September 2015

School Survival Tips

Always Remember:

1. you got in, you deserve to be there and you belong there.

2. you’re not in school to become a perfect human being. you’re there to gain (and produce) some specialized knowledge, and that’s all.

3. you don’t have to read everything. focus on what matters to you.

4. you can’t read everything. or do everything.

5. students tend to intimidate each other, intentionally or not. focus on building personal friendship beyond the surface; if that’s difficult, keep them out of your life.

6. always prioritize your health and well-being.

7. write down your thoughts frequently. it makes you feel productive. productivity is an ableist, capitalist logic.

8. make friends in other departments. you’ll probably learn more from them (academically) than friends within your department (with whom you may be in competition just because of the structure of your program).

9. some people and some institutions will always be oppressive no matter what you do to change them. don’t fight hard, but fight wisely.

10. it’s all a game.

11. never punish yourself for “not doing enough” (=napping, procrastinating, watching Netflix, socializing, spacing out, etc.).

12. don’t spend your energy with people who can’t pronounce your name.

13. develop a self-evaluation system that’s unrelated to your academic work (e.g. cooking skills, exercise regimen, calling friends often).

14. don’t jump into a committed relationship just to get away from schoolwork or make yourself feel better. that’s what hookups are for.

15. don’t use your romantic relationship as an excuse to quit.

16. be proud of what you do. you’re doing something no one else can do. what the curriculum can offer is only half of your education; the other half is you.

17. focus on yourself, especially if you want to help/support others. be generous to yourself if you wanna be generous to others. put on your oxygen mask first before helping your child. ensure your safety first before rescuing your cat from the burning house.

18. you don’t need to get used to this. you will eventually graduate anyway.

19. you can’t read everything.

20. but you can keep writing. and working. and playing. and dancing.

21. be a light. as you make your way, show the folk behind you how it’s done, so maybe they won’t have as many dark days as you’ve had.

best of luck to all of us. and don’t forget to nap!

(Many thanks to Háruki Y. S. Eduardo-Ha for providing tips #1-21)

Living in Color


BlackYouthProject pretty much sums it up:

“Black queer and trans* folks are often excluded from mainstream ideals about love and romance. Their deviation from the White heteropatriarchal “norm” means that many folks in these communities rarely see images of themselves reflcted back on the silver screen, in TV series’, or in other media in popular culture. That’s why NBC’s new series “Living Color: Love is Revolutionary When You’re Black & Transgender,” a first entry in the “NBCBLK “Love is Revolutionary” series is so timely and necessary.

In a world where trans folks are still murdered for merely existing, this series dares to spotlight the beauty in these loving relationships. While this will not cure all the issues many folks in the United States have had historically, and still have presently, with queer and trans* love, it is definitely a beautiful expression of visibility for individuals who are left out of the notion of love altogether.”

Student Wellness Center

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The student wellness website was developed in response to student requests to have mental health and wellness services aggregated in one place. As other health-related initiatives evolve over the coming year, the website will also evolve to reflect a holistic definition of wellness. The site aims to support students across a continuum of needs, providing information on opportunities to practice self-care, engage with a community outside of academic life, and seek professional mental health care. That being said, the website suggests that students looking for the most comprehensive information on wellness should go directly to the department’s webpage. A word of caution – not all counselor have experience working with QPOC identities, so please make sure you are comfortable talking to your service provider or ask to speak with someone else. Remember to take care of yourself first before worrying about others’ sensibilities.



Artwork is a medium through which ordinary lives and faces can be stylized into aesthetic representations. But all too often, the unique experiences embodied by QPOCs are absent or erased from mainstream art, due to the multi-layered otherness of QPOC identities. Using QPOCs as his artwork’s centerpieces, Queens-based artist Mojuicy helps address this void by depicting QPOCs performing every day activities like sitting on the stoop or sharing intimate moments with a partner at home. The characters in Mojuicy’s work help remind us that despite our unique community and experiences, our daily lives as loving, caring, living human beings are also worthy of artistic attention.

Mojuicy, the pseudonym for illustrator Mohammad Fayaz, depicts QPOCs spanning various cultures, religions, and sexualities. A native of NY and a self-taught artist, the diversity depicted in his artwork reflects the same diversity that one can find in the streets of New York City. The bright colors he uses in much of his work help allude to the vibrancy in his characters’ seemingly mundane activities. Additionally, some of his pieces are overlain with text that affirms self-love as well as positive communication within queer couples. Check out examples of Mojuicy’s work at

Mia Mingus


Mia Mingus is a writer, aboltionist and community organizer and organizer who focuses on disability justice and transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse. She is a queer, physically disabled Korean transracial and transnational adoptee, “born in Korea, raised in the Caribbean, nurtured in the U.S. South, and now living in Northern California.” Mingus is part of the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective (BAJTC), which works to build non-state transformative justice responses to child sexual abuse. Her other work urges activists to creatively and productively think beyond the non-profit industrial complex.

Mingus’ writing can be found on her blog, Leaving Evidence, and in publications such as make/shift magazine and the forthcoming The Wind is Spirit: A Bio/Anthology of Audre Lorde. In 2013, along with fourteen other women, Mingus was recognized by the White House as an Asian and Pacific Islander Women’s Champion of Change. Other accolades and awards include being named in the Advocate’s 40 Under 40 in 2010 and the recipient of the 2008 Creating Change Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 

Mingus continues to give talks, trainings and workshops across the country, and recently near Connecticut as the keynote speaker of the 2015 New England Queer People of Color Conference at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island in April.



DarkMatter is a trans/non-binary South Asian performance art duo composed of Alok Vaid-Menon and Janani Balasubramanian. Though based in New York City, DarkMatter performs sold-out shows on stages and in venues across the world. They were recently featured in the Public Theater’s Under the Radar Festival, the Lincoln Center’s La Casita Festival and the Queer International Arts Festival. 

In their own words: “darkmatter and darkenergy collectively comprise 96% of the universe, but you can’t see or understand them, except in their effects. we think of our work as politically doing the same — evincing phenomena otherwise understood in their effects. we also think challenging the ways we think about space/time/matter is key to dismantling systems of oppression.” 

The duo is known for its “quirky aesthetic and political panache”, and through a strong social media presence, writes and posts daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Topics covered range widely but focus strongly on radical QTPOC issues, trans and gender politics and social justice. Most of their performance is through spoken word poetry. 

DarkMatter performed at Yale in April 2014 and is currently on its #ItGetsBitter national tour in support of the duo’s latest published collection of poetry, It Gets Bitter.

The Office of LGBTQ Resources


The Office of LGBTQ Resources works to create a visible LGBTQ community that includes staff, faculty and students from all of Yale’s schools and from a wide variety of life experiences. It actively networks with other Yale offices that advocate in support of diversity.

The Office throws regular events catering to identities across the spectrum, and are constantly looking for ways to be more welcoming to folks’ experiences. They also collaborate with organizations outside of Yale and work to foster strong relationships with the greater New Haven LGBTQ community.