Niki Was Not Ok


Niki was not ok

She told us so on Facebook everyday 

Niki was in pain. Every morning, every evening, every day.

Physical pain like mine.

Mental pain all her own. Years of abuse and neglect and negative self talk.

Imbalanced chemicals for lopsided pain.

Niki was born in my year. Forever shy of 36 by 10 days.

Nikki was not ok.

Niki didn’t have my responsibilities, but she also didn’t have my support system. 

Niki tried to commit suicide until finally she died. No one will say how but if she was alive–I feel like she wouldn’t hide how she died. She’d say “I fucking committed suicide”

Niki didn’t believe in God or heaven or reincarnation.

I can’t respect her and wish that she Rest In Peace, although I wish peace for her every day.

Niki was not ok. 

But what could we do about it anyway?

(Sending love to everyone battling chronic pain, depression and mental illness)

Shades of White

Ren asks:

I know this is old, but I’m very curious about this topic. You grew up with significant exposure to predominantly black environments, so it makes sense, to me, that you like black men and/or black women. But I’ve been noticing more and more that many white lesbians are interested in black women, which is stunning to me because I thought white people were…racist (in the US)…and thought most of us are unattractive. And still think that, which is probably the reason why I am really struggling to understand the attention I get from white women and the reason why I’m pretty much always very suspicious of it.

I wouldn’t doubt it if you’ve experienced some suspicion, especially from black women. Black men usually just turn flips when a white woman is interested, but black women are hardly that simple. But considering that white women have never really seemed interested in even being friends with me as adults and almost never showed that interest while growing up, I can’t fit that and the experiences I had with white people growing up with the fact that probably 80% of the interest I get and have gotten all of my life has been from white women sexually/romantically, a little more than 10% has been from Asians (generally Indian women and usually not from the US, i.e. online) and less than 10% has been from black women. I mean, 10 years ago when I tried to chat with white lesbians online they didn’t want to talk to me 95% of the time, especially after finding out my race! Basically, I’m looking for plausible explanations as to 1) if these white women seriously are interested in/attracted to me, 2) if so, why, and 3) why don’t black women seem to be interested in me (because, honestly, I prefer black women).
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<br />I’m not asking you, but that’s how I got to this post. It’s very easy to find tons of articles and videos online about why white women like black men–there’s tons of focus on that. But you can’t find the same thing for lesbians, really, and what you do find is usually something like “race doesn’t matter,” “there are attractive black people, attractive white people, unattractive black people and unattractive white people,” and “I don’t know why I like black women, I just do” (i.e. your post). I don’t know–looks like I need to consider white lesbians since that’s who I attract in my country, but, at the same time, I don’t really want to start dating one and find out it’s all a huge joke, a big sex experiment, a fetish or they’re bringing me to the KKK for a hanging…sorry, but being real, and if you’ve seen Donald Trump and his supporters, you should understand, lol.

I know you’re “not asking” but you kind of are, so here’s my answer as best I can give it:

First of all, I see what’s going on with Trump and it’s terrifying. I’m writing this right now because I need a break from my FB and Twitter feeds.

Secondly: racism is a spectrum. Racism is so woven into the fabric of this country that everyone is racist to some degree, even if that racism is a form of self hate.

White women are also a spectrum. Now, we know 56% of white female voters voted for Trump. Let’s break that number down: 64% of the elligible voters in the country voted, and if we assume that half of them were women that puts the white woman Trump voters at 28% of the country. Still fucked up, but that’s a little perspective. (Hashtag #NotAllWhiteWomen)

Now, while it’s possible that these white women approaching you are white supremacist fetishists looking to tie you up and call you their “dirty negress”–it’s pretty unlikely. 

It’s much more likely that the white women expressing interest in you are on the left side of the spectrum. Probably somewhere between “I don’t see color” beige and “woker than you” white.

As to why are they attracted to you? Probably because you’re attractive. Why now and not before? I have no clue.

I spent a lot of years thinking that no one could be or was attracted to me–until one day I realized that almost everyone I’ve ever been attracted to reciprocated my feelings to some extent. I’m not saying everyone has a that experience (I’m certainly not attracted to everyone who’s expressed attraction to me) but attraction is weird, and many people are attracted to characterizes far different than the ideals the media feeds us.
So should you try dating a white woman? Only if you mean it. If a white woman approaches you who you genuinely find attractive and seems like a good person, then why not go for it? Could you get hurt? Absolutely. But isn’t potential hurt intrinsic to the beginning of any relationship?

Now I’m not saying that these white women wont ever say something ignorant, but chances are that that just by being interested in you they’ve self sorted to be someone who genuinely is trying to not be racist and has made it a good distance down that path.

As far as experiments go: won’t she be your experiment? Life is about experimentation. Some experiments are a success, some fail, but that doesn’t mean the intentions aren’t good.

Many of the black women I dated were at best experimenting with me, or at worst using me until they could find someone of their “own kind”. Ouch. That hurt! I still don’t regret trying though. 

As far as black men go. Maybe more conventionally attractive women get backflips, but most of the black men (my sweet late BF excluded RIP) who have dated or expressed an interest in me had a kind of entitled attitude that I owed them sex and money. The title of this blog arose from those moments when MOC I dated reduced my hurt feelings (at their bad behavior) and legitimate perspective to being “just another white woman.”

As far as fetishization goes–that’s kind of a hard one. Where exactly is the line? If I’m attracted to women with big foreheads and wide noses–is that a fetish? Or just a preference? 
I felt the most fetishized when a white trans man I was dating showed me a picture of his ex–and she looked almost identical to me. That was creepy!

So should you date a white woman?

If you want to? If you are genuinely attracted to her. If you can put aside your preconceptions. If you can be prepared to possibly have to do some educating. 

Who knows, the love of your life could be an amazing white woman and you’d never know it without exploring it!

Or not. I wouldn’t fault anyone for preferring to date black women. Y’all are so beautiful! I don’t know what the “scene” is like where you live, but there’s a small but vibrant black lesbian community here in Boston that I wish I could introduce you too!

As far as why BW aren’t expressing interest in you: maybe their shy? Maybe they’re waiting for you to make the first move or don’t think *you’re* interested?

TL; DR: if you’re interested in someone–regardless of race, give it a try! Go get em! No reward with out risk! 

Family Like This

CN: Emotional abuse 
I think my mom’s bipolar. She was in a manic phase tonight. So sweet and nice like someone who didn’t tell me “fuck you” less than two months ago when I asked for help in a major emergency. 

Ever since I was a child I’ve been more scared of her when she’s nice than when she’s mean. When she’s nice she finds out things to use against me later in her depressed cycle. 
Any miss-step could set her off on a bad day–and I miss-stepped a lot!
But tonight she was nice. Tonight she acted like she cared. It almost felt real.

I Married a White Woman

White hands with wedding rings.

Well not really married…who can afford to lose free health insurance and food stamps by getting married? Committed to, living with, what have you.

Although I have been open to dating all races, for years I lowkey thought I’d end up with a black woman. But when I found myself falling hard for a kind, smart soft white butch. She gets my jokes, she puts up with my faults, and she pays most of my bills. (Nothing + nothing equals nothing, ok?)

I tried to tell myself she’s not “white-white.” her Guayanese co-worker calls her “one of those hood-ass white girls.” She was one of the only white girls in her school growing up, her 20+ year best friend and her ex and her son are all black. But her outlook…it’s still very white.

The first worrying moment was fairly soon after we moved in together: we were trying to choose a movie, and for whatever reason I was feeling the black cinema offerings (out of the admittedly crappy selection on Netflix). She confronted me afterwards, referring especially to a movie I lingered over about drug dealers in the Hood.

“I’m white. I don’t relate to the hood” She told me angrily. “It’s not my experience!”

I was flabbergasted. First of all–she basically did grow up in the hood, if not the drug dealing part. (Although her sister sure is an addict) And second of all–it’s the point of a movie to bring you into things outside of your experience. I’ve never been to South Africa, but I was able to enjoy White Wedding I’ve also never been to space, or the distant past, but I was able to get into Star Wars.

Then recently she asked “who’s Floetry”

Increduous Face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Followed a few days later: “Who’s Nina Simone?”

Really Incredulous Look

“Do you even hang out with older black people?” I asked.

Her: “No why would I?”

Me: (why wouldn’t you?) “Let me learn you something!”

So I made her watch What Happened Miss Simone

Ok, so our shared black media experience starts when we fell in love with Hip Hop in ’92. I could get used to that.

But then I made the mistake of talking to her about Sandra Bland.

Photo Of Sandra Bland

Now, it took me a day or two to even click on a link to find out what happened to Sandra Bland. She was just so beautiful, I couldn’t bear to think of her life ending pointlessly in a Texas Jail cell. When I look at her I see someone I would have wanted as a friend. I see my aunt. I see my cousins. I see a vibrant intelligent soul. I see one more victim of the horrible scourge of white supremacy that gives police near impunity to kill black people and get away with it.

I was so depressed after reading the details of her arrest and death that I could barely get out of bed. Barely made it to physical therapy.

Despite my melatonin deficiency, this video sums up how the news and my Facebook/twitter feeds have had me feeling lately.

So I made the mistake of talking to my Boo about Sandra Bland. She agreed that Sandra’s death was wrong and the fault of the cops. But apparently HER facebook feed was full of different stories from mine. HER feed promised “incontrovertible” “video evidence” that Sandra took her own life.

I still haven’t read one article that backs this claim, but the most striking thing from our conversation was this: she’s not angry. She doesn’t feel the deep, abiding anger in her bones. Just this overwhelming violent angry rage and sorrow as black person after black person gets modern-day lynched for the most imaginary of offense.

When I asked: “What if this was your son?” She asked:”Why did you have to take it there?”

Because she doesn’t look at Sandra, Treyvon, Tamir, and see her son. Even though the cops sure as hell will one day. She sees all these incidents as wrong, but ultimately as single incidents.

She sees these incidents as a white person, a white woman.

I married a white woman.

Keep it Moving

20140717-002350-1430219.jpg
A long time ago I used to go to this Black Lesbian night in Southie called Slainte. Twenty years prior a small clubs worth of blank lesbians venturing into this staunch Irish neighborhood coulda ended in bodies, or at least blood, but in 21st century Massachusetts it was cool.

I used to go with my dancing buddy, a cute tomboi who could tear up the floor. One night we were out dancing and some gorgeous back to Africa type sistas walked in with their effortless prints and radiant smiles.

There was one woman particular who intrigued me: she was so beautiful with her rich brown skin and thick curves. Each step and dance move owned her space and honored her body.

I told my friend how beautiful I found her and she tried to get me to talk to her.

“Naw.” I shook my head. “She’s not looking at me”

She and her friends were wrapped up in themselves and in each other and in the music.

So I respected them and didn’t try to intrude. I danced with my friend and enjoyed my night while she enjoyed hers.

Part of being in that space was respecting the people there. I’m sure a lotta folk might have tried to insert themselves in some way into their evening; but that would have felt wrong to me.

I’m not sure why my attitude is so difficult for others to take on. Check her out and if she’s not checking for you? Keep it moving. Everyone can still have a good time. That’s all I’m saying.

My Second Arrest Part 2

Start the night here. (yes this post was 3 years ago, so?)

Butch Prison Guard

They took me down to the station where once again I was jammed into a holding cell: a glass room with about 20 prostitutes, all accessorizing their skin tight ho clothes with bright orange jail shirts or pants like wearable  OJ was some kind of new fashion statement.

“Oh honey what are you in for?” Asked the only non-orange clad ho. I don’t know what it was about her, but she seemed like the classiest of the group. Her velour top and clingy pants were revealing but tasteful in a way that made tohe other prostitutes in their the skimpy remains of their ho garb look shoddy.

“Obstructing the sidewalk.” I spat out weekly.

“Aww honey,” A brown-skinned ho looked at me pityingly. “If I couldn’t sell my cooch I’d be homeless asking for money like you.” That seemed so strange to me. Asking for change seemed way less degrading than selling my twat, but not to her.

“You’re pretty,” the classy ho sized me up. “Ever thought about going into the business?”  I shrugged politely. The thought of anyone touching me sexually who I was not attracted to disgusted me. Being homeless was part spiritual quest for me–distancing myself from attachment to objects and limiting my needs to the basics.  All I needed was a couple bucks a day to get by and I didn’t have any addictions or children to make me need more. “You look tired, here, lay on this shirt.” I thanked her and reclined on an orange jail shirt.

“I love being a ho.” One of the women chimed in. “Anywhere I go I can always sell my pussy!”

“I need to sell my pussy,” the “classy” one said, “I have my four year old son to take care of.”

“How did you get in the business?” Another one asked her.

“Like a lot of women do, I was a dancer in a club and I realized hooking could make a lot more money…”

That’s where I started coughing. And coughing, and coughing. Sleeping outside in the cold damp winter combined with smoking had given me a nasty cold. I spat some blood into the common toilet sitting exposed in the corner of the cell.

“Are you alright honey?” Classy ho asked.

“Yeah, I’m ok. I just coughed up some blood tho.”

“Coughed up BLOOD?!” One of the hos yelled. “Oh my god do you have TB?!!”

That’s when all hell broke loose:

“TB?!!”

“She has TB!!”

“Guards, gaurds, she has TB!”

After a few minutes the guards moved me to another holding cell. Only it wasn’t a regular holding cell, it was a white tiled room with every inch–floor, walls and ceiling–covered in blood stains of varying shades. It had a drain hole in the middle of the floor presumably for when they failed to wash the stains out. Or maybe for the blood to drain down. I didn’t know. All I knew was there was NO WAY I was touching anything!!!

I couldn’t sit down without touching the floor  (no benches in this room) so I paced the room wearilly. In a desperate attempt to look at something besides blood stains my eyes traveled accross the room. The holding cells were set up in a circle like a glass menagerie around a cubicle farm. cops in their uniforms non-chalantly processed paperwork while us chattel watched from our glass pens.

The men were penned up accross from me and to the left, and then–my eyes stopped. Directly accross from me was what looked like a padded cell. Unlike the rest of the cells this one only had a tiny windoe, but it looked soft and white from where I was. Not only that, but it was inhabited. Inhabited by what looked like a naked woman. A naked woman staring straight at me and screaming in anguish. Screaming and screaming and screaming.

That’s when I realized I had been listening to her scream all night…

 

 

1st Glimpse of D

 

Boy and girl cartoon looking in underwear

The 1st time I saw an erect penis I burst out laughing. It looked so bizarre and bulbous, protruding purple and brown from between his legs like some weird discolored mushroom.
I covered my mouth, playing it off like I was nervous. In fact I felt the opposite. I felt completely comfortable naked with Joe, comfortable in a strangely non-sexual way. More like friends who happened to be naked. One of whom happened to have a very strange physical defect.

Joe had been my “crush” the year before as a freshman in high school, the boy I trotted out as the object of my affection every time my friends talked about boys. I knew I couldn’t say that it was the gorgeous big-boned Anya that I longed for, with her wide hips and long red hair…

In fact I had spent hours in science class staring in fascination  at his hair. His kinky hair and olive skin stood out in my Lilly white suburban high school. Especially his hair: forty individual braids spiraling up up like exotic underwater sea plants from his tan scalp.

Later I learned the braids were done by his mom, certainly no African American hairdresser would create braids so unruly. I always kinda wondered what trick of genetics produced this swarthy, kinky haired, thick lipped boy from his two rather ordinarily Jewish parents.

By the time we “dated” his hair was in a neat short fro, and I was officially out as bi. I dated him after being rejected by  the main focus of my affection: Judy who I was hopelessly in love with, but whose affection was sadly fixated on the unusually tall and Giselle-like Chloe.

Up to the point where we rather casually removed our clothes in his bed room our entire relationship consisted of passing dirty notes in class.

“Are you sure this is ok?” I asked, thinking of his mom downstairs.
“Don’t worry, my mom trusts me. She won’t interrupt”
We undressed without fuss, talking comfortably.  His grossly engorged member a sign that he was much more sexually engaged than I.
“So do you wanna have sex?” he asked, stroking my arm tentatively.
“What?” I looked down in surprise, scoping his member, contorting my bewildered amusement at its strangeness into shy embarrassment. “But…” I cast about for an excuse–there was NO WAY I wanted to touch that thing! “We don’t have a condom.”
“That’s alright, I can pull out.”
“Pull out?! I raised my eyebrows as I started putting clothes on, taking one last glance at the bizarre growth sprouting inexplicably from between his legs. “Do you pay any attention in Sex Ed?” I laughed even harder. Did that line actually work on anybody? Especially from his 15 year old self?

We didn’t “date” long after that. In some bizarre bid for Judy’s affection he attempted suicide a couple weeks later, and I learned that this was the first time (though far from the last) that the biggest thing a boy I was dating and I had in common was a crush on the same girl.