who's really queer?

i enjoy it when i can turn a pity party into something more conducive to discussion, so here goes.

so the dominant culture values monogamy and nuclear family, right? it's "good" for a man and woman to partner and have kids with clear paternity, etc. you form your unit and that's supposed to be enough. forever.

but if you're really, fully attracted to the gender opposite your own--for the sake of clarity, i'm only dealing with bio cisgender male/female dualistic gender dynamics at the moment--then wouldn't the inclination be to surround yourself with that opposite? whether you're monogamously partnered or not, wouldn't you tend to have fewer friends of your own gender?

i've always preferred the company of men, and i've always attracted male friends easier than female ones. in many cases physical intimacy never entered into it. when it did, it wasn't always a defining feature of the relationship, simply an expression of caring or some level of mutual affection/attraction that waned in its own time.

(sidebar: it'd be nice if more people could suspend their fears of sleeping with "just a friend". it can be a fantastic experience.)

now that i'm way past any sort of college social scene and entering my 30s, it becomes very difficult to meet men i can be friendly with without the fear of being misconstrued.

i realize that i'm able to blur the lines between friendship and loving fairly easily, but that others don't necessarily share that skill. learned the hard way. so, often, i find myself imposing all kinds of dams and walls just to keep things on a level that's easily understood. but that becomes exhausting, so i've simply stopped trying.

the consequence? more monotone--but clear, carefully constructed--relationships and a bit of a social shutdown. not to mention some measure of loneliness.

i miss my men.

that said, i've always been intrigued by women/men that envelop themselves with their sistafriends/boys--single or not--and wondered how attraction plays in to that.

i'm aware, to a degree, of the dynamics of women-identified-women, whether or not they happen to have sexually intimate relationships with women. however, it's interesting to me when a woman's partner seems to be one of few men they can stand, or their relationship is a convenient place to bear/raise children, but spiritually, socially, emotionally...it's all about their circle of women. same with men who find it imperative to be surrounded by their "boys" a good measure of the time.

are these varying shades of non-sexual/amorous identification part of what "queer" means?

wouldn't that make us ALL queer?*

maybe i'm just polyamorous at heart?

labels almost always suck, but when you start thinking about it, being truly "straight" seems to wind up being the outlying identification.

(sidebar 2: puts you in mind of how white european culture dominates when asian, african and other people of color make up the majority of the world. by the numbers, "pale people" should be an identifying phrase instead. how's that for a parallel...)

which brings me to another point. maybe folks are so unnerved by glbtq people because they're saying out loud what the culture wants to keep quiet--that it's really unnatural to relegate oneself to same-sex or similarly coupled friends and sexual frustration forever more.** the difference being that glbtq coupling is "wrong" since its primary goal may not be the (biological) production of people.

can't you just see all the shades of patriarchy, consumer capitalism and authoritarianism swimming underneath all this? ugly, ain't it?

what i do know, accept and love about myself is that my womanist, goddess-loving, grrrl power spirit finds some of its fullest expression in the adoration and sensual freedom i enjoy with my men.

while my political and social lenses allow me to appreciate, respect, and embody sisterhood, they do not urge me ever closer to my sisters on those emotional/spiritual/social levels i spoke of earlier--although those moments are necessary and renewing.

those eyes actually make me swoon that much more when i can rest in the arms of a strong, intelligent, secure, broad-shouldered, sensual, sweet-smelling man.

to each her own, i suppose.

*i don't mean to imply that i would appropriate that distinction, understanding the political importance of those kinds of distinctions at this juncture; i only use it to prove a point. still, it's good to understand that, in a heterogeneous culture, normality is arbitrary...

**this is NOT to support the ideology that somehow people are not meant to be monogamous, or that men cannot be "tied down", etc and so on. people should honor whatever commitments they've made to their partners and if they cannot, they should leave. deception ain't cool. but since so many people are pushed and pressured into boxes that don't fit, lies and deceit are the natural consequences.


isn't it wonderful

to finally have a real president again?

it ain't perfect, but it's a good start. kind of like a teaser trailer.

this may be obama's notice that he truly does mean to do what he says, but it will take pressure from us to make congress and everyone else fall in line.

...and, just for the record, aaron has a point. i dunno why it's so hard for folks to hear, but it's true.

stay woke, y'all.

two for one

been busy this morning...

retrograde blues

dreaming of isis

ok. i'm going back to bed. i wanna have some energy for the
tattoo convention! i'll be on the hunt for some cool t-shirts and such.

i keep telling myself i will NOT leave there with any new ink...


self love #6

dark goddess

i liked the way i looked in a particular light, plus my hair was a little wild, so i took some shots without the flash...interestingly enough, they came out with all this red tint.


mighty convenient, ain't it?

now, you know how i feel about this mess, but i'm questioning this as well.

...Hamas officials emerging from hiding greeted each other like long-lost friends as supporters flew green Hamas flags, sang Hamas songs and set ablaze a faux coffin emblazoned with the Star of David and the words "Death to Israelis."

Not everyone was in a celebratory mood. In the Sheik Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City, Jamal Dababish stood atop the ruins of his apartment building, which was leveled by an Israeli airstrike two weeks ago. The father of five also lost the first-floor supermarket his family ran for more than two decades, and he questioned whether the Hamas-led government was up to the huge task of rebuilding.

Three days after the attack, a man who identified himself as a Hamas official showed up in the neighborhood and gave Mr. Dababish and his four brothers each $500 cash as compensation.

Hamas appeared to be trying to emulate Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese group that, after a five-week war with Israel in 2006, reportedly distributed thousands of dollars to every family that lost its house. Dababish, however, described the amount given by Hamas as paltry.

"It's not enough for anything," Dababish said, shaking his head. "I bought food and clothes for my kids. I'm waiting for someone to rebuild my home and repair my supermarket. It doesn't matter who it is."

i know hamas is financed by some other arab countries, but...eh. i dunno. we've been known to fuel both sides of a conflict, too.

i wonder if all those fistfuls of cash are coming from lebanon and iran. who are these "hamas officials", really?

hamas may have started out for/by/about the people, but is that what they still are?

who's truly fighting for the palestinian people?


in the immortal words of failblog, FAIL.

1. speaking of race does not make you "racist". in fact, if you don't talk about it, how are you ever going to deconstruct and deal with it? 400 years of white supremacy doesn't just get swept under the rug. like any other energy, it has simply changed form. see: damali ayo.

2. this "post-racial" thing is bullshit. it has come up as some kind of feel-good guilt assuager (look! we elected obama! we're ok!), but anyone who's been doing any kind of real, healing work around racism/race knows better. see: tim wise.

so it begins...


let me be grateful...

...before i kirk out up in here. i won't even get into it. let's just say all a sista wants to do right now is bleed in peace...

quick im's in the middle of busy lives
cushy beds
trader joe's
hot baths
potato chips
friends you can call anytime
cheap gas
the forgiving nature of companion animals

today's the day...

i love obama as much as the next person. i really do.

but we ain't done yet. don't think for a moment that we are.

the red black and green is still relevant. we still struggle for relevance, for dignity, for our lives, and to be beautiful.

the media still ignores us (when it's not demonizing us). the industrial prison complex is still eating us alive.

africa is in shambles. and when the mother is in decline, the family is in decline.

i went to see him when he came to baltimore, but i wasn't about to say the pledge. i'm not even sure why they started it up when they did.

i pledge allegiance to olodumare, to the spirits of my ancestors. to my family and my people. not to the flag.

not just after oscar grant had been shot like a dog.

not with adolph grimes dead.

not with this video circulating around the net.

not with palestine being bombed into oblivion.

not with 20 years and counting of black mesa's decimation.

insert your cause here.

while i can't justify the pledge of allegiance yet, i can be very, very glad that we have an intelligent, seemingly level headed black man leading this country. a man who obviously loves his wife and daughters, and one who has already brought a good level of diversity to his cabinet.

change.org is fantastic.

let's hold him to his promises and make sure he has the public mandate necessary to do the work.

thank you, jay.

don't let the door hit ya

pow, right in the kisser.

for the babies in iraq.
for the regular folks you claimed to care about, then screwed.
for sucking away reproductive & intellectual freedom.

bye bye, baby.


ramblings of a wannabe yogini

well, i went back to yoga last night after a far-too-long hiatus, and it was just as difficult a session as this one.

the twists were especially difficult. again the instructor came and pushed me to my limit a few times, and i almost cried each time. not because it hurt, but because of the tension it highlighted and/or pushed to the surface. my ujjayi breathing got pretty serious at times, but it really does carry you through.

the right side of my body was especially stiff. i kept feeling like i wasn't strong enough to hold myself up. there was a lot of trembling.

i couldn't get into corpse pose (again), either. the last pose we did was shoulder stand, which sets my root chakra on fire and makes it impossible to lie down on my lower back for several minutes.

surprisingly, one of the easiest parts of the night was the vinyasa that went from warrior II (virabhadrasana) into ardha chandrasana. typically i have issues with anything that keeps one foot in the air, but doing that kind of half-cartwheel released me from my body a bit. warrior III was also powerful.

i thought i would break down once i got home, but i didn't. no dreams of any consequence.

i'll just have to keep at it...

what they don't want you to know about mlk

he was indeed a revolutionary.


latest revelations

outgrowing a situation isn't synonymous with arrogance. everybody's got their level, and it's important to live up to yours. if your surroundings don't reflect that, it's time for change.

on a related note, "good girl" and "good student" guilt gets you nowhere. it's amazing how insidious cultural mores can be: you feel like you got rid of something, then you're hit with a situation that pushes all those buttons. in turn, you feel horrible and can't figure out why.

my comfort level with change is still in need of work. much as it fks with me, i might as well cozy up to it. stability can become stagnation if you're not careful.

i desire to come into my potential on my terms and in my time. i refuse to succumb to the notion that just 'cause i'm good at _____ i need to be doing it for the rest of my life. it's what my teachers did at school. some employers have even tried to do it. and all it's done is led me in circles.

i have a lot of tools in my hands now. i have to figure out what i truly want to build.


queen of swords

i never wanted to be that card. but it seems to keep coming up for me.

a woman who is desirable, attractive, intelligent...but distrustful. love's always nearby, but somehow doesn't work out. surrounded by children with none of her own.

the loves of my life--both of them--are ill and potentially dying.

i've made all the peace i can with that, but there are days when i honestly don't know what i'm going to do if at least one of them doesn't make it.

most of my life i've been told i'm meant for some vague something special above and beyond the basics, but sometimes all i want is to be somebody's partner, somebody's mama.

i never thought a higher purpose would mean that i'd never have someone to love when psychologically and biologically i wanted it most. that my only babies would be my journals, notebooks, blogs and the words i throw to the wind.

if you've had the experience of birthing a child, you're among the luckiest folks in the world to me right now. it's why i hate to see so many of us raising them so traumatically that they often kill each other. or grown folk blowing them to shreds (literally) without a second thought.

i'm grateful for my mind and what comes from it, but i never thought that would be all i have.

i didn't plan on being alone with these dreams.

i didn't think my heart would always be either full to bursting or on the verge of breaking.

i don't want to be the queen of swords.

but i don't know how not to be.

what's on repeat right now...

i know this feeling very, very well.



we are all under the SAME sky,
breathing the SAME air,
created by the SAME divinity that is known by innumerable names.

and we are ALL "SAVED".

because we are all breathing that air.
created by that divinity
that we can call by those innumerable names
in innumerable ways.

anything else is a false teaching.

karma chameleon

i finally saw hancock...pretty decent. may not have paid $8 for it, but decent enough for a night in.

the history behind hancock & mary's relationship was a bit of a trigger. i suppose in my situation, though, proximity was strengthening. usually.

the spaces between love and destruction.
the true proximity of humanity to god(hood).
the immortality of love and the spirit.

(scroll past the blockquote if you're planning on seeing the film.)


Mary explains that Hancock is technically her husband, explaining that they were built in twos, and that they are drawn to each other over time and great distances. When later intervening in a liquor store robbery, Hancock is shot and wounded. Visiting him at the Hospital, Mary explains that when a pair of immortals get close to each other physically, they begin to lose their powers. She also tells him that she and Hancock have been attacked as a couple many times throughout history, most recently being in an alley in Miami 80 years ago. His skull was fractured during the attack, causing amnesia. To save his life at the time, Mary deserted him, allowing him to recover from his injuries. After her explanation, the hospital is raided by the bank robber Red Parker and two other criminals that Hancock had encountered when imprisoned. Mary is shot trying to defend Hancock as he is able to stop the two men, but is further wounded in the process. When Red attempts to finish Hancock off, Ray comes to the rescue and stops the bank robber with a fire axe. With Mary dying, Hancock uses the last of his strength to flee from the hospital so that their parting would allow her to heal with her powers.

we've loved each other
healed each other
loved others
left each other
come back again...

on and on and on and on and...


nowhere to run

i watched the end of suburbia last night, and it dawned on me how white--even for 2004--the whole thing was.

first, let me say that i'm not suggesting folks of color aren't complicit in consumer culture--indeed we are.

but the deification of suburbia and the frenzy (not to mention the means) to escape urban grime were the visions of the dominant culture and those who fully assimilated into it.

suburbia may have started as a way to escape the industrial city, but after awhile it also became a way to escape black folks, the poor and other undesirables.

in some areas, black folks had their own suburbs/country houses--most notably in the south--but, by and large, we stayed in the cities. after the world wars, we'd had enough of "country living" and moved to cities quite deliberately, often with doctors and lawyers living next to janitors and teachers.

until about a generation or two ago, we could not move into the suburbs due to discriminatory housing practices. educational gaps and jim crow kept many of those good, modern jobs out of reach. many of us still cannot afford cars and rely on public transportation.

we're green by default.

so, basically, the film does a good job of summarizing the class issues, but left racism completely out. not that they had to get that deep into it, but talking about america, how we live and where we live and ignoring that element is a little odd.

the featured experts and authors were all white and male, despite the work people of color have done around environmental justice and the consequences of urban flight. i'm sure somebody was doing that in '04.

as far as the solutions presented, new urbanism (gentrification?) seems to be benefiting whiteness and pushing colored folk closer to the true "slums of the future".

i wonder, though, if the omission of racial issues was deliberate. i.e., was the presentation intended to shock the dominant culture into awareness of their role/complicity/perpetuation in this? did they feel that even touching on it would be too much of a tangent?

i don't know.

either way, this isn't meant as an indictment of some sort. what we're gonna do without oil and walmart are important issues that everyone should know about, think about, and be discovering solutions to. i'd certainly recommend watching it.

i just felt a little left out of the discussion.


on: gaza

i'm not going to say a lot. i really don't think i can.

i've always thought the state of israel was on some shaky ground, and some brief historical inquiry bore that out.

i'm not going to link to much. there are people doing extensive work on the topic.

what i would like to say is this: don't expect obama to do much.

it's not that he doesn't care, because i think he does. maybe even more so than most commanders-in-chief we've had. however, he's now at the head of the system that fuels this madness.

if something's going to be done, it's going to have to come from the people saying "no more. enough."

more youth will need to join the shministim. and they will need to be supported.

people in america will have to write letters, make calls, take to the streets.

if the public pressure is there, obama may just put the wheels in motion to get something done. but he won't be able to move an inch without it. he'll be shouted down at every turn.

even with the backing of the people, standing up to that machine could bring about the downfall that many of us feared as he campaigned and again as he won.

but this is only going to stop if the people stop it.

the israelis must open their eyes and shut down zionism.

i agree with dark daughta's initial assessment: the west's silence is being fueled by its guilt. israel's assault is being fueled by its pain.

hamas is self defense taken to its painful extreme.
does palestine even have a true army?

if there was anything holy about that land, all that bloodshed wouldn't have been allowed in the first place.

it all just needs to stop.


open your eyes just a little wider...

wandering around the interwebs, i came across an interesting take on the obama phenomenon...

while i generally agree with the author's sentiments, this comment grabbed me:

Atlalien on 02 Jan 2009 at 10:11 pm #

What frightens me the most about black folks is that the ignorant and purposeless seem to constitute the majority. Think about it. How is it that other cultures (Middle Easterners, Chinese, Koreans, ect ) have all managed to find a considerable measure of success in this country yet blacks, who’ve been here all along have not? It begs the question as to whether or not we are truly an inferior race. I’m just saying…..


how quickly we forget that "other cultures" come here with their culture, language, religion/spirituality, etc intact--all the things that were stripped from, beaten out of and secreted from us.

they're just stopping through for the extra loot. maybe asylum or education they can't get at home. but they still bring home with them. they chose to come here. and they can go back.

to ignore the effects of our trauma is to buy into the misconception of our "inferiority". we did not choose, and we are caught between worlds.

again, that's not meant as an excuse to behave poorly. but if we're not aware, we're healing in a vacuum. that's almost as bad as not healing at all.

time is fluid. the past does matter.

there was another comment about people needing a "savior" from the times of kemet and the osiris/isis/heru story...also misconstrued. kemetian culture was built around a sociopolitical, cosmological and spiritual framework diametrically opposed to the notion of heru being a "savior" that encouraged looking without vs. within for salvation in the vein of christianity/western religion.

...which is something of a mind/spirit control technique to begin with.

but that's another story...


battle weary sexes

question: am i the only one who's starting to feel like our healing as men and womyn may need to happen (at least in part) within safe, small, same-sex spaces? that it might be awhile before we truly come together again?

it occurred to me that, in communities of color, we've stuck together under stress and duress for generations. things had to look good to "the man", regardless of whatever personal hells we lived in. we became determined to show everyone that we were ok, that our families were intact--even when that was a lie.

however, when many of those stressors eased or went away, a vacuum was created--sometimes overnight--and the spaces were filled with dysfunction.

we have survived, and we are loving and flourishing "in spite of..." every single day. there are many cycles that have been broken, abuse stopped, and ways remembered. that deserves gratitude and praise.

however, being in survival mode for generations has led to a collective trauma that is, in some ways, just coming to the surface. we forgot how to truly live and breathe in our own skin. languages broken or lost, cultural rites covered and coded beyond comprehension, we kept coming together and sticking together, only stripped of the tools, communities, and spiritual/social safety nets that could facilitate our healing.

the houses full of womyn, the prison system...these phenomenon are starting to feel like a collective return to the adolescence rites of the ancestors; a separation deemed necessary in order to grow in the knowledge that will spark full fledged adulthood.

the problem is that it's happening long after adolescence, replete with bitterness, fatigue and insanity, ensconced in a culture that only truly pays attention when you fk up. and we're still uniting to create children--whether we're staying together to raise them or not.

it's wonderful when a brotha comes to a spiritual awakening while incarcerated, 'cause we certainly know that's not the system's goal. but, presuming he wasn't wrongfully convicted, what did he have to do to get there? if he becomes a changed man but is forever locked behind the walls (or, worse, killed by the state), what does the community lose?

similarly, a house full of grannies, aunties, mamas and babies can be a haven of wisdom, beauty and strength. but it can also be a stifling prison full of ghosts, secrets and bad memories. i've seen both, and the latter is not pretty.

now, i don't say this to infer or perpetuate any gender-bias stuff or compulsory heterosexuality. we must also remember that, for many african and indigenous cultures, homophobia and erosphobia came with the european and even then was ridiculously hypocritical*. my point is, how do we become more fully, vibrantly human as individuals while collectively learning and practicing how others should be treated, particularly in love/loving?

i don't know the answer to that, although i know what's worked for me. but, if we must endure this "separation", i hope we can still be filled with love, encouragement, life and bliss in the meantime. may our children and their children know better, do better and understand better because they have been raised to avoid our missteps.

maybe the next generation will truly model reconciliation.

*aside from "god said it", i wonder if the acceptance and/or nonchalant attitudes towards same-gender relationships made the colonizers fearful that reproduction could cease, thereby drying up their labor force. keep in mind that true missionaries often became disgusted and dismayed by the officials who sent them. they quickly learned it wasn't about saving souls, it was about money. some of the more sincere ones would even "go native" and fight the power (even if they did keep trying to convert folk...).

as for the hypocrisy, i'll be here all day if i start in on the hard-wired misogyny of western european culture. women and their needs were generally ignored, so i don't really know what was thought about lesbians and other queer women. but the infallibility of the old boy network--not to mention worship of the masculine mind/ethos--made love for one's fellow man just fine as long as the proper appearances were kept up. and if you were rich and talented enough, all sorts of "eccentricities" were ignored.