Mon March 31, 2014
Strange Fruit: Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent on Coming Out; Violence in Downtown Louisville
Out of town Fruitcakes may not have heard, but a large group of teenagers committed multiple assaults and robberies on March 22nd in downtown Louisville. Racist commentary followed; the teenagers were black and, though their victims included both white and black folks, many in the community framed the incident as black on white crime.
The WFPL newsroom has been following the story, and our News Director Gabe Bullard joined us for part of our Juicy Fruit segment this week to talk about the incident and how the community and media responded.
"We are attracted to a person, to a soul, and not necessarily whatever their reproductive organs are."
That's how our guest this week, Djuan Trent, explains her choice to identify as queer. The former Miss Kentucky made headlines this month when she came out on her blog; interviews and profile pieces followed.
Originally from Georgia, she went to Berea College and now calls Kentucky home. After being crowned Miss Kentucky in 2010, she went on to place among the top ten semifinalists in the Miss America Pageant. She's now a blogger and motivation speaker (we're guessing her bookings will increase now!)
We spoke with Djuan this week about her career in pageants, why she felt it was important to be an out and proud black woman, and how sexual orientation can evolve over time.
"I understand and I believe very much in the fluidity of sexuality," she explained. "I've seen girls who were full-flown lesbians, running around campus with the rainbow flag all day, every day when I was in college, and two years later they're on facebook like, 'He proposed and I said yes!'"
We also talked about a recent incident involving friend-to-the-show Dr. Mireille Miller-Young, who removed a sign from an anti-choice display/demonstration on the UCSB campus where she teaches. Protesters then followed her across campus, harassed her, and filmed her. (Dr. Miller-Young joined us on an earlier episode of Strange Fruit to share her research on considering porn through a black, queer, feminist lens.)
Also on Juicy Fruit, a thumbs up to Logo & Avenue Q's new HIV awareness campaign and a recap of RuPaul's Drag Race so blunt it prompted Jaison to say, "I probably am for the first time ever on this show speechless, that you just really read that child like that."