like a startled fairy
up and blinking at
sudden appearance of light
in the shade
one of those Sundays
seems though the silence
still of the air hovering
I await the storm
Anyone you choose to date or build a relationship with should know some basics about you–and you should know some basics about that person.
I’d rather know from the jump if a person is a homophobe/biphobe or some misogynistic creep. Absolutely not. Start out with honesty and clarity, and absolutely do not adjust your identity or pretend to be hetero for the world that privileges cis-heterosexuality. The way I see it folk who can’t deal with us and act a fool are helping me narrow the playing field over the long haul. A person who does not accept me as I am is not worthy of my time or energy. As you grow older you begin to realize that fact.
I don’t hide myself from anyone who wants to be in my space. Misogyny does not go away if I mask myself–and the closet then becomes a prison, and not just a private space. I’m saying that as a bi cis-woman I don’t think that the closet or pretending to be straight keeps me safe. In fact, it made things worse when I kept myself closeted.
I’d rather know up front what I’m dealing with.
I do what’s safe for me.
I’m out in my community, and I’m out to my family.
I know about domestic abuse, sexism, homophobia/transphobia/biphobia.
I know that some of our worst enemies come from our own, and make it a point of wishing negativity on our own for no other reason than “misery loves company.” I don’t do that to my own. I rebuke all negativity in the name of Jesus.
I also know enough about women’s history, Black history, and LGBTQ history to know that hiding yourself does not save you, or as Audre Lorde once wrote, “your silence will not save you.”
As such, I refuse to be silent in the face of bigotry. You do what you do and go in peace.
Follow your heart and rebuke the negativity. Anyone who does not respect your boundaries or objectifies you is unworthy of your energy or company. If for you that means no romance then so be it. Meditate on it, and follow what the Holy Spirit tells you about a person’s true intent.
Yes, folk, I do check my stats, and it seems a few of you are thirsty for the old stuff on my podcast channel. Don’t fret–here’s a shortcut:
The Brand is growing! This summer will be busy with more posts, the launching of a new blog and podcast show, plus guest hosts and writers to really expand on afrofuturism work, as well as digital humanities work and creative writing. Going to get really busy here, so stay tuned and please do continue to support this channel and the podcast channel –> https://cash.app/$drcat
I do read my stats, and it is amazing what folk will do to find that hidden shortcut to older episodes. I’m posting them here for your convenience, plus I’m sharing my fav guest call-in spots with my spiritual sister Afroerotik chatting about similar themes you all enjoyed in my own podcasts with Afroerotik calling in as my guest. Enjoy!
My first episode with Afroerotik: “At the Edge: Talking Erotics & Afrofuturism with AfroerotiK”
My guest call in spots:
“For the poet, the world is word. Words. Not that precisely. Precisely: the world and words fuck each other.”
― Kathy Acker
It was my first conference, my first time presenting a paper at an academic conference, and my first time in California. San Diego was almost overwhelming to my senses, but upon listening to this heavily tattooed woman with face piercings, electric blue leggings, and short blond hair, I began the process of understanding why I was drawn to Henry Miller, Anais Nin, and Erica Jong–and ultimately Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, and Toni Morrison.
I love Kathy Acker, God rest her beautiful, subversive soul and her penchant for being so raw, so fierce, so raunchy, and so unafraid of putting it out there for us to see. It was my first time meeting and listening to a writer who showed me how to embrace my own penchant for not giving a fuck about what people think about me writing about erotic subjectivity or writing about desire. Imagine that, given the assumptions about religious, racial, and social class similarities and differences regarding women in America.
If you are reading this, go click on my podcast with Ronald Mason–I didn’t mention all of these writers during our podcast talk, but the ghosts of Nin, Miller, and Lorde were in the room and on the phone as we spoke. I think I’ve been holding back, a bit of a wound that has not healed from the trauma of grad school and worsened in the business of academia. Mason and I did talk on that a bit. He gets it as a writer as well as an administrator in academia.
And no, it is not an accident that my confidence as a literary scholar and as a creative writer revived itself when he came to UDC in 2015–sometimes a change in leadership from mundane and normalized misogynoir in academia can liberate the marginalized from the corners, even it wasn’t necessarily intentional. A pause so to speak, so that one’s passion for the word can flourish. He called me a scholar in a previous podcast I posted this summer–something I don’t hear often from colleagues.
To be Black and female in academia (even at a so-called HBCU) is to be constantly challenged as to whether one is truly a scholar, or even someone who is qualified to teach. Unlike the previous leaders at UDC, this man who is our leader actually calls me Dr. Turpin and means it. In this political climate that’s worth mentioning more than once–and bookmarking as a reminder every single time a cloud of worry or anxiety about my worth as a writer emerges.