Social Service or Social Change?

Reprinted with permission from The Revolution Will Not be Funded (edited by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. Boston: South End Press, 2009). Can we provide social service and work for social change, or do our efforts to provide human services maintain or even strengthen social inequality? I first began thinking about this issue when […]

Spatial Stigma, Sexuality, and Neoliberal Decline in Detroit, Michigan

During the past two years, I have been engaged in a multidisciplinary ethnographic project funded under the Ford Foundation initiative, “Youth Sexuality, Health, and Rights in the United States.” The project examines the structural climate of youth sexuality and sexual health through a political economic lens, focusing specifically on three different modalities of sexual commerce […]

Surplus Life: Biopower and Neoliberalism

In my work, I draw from Michel Foucault’s formulations of biopower to think about the organization and management of life, health, illness, and death, especially as those forces instantiate through gender/race/sexuality. Here, I will outline some of the ways that a biopower framework has been useful for me. I will also think about ways that […]

The FIERCE Fight for Power and the Preservation of Public Space in the West Village

In 1998 New York state signed the Hudson River Park Act into law, which essentially created a public-private partnership to develop the dilapidated piers from Battery Park to 59th Street along the West Side of Manhattan. The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) was born as the overseers for the future development of each pier, one […]

What’s Home Got to Do with It? Unsheltered Queer Youth

D was 17 years old when she was kicked out of her mother’s house. D’s mother didn’t accept D’s sexuality. While she was never able to state honestly that it was D’s sexuality or gender expression that was an issue, she constantly tried to change who D was. She fought with D about who her […]

“Nobody Should Ever Feel the Way that I Felt”: A Portrait of Jay Toole and Queer Homelessness

Jay Toole, director of the Shelter Project at Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), hero in the queer community, and legend in the NYC homeless shelter system, knows more about queer homelessness than anyone else in the city, and probably the country. Of medium height and build; hair sheared short to reveal the shape of her […]