omg i don’t really blog anymore, you guys…

but if i do, catch me at hiphopisforlovers.com

or the guest posts i did at feministe.us/blog

pow!

A Mind Dump: Hetero Men, Ending My Gaycation, and What If He Wants to Watch?

(I know I pretty much never write here any longer. Consider this my return.)

I have a lot of moments of sheer brilliance while in the bathroom. Don’t we all? In the shower yesterday, washing my baby fro, I thought about what happens when a heterosexual man tells me “lesbians are cool,” or something similar. As if being a lesbian (cisgender specifically, as trans* identified lesbians are often not on the straight dude’s radar) is somehow a pair of sneakers or a hoodie or some fucked up slogan tee shirt. Like someone’s identity can be or is trendy. Not a good look, straight dude(s).

Of course, these conversations have been had plenty times: male gaze, blah blah blah, I’m a person and not a fantasy, etc. But it’s pulling at me specifically because I am a queer identified (pansexuals, stand up!) woman who’s been seriously considering ending a self-imposed gaycation. That is, I stopped dating hetero men for a while — because I often found myself being stressed out by the dynamics of navigating these dealings outside of a fuck buddy relationship. I often found myself chirping up to defend and explain queer folks, queer culture, etc. It became exhausting. I chose to take a step back. Maybe I was too sensitive. Maybe it felt like too much work. “You can’t make everybody get it,” I’d tell myself. It was/ is true. Everyone isn’t gonna recognize their privileged thinking and or behavior. Everyone isn’t gonna stand down long enough to understand that intent doesn’t make oppressive behavior any less oppressive.

So, here I am, thinking maybe I can take another swing at dating straight men. And then the alarm bells go off in my head: BUT THEY’RE GONNA FETISHIZE YOOOOOU! Because some folks don’t get the complexities of queer identities. Because some folks (straight and gay alike!) still think bisexualiy is the place you go before you’re “just all the way” gay or something. I’ve basically given myself an unreasonable amount of around feeling safe when entering the dating world.

I decided that, instead of building my angst, I should identify what’s bothering me, and see if I can’t navigate it on my own. Here are my concerns, in no order of importance:

  • I am queer, and automatically perceived as a threat to any/ every heterosexual man’s sexuality.
  • I have to explain myself, and maybe even justify my existence to somebody.
  • If he asks to watch me have sex w/ another woman, what do I say?
  • I can’t bring these motherfuckers around my queer friends, I’ll feel like a traitor/ asshole/ saboteur if I do. I can’t prove that someone’s an ally, or that they are “okay” or cool.

I had to stop myself. Where was all this coming from? The short answer: kyriarchy.  The long answer: what I’ve lived through, what I’ve seen happen with other folks, what folks have told me about their lives. Because many USians are socialized to regard the experiences/ viewpoints of white hetero able bodied men as the norm, any single person who does not fall in line is considered “other,” right? So I’m black, fat, queer, and not interested in centering a worldview that counts me as less important. There’s friction. And I’m not afraid of friction. I just don’t know if I want to be The One Who Teaches You Better.

That is, I have made it a point to build a community of loving, affirmative folks around myself. Folks to whom I don’t need to explain my queerness, or answer questions like, “Why would you date a woman who dresses like a man, instead of an actual man?” or “What do you mean ‘self-defined woman’?” I’m tired of that. That’s the world I live in any damn way. I feel like I deserve sanctuary in my interpersonal relationships.

So I guess it could be argued that I ain’t for everybody. And I know I’m not. It would seem, though, that the thing that most sticks in my craw: what I do in bed w/ another consenting adult — regardless of gender identity — isn’t for anyone but the two of us. It’s not for anyone else’s enjoyment, not for anyone else’s pleasure, unless we make it that way. Further, the idea that anyone should watch two cis women fucking suggests specifically that the relationship between these two cisgender women is sexual only. That there is no romance. That emotional intimacy can only take place in a relationship in a cis hetero relationship. Not true. I mean, I know that. But why do I HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE THIS?

Ugh. More later. I’ve been at this an hour already and have somewhere to be.

a few quick notes about no wedding, no womb

i wrote it on tumblr, but for those of you who don’t read me there, i thought it’d be a good idea to share my beliefs on this quote-unquote movement here. (google the whole thing, i’m not giving them any linkage)

because i tweeted it but didn’t blog it:

the whole quote-unquote movement is gender essentialist. point blank. period.

the finger wagging and shaming aside, this initiative seeks to push all MAAB (male assigned at birth) and FAAB (female assigned at birth) persons to marry one another, regardless of being self-identified as trans, or being gay or lesbian self-identified.

because of the illegality, in most states, of what’s called same-sex marriage, this initiative cannot include cisgender gay, lesbian, or bisexual (or pan or omnisexual) ppl or any trans-identified people. by its own definition, no less.

monogamy is not the default setting for all humans. it is a choice. compulsory monogamy and heterosexuality encroach on the rights of an individual to do what they wish with their bodies.

furthermore, there has been little to no discussion by the NWNW folks regarding causations of single parenthood & correlations between single motherhood & the catastrophic outcomes they seem to think are rampant in the black community.

encouraging anyone to marry for the sake of a child is dangerous. ask any one of my friends who has lived through a domestic violence situation, either as the scarred child or as the abused spouse.

& if i say shit else about this, it’ll be because someone on team finger wag has come at my neck w/ some bullshit.

to no one in particular:

(from my tumblr)

fear is what keeps your reflexes razor-sharp when there’s danger about. in case of fire, alligator, beehive attack, or hailstorm, you need fear. it’ll kinda clear your mind of the bullshit that doesn’t count.

fear is not for everyday stuff like going to the grocery store, calling your bank, smiling at someone you think is attractive, or even getting out of bed to go shower.

if you’re paralyzed by fears that you recognize as abnormal compared to your usual stuff-to-be-afraid-of (stingray fear is not the same as fear of answering the door for the UPS guy), please reach out & get yourself some support. talk to someone you trust. talk to someone who works in a supportive capacity for folks who need to be directed towards help. please, please, please, PLEASE do not let it swallow you up.

this has been yet another “i’ve been there, please don’t do it to yourself” production.

peace to the brokenhearted.

it’s hot.

i said i was gonna blog more here. it hasn’t happened.
but i have a purty new theme!
& i finally started working on my links page.

i’m in flux.
my life is changing.
i am evolving, etc.

in other news: my food blog will go live soon, as a dot-net. and that means everyone can get them a piece of the dream.
or something.
i’m rambling.
crushes still suck.
if you know where i am, find me on tumblr.

crushes suck.

so do broken laptops.
but i added wordpress to my blackberry, so… y’all can prepare for some intensive blogging foolishness.

too caffeinated to sleep

& i don’t want to blog.
i feel like ppl are reading this blog who have no idea what it means (meant?) to me when i most need(ed) an outlet.
i feel like i’m censoring myself,
silencing myself so i don’t step on anyone’s hypersensitive, bitchmade, i’m-gonna-cry-wolf toes.
well.
that most certainly felt better than holding it in. there, i’ve said it: there are folks who subscribe to rss feeds of this very slice of interwebs who’d rather pick fights than love themselves
who’d rather assume the mantle of victimhood than fashion themselves into survivors
& who always think someone’s out to fucking get them simply by disagreeing w/ them. stupid, i know.
& even more stupid: i let that shit hold me back.
so.
gloves are off.
sensitive thugs, y’all all need hugs.
but don’t come the fuck over here with it.
yay, i made a cryptic blog post. fiqah, are you happy now? :-P it’s a post. it is. even if it’s only significant to ME. bit by bit, i’m coming back.

on hiatus until further notice!

i’m moving to another city.
it’s holiday season and i’m too busy hating my family’s guts to blog about anything.
i don’t really wanna blog that much.
i have blog anxiety. again.
& finally: i’m working on a new series of posts w/ a close friend of mine. we’re gonna blow the roof off these interwebs. those posts will mark the end of my hiatus. :)
(please note that full moon gratitude WILL be on schedule)

peace, be still.

as i sort things out during this latest phase of my life, i find it necessary to take steps back from certain things. the blog seems to always be the thing that suffers. i’m working on that not being the case.
i’ve been doing a lot of reflecting that doesn’t necessarily involve this blog. that’s good for me, not-so-good if you read my blog regularly and want to know what’s going on w/ me. i’m . . . here. not blogging regularly. it happens.
i’ll be back.
renewed.
refreshed.
revived.
more intersted in writing here. one day.

i contain multitudes. (affirmations/ mantras)

i believe in the infinity of myself.
i am never alone.
i am love and i am loved.
my steps are ordered.
i belong to no one but myself.
i am light; i attract light.
peace of mind is my birthright.
my gifts are mine & mine alone; no one can take them from me.
my timing is the right timing for me and my affairs.

baby makes me.

i got this from the lovely tiona via facebook. check it:

PLEASE POST ON YOUR BLOGS, SITES, LISTS etc. Help us reach the folks we need.

Many of you have already heard about our film, Baby Makes me. For you, this is an update. But for the folks who have not heard Tiona and I are making a documentary together.

For years, I have wanted to become a mother. But the timing has never been quite right. Either my partners weren’t ready, or I was scared, or I couldn’t find a donor or something. There was always something. By the time I rolled into 35, I was tired of being afraid, tired of waiting for the right woman with whom it would be the right time, tired of watching every Christmas roll over another Birthday, tired of watching my peers get knocked up and months later appear with the most amazing little bundle of potential—I was tired of waiting and ready to make the leap, and I was ready to make it alone.

I began the research with great heart—only to discover that there were little no resources for women who either wanted to, or had to embark on the journey of motherhood in the solo. There were one or two essays and a few books on artificial insemination, and some were even directed at lesbians—but most, if not all assumed that the mother would be operating from inside of a partnership, be that partnership heterosexual or homosexual.

The idea for the film came out of a conversation with Tiona to film the pregnancy/labor, assuming that there would be one—because no one, least of all me, knows if my body will cooperate in doing such a thing as conceiving. I envisioned Tiona asking a couple of heartfelt questions and spinning the light to create a high-end home-movie I could show my child at eighteen. She agreed and we began to flesh out some ideas. That conversation, coupled with the lack of resource material out there spurred the project now known as Baby Makes Me.

Baby Makes Me, a feature-length documentary, will explore the challenges and triumphs of Single Motherhood, particularly in the lives of women of color, lesbians and women who make a conscious choice to be mothers in the absence of intimate/romantic partnerships with men.

The film will use as its narrative skeleton, the journey of activist/writer/performer, Staceyann Chin, as she navigates her personal choices with reference to motherhood. Author of the memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, Chin now brings her talents to the medium of film as writer and Executive Producer.

The Director, Tiona McClodden, is a champion of promoting positive images of women in media. Her last film, “Black./womyn.:conversations…”, garnered much respect in both accolades and awards. She now brings her attention to the issue of women and motherhood.

It is our intent to interview a series of women from all the demographic cross-sections. Issues of financial, ethical, medical, cultural, and political relevance will be fore-grounded. We hope that clinics, hospitals, families, children of Black lesbians, straight Black women who want children, mothers of gay women who lament the loss of grandchildren when they discover their daughters are gay, and anybody who seeks to have a clearer picture of the family that includes gay women will see that our lives go on, that women who are single, be they lesbian, or Black or poor, can and do have babies, and that we are simply another group of people who live and laugh and grow. We hope to paint the subjects in the film as human and likable characters who, though they are dealing with slightly different challenges than the women we traditionally see as mothers, are not very different from any other group of people considering parenthood.

We are going to need all the help we can get. We need help in reaching out to folks who would like to be interviewed; other single mothers, women who have been inseminated, women who are thinking about it, women who work in the medical field, women who work in the administrative world of policy etc. We are on the hunt for the all the voices that could represent our story in the film.

We have recently been awarded a grant from ASTREA Lesbian Foundation for Justice and are set to move forward. We write to you now, in the hope that you will want to be involved in this groundbreaking project in whatever capacity you choose: we need space to host fundraisers and screening and other events connected to the film. We need people to fundraise, to promote the film, to host community talks, to suggest topics for discussion in the film—we need to secure additional investors, we need the help of people who are experts in the business of making films, and we need the counter-perspective of people who have never made a film. We are hoping to make this a community effort; from start to finish we want the ideas to be representative of the various factions in our diverse village of the women who mother our children. If you are sure you are unable to do any of the above, we only ask that you make room for our fliers, questionnaires, invitations, and other promotional materials for the film.

We would be honored if you would join us as we attempt to break more ceilings, level more walls to make room those of us who are too frequently left out of the history and imagination of the world we live in. We look forward to a spirited journey with you, from the opening shot to the ending credits—complete with your name listed among the most stalwart of our supporters.

Thanks again to the women who have already offered assistance. We look forward to your being a part of our process.

Staceyann Chin
Executive Producer/Writer, “Baby Makes Me”
Tiona McClodden
Director/Producer, “Baby Makes Me”

Please send all inquiries and requests to: babymakesme@gmail.com

help a sista out.

this post is not about me, but some women who need my/ your help: donna, angeline, and tatjiana.

the best words about donna’s situation come directly from her (link here), but also joan’s post is excellent and sums up most of my feelings.  as far as i know, nobody’s heard from her. i’ve been praying and holding her in my heart, above all. i ask you all to do the same, or more if possible.

also: a child in the DC area is missing.  i’ve seen posts on speak up and raven’s eye.

in NYC, a sista named angeline’s daughter has been taken from her. info here. do what you can; show up, show out, SPEAK up, and SPEAK out.

silence does not protect anyone.

the hierarchy of food.

i used to be a vegetarian. or, i should say, a pescetarian. i didn’t eat birds, cows, lambs, sheep, deer, or pigs. i ate lots of vegetables, lots of meat substitutes, etc. i drank lots of water. i thought i was healthier than meat eaters to some extent, but i was largely a veggie because i was disgusted by the idea of consuming flesh. it wasn’t that big of a deal to me. i went back to meat, cuz i love chick-fil-a.
i never really thought much about it, until sometime in 2006 when i became a vegetarian more or less by default. i couldn’t afford meat. and i didn’t like to cook it, then eat it. so, i very rarely prepared meat at home — i’d have pre-cooked, or somewhat processed (lots of stuff from trader joe’s, maybe a cheesesteak from a local spot) meat items. but one day, i started getting really sick. i was diagnosed with IBS and though there’s no real treatment for it, i did what i could to lessen its symptoms and impact. less stress, etc. but it got worse, especially when i finally returned to ‘regular’ food.

about 6 months after my first visits to the GI doctor, it really started to click: i ate a handful of pretzels. i was sick for two days and had hives on my arms. the pretzels contained wheat and soy. i assumed it was wheat, though i’d long ago suspected that soy was giving me lots of womb issues. so, bit by bit i had to eliminate things in my house. no more faux-meats (except for quorn products, which are often gluten free and soy free but not always vegan), no more bread, pasta, etc. i had to stop eating a lot of different prepared foods, as they almost always contained soy. soy lecithin, soybean oil, vegetable oil . . . the list goes on and on. i had to change how i ate. when i was broke, the cheapest things to eat were always pasta and baked tofu & veggies with some discounted tomatoes made into a sauce. i had to change that. i had to eat rice noodles. i had to use mushrooms, squash & zucchini when i prepared my ‘broke bitch’ food. i was cool with that. less food prep was involved, etc.  but the more i thought about it, the more frazzled i became.  why? because the things i could eat were very limited.  if i were hungry and on the go, i had to pray that i’d find something that didn’t involve eggs, soy, wheat, or dairy. because, of course, when you eat one fucked up thing there’s always another two or three or ten lurking behind. i am allergic to fish. i don’t eat eggs, because they make my stomach hurt (but i’ll eat something with egg as an ingredient, i.e. a gluten- and soy-free cake that has egg in it).  and so on.  i had to describe myself at one point as a vegan meat eater — that is, when i felt comfortable with my food restrictions enough to eat what i could, instead of what was available.  sometimes, the foods that i am most allergic to are the least expensive (see: ramen noodles — not that i ever ate them regularly — and lunchmeat & bread), depending on where i am (i live within walking distance of two supermarkets where i’m able to get what i need).  i wondered how this impacts folks who don’t have the same resources i do.  what if i come to a place in life where i no longer have those resources? and what’s caused these reactions? am i “lesser” for not choosing to be a locavore, vegetarian or vegan?

i don’t argue w/ the veggies/ vegans anymore on the animal cruelty tip. my reasoning is very simple. being who you are, in this country, in this place, in those clothes, etc. means you are dominating someone else on this planet. whether it’s a fellow citizen or a sweatshop worker, a child laborer, a kidnapped female sex worker, or war prisoner, you dominate with everything you do. if you desire to advocate for the lives of farm animals instead of human beings, i can’t stop you. but understand that it’s all connected. industrial farms are no different than puppy mills, no different than the factories that employ the people who make the nikes, et cetera. yes. i know this. but if you’ve never been allergic to fish, soy, eggs, milk, and wheat (possibly all gluten, including oatmeal), i don’t think you have room to talk shit about how someone chooses to get their protein. my sister, for instance, is allergic to mushrooms, tomatoes, soy, fish, eggs, dairy and onions, but can eat wheat.  tell her she needs to be a veggie, and she’ll laugh in your face. it’s her choice (as well as it is mine, and my mom’s, and anyone else’s) to get her protein from lean meats from locally raised animals, if from local farms at all. shit.   usually, people take care of themselves, the best way they know how and are able to.  we have to be equipped to do these things, right? 

** sort-of sidebar: animal cruelty is reflective of larger and deeply-rooted societal issues, in my opinion. how many ‘famous’ murderers first practiced on animals? how many people who are ill equipped to adequately deal with their own emotional shit pick on defenseless, smaller, or supposedly subordinate beings?  isn’t destructiveness of what can be broken down usually the result of a feeling of disenfranchisement elsewhere in one’s existence? wouldn’t that help to explain why dog fighting is so popular in working class communites and communities of color? **

so i’m saying, it’s taken me close to 12 hours to write this blog post.  and i don’t feel any closer to a conclusion.  i feel like choosing to be a vegetarian or vegan or locavore as a means of protesting big business farms/ food distro is a great idea. it is impactful when part of a bigger organizing.  i feel that by itself,  it falls short in some ways. no method is perfect. i also feel that it is classist, or at the very least excludes persons whose resources are severely limited. it is no secret that, in this country, the ‘healthier’ food options available to us are often more costly than the ‘regular’ food options. what do you do when you make “too much” for food stamps? what do you do when that $8 worth of antibiotic-free, free range, hormone-free, vegetarian-fed chicken is not enough for you alone to eat for more than two meals? i don’t know. i suppose it’s the same thing as understanding and implementing environmental justice instead of simply ‘going green’ in the hood.  you kinda have to see the bigger picture in order to even come close to knowing what your work is going to do.

and on another note, you can’t tell people how to live the best life for themselves without knowing intimately what their situation is. i’ll never forget the sideways look i got from someone for talking about how good bacon is. at one time, i didn’t eat pork or red meat because i was so thirsty for an identity i thought that super bohemian afro queen of the universe might suit me — and what better place to begin than with my food choices?  it failed. because i wasn’t coming from a place of my own understanding, but instead doing something that i thought would ally me with other folks.  i’m older, wiser, more traveled, and a lot more mellow.  i come back to the same thing i’ve said repeatedly to folks about my life: what’s right for you is not always — and sometimes never — right for another person.  we do not have the space to judge. we have the space to be ourselves, and live our best lives. and if we are truly concerned with that, picking on someone for eating meat (or not eating meat, or being homosexual, or being trans, or being a person with a disability, or WHATEVER) isn’t going to fucking matter.

i love | i need | i want

it’s kind of been forever since my last post like this. so, here i am.  something i love, something i need, something i want.  heeere we go:

love:

like, yum. seriously.

like, yum. seriously.

indian food. channa, dal, basmati rice (with cumin!), chicken tikka masala, tandoori naan, roti, pakoras, samosas . . . dude. dude. DUDE. chicken vindaloo? biryani? i can’t live without the stuff. it’s going to be my undoing someday. especially with two indian restaurants within a 5 minute walk of my place.

need:
(there is no photograph to illustrate what i need.)

a particular itch scratched. i need some really good, gold foil, can’t speak in coherent sentences afterwards, sweating like a preacher during tent revival, let me make you meals between sessions sex. the kind that makes my neighbors think something real crazy is going on in my apartment, cuz all they hear is grownup noises & all they smell is bacon & waffles & shit being made. it’s so crucial. my toys cannot keep up. sending telepathic beams to the object of my desire right now. i need you to work me out again, sweets. like, over the course of 24 hours. please?

want:

(it seems that wordpress is being a ho about photo links right now. maybe i just need to go the fuck to sleep?)

a custom made dress from fly tie. somewhere between this maxi dress & this hooded dress.  really.  her blog is ill (see the first link), but her shop will take your breath away!

she’s a real sweet gal. you should check her out.

before you go getting all tight . . .

know this:

my home internet service has been canceled due to lack of funds.

my laptop is sometimey. you remember having that ol janky wall-unit phone in your house (mine was in the kitchen) that would shut off if you moved too far in any direction? well, that’s what goes on with my laptop. the cord just isn’t stable. so, combine my need for internet with my laptop’s apparent jankiness and you have a bit of a mess. oh, well.

i’m not really in a writing mood. i’m in a doing mood. so i’ve been doing stuff. i will update this blog in a real way sooner or later.

in the meantime, i’m workin on some special projects and will be back from my summer blog vacation soon.

the radio’s been playin the same song all day long

 either you’re afraid of this big bad enconomy or you’re oblivious to it.

i’m neither.

let’s go.

i don’t know how to take this.

dear citizens of philadelphia:

i want us to do better. period. 
dear philadelphia police department:
remember that the stop snitching mentality is yours, too — only yours applies to your FOP brethren. you’re not fooling anyone.

i am sean bell.

i got this video from jo, via a post at dawson’s ink. i give thanks for stacey muhammad’s project. i’m really quite speechless. teach the babies. save them. save us. & please share this video. peace.

this is a place-holder.

because i don’t feel like importing from blogger.
i don’t feel familiar-enough with wordpress to even do any fly shit.
so i’m hanging out, waiting for inspiration to strike
or at least until i get sick of switching between the two.

because i’m in a pep-talky mood.

jill scott, “sweet justice”

probably my favorite jill song. good for those days when you really do need to get your ass up & out, when you really need to motivate yourself, when it seems like whatever you’re doing is going to kill you instead of making you stronger, etc.

sweet justice
climb the mountain
though your hands may be weary
swim the ocean
though your legs may be tired
run the extra mile
though your stride may be worn down
fight, fight, fight, fight
never surrender

sweet justice

many sides to the same face
searching, wanting their hour
so many colors in the spectrum of life
with right lies the power
struggle, struggle, struggle, struggle
struggle only makes a man stronger
if he believes within his heart then he can find it
he will find it

sweet justice
sweet justice

freedom, the epitome of life
lay your down your burden, soldier
study, study war no more, no more
trust the soul that thrives within you
hold strong to your faith
continue, continue, continue on, on

sweet justice
sweet justice
sweet justice
sweet justice

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