Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's not up to you!

Its not up to you! That's all I want to say to my friend. When I came out to her it didn't go so well, she's my one bad coming out experience. We talked and she felt that I was living outside of God's plan for my life, and she just didn't agree with my life, she wanted me to fight a little more (because 22 years of denial wasn't enough). My sexuality has always been mine, something private sacred that I just kept for me. For years I thought it over, I examined I questioned I belittled I ignored, but through it all it was always mine. Believing that I was straight allowed me the privacy of my sexuality no one questioned how I knew that I was straight or whether I was sure, no one subjected me to the inquisition that has been a part of my coming out process, no one debated whether or not I was going to hell, they just left me alone.
Now that I'm open about the whole me and not hiding I've lost my sexuality. My sexuality has been subjected to the scrutiny of any and everyone, people can sit around and discuss whether or not I'm going to hell because of who I love. Where is my privacy? Where is my chance to just be? What hurts me the most is that the ones that I need support from don't. My mother thinks that I'm going to grow out of this "phase" and one of my best friends is just not going to discuss that part of my life with me. Being a lesbian does not define me, but its a part of me and without knowing that you don't know me. Coming out has been rough for me, I've had to put my sexuality out there, I've lost the privacy that we shared. I question myself daily, I fear about people's reactions, I question whether I'll be allowed to speak to my younger relatives once I come out to my whole family. I have to keep my sexuality hidden from my grandmother because she's old and she won't understand. Coming out while it hasn't been easy I feel whole, complete, things make sense, I feel good. My friend ignoring my sexuality, and my mom thinking that I'll grow out of it and that its still a sin bothers me. Despite feeling great about everything, I needed the support of my loved ones.
So what I keep thinking is its not up to you! I foolishly told my friend when I came out that we'd have to agree to disagree, but that's not the type of friendship I need. I don't need to agree to disagree with one of my best friends when it comes to my sexuality. I don't need to have it ignored in our conversations. It just pisses me off to have people decide whether or not its okay with them that I am attracted to women. I don't know what I'm going to do with my friend, I enjoy our friendship, but I don't know if I can keep being friends with someone who is deliberately choosing to ignore a part of me.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

I want a different story

I am a movie addict, I really need help. I love the inspirational movies, I love lil kid movies, I love psychological thrillers. Movies I love to watch range from Robots to the Sixth Sense, but what I'm really getting aggregated with is all the movies where the loving white person comes in to the ghetto and inspires the children that the community has ignored. Now hear me out before you get mad at me. I do indeed love these movies, but I'm tired of only hearing one side of the story. There are wonderful white people that do work in inner cities, but there are also wonderful people of color but where are there stories? We need more movies like Stand and Deliver. I loved how the teacher was able to do something that you don't see in the movies with the white teachers. He was able to give them a sense of pride in their heritage. I remember the part where he was telling them that it was the Mayans that created the zero, that sense of heritage and pride in the encouragement is what is so important.
When I was growing up I was in a program that really gave me a strong sense of pride in my heritage and that has greatly influenced my life and the directors of this program were all POC, and what was also so important is that they were from inner city neighborhoods also, they understood what it was like growing up there. They recognized that you can live under extreme circumstances and still be happy. I remember a review of Save the Last Dance, by Ebert& Roper, and they said that the people were too happy for what was going on in their lives. They just didn’t get it. I've had many wonderful white teachers who have strongly influenced my life, but what I appreciated about my Black teachers is that they didn't constantly treat me like I was this poor soul from a rough neighborhood. Even though these teachers did care about me and other students and what was going on in our neighborhood, but their attitude always bothered me. I hated telling someone about my life and they feel sorry for me. I hate that I'm sure my life has been used to describe how rough "the ghetto" is. This is the recurring theme in these movies, these teachers go home and talk about how horrible this neighborhood is, and they are shown as the sole heroes of these poor children's lives.
I want to see how wonderful the people in the neighborhood are those who aren't the drug dealers, crack addicted mothers, and imprisoned fathers. Even those who are drug dealers, crack addicted mothers and imprisoned fathers, they are still people and still good people. This is from the daughter of a crack addicted mother. The ghetto isn't this horrible place, yes I do have to be careful about where I walk and when I walk, and yes I am tired of the violence, but that is not all there is in my community. I would not be who I am without my white and Black teachers and adults who have helped me, but I just don't want to see the same old white person to the rescue movies.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Rosie Rosie Rosie

Now I love Rosie O' Donnell, I love watching her on the view, really she's great! BUT, her recent "impression" of Chinese broadcasters where she said ching chong, because clearly that's what all Chinese people sound like. Now if Rosie had just apologized I would have been fine. But her apology was so half assed it made me mad. While she apologized for offending people, she minimized her statement and the hurt felt by Asian Americans. Apparently someone told her that saying Ching Chong is equivalent to calling someone a Nigger, she was like "come on", while I don't necessarily agree, I'm not Asian American and I can't say that that isn't true. You can't diminish someone's pain. She said that she does a lot of accents, but what she doesn't get is that, that was not an accent! My freshman year in college, my roommate was Chinese and she spoke fluent mandarin, and never ever did she sound like "ching chong", when she spoke.
I love Rosie but I feel like her pride got in the way of her giving a truly genuine apology. I'll grant her that her apology was better than Michael Richards' (but that isn't really a hard to beat). Rosie just doesn't want to be aligned with Michael Richards, which rightfully she shouldn't, but she needs to recognize the inherent racism in her comments.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Finals are DONE!!!

FINALS ARE DONE!!!

I made it through my first semester in Grad School and I claimed victory in my theories class!! Now I'm just waiting for my last grade to come in. I ordered some movies from Netflix, I'm going to clean my apartment and enjoy my break!
So Now This is me

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

it's 5:30 am, I'm writing a paper STILL! I've been secluded in my apartment all weekend doing work so........

Friday, December 08, 2006

black.womyn.:conversations

I am SOOO excited for this movie Words can't even EXLPAIN!!

Posted By:black.womyn.:conversations... the doc coming soon!

Get this video and more at MySpace.com



Go to the Director's MySpace page and check out more videos

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I should be writing my paper

I should be writing one of my many papers due this week, but my heart hurts. I was checking on what's going on in the world via CNN.com and I was reading the story about the groom that was shot by police the day before his wedding, and I'm so disturbed. I'm so mad that this young guy not much older than me is dead. Shot by the police. This isn't the first time I'm hearing about this, but today I was looking at the pictures and seeing his fiancée at the funeral, the same church where they were supposed to be married and it breaks my heart. Pictures touch me more than anything and just seeing the casket. This is a shame! All police are not bad I know this because my Uncle who was more of a father to me than my own father is a cop, and he's a good one. But when is enough going to be enough. This man that died was more than just a number, he was a father, a soon to be spouse, he was loved by people. With the article was a picture of Amadou Diallo's mother who attended the funeral, because she lost her son also. When is it going to stop? The article plays up that only two of the cops involved in the shooting were white, like that's supposed to negate the racism within the shooting. Black people are subject to the same images and stereotypes that white people are. Just because someone is Black does not mean that they have not bought in to the same lies. Just because three of the cops were men of color does not mean that they did not racially profile the groom. I'm just mad, because Sean Bell the groom should not be dead now, and his friends should not have been shot.

Check out the article here

Monday, December 04, 2006

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS day

Today I wanted to write a post in memory of all of those who have died because of AIDS. I wanted to write a post that would adequately convey my feelings about watching my 34 year old aunt who his living with this disease. I wanted to write some words that would let people know that this disease is real. I wanted to write something to encourage, inspire and motivate people to do something, anything to help fight this disease. I wanted to write something that would say how horrible I felt at forgetting, forgetting to fight, to think about this disease, forgetting to commemorate this disease. But all I can say is FIGHT!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

...and the journey continues.....



This is me when I was younger. With the holidays upon us now it makes me very reflective of my life. Of who I really am, I was foolish enough to think that coming out would be enough, like that would answer all my unanswered questions, but I'm starting to remember why I named my blog journey to enlightenment. I'm still on this journey to finding out who I truly am. As I was home I spoke with my brother about me being a lesbian, well he really just said a few words, but within those words reminded me how much my family doesn't really know me. My brother told me how I was an "Arrogant Christian" and that just really bugged me. My brother's perception of me has been limited to the teenage me.

So where am I on my journey? I don't really know. I've realized that my faith has suffered since I've come out. While rejecting some aspects of my faith that I've realized where wrong, I feel like I'm losing hold of the aspects that were good. I realized this while talking to this girl in my class, I know that she's a Christian and I remember who I was just a few months ago. I was such the good Christian girl, I did everything that I was supposed to do, I prayed a lot, I never cursed, I didn't drink or get drunk, I didn't question I was a good Christian girl, I was Gramz. So much of my identity that was forced on me had to deal with my faith. So, now as I'm trying to figure out the real me I feel the Christian me fading, and I don't want it to. I'm holding on to my faith with every fiber of my being.
So much of my identity up until now has been very reactionary, so how do I welcome the complete me, the real me? How do I embrace ME? I want to go back to the little girl above, the girl I was before I was used, abused and disillusioned. The girl who I was before I was filled with so many lies that I couldn't see the truth. The girl who just was.



Monday, November 20, 2006

Kramer you can keep your fake apology!

I'm sure by now you've heard about how Kramer went on a nice little racist rant after some black audience members heckled him.

I'm so sick and tired of these racist/sexist/homophobic/classist public figures that get caught saying something so horrible, and then issue a public apology. They weren't sorry for saying it, they're sorry for getting caught.

Kramer just went to far, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a fucking fork up your ass." "Throw him out he's a nigger?"
How do you say that? And then think an apology will suffice. What is he thinking? I'm just so tired of it.
Then he goes on letterman to apologize and he looks so sincere

I'm going to translate his apology,
"I'm all busted up by the bad press I'm getting, because of my statements, I completely believe everything I said but I just didn't know that it would be broadcasted. I really hope you all will forget what I said, and I'll be a lot more careful next time, and make sure no one has a camera."

What's worst about these apologies is that they never admit to what they said. They say my statements. I want them to say:

When I mentioned X Y and Z that was wrong, because of (insert valid reason here). I am now actively working to reverse my hate and I encourage you all to do the same, because I realize that my statements are a part of a larger societal problem, so while I can never truly make amends for such hateful statements, I will commit to making a difference in my life and others, and I renounce my privilege which made me think that a simple apology will suffice.

Now is this too much to ask for?

update: I just watched the full apology on letterman and he did mention trying to figure out where this rage came from, so I give him half a point. What disturbed me the most, is that he seemed so weird. I didn't get sincere, he spoke of Black people being mad about Katrina, and I was thinking okay.... and what else. what made me mad is that they were looking to give him excuses, well you know you push the envelope. Then he talks about how he's not a racist.... really? because all non racists say things like that, you don't just say things like that all of a sudden. Just admit that you're a racist and are trying to work on that, just be real! AHHHHHH I can't stand this crap!

Friday, November 17, 2006

For Audre!

14 years ago today, the world lost one of the most amazing people to every live. Audre Lorde died November 17, 1992. Recently I heard one of my professors speak of honoring our ancestors and those that came before us, even though I didn't know her and we weren't related, but today I want to honor her.

14 years ago I was only 8 years old, and had no idea who she was or how much she would influence my life later on. It always saddens me to think that she lived and died, and I never knew about her. I wish that I could go back in time, and just ask her so many questions about life, love just everything. I'm at a point in my life where little makes sense most of the time, I feel like I live in a constant state of confusion. But when I read her words I feel like she had an in, like someone told her the world's greatest secrets. She just has such a solid realistic understanding of this world. She theorized about the erotic in a way that I think is just above most people's thinking. Audre Lorde was just simply amazing.

Now all I have are her words that she left behind and I'm grateful for each one, so here's to you Audre the world still mourns your death.




Some of my favorite quotes

“Our visions begin with our desires.”

“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”


“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”

“When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.

“Our feelings are our most genuine paths to knowledge”

“The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house”

“The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.”


“I realize that if I wait until I am no longer afraid to act, write, speak, be, I'll be sending messages on a Ouija board, cryptic complaints from the other side”

“I am deliberate and afraid of nothing.”

“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.”

“As we come to know, accept, and explore our feelings, they will become sanctuaries and fortresses and spawning grounds for the most radical and daring of ideas-the house of difference so necessary to change and the conceptualization of any meaningful action.”

"...But I who am bound by my mirror
as well as my bed
see causes in color
as well as sex
and sit here wondering
which me will survive
all these liberations. "
~Audre Lorde (Who said it was so simple)

"Every woman has a well-stocked arsenal of anger potentially useful against those oppressions, personal and institutional, which brought that anger into being. Focused with precision it can become a powerful source of energy serving progress and change." – Audre Lorde


She was beautiful inside and out!


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Rest In Peace
Audre Lorde
February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I'm getting married

I'm getting married in South Africa! Who's coming?
All I need is a woman to get married to. I'm taking applications for a political woman with a great sense of humor lol.

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This is where I'm going to get married, You all are invited, and whoever introduces me to my special lady, can be in the wedding party :D

No, seriously I am excited for South Africa, their post apartheid constitution is really progressive, and everyone should take a que from them.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sometimes you just need to rant

Where do I begin?
This world is seriously screwed up!

Apparently I didn't get the message that making fun of Black people in every way possible was actually funny. Nubian highlights this with her post about Texas A&M, but wait that's not it. While browsing around on facebook I see a kid at my undergrad in black face. No wait I'm still not done yet apparently playing up on every stereotype about Black people and making fun of lynchings is a GREAT theme party! Thanks to St. Johns for letting me know, because honestly I didn't realize that.

If that is not enough to make you mad, just wait! Thanks to facebook once again, and a group called 1,000,000 Black students, which is a good group, but has some idiots on the discussion board. I thought the question of why Black people were so anti education was bad enough, but no just wait. My favorite came today with the post titled Wah gwan chi chi gal pt 1, which basically means what's going on with the lesbians. The first post is:

why is all the black woman turning gay,
are they receiving more male energy,
is it becuz of depression, or lowself esteem?
or is it because guys always shit on them so they think its no one else but thier own sex who they think will understand them better

Again that's not even the worst one, you can't forget:
Being gay is a phobia of procreation of some sort. I am certain. FOR NEARLY ALL PEOPLE, their entire purpose in life is to extend their bloodline. Being a fag rejects this from your basic natural principles. Eat/Sleep/Survive/Reproduce.

There are more but I don't even want to go there, I posted a response, but I'm not going to continue to debate and go back and forth.

Oh and Charles Murray, Author of The bell curve is coming to speak at my school tomorrow/today (it's after midnight).

All I have to say is AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I did it!

I did it!
I came out to my mom, and it went great. My mom is so funny she asked me if I realized that I would have to kiss a girl and have sex with her, I'm like yeah. She didn't cry, freak out nothing, she was cool. Told me she had a bad experience with a lesbian in the 70's, she said she was mean to her. I told her at the next meeting I'd bring it up; we'd figure out who it was and promptly revoke her lesbian card. It was great, but tell my why am I freaking out now. Even though it went great, I wish I hadn't told her, because I don't want her to start think of me any differently. I just want things to be the same. We don't talk about my personal life and I want to keep it that way, but I just got motivated to tell her. I was talking with a friend, who recently came out, and we were talking and sharing and I was like I should do it and I did. I just called my mom up, but now I'm soo afraid of when it's going to go bad. I'm terrified, I'm freaking out! My friends are telling me to calm down, but I'm scared that she's going to wake up tomorrow and be like that's not acceptable. I don't know why I can't just allow it to be good. I'm just so afraid that it's going to go bad, I'm terrified that she's no longer gonna see me, but only see my sexuality. Our relationship was finally getting to a place that I was comfortable with, and now I'm afraid it's going to get weird.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Election Time

I remember election day in 1992, sitting on my mother's bed, learning how to crochet and watching Clinton win. I was 8 years old and soo happy, I didn't know much about politics, but I knew that we were going for Clinton, and we were happy that he won. I remember earlier on election day going with my mother in to the voting both and actually getting to vote for president. That's what made that year so special I felt like I was apart of the process.
Every year, my mom would take me and my sisters with her when it was time to vote, it was never a question of whether or not I would vote. That's what we did we voted, whether we believed in that our government cared about us, that's another question but we knew we had a voice in our vote and we used it.
As I get older and enter more liberal circles, I've seen more and more people be anti voting, they say my vote doesn't count, it's not gonna change anything. Which I understand but something deep within me will not allow me not to vote. I just keep going back to getting an I voted today sticker with my mom, and being proud. While our system is flawed, I just don't see the point in not voting.

While I'm dissapointed about the Affirmative action vote in Michigan, and I realize civil rights are still under attack in this country. Having Democrats have control of the house, and our first female speaker of the house, makes me happy.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Welcome Doogie




I was silent



I like this video, encouraging you to speak out, and the consequences of staying silent. So often we're silent just because it doesn' t pertain to us, just like in the video. However, I was silent and did affect me.

I'm mad at myself today because I was silent. Tonight I went to a party, and one of the host's drunk relatives shows up. I know the host through my department so of course we can't get together without discussing some political issue, so we began to talk about Ted Haggard, and his scandal. I knew it was going to be trouble from the moment that guy arrived, we were joking about the Haggard saying he was getting a "massage" and buying meth. Then it begins, the relative starts talking about how Haggard's a hypocrite (I agree), a liar (again he's talking right), a meth addict (still nothing wrong), and then he says it a faggot. I just sat there stunned, I looked to the host for some sort of correction, and he goes to try and talk about how it doesn't matter if he's gay or not. I was feeling so many things at once, I felt so uncomfortable, and I didn't know what to do. So I said nothing. I'm so mad at myself, I didn't confront him because he was so drunk, it really would have been ridiculous, and also what if he started to call me names? What would I have done? So taking all of this in to consideration, I sat quietly and texted my best friend.
I had to leave the party early because I came with a friend who had someone waiting for her, and I was so thankful. I just feel like I was using my appearance of straight (I don't mean to play up on stereotypes, but no one looks at me and thinks lesbian) to not enter in to a confrontational situation, and I feel bad about this. I feel like a hypocrite. I don't know, I'm just not feeling to hot

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Community

Last night I had a dream that I was sitting around and some kid was saying something about Lesbians going to hell, and other stupid stuff, and I went to jump across the table and choke him, but just as I was about to reach his throat, this lesbian girl I met, grabbed my feet and pulled me back. When I told my friend about this she asked if I had been feeling the heterosexism strong lately, and of course my answer was YEAH! She said it might have something to do with me not being able to express my justifiable rage.

When I started writing this post, I was thinking that I needed a role model, when I do, but it's more than that I need a community. I'm so thankful for the blog world, but unfortunately most of my time isn't spent here. I'm in a new city, and I feel alone, I have no community. I'm an outsider in my own Black community, because I'm a lesbian, because I'm a feminist, shit because I open my damn mouth and let these things be known. There are some really nice people in my department, but no one I really connect with, and if there is a connection it only lasts to a certain point because they don't get everything, and I constantly feel like the other.
My feeling like this began when I realized that despite my effort I had become THAT girl. I'm the lesbian, feminist, northern girl. I was initially fooled in to some false sense of comfort because I was surrounded by Black people, and White people who at least got the way race plays out in society. I felt comfortable, but it didn't last, because I soon became aware of the fact that I didn't fit the “Black” mold. It's like they had their pre set mold of Black Female, and I don't fit it. Now don't get me wrong I like not fitting the mold, but there is so much more that comes along with not fitting in the mold. My experiences thus far, have given me more of a focus in my research; I'm writing two papers on different aspects of Black lesbian identity.
When I was home, I had my friends, I had support, I had outlets to a thriving Queer community, a train ride away and ready for me to explore, but as soon as I found it I had to move 900 miles away. I'm surrounded by people who just don't get me, and don't even have an idea about what if feels like to be young, Black, queer and female. I get so fucking tired of being the other, and having to qualify my queerness, it's like they have a check list of what a Black Lesbian is supposed to look, dress and act like, and I don't fit that either. I'm not a separatist by any means, but I just get tired of being THE lesbian. When I came to this program I thought everything was going to be better because I would no longer be in a situation where I was the only minority, but I forgot that being the triple threat/triple minority I'm almost never in a situation where I'm not the minority, but I know that there's a community out there, but I can't find it. I'm in the South, where I get excited when I hear someone speaking Spanish, I have no professor to go to and ask about what it's like being a Black lesbian in the ivory towers, and I’m alone. I'm stuck without a community to revitalize me, when the weight of being a Black Lesbian is too much, I have no one's house to go to, no parties, nothing. I come home get online, talk on the phone trying to block out the world that’s surrounding me, but ultimately I can’t ignore the fact that I’m stranded here by myself.

I found this one girl on MySpace and I sent her a message and asked her about the Black Lesbian community, here, and she answered me, but it’s a weird because I have a lil crush on her and I’m too much of a wimp to approach her to hangout, because when I’m around her I tend to lose all grasp of my social skills. She told me where some gay bars in town are that she goes to, but I have no one to go with and again, too much of a wimp to ask her to tag along with. When I’m home I have my friends, who would be more than willing to go with me, and support me in my pursuit of this girl, but here my “friends” don’t get me, and aren’t really of much help.

It’s times like this that I question my decision to come so far away from anyone I know. My family got together for a funeral last week and I realized how much I missed them too. I miss people who know me, or at least have some idea of what it feels like to be a Lesbian of Color in this world. I don’t know what to do, that’s enough wining for now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

TV Rants

I am addicted to TV, I admit that there are many shows which I am absolutely in love.

I am particularly in to Logo, I love this channel , it is no where near perfect but hey I LOVE IT! Anways they have this show called the clicklist, and they have the best in short film, and I recently watched an excellent short film it's called Brooklyn's Bridge to Jordan it was just AMAZING, you should go over watch and then vote for it because it's great.

Also if you happen to catch the show Heroes, you'll understand why I love it so.

And yes I am also one of those Grey's Anatomy people, who is very proud of O'Malley aka T.R. Knight, for coming out. However, I'm not so thrilled with Dr. Burke aka Isaiah Washington for his behavior and homophobic comment.




I am addicted to America's Next Top Model! I know I know I know, horrible, but hey at least it's not Flavor of Love. Anyways one of the most beautiful girls there is being told that she needs to lose a few and it's just making me mad. It makes me so mad that while Tyra speaks against saying that all women should be a certain size, she allows for healthy girls to be told that they're too big. AHHH

Look at her she's beautiful






Yes I am in Grad School and I am getting my work done, just before and after my shows, So don't judge me!

Okay back to work now :D

Loving Zanele

oooh how I'm in love with Zanele Muholi's pictures


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Thanks to An Unreasonable Woman for the links to more pics :D

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Friends on the Block!!!!!

I don't know if you all have been watching my blog roll, but I had to give a special shout out two of my friends, who have finally joined the blogging world.
My best friend/Wife/forever will be referred to as my roommate created a blog check her out! Who's Latina like me


Also my hommie from Undergrad created a blog also check her out

La Oscuridad Necesaria.



They're great go over and show them some love!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

the coming out process

Coming out to my friends alone has really taught me some lessons. Last night I came out to one of my best friends, she's the one that I've been most worried about telling. I love her and I know that she loves me but she's very conservative, and very naive. So last night as I tell her that I'm a lesbian, this is who I am it's not going to change, she gave me a halfway positive response. I told her that I was afraid that she'd think that I'd want to be with her, she said that she wouldn't think that. I was excited, at first we talk about things wouldn't change, and who this doesn't change our friendship. Then things started to go downhill, then she began to talk about this being a spirit that I can be delivered from, she spoke of me not being sure because I had only had one boyfriend, and I hadn't had a girlfriend yet. Then she spoke of me being a part of God's divine plan. I told her that I was sure, that I was at peace, that my relationship with God has not suffered, but she's unwilling to accept this. She didn't tell me that I was going to hell, so on that note it wasn't as bad as I thought it could have been, but it still hurt. That conversation hurt my heart, because as much as we talked and said things shouldn't change, I feel like it will. I feel like there will be a big rainbow colored elephant in the room. I guess the biggest disappointment was that even though I told myself that this conversation would not go well, deep down I really hoped that she would say, "I love you, things aren't going to change, you're my sister" I wanted her to ask me about my crush, who she now knew was a woman. But that didn't happen, rather than complete support, I got judgment, and her trying to convince me that I'm not a lesbian, I just needed to find the right guy. Sigh While on the one hand that situation didn't go as well and was generally disappointing, me coming out has allowed me to reconnect with another friend.

This one friend and I had at one point been very close, but we drifted away and we barely speak, and when we do it's not with any depth. This friend I always knew would be supportive, her mother's a lesbian and she was raised by her mom and her mom's long time partner. I recently came out to her and then we talked about everything, you know the typical coming out convo, "when did you know?" "Have you told your mother?” So right after this conversation with my other friend last night I IMed her and copied her the convo, and we talked, we laughed. She called me and I told her my drunken stories, and while I laughed with her I forgot about the disturbing convo I had with my other friend. She encouraged me to pursue my crush, and when I spoke with my crush today I called her back, and I feel like I've got my friend back.

So thus far coming out has gotten me closer to some friends and has caused a rift with another friend. So as my best friend reminded me today that my coming out experience has been better than 85% of other people (don't ask me where she got that figure), and all I can do right now is thank God that this has been my only negative response so far, and it wasn't even that bad. So Thank God and the coming out process continues...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Why I'm afraid to take out the gabage

I have about 3 trash bags in my kitchen that desperately need to be thrown out. Why don't I just take them out to the dumpster you ask? Well I keep forgetting to take them out during the day, and I am afraid to take them out at night. Why am I afraid? That’s another good question, well my dumpster is next to a nice dark alley, and I am a Black Woman in a predominantly white area. I'm afraid that some drunken white college guy will see me and think hey, I wonder what it's like to be with a black girl. I'm worried that some guy period will see me as an easy mark. I am afraid of being violated in my own home.
I get so mad when I think about all of this, because this is the reality of being a Black woman in this world. The reality of being a Black lesbian in this world is that I fear that the guy I work with who I sense is threatened by my sexuality will try to "change" me. Do I really think that I chill with a man who would rape me? Not really, but you can never truly be sure. Rapists don't wear signs on their heads saying "beware I like to rape women", so I'm left to live with this constant fear that at any moment, at any place, I can be raped. No where is truly safe, my grandmother was raped at a church function, when she was a teenager. My favorite professor/ mentor/ future wife, who doesn't know it yet, once told me that sexual assault is an act of terrorism against women. I really identified with that statement because it's true; the potential of being raped is something that all women are aware of. I don't know what it is about my dumpster that makes me more afraid then walking down the street to a friend's house, but I won't walk out there at night.
My fear was reinforced as I went to Take Back the Night and I heard the stories of so many women who had been violated by men, men the knew and men they didn't. It just reminded me that no one is safe. I wish I didn't know as many people as I do that had been sexually assaulted by men. I have a cousin, who was raped by an unknown stranger years ago and she has not been able to trust men since. That one night changed her life forever! What are we to do? As I write this I grow more and more frustrated because I don't have any answers. I don't know what to do to rectify this situation. I fear that this is just the burden that I and many like and unlike me must bear.

Friday, October 13, 2006

300 Million People

According to various news reports on Tuesday the 300th Million American will be born. So CNN.com asked people to send in memories of 1967 when we had just hit 200 million people. Now I am one of those people who love to hear about the Human Interest stories, so I eat this stuff up, but as I was reading the various stories, I began to get sick of reading about the good ol' days, how everything was great. Here are some of my favorites

In 1967, we believed that our ministers and police would not do any harm. Good jobs were everywhere for anyone who wanted to work. We were concerned about "hippies" and this Vietnam thing which seemed to be getting bigger and bigger. Believe it or not, our world was pretty much like Mayberry and the Andy Griffith Show. But on the other hand, our world didn't have any non-white people. In our world at that time, we did not speak about when a man beat his wife or when some girl was forced to go to some back-door abortionist. The mentally ill were to be locked away and not seen.
Rick Lundeen, Galesburg, Illinois

Back in 1967, we could sleep at night with our doors unlocked and our cars unlocked, and our children were able to play out in the neighborhood or walk a mile to school without worrying about pedophiles, rapists and more. It was happier times in the 1960s. Most moms were at home manning the helm while dad was the breadwinner. Since moms have to go to work to help support the rising costs of raising a family, crime has gone up and morals are sinking ever so low.

Give me back the days of stay-at-home moms (until the children were in their early teens), and we would see less juvenile delinquency and crimes committed, and children would have better moral judgment. There is a definite lack of supervision by parents today because they are so overwhelmed with having to make ends meet and multi-tasking everything they do.

I think any stay-at-home moms, who have that luxury, should be given many accolades for doing the best thing they can for their family.
Shirley Cleaves, Punta Gorda, Florida

All the couples in our neighborhood in 1967 had the men working and the wives as full-time homemakers. Twenty homes on our one-block neighborhood with 60 some children.

Year 2006 -- All the children are married and all the young married couples I know have both the husband and wife working. This makes for a lot of babysitting by us grandparents and we love the babysitting. We can go home at night. We helped raise our older grandchildren and only have two young ones under 2 years old.

Traffic is 20 times worse in 2006 versus 1967. Expect traffic to be 10 times worse than now when 400 million is the population.
William Smith, Shoreview, Minnesota

Now don't get me wrong, I clearly have no idea of what life was like in 1967, I was born in 1984, but I no for sure it wasn't all great. I know all those stay at home moms didn't want to stay at home. I know all those moms didn't want to have all of those kids. I know that there were women being stopped from having children against their will. I know that many brown women did not get the luxury of staying at home. I know that the civil rights movement was still going on for a reason, I know that a year later when Dr. Martin Luther King jr. was assassinated, this went on to prove that everything wasn't so great. I know that two years prior Malcolm X was assassinated, and I know that four years prior Medgar Evers was assassinated and his killer wouldn't be arrested for another 30 years. I know that my grandmother who was currently the mother of 7 children, was feeling the burden of being poor, Black and woman in an abusive relationship. So excuse me if I'm not so nostalgic for the good ol' days of 1967.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Coming out to family

So I've been coming out to more and more of my friends, and with coming out to them, comes answering all the questions, which I could really care less about. So today I'm talking to one friend who I just came out to, I know she'd be cool, her mom's a lesbian and she was raised with her mom's long time partner. So she asked me the question everyone asks, Does your family know?
As I'm talking about telling my mom and the rest of my family, I realize that I have absolutely no motivation to tell my mom. My mom and I are getting closer, but I still keep up a wall with her. I don't talk about my romantic life, I never have. I didn't tell her why I broke up with my one and only boyfriend, I didn't tell her anything about our relationship, and I don't ask her for romantic advice. We just don't talk about these things, so as of right now as I sit more comfortable with my sexual orientation; I feel no push to tell her. The only push I feel to tell her, is because that's what you do when you come out, you tell your family and friends. Okay so my friends I felt compelled to come out too, because I talk to them about my romantic life and my crushes, so leaving out that the person I have a crush on is a woman, is a big deal. But when it comes to my family I just do not have the motivation. I've given myself a 2007 deadline, to come out, but I really don't feel it necessary. That's bad isn't it? I don't know what to do, advice is welcomed.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Politics of the grocery store

There has only been one person that has ever made me seriously consider becoming a vegetarian. It wasn't me Vegan of 12 years brother, or my many animal rights friends, but it was a speaker that came to my undergrad and told us that the reason that he's a vegan is in protest to the fact that you can not find any fresh vegetables in Black neighborhoods. That really blew my mind and I realized that he was right, unfortunately I don't have enough will power to turn down meat, I'm weak I know. But today as I went grocery shopping his statement came back to me and was confirmed.

I live blocks away from my current school, which like most college campuses the area right around the campus, is a nice very white area, and then a few blocks from that starts the hood. Anyways I've been going to the grocery store more in the hood, I liked it, and it reminded me of home. What I didn't like was how I could never find any fresh vegetables in good condition, all of them were on their way out. So I decided to go a few blocks in the other direction to the supermarket that's geared towards students at my new school, and when I walked in I heard the angels sing. It was amazing, the produce section is the first thing I saw and it was great. It was filled with beautiful fruits and vegetables; the whole entire store was decorated beautifully. As I walked the aisles I saw what I didn't in that other one, choice. I could pick up tons of different cheeses, and oils. It was great, I spent longer than I intended because everything was calling me.

My joy of food shopping was cut short with the realization that this supermarket was set up to keep the poor students from venturing in to the dreaded ghetto. While in the process not caring about whether poor children in the inner city have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. It's sickening; the bus stop that's closest to the better super market is not conducive to catching the bus there. While the other one is closer to two bus lines.
I called my mom to talk to her about it and we laughed, that laugh of we must laugh to keep from crying, because it's so sad, the blatant racism. As for me which supermarket will I continue to go to, I'm not sure. Because while I feel at home at the other one, I also crave good food.

Monday, October 02, 2006

deadlines and Beauty

This weekend I went back to NY for my school's Alumni weekend, even though I just graduated. I really enjoyed hanging out with my friends, just being back in a familiar environment. I came out to two more friends, each in very funny awkward ways but hey at least I'm making steps. I gave myself a New Year's deadline to come out to those most important to me, like my family.


Before I flew back this morning I spent sometime with my grandmother, Aunt and lil Cousin. I slept in my cousin's bed, and when I walked in her room the wall was covered by white faces. My lil Black cousin had tons of pictures of White celebrities. My beautiful Black cousin, admired the beauty of those who looked nothing like her, and it really bothered me. This was the first time I had seen her in about 2 years, and she came bouncing up the stairs completely reflecting pop culture, she had her cornrows separated in to two ponytails, and she twirled them around, she had the very typical t shirt with whatever random message written on it, and my all time favorite mini skirt with leggings on. I looked at her and just wondered what was going on with her? I know she's 12 and every 12 year old gives in to pop culture, but this was a bit much for me. I could have overlooked her clothes if it wasn't for her wall. I wonder where is her identity? Did she see beauty in her natural brown skin? Or does she envy the race of orange people created by tanning machines. I was just so disturbed, to find 90% of the pictures of people on her wall to be White, it's not that she just had pictures of a particular White group that she loved, but it seemed like she picked any White celebrity and deemed them worthy to be on her wall, and to emulate. As I was trying to figure out what's going on, I see my Aunt and notice she has grey contacts in her eyes, and then it started to click. I realized that we are all guilty of giving in to White dominance in one way or another, while some of us actively try and work against this, others don't and this gets passed on, and we have children growing up to devalue their own beauty, and unfortunately my lil cousin is another victim. I was just so disturbed by walking in to her room and being greeted by these faces that don't represent my family or the majority of other families, it's disgusting! Because these images aren't only distorting lil Black girls, idea of beauty, but also lil White girls, and lil Latinas, and lil Asian girls and lil Native girls and so on and so on. No one is safe from their distorted image of beauty, but my question is if the parents fall prey to these images also, who will counteract their power?

Monday, September 25, 2006

Crossfire

I'm really feeling this poem right now, you have to go to her site and hear her recite it!


Crossfire
by Staceyann Chin

Am I a feminist
or a womanist
the student needs to know
if I do men occasionally
and primarily am I a lesbian

Tongue twisted in cheek I attempt to respond with honesty-

This business of sexual dykes and dykery
I tell her
is often messy-with social tensions as they are
you never quite know what you're getting
-some girls can only be straight at night
-hardcore butches be wearing dresses
between nine and six during the day
sometimes she is really a he trapped
by the limitations of our imagination-

Primarily
I am concerned about young women
who are raped on college campuses
in cars
after poetry readings like this one
in bars
bruised lip and broken heart
you will forgive her if she does not come
forward with the truth immediately

Everyone will think she asked for it
dressed as she was she must have wanted it

The words will knock about in her head
horny bitch
slut-harlot-tease
loose woman
some people cannot handle a woman on the loose
you know those women in silk-ties and pin-striped shirts
women in blood-red stilettos and short pink skirts
-these women make New York City the most interesting place
and while we're on the subject of diversity
Asia is not one big race
and there is no such country called the Islands
and no-I am not from there

There are a hundred ways
to slip between the cracks
of our not-so-credible cultural assumptions
and other peoples' interpretations of race and religion

Most people are surprised my father is Chinese-like
there's some preconditioned
look for the half-Chinese lesbian poet
who used to be Catholic but now believes in dreams

Let's keep it real
says the boy in the double-X hooded sweatshirt
that blond haired blue eyed Jesus in the Vatican ain't right
that motherfucker was Jewish, not white

Christ was a Middle Eastern Rastaman
who ate grapes in the company of prostitutes
and drank wine more than he drank water
born of the spirit the disciples also loved him in the flesh
but the discourse is on people who clearly identify as gay
or lesbian or straight
the State needs us to be left or right
those in the middle get caught
in the cross-fire away at the other side

If you are not for us you must be against us
People get scared enough they pick a team

Be it for Buddha or for Krishna or for Christ
God is that place between belief and what you name it
I believe holy is what you do
when there is nothing between your actions and the truth

I am afraid to draw your black lines around me
I am not always pale in the middle
I come in too many flavors for one fucking spoon

I am never one thing or the other-
at night I am everything I fear
tears and sorrows
black windows and muffled screams
in the morning I am all I want to be
wild rain and open laughter
bare footprints and invisible seams
always without breath or definition-I claim every dawn
for yesterday is simply what I was
and tomorrow
even that will be gone

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I want to Hug my younger self

I want to hug my younger self. I just pulled out my old journals to just see where I was at, and as I was reading my thoughts from 7 years ago, I realized how far I've come, and how much I just needed a hug. It's funny as I was reading some parts I couldn't even bare to read because they were so embarrassing, I had to skip over all the why did Shaun( the only boyfriend I've ever had, my only relationship period) break up with me parts. But overall I just wanted to give me a hug and say don't worry we're going to be alright. I want to tell my younger self that I'm beautiful and loved. I want to tell myself that all I will find peace and happiness, all I have to do is wait. I began to realize how I didn't realize how beautiful and special I really was. I wish that I hadn't spent so much of my time trying to find my knight in shining armor but instead explore my true self. I was so full of self hatred it was ridiculous, I'm still not so crazy about my body, but I don't feel the way I used to. Through all my fears of coming out to my family and friends I just feel a sense of strength as I realize I feel great, I just downloaded a song by Jason and Demarco, I downloaded their song it is well with my soul and that's how I feel my sexuality is well with my soul! I'm okay being me! It is well with my soul. I just wish that I could go back to when I was 15 and the world was scary and nothing made sense and I just want to reach out and give myself a big hug a real deep hug, I want to hug myself and let me know that it will get better. I just want to reach out to my younger me and give her a great big hug and say Baby it'll be okay!

What would you say to your younger self?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Life on the periphery

Okay so Periphery is my new favorite word; don't ask me why, I just think it's kind of cool.

So on May 20, 2006 I graduated from College, on that day I put an end to my life at my campus that had been my world for four years. In college I created this identity, I created an image of who I wanted to be, who I thought people wanted me to be, and I looked forward to "fitting in". The person I was in college, fit in to my plan of a normal life. My whole entire life I've always kept people at a distance, it wasn't until college that I had found a real best friend, someone who I confided in and trusted. All of my other best friends had been very superficial; I never let them know what was really going on with me. When I was in the third grade, my mother went to California for rehab; I told my best friend nothing. I remember being in so much pain, but I kept silent; I never wanted anyone to know I wanted to be the normal Black American girl. I remember being so plagued by the feeling that there was some part of me that is just not acceptable and can not be revealed. I learned how to play the normal game so well. In the fifth grade Immature was HUGE, all the girls had crushes on them so I picked one Romeo and he was to be my crush. I filled my walls with all of their posters, I learned every fact about them, I did everything that I saw all the white girls on TV do when they had a crush on a group. TV was my guide to a normal life, and that's what I was going to have, I was going to be Stephanie Tanner from full house, or Judy from Family matters (until they kicked her off). When I got a boyfriend in high school, once again I went to TV and friends for a guide or normalcy. I did all the things "normal" teenage girls did, I snuck out of the house, and I snuck kisses to my boyfriend in the hallway of my high school. I had my "be normal" check list and I was working hard to fill it all in, and I never understood why I always felt incomplete. My whole entire 22 years had been spent trying to figure out what normal was and then be it, and that is a very draining/depressing existence.


What is this "normal", and why is it so compelling?
It wasn't until my second semester of my senior year when I finally began to burn out, and simultaneously I began to meet and get closer to people who weren't submitting to the "normal" mold, but they were happy, and while they weren't accepted by everyone they had a strong support system that sustained them, and they were living on the periphery. In these months since I've come out to myself and my best friend, I have found the strength to live on the periphery. This is the best I've felt in a very long time, despite my ups and downs and panic attacks about being ousted from my family and community, I feel whole. I've realized that the way this world is set up there really isn't any room for me in the "normal" world, but I'm okay with that. I don't want any parts of a world in which people are made to feel that they need to fit in to a specific mold. Screw that I'll make a whole new mold and live the way I feel is best. I realize that I'm on the outside, by the way it's assumed that I must like men, the way a guy in my program feels the constant need to ask me if he has a chance with me, the way I must search for movies/books that have characters that reflect me. I got the message I'm not in the heteronormative norm, gotcha. This is the first time in my life that I've been okay with me; I no longer want to be Stephanie Tanner (THANK GOD!).

So here I am living my life stepping further and further away from my "ideal" life, with the Amazing afrocentric, conscious black man, the wedding with the super white dress and all my bridesmaids, the kids, the house, the wonderful church family in my traditional black church, all of it. Now the ideal life has changed it's a lot less restrictive, all I want is to be happy with the woman of my dreams and the support of my immediate family.

So I have one big message to the world that told me I had to be something anything but myself.....

FUCK YOU!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Fire


I finally saw Fire and WoW! absolutely Amazing!! I don't know what else to say just see it!! if you haven't.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

God, Do you hate me?

I've previously written about my faith, I love God with all my heart! I love being a Christian, I love Jesus, but I can't stand Christians sometimes. I feel so torn, my whole entire life when I was and wasn't in the church I always heard one thing in regards to homosexuality, God sees it as an abomination. So when I started to accept the fact that I had feelings for women, that's the first thing that popped in my mind. The night that I finally said to myself I Am a Lesbian, I asked God that night if he hated me. I don't think he does, it just doesn't make sense to me that the God I serve who knew me before I was even born, would hate me because I love women. My feelings for women are not about lust, but love. I love women; I want to spend the rest of my life with a woman. As I have created new dreams of my wedding, it's changed, it's me and the woman I love on a beach in South African surrounded by those that love us. I feel it so deeply and it kills me that I'm seen as a hypocrite because I dare love God and women too. When I was still searching my feelings I saw a documentary on LOGO about Orthodox Jewish Gays and Lesbians, what touched me the most about this documentary was this lesbian couple talking about being afraid that because of the love they shared here on earth, they wouldn't be able to make it to heaven. This documentary perfectly captured my feelings about my sexuality and my faith. I believe that God won't turn me away because of my feelings but I'm not sure, no one really is, and as much as I want to say God won't , I can't be sure. Truth is truth, I can believe all I want but in the end the truth will prevail. This is just so hard!

Today I went to a friend's house for a Taboo party and one of the words was abominable, and the other was a couple and they didn't get it. My friend's boyfriend says to her that she should have said a man and a man together or a woman and a woman are a ___. He was referencing an earlier conversation they had, and it hit me like a bullet in my heart. This is just so hard! I don't know what else to say, I'm hurting real bad right now, it just brought out so many things in me and I don't really know how to handle it.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Questions

Yesterday I was at a party with several other people in my program, and I got to have a very interesting conversation with another student. We were talking about various topics everything from HGTV to hurricane Katrina, and then we began to talk about the environments that we had grown up in. She's white and was talking about how when she grew up she knew only one black person. What impressed me the most was how she spoke of traveling abroad to Ghana, and how excited she was because one of her travel companions allowed her to ask her whatever question she wanted to about Black people. She was like she was nervous because she didn't want to be seen as racist but she had some questions that she really wanted to know. I don't know but this really hit me. I have been in so many situations where I get so upset with white people when they ask me dumb questions about being black. I never get questions like, how do you feel being in a predominantly white environment? I don't get questions about my experience as a black woman in America (very few people know I'm a lesbian so I don't get those questions), I get asked about what do all black people feel? Do I get sun burnt? Personally this pisses me off; I get so tired of having to educate white people about my race. However, talking to her made me slightly reconsider my position on things. As frustrating as it is for me to have to answer these questions I also get tired of having to deal with white people who just don't know certain things about Black people. Am I being unfair? Are they?
Where is the balance? I understand that no one gains knowledge without investigating and asking questions, but that doesn't stop me from getting aggravated. I live a life where so frequently I feel like an animal in the Zoo, so when a White person comes to me and asks me to teach them all about my people I feel further isolated in this society. They make me feel like an alien from another planet. So NO! I don't want to tell you all about my hair and my skin and no I don't want you to touch my locs and ask "How do you get your hair to do that?" I just want to be treated like a human. While I want all of this I also want people to know more about my people, but is it my job to educate them? I understand that many of the questions come out of pure curiosity, but when is enough, enough? Where is the place where the White person won't feel afraid to learn more about people of color and we people of color won't feel like they're the subject of a scientific study?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Update from Grad School

So I've been here for some weeks and I've met some new people finally! I've made some real progress with my sexual identity. I reached a real boiling point earlier this week. I got tired of covering up my tracks so my new friends wouldn't know that I was a lesbian. Very few people are worth my energy. I realized that while I don't need to hide anything from anyone, I also realized that I don't need to make any grand speeches and I don't have to give any grand explanations about my sexuality. So with this new surge of, I don't know what, I brought my book of Black lesbian coming out stories to the office to read in my free time. I knew that if people might wonder, but I figured if they were curious enough they'd ask, and of course some one did. Now I found this next scene particularly funny, and it went something like this

Office guy: What are you reading?

(I show him the book)
OG: (reads) Does your mama know? An anthology of black lesbian coming out stories.
OG: Are you bi? A lesbian?
Me: I'm a lesbian
OG: That's good to know, I would have hit on you and embarrassed myself.
So I have no chance?
Me: nope
OG: none whatsoever
Me: None
OG: None
ME: None!

Ahh people! Anyways today while talking about the upcoming campus celebration of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, I manage to get in to a debate with this guy who during the process calls Oprah and Alice Walker misery pimps for aiding in the demonization (spelling?) of black men, supporting negative images of black men such as being secretly gay (that's a whole nother issue). This guy was a WHOLE HOT MESS! Anyway I'm really grateful for being in this program it seems like this is where I was meant to be, I really think I'm going to be able to grow intellectually as well as personally.
Also I'm ready to start dating, I wanna meet a nice young woman, but I have no idea how! Any suggestions? Also could someone let me in on the secret lesbian handshake/signal to identify yourself so I know whether or not I have a chance or not with a woman I'm currently admiring.

If anyone knows how I can order a print of this photo by South African Artist Zanele Muholi I’d be forever grateful :D

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It finally came just in time! As you can see from my last post the reality of my sexual orientation hit me like a Mack truck. I don't know suddenly I realized how much everything was about to change. I realized that I was going to have to tell my mom that I would never be with a man the way she hoped I would. I realized that I might possible crush my mother's heart, and it scared me. I wanted nothing more to turn back the hands of time and instead of embrace my feelings I wanted to repress them. I was not feeling all that great needless to say, but finally it came.



This is the book that I have been waiting for. I'm only a couple of stories in but every word has spoken to me. I was meant to read this book. I'm kicking myself for not getting it sooner. I didn't realize how much I needed this book until I started reading it. It's absolutely wonderful! Thank God for Lisa C. Moore!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Is this what we're in Iraq for?

Is this what we're in Iraq for?

****link below****

Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm back!! My internet, cable and home phone are finally connected, so I feel like I'm connected to the world. You never realize how addicted to technology you are until you're absent for a week. When I was at school I didn't even watch a lot of TV but now that I couldn't for a week it was torture! It wouldn't have been so bad if I knew anyone in my new city, but it's just me. I did meet someone who has connections to my program and she gave me some really helpful information. I have become weary about the attitude towards LGBT people on my campus after seeing "NO LOGO" written on a building, referring to LOGO recently being added to the cable line up. Overall I'm excited this should be a great new beginning.

I have found some entertaining ways to keep myself occupied, I've been making some interesting observations about the south***(this is just a lighthearted list please don't take this seriously)***

A few ways I know that I'm not in the north anymore:
  1. Pork & Beans have their own label in the supermarket aisle
2. This is the sign I see on the highway
















3. There are signs posted on the buildings reminding you to keep your guns off campus

4. The most popular bumper sticker is W'04

Friday, July 28, 2006

Grad school

AHHH It's about to start, my life it is. I'm leaving tonight to move to the city of my grad school. Tuesday I show up to get everything started with my assistantship. It's really happening, I'm going to be on my own. Grad School ...... WoW I'm actually going to be taking classes all focused on People of African descent, this seems like a dream but I'm excited. So goodbye North and hello South. Any advice for the new grad student?

The school I'm going to is my second choice and my first choice school just took it's time in processing my paper work, so I just forgot about it and moved on I got an amazing assistantship and put my attention on the 2nd choice school. What happens today? I get a letter in the mail from my 1st choice school, I got in! talk about timing, their loss I'm off to the school that was actually on top of paperwork and that wanted me.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

How do you break free?

How do you break free from everyone's conceptions of you?
Through this all that has been my biggest struggle, throughout my whole life people have always had made up in their mind who I was.
"Oh JrnyWmn she's mad cool, she's mad nurturing like a mother no grandmother!"
"She'd never get a tattoo; have a boyfriend, especially not a girlfriend", "a curse word come out of her mouth? NEVER!"
"She's mad afro centric, she's a Christian."
" One day she's gonna find her a nice black, Christian man and have a bunch of kids. "
This is what I've been reduced to, it's not all bad but it's restrictive. In the eyes of my friends I can not have faults. I feel like everything I do is constantly under a microscope. I love being a Christian and my relationship with Christ is a large part of my identity, but that's not all I am. By just labeling me a Christian you don't get the full scope of who I am. I don't curse on a regular basis but sometimes I want to let a curse word fly out and it not be a big deal. My friends have gone so far as to mark it on a calendar when I've cursed. Sometimes I get mad and I want to say FUCK!!! Forgive me I'm human.
At my school I was viewed as a grandmother, my nickname was actually Grams. This has led me to being viewed as an asexual mammy. I am thought to have no sexual desire or identity, being a big girl doesn't help this view either. I care about people, I don't like to see people hurt, but this does not make me everyone's grandmother! At first it was just a nickname, but people really started treating me like a grandmother and it's gotten to the point where I've had enough! I am only 22 years old; I am no where near being anyone's grandmother. I have desires just like everyone else. When I got a tattoo last summer, you would have thought that the world would have came crashing down with the reaction I got.

So now as I am trying to assert myself as an individual, as myself, I find myself hitting a brick wall of people's conceptions of me. This morning I was up looking at tons of Black lesbian sites, and I also had my MySpace up and my facebook, and I felt like I was living two separate lives, I felt like I was two separate people that could never become one, because they were inherently at odds with each other.
Why do people feel the need to hold people in to boxes? I believe that there is a deep fear for the people we love to be anything different than what we know them as. We're afraid of having relationships that constantly evolve and change, we're lazy, and we don't want to put the work in to constantly getting to know our friends as the people they become. There is always that constant need to remind people of who they were.

I sit here and I wonder why I am so afraid of some of my friends finding out that I am a lesbian, friends that I know will be supportive, and I realize that it's because me being a lesbian goes against the image that many people have of me and I am afraid to destroy people's view of me.

I can't really blame my friends, family and acquaintances because it's my fault. I created this mask; I created the person that I was to be viewed as. I constructed this personality, I did not allow people to get close enough to me to see the real me. I only allowed people to see a certain amount of vulnerability, and now it's biting me in my ass.
So now that I have come to this realization, what now? Where do I go from here? How do I break free from people's conceptions of me?

Lauryn Hill says it best in I get out


[Singing Chorus]
But I get out
Oh, I get out of all your boxes
I get out
Oh, you can't hold me in these chains
I'll get out
Oh, I want out of social bondage
Knowin' my condition
Oh, is the reason I must change

[Singing Verse 2]
See, what you see is what you get
Oh, and you ain't seen nothin' yet
Oh, I don't care if you're upset
I could care less if you're upset
See it don't change the truth
And your hurt feeling's no excuse
To keep me in this box
Psychological locks
Repressin' true expression
Cementin' this repression
Promotin' mass deception
So that no one can be healed
I don't respect your system
I won't protect your system
When you talk I don't listen
Oh, let my Father's will be done

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

This is just too much!!

Today is an angry day!! I'm just really angry about everything, I don't know if I'm the only one who gets like that, but I'm a very passionate person. I feel deeply, I'm actually a lot more sensitive than most people realize. So when I hurt, I hurt deeply.
First off WHAT IS GOING ON WITH ISRAEL! All I can say is WHY?!?! Skyscraper and Pomegranate Queen do a much better job than I do expressing their feelings.

I hate my job my last day is the 28th so it's almost over, but I don't know if I can make it to the end. My job is one of the main points of my anger, and hurt. I hurt so much for the children at my job. They all have been through some serious things in their lives and I see them and I hurt for them. There are two girls that I want to inspire, one girl is an excellent swimmer and is focused on her future, she knows that she is meant to do more than what people expect from her, but she gets caught up. I lifeguard and she's a great swimmer, so I always joke with the kids that they should go to the Olympics, but with some serious training she could do it, and when I told her she just said to me "really, you think I can do it?" I told her that she could do it and make a mark on the swimming world, I told her when she won her gold medal she could hold up her flags representing her Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage. She looked as if no one had ever told her she was capable of greatness before and that broke my heart. Then you have this other girl who was adopted by a White woman and Black man, and as she's getting older the parent's biological daughter is getting preferential treatment because she lighter, and her hair is more wavy. I just want to tell her to take pride in the way she looks and to not forget that she is beautiful and black is beautiful.
Finally with my job which leads to a larger problem, is the rampant homophobia, it's sickening. The kids call the more effeminate boys faggot on a regular basis and the staff is silent. They say nothing and I've been trying to stop the kids, but they ignore me and still call the kids names. I don't know how much more I can take, and when it's not the kids it's the staff behind the kids back talking about how nasty the idea of two people of the same sex together is. Again I speak up only to be dismissed. I can't stand it anymore, so I call one oh my good friends, really one of my best friends, and I'm complaining about this all and her reaction breaks my heart. We bonded because we were Christians in college, I have always been more liberal and she always more conservative, and her stance on homosexuality is hard to miss, it's always been a point of contention for us, but today as I spoke with her and explained why I was so bothered by the behavior of the staff and kids at my job, she agreed that their behavior was wrong, but not their opinions. She said "they don't have to respect that lifestyle, I don't and never will" and when she said this I realized that our friendship may very well have an expiration date set, to when she finds out that I'm a lesbian. When that happens, I am going to be crushed, I love her like a sister, we've been through soo much together and she's really been there to support me in a lot of ways and I can't imagine not having her as a friend. However, I am becoming more and more convinced that our friendship will not survive. We went on spring break together along with my best friend and we talked about more trips, but she's one of the main ones that I've been terrified about coming out to I know that she will question every compliment and hug I've ever given her. I know with my head that if someone is not going to support me I should say screw them and move on with my real friends, but I don't know if I can let go of this friendship so easily.

This is just too much!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

The power of the voice

There is power in giving voice to your concerns. For so long I have kept my feelings for women and confusion over my sexual identity to myself. I had decided to bury my feelings and I prayed that they would never surface (clearly that did not work). Even in the past months I sat and worried, stressed over thought and just made myself miserable over the question of my own sexuality. I thought that if I said it out loud, if I said that I want to be with women out loud, it would make it real. I fought so long trying to suppress my feelings; in the process I suppressed me. When I decided to start this blog I felt better I was able to get it out of my head and written down for others to read and know, but I still had not said it. When I talked to my best friend the first time we only got to talk very briefly and I was a ball of nerves. After talking to her briefly I already began to feel better, I had gotten it out, but I still hadn't given adequate voice to my sexuality. I had not let the words linger out in the air; I kept them locked up in solitary confinement. So yesterday my best friend and I finally got to have one of our typical 2 hour conversations, and I said it. I told her about my feelings as a child, I told her about my fear of how my life would change. I told her exactly how I feel and have felt. As the great best friend she is she listened, she encouraged me, she actually told me she likes me as a lesbian lol. I felt support, I just talked and talked and talked, and the more I talked the more comfortable I felt within my own skin. I was reminded of this amazing quote from Audre Lorde's daughter in her essay on the transformation of silence in language and action, she says

"Tell them about how you're never really whole person if you remain silent, because there is always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don't speak it out one day it will just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside."

I think that's so true, there is something to be said to actually using your vocal cords and saying out loud the thoughts that you have held deep within in you, instantly there is a release of pressure that has been weighing you down, you can begin to experience life without that nagging feeling in the pit of your stomach. I have spent so much of my life keeping my thoughts and feelings buried deep within my soul and praying that they would never see the light of day, but now I have come to realize that I have to say them, I need to let them be free. Does this mean that I'm going to go around telling all of my personal thoughts and feelings to every person I see? No, but I will speak them at least to my best friend, because the great feeling that I felt last night in just verbalizing my innermost thoughts was one of the most liberating experiences I have ever had in my life.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Insomniac thoughts

It's almost 3 am I have to be up for work in a few hours and I'm wide awake. As I was trying to get some sleep thoughts just kept running through my head. I keep thinking about two subjects in particular, 1. How will my family react when I come out to them? And 2. What about my wedding! I've gone through the mental list of my family members and I've already predicted how some of them will react. My mom I think will most definitely freak out at first, but I'm pretty sure she'll come around. My Aunts and Uncles well that's another story, like many of my family members lived the wild life when they were younger and since then have found purpose, meaning and stability in their lives in God. I think it's great, but unfortunately finding God has meant insanity for some of my family members two of my aunts in particular. They've become fanatical, one of my aunts said that her grandson was a demon because he wasn't circumcised, yeah I know crazy. This is also the same aunt who is so against secular music that she beat my sisters Source magazine with her shoe as she yelled about it being possessed. My other Aunt is less crazy but what she lacks in insanity she makes up with conservativism. I'm going to go out on a limb and say these Aunts who I love dearly will surely say that I've been possessed, and am going straight to hell. All in All I think my mom's side will be okay with it, with the exception of my two Aunts. However, my father is straight out of the West Indies, and his side is ultra conservative, there was a HUGE controversy when my unmarried thirty year old aunt became pregnant. I know that when they find out then I'm a lesbian, well it's not going to be pretty. This makes me nervous I love my family even my father (who I have so many issues with it's not funny) and I don't want to be separated from them.
When I was wrestling with my realization what was hardest for me was dealing with my wedding. Since I was younger I've always wanted a big wedding, it was going to great huge bridal party, amazing food, location and just a great time for all my family and friends to come and celebrate with me. What is most important for me is that I wanted all of the people I love and care about there with me, and if I don't have family members there I want it to be because I didn't invite them not because they are protesting my wedding. Because like it or not I AM HAVING A WEDDING, and I don't care what George W. Bush has to say about it.
I don't know when I'm going to tell my family or the rest of my friends for that matter, I've told my best friend and for now that's good enough for me. Is it weird that I'm nervous about coming out to my lesbian friends? I hang around a fairly liberal and accept crowd, but I'm still soo nervous. I wish there was a handbook Living The Lesbian Life, I know that there is no guide, this is my life and it is up to me to decide how I will live it. You can't blame a girl for wishing can ya? I guess only time will tell how things will unfold and now it's time for me to rest my brain from all this thinking.

“I remember how being young and black and gay and lonely felt. A lot of it was fine, feeling I had the truth and the light and the key, but a lot of it was purely hell.” ~Audre Lorde