Friday, July 27, 2007

thoughts before bed

I'm so tired, so this is going to be a short post, but I've been having some amazing experiences in the past couple of days. I didn't get to adequately say how much I loved Tobago, it was beautiful and I'll never forget it. I feel like I've been focusing so much on the negatives that I've been experiencing here that I've haven't talked about the good times I'm having. The Old time wedding in Tobago was great. I love how the culture has been maintained here. Obviously things have changed but I feel like they're so much more connected here than we are in the US. Tonight was a perfect example, it was the opening ceremony for the emancipation celebration. Just seeing the people of all ages join in and celebrate our history and triumphs was beautiful.

Last night all the students from my program had dinner at our professor's house and we got to mingle with other faculty. I met this amazing woman from the Women's Studies program here and she blew my mind. I intend on writing a more full post about her later, but she just inspired me and reminded me that Women of Color are feminists too and have been for just as long as white women. Well I can barely hold my eyes open, but on some more good news I've been able to pick up a fleeting signal on my laptop and have been able to get some of the cites that have been censored! So I'm feeling good!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

These words won't do any justice

I've been working on this post all weekend, going over and over in my mind how I could convey in words what I'm feeling. I am in a beautiful country and having the best and worst time ever! I love it here because I have really gotten a chance to commune with nature. I've swam with the fish, swam in the middle of the ocean hung out in a waterfall and lounged on a clear beach. I've fallen in love with the people of this country and have enjoyed this short respite from the continued presence of white privilege over me. However, I have had about enough of feeling alien because I love women.

After a near perfect day of the ocean and other cultural activities we go out and what do we hear but a song about how evil homosexuality is. Its bad enough that the song is playing but the majority of the club join in on the chorus that calls for violence against gays. At this moment I stand there amongst friends and just watch as they dance completely oblivious to the hate coming out of the speakers. I never felt more alone before. Later when I bring it up they do their best to try and understand and sympathize but they can't, because they just don't get it. Flash forward to today as I sit in class and hear our Professor talk about how many Calypso singers find homosexuality funny, and then he goes on and discusses how the idea of a Gay minister of govt is foreign to them, but not as foreign as other countries. He was only half trying to not seem completely biased and disgusted, but it was there. Then after class I have to defend all LGBT people to one of my classmates as he tries to argue that its understandable why people are homophobic and ignore LGBT people. At this point I had to fight back the urge to scream, cry and just run away from this all. This is all too much to handle at sometimes.

I want to hold on to my people and this country so tight, but I can only do this if I deny who I am. I find myself now in a bind, do I continue to blend? Or do I make a stand? Do I even have the agency and authority to make such a bold stand? Where is my safe place? Where is my place where I can go to get rejuvenated? How do I explain something that I can't even put in words to people who claim to be my friends here? Is it even worth it? These are all the questions that are constantly running through my head. I'm just at a point where I don't know where to go from here.

One of the few LGBT sites that isn't blocked is Jasmyne Cannick's blog, and while I don't agree with everything she says all the time, I do get a lot of useful information from here. She just posted this article from a local newspaper and a gay man was talking about how he doesn't have his rights, and all the ways that Trinidad and Tobago should improve in terms of its relations with LGBT people. This article let me know that by being a lesbian and not from here it is illegal for me to be here. Elton John had to get a special license to come and perform. I am absolutely astonished. I want to cling to the people here so bad because I feel like we are so similar, but I can't because I refuse to deny who I am.

Friday, July 20, 2007

My new favorite animal

Last night I saw the most amazing thing, I got a chance to see leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs. It was amazing. I felt slightly intrusive, you know basically watching a woman give birth, but it was beautiful. They only come to a few beaches in the world and this beach in Trinidad happens to be one of them. Our guide was amazing he was truly passionate about the beach and the turtles. it took us forever to get there and when we started getting close to the beach we had to go through this unpaved road through the woods just to get to the beach. The beach and the area around it are protected by the government. So once we get to the beach we are told that we can not take pictures until the specified moment. There can be no light, because it will disturb the turtles. They did a test last year and it found that they can't see red so when light is needed our guide has this red light. I'm not gonna lie I was scared, because the water was so close and it wasn't swimmable water it was very dangerous.

So we're standing there and then all of a sudden we see two huge black spots coming out of the water and we're told that those are the turtles. I'm thinking that it can't be because the spots are huge it looks like a rock. Once the turtle has begun to create a nest we go over, and its the biggest thing I've ever seen. Her back fins search the sand for a right temperature and then she digs deep and lays her eggs, while she's laying her eggs she enters a trance like state and we can take pictures because the light will no longer disturb her. We even got to touch her very lightly of course, and she really felt like leather, very smooth leather. It was amazing to see this and to see all the wonderful things the organization is doing. They've successfully blocked a hotel from building on the beach, and have literally fist fought people trying to steal, hurt or harm the turtles. Now it is one of the most protected beaches for these turtles they have hundreds of turtles come there during the season to nest. Besides from seeing the Mama turtle lay her eggs the best thing was seeing the baby turtles on head out to the sea, and they will come back to this very beach when its their turn to lay eggs. What I also loved, is that she's a free independent turtle. When they've tried to raise them in captivity they've committed suicide because they just can't be locked in. The leatherback sea turtle is definitely my new favorite Animal!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My life is Censored

I just read a very moving post over at Brownfemipower's site, taken in part from Sokari. My intention was to go over there and continue reading over at Black Looks, but when I clicked the link I found myself redirected to the University's website when I looked at the web address I saw something that made me so mad. It said "Adult lifestyle filtering". I'm sitting here absolutely puzzled as to why? I know why but that still doesn't answer the larger question of why is it that just living and breathing and being who God made us to be is seen as lewd and indecent. While here in Trinidad I tried to go to a few of my regular blogs that I read Vegankid, Sly Civilian and those two were also filtered. Its just something else that reminds me of where I'm at. So far I've loved my time here today I ate "Bake & Shark" which was delicious! I've also been just shocked looking around and seeing people of color every where, running things. The only white people I've seen have been tourists. Its been a weird and slightly delightful feeling being surrounded by all People of Color. But, then something like this happens and it reminds me that as a community we still need to deal with homophobia that is ever present in our community. I don't get why when people say Gay or Lesbian or Homosexual they whisper, especially in front of kids. I have a friend who was in a relationship with a woman for 6 months and whenever she talks about that relationship she whispers, despite the fact that she said that she is not opposed to being in another relationship with a woman.

This and in light of the post about the Black Lesbian who was tortured in South Africa just reinforces the fact that something needs to change. My online friend that I'm constantly talking to and I always talk about starting our own country or land where women of Color are safe. It would be secluded and all Women of Color and some allies, we're joking but sometimes I wish that it was a real place. I'm tired of being censored, not talking about my life in certain situations to certain people and even having to be secretive here in Trinidad, where as I type this I worry about if anyone is looking over at my computer and knows that I'm a lesbian, and what will happen if they find out. I worry about some of my travel mates who don't know that I'm a lesbian and how they will react especially the women. I'm constantly making sure that I don't make any other woman feel uncomfortable by being too close, or complimenting her in a way that she may feel like I'm hitting on her. I'm tired of censoring my life. I'm ready to get away to that safe land.

update: Vegankid I was able to see you site briefly before it blocked me again...maybe a tiny glimmer of hope, or their filter system sucks

Friday, July 13, 2007

Live From Trinidad!

Hey All I didn't think that I would be posting so soon, but we're still in the orientation phase of the trip so we have some free time. I'm experiencing something here that I haven't yet experienced, being closeted when I'm open about my sexuality. This country isn't like Jamaica where I would fear for my life for being a Lesbian, but its strongly frowned upon. One of my lesbian friends who came here last year had some interesting experiences that just made me aware that I needed to be more careful with disclosing my sexuality. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to deal with some homophobic travel mates. Its weird being here and not having my support system with me. The people who I'm definitely realizing that I depend on heavily for support, even my Internet flirt buddy, who as I think about may be more interested in being more friends. Mainly because I'm here now and I miss her, I want to talk to her but I can't. I just sent her a tipsy email a while back when I was well tipsy. I'm enjoying myself overall there are seriously some gorgeous women here, but a las no hopes of making any moves.

I hate coming out, the whole hey everyone I'm a lesbian any questions? But, I realize that I'm going to have to do so and maybe that will give me at least the courtesy of not having to hear homophobic statements.... hopefully. Again I love Trinidad it's a beautiful place and the weather is gorgeous I just miss some people.

Ohh and a Big Happy Birthday Goes out to my Best Friend! Who has finally joined the 23 club! Don't tell her but I kind of miss her a whole lot, but SHHHHH! LOL

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Trinidad Here I come!!!

Tomorrow morning I will be on my way to the beautiful Islands of Trinidad and Tobago!!!
I'm gonna be gone for 3 weeks for a Study Abroad, but I'll have internet access so I may be able to update occasionally. But it'll be a little slow for a while. See you all when I get back!!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Friday, July 06, 2007

I'm not as radical as I thought

You Are 56% Politically Radical

You've got some radical viewpoints, but you aren't completely nuts. You're more of a visionary than a radical.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Damn she's beautiful

This picture of the lovely America Ferrera was up at After Ellen and wow she's beautiful!! Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

on my mind...

So my dear friends in blog world I got a girl on my mind. Yes yes I know, its so unlike me to be thinking about women ;-) This girl is a friend of a friend who lives about 5 hours from me, and I've been talking to her everyday for several hours online, for about 3 weeks. We've both been out for about 1 year, we both care deeply about oppressed people and also come from religious backgrounds. We just really vibe! I really can't explain it any other way than we just vibe together. I really enjoy talking to her, and we flirt like crazy, I'm not gonna lie its pretty obvious. So while this may sound all well and good I'm not sure what I want from her or this whatever it is. This post is pretty pointless but its about 3 am she got offline early and I'm thinking about her. This is so frustrating, because like I said in a previous post we both are shy when it comes to romance, so neither one of us has said explicitly that we like each other, but I'm fairly confident that she likes me. My best friend told me to just ride it out, which I intend to but I'm obsessing over it now. I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place because I don't know if I want a relationship with her at this point in my life, but I'm growing frustrated with just riding it out.

“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