of Multicultural Affairs, and the students of Union College, for making my visit possible.)
Originally published at Medium.com.
Max S. Gordon is a writer and activist. He has been published in the anthologies Inside Separate Worlds: Life Stories of Young Blacks, Jews and Latinos (University of Michigan Press, 1991), Go the Way Your Blood Beats: An Anthology of African-American Lesbian and Gay Fiction (Henry Holt, 1996). His work has also appeared on openDemocracy, Democratic Underground and Truthout, in Z Magazine, Gay Times, Sapience, and other progressive on-line and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. His essays include “Bill Cosby, Himself, Fame, Narcissism and Sexual Violence,” “A Different World: Why We Owe The Cosby Accusers An Apology,” “Faggot as Footnote: On James Baldwin, ‘I Am Not Your Negro’, ‘Can I Get A Witness’ and ‘Moonlight’,” and “Resist Trump: A Survival Guide.”