Hard times

22 07 2009

king_of_hearts_by_BitterGrapesSometimes I just wish I could live my life without having to worry about stupid things that people shouldn’t even pay attention to. No suffering is more important than another, but being a black lesbian isn’t the easiest thing ever.

These are some hard times, lesbos.

I remember that one time in college. Have any of you ever been outed? Not such a good feeling. But the ‘funny’ thing in my case is that that person who ‘outed’ me didn’t even really realised it. I was hanging out with my friends and the friends of my friends and some acquaintances. We’re a pretty mixed group: Quebecois, one Irish girl, one Canadian from friendly Ontario, Haitians, francophones, gay guys, straight girls, a bisexual girl… And one of my new friends, who has boys on her mind 24/7 just kept talking to me about guys and I would be just like: “Oh”, “yeah”, “right”, “wow”, “huh-huh”, you know. And among the group it was pretty obvious that I have no interest in men but yet, I wasn’t out of the closet. And one day – one bad day – I just said to my girl friend that one random guy was good-looking just to shut her up, you know (yep: a really bad day I’m usually not like that).

Then, boom, it was all she needed. She was so happy I found that guy “attractive”, it made her day. Literaly. She said: “Finally!!! Dude, I thought you were lesbian!” (She calls everybody dude, she’s the cutest thing ever).

Everybody stops talking and looks at me for a sec. Cause, like I said, I’m not obvious as a lesbian (well, I don’t think I am but you never know) but since I’m hanging out with a bunch of gay guys and straigt girls, men are pretty much our no1 conversation, so it quickly became obvious that… you know, there was something up with me.

Now, why ain’t I out to my friends? …………..It’s truly complicated. But to be honest, I think they know. It’s kind of hard to hide it with friends. We just don’t talk about it. It’s complicated. I’ll probably post something about this.

Hard times, people. Hard times…

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Black Hair: Playing the white card? Gimme a break. It’s not that deep.

14 07 2009

The point is not to seperate the Black North-American community in two: Naturals VS Relaxed. And as a natural sister, my point is NOT to consider natural black hair as the only correct way to wear your hair. But there is a couple of arguments from the relaxed side (thought it is not really a side) that I just can’t stand.

b6We are in America.Right. And…?? I mean, seriously. Especially american women. You have been in that country for so long, you have helped builting it. You guys have been there for centuries. Stop acting like you were newly arrived people who have to adapt to ‘mainstream’ society. You ARE part of ‘mainstream society’. I mean, isn’t it what America is all about? Many cultures living together. I don’t know if it because it is always more difficult to see yourself from the inside. As a not-american women, I see America as a country that was moulded both by Europeans and African people. By having your hair relaxed or having a wig on and saying that you do it because ‘we’re in America’ is just ridiculous. The civil war didn’t happen for nothing. It think the African culture is as important in the history of America as the European culture. Why put one culture above the other as if it was something black women have to reach?

It’s about choice (wigs). I completely understand that arguement. I mean who doesn’t like to change style once in a while? But it is a wig. Why do so many wig girls have the same haircut 24/7? I hate the hypocrisy. Why saying it’s about choice when you have only one style? I mean wigs are wigs. It’s just hypocrite to say it’s about choice when you refuse to go out the house without a wig on your head.

It’s more professional/appropriate. I’ll do this short. Why should something natural be inapropriate? All you have to do is to learn how to style your natural hair. And it goes for all types of hair. Just like you don’t wear jeans on a wedding, you don’t just come to, I don’t know, a bussiness meeting with the same hair style that you would wear to go fishing with your dad on sunday afternoon.

It’s more manageable. Myth. Natural black hair is not more difficult to manage or style. You just have to know how to style it and take care of it. There are plenty (especially in America) of good products you can use, tons of ways you can style your hair that is trendy and not too over the top, and oh so many natural hair styles that require little day-to-day care while staying healthy and good-looking.

I find it ironic how there are so much less good products and salons for Black hair in Canada (due to a smaller Black community) but still, it seems like there are more natural people out here than in our US neighbours. I know society isn’t the same, demographics as well, and culture. I know African Americans and Black Canadians do not share the same history. But we’re all North Americans and thus, in a sense, very similar.

BAM_afro5

Let me end this post like this. For you sisters around the world who are not natural, please be true to yourself. If your hair is the way it is because of self-esteem issues (not to say that it is always the case), please just do something about it, work on loving yourself for who you are. And that doesn’t mean you have to go natural. That just means: be proud of who you are. Not the hair you wear. Instead, use your hair (and everything else about you, from your skin to your clothes) to tell the world that you love yourself.





Gay high school and marginalised minorities

19 12 2008

180px-harvey_milk_high_school_entrance_by_david_shankboneA newly expanded gay-themed high school began the school year Monday with about 100 students attending classes, about 200 supporters rallying outside and a small band of protesters demonstrating against it. Since 1985, Harvey Milk High School has served students who are gay or believed to be gay, but its recent… (read more)

In Toronto they have one, too. As well as a school for Black students. Here in Montreal, we have a school for Italian Kids and for Jewish kids. I’m not sure this is such a good idea, though. I understand that the point of schools like those is to create an environment safe for its student (in the case of homosexuality), or to create a sense of belonging and pride, or to prevent student to drop out of school, or to preserve a cultural heritage that tends to get lost in the larger Canadian society. But could you imagine if everyone starts to go to schools like this? There would be not unity, no understanding of the “others”. Quebeckers have experienced a lot situations like this I guess I could say. Not going into the details, but to be a minority in your own country contributed to the climate of “Us” and “Them”. At a large scale level, it is exactly why I am against the separation of Quebec. I think it is ridiculous. Why not focusing on zero tolerance for discrimination, fighting ignorance, and promoting curiosity of different cultures instead ?

In the last few years, a new program was installed in Quebec (at least in the French system, I’m not sure about the english system) called “Éthique et Culture Religieuse” which means Ethics and religious culture. It’s basically a program that focuses on discovering and learning more about different religions. In high school, a little bit of philosophy is added to it. I took this course for the two last years of high school and I absolutely liked it. Partly because of the teachers, they were so funny and so good. Anyway, my point is : this should be the solution. To stop sticking to the traditional way of education, you know ? Add new things as society evolves, courses about cultural diversity, for example.

In the past, people fought so that Blacks and Whites could go to school together. Why separating them again ? To me, it is the same thing as saying “Oh, well, on second thought, that was a bad idea. Let’s segregate again.” It’s a shame.

460595XSo far, I’ve always went to private schools. My parents wanted the best for me so I went in one of the best high school in Montreal. It’s just now that I’m in CEGEP that I stopped wearing a uniform to go to school (can you believe this ? 11 years of light-colored shirts and dark skirts!). I decided to go in the public system for college. I had enough of snobish rich people and I am happier now, I think. What I like the most about public schools is the diversity. There is always something happening, so much different clubs (Black Unions, Muslim Associations, Gay-Straight alliances and so on)… This is how school should be. In my snob, rich, perfectionist high school, most people were white, nothing happened, everybody was dressed the same way to create this illusion of equality. It was just boring.  

I don’t think I would enjoy going in a gay high school. I like diversity too much. We should celebrate this diversity instead of marginalising it. Don’t you think ?





Once upon a time in the Tyra Banks show…

17 12 2008

Tyra BanksI have to admit: I enjoy watching the Tyra Show. Yay. 🙂  10 in the morning, eating breakfast… It starts the day well, doesn’t it ? Tyra has a nice personnality, she sweet and all. This is her image, right ? Oprah cares about people; Tyra loves everybody.

Anyway, I was watching today’s show called “Trust your Dating instincts”, it was a social experiment about women who aways date the wrong men. So there was speed dating session and the women had to choose their guy. The first group of girls found out that they were attracted by a gay man. And everything just went with the flow, it was like: “I like tall guys better.” “Oh, really ? Too bad. Your are sweet, though.” He’s gay, no big deal. Tyra let a man from the audience express himself about this, they talked for seconds only but Tyra asked: “And you are  gay or straight ?” he answered he was gay and once again, no big deal.

If life was like the Tyra Show, black, white, gay, straight… no difference. Everyone would love each other. Wouldn’t that be cool ? And plus: everybody looks perfect, have noticed it ? Even in the audience. Nice hair, nice teeth, nice skin, flawlessness at its best. In Canada, it’s not quite the same, even though we tend to copy american shows a lot lol. Just take Steven and Chris Show. They both look perfect, but in the audience, it’s just normal people. It’s good to know, though, that I’m not the only normal girl out there. 😉





To be Black or not to be Black and same-sex marriage in California with Dan Savage

8 12 2008
"Confident" by BitterGrapesAt times, I say to myself: “USA is basically the same thing as Canada.” Right ? But let me tell you, sometimes, those two looks so utterly different. Even the history of those two countries: The same but oh, so different. Isn’t ? I mean, every time I hear Black Americans talking about themselves, about their culture and their history and stuff, I mean, sometimes I just don’t relate to this. All this “Don’t forget your ancestors that went through slavery, you’re black, be proud of it, and don’t forget how much your ancestors struggled to get there in America.”…. it just… I don’t know. Personally, my ancestors basically stayed in Haiti all their lives. My parents came here, were born in Haiti. Yes, sure it was tough for them. But when they came here, they spoke french a little bit, and they were young so…

First, in school in Canada, were only briefly skim over the US history in high school, just enough to say that the loyalists came in Canada because they didn’t agree with the independence. That’s it. I don’t know if it’s because I live in Quebec, so maybe, we learn more about the french side of our history rather than the english side. But all that to say that no, I don’t feel “Black Canadian”. Sometimes, I feel like in America, being black is really important for people. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it that in the US, it is more about being black than being south african or congolese, or whatever? You know ? When you ask African Americans, they  might say yes, my family is from Africa rather than yes my family is from Mali, Somalia, Chad, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, and so on. When people ask me, I say that my parents are from Haiti so that my heritage is Haitian but that I am born here.

Once, I saw a video on Youtube of a girl basically proudly saying to all Black Americans to not be afraid of saying that they are Africans (I actually found that video kind of weird… :s). Isn’t funny ? Why should people say that ? Immigration has been there for so long, and people have started families with people of a different ethnicity from their own that knowing where someone comes from doesn’t mean much to me. If Black Americans say that they are Africans, than Canadians and Australians are British, Quebeckers are French, Haitians are Africans, French and Spanish, ect. It doesn’t make sense. We don’t say that. Quebeckers don’t say that they are French, they speak french, that is. I mean, why should we even care ? Especially if your family have lived in one country for so long that they pretty much “lost” the culture of the country they “come from”. When in Rome, do it like the Romans. And that is what most people do. And thus, my lifestyle is Canadian. I never lived any other way.

Here is a little video of Dan Savage talking about prop 8 and same-sex marriage in California.

So when D. L Hughley says in this video that he never met a Black Atheist, I find it very funny. There are so much atheists here in Montreal, and from all ethnicities, Blacks included.

I am atheist and I’m Black. I’m lesbian and I’m Black. I say I’m from Montreal first. If you don’t know Montreal, I say I’m from Quebec. And if you don’t know Quebec, I say I’m fom Canada. I went in Haiti only once in my life. I was 12. I liked it a lot. Big house, lots of sun, nice people. I would come back anytime and see the country with different eyes this time. I know most Haitian people don’t live in Haiti the way my family live there, with lots of money and all. I would like to see the majority of Haitians everyday life. But that’s another subject.

My point is: I believe that the society in which we live in is what shape how we see the world and how we live our lives. I don’t “believe” in nature, I don’t believe that babies are born gay or born criminal or born pianist or whatever. I think we choose who we are. Yes, there are many things that can alter our choices. The pressure of society, for example. Norms, taboos, ect. Family is another example. Peer groups in which we belong. You know ?

Just be proud of who you are. Not what you are.





Twins in Black and White + the DNA of Adam

19 08 2008

Germany, July 11, 2008. An interracial couple become new parents with two beautiful twins boys. One is White, the other is Black. Rare, but not impossible. The little boys’s names are Ryan and Leo. The mother is from Ghana and the father is from Postdam, Germany.  “None of us could believe it,” said the Lichtenberg maternity ward’s head doctor, Birgit Weber, adding that “both kids have definitely the same father.” Ryan, who came first, weighing 2.650 kgs, has light colored skin, blue eyes, and dark hair. His brother Leo, weighing 2.606 kgs, looks like his mother, with dark skin and dark eyes. Ryan has been described by his mother as ‘noisy,’ while Leo is a lot calmer.

The twins were delivered by Caesarean section in a Berlin hospital on July 11, but were kept from the public for six days. The probability of different colored twins being born even to a mixed-race couple is extremely rare. Doctors believe that the ‘genetic surprise’ might have occurred as one of the mother’s ancestors was white or one of the father’s ancestors was black.

Isn’t that amazing ? And so beautiful. This just proves how pueril and meaniless race really is. Not socially, but biologically. We create, as a society the racism. Racism is just so stupid. Did anyone see the Discovery Channel’s documentary on the DNA of Adam ? I’m really not into science and stuff, but the DNA is just so… infinite and amazing. I mean, one of my ancestor could have been white ! My parents are from Haiti where it’s really multi ethnic, partly because of the history of this country. The Spanish came, and the French and… anyway, I don’t believe in that pure race kind of speech that some people have. It’s just so ridiculous. There is nothing pure in DNA. DNA is links and links and links and links. I’m amazed. 🙂  I mean, this is how I like religion. I like it when it links with science. I’m not a believer. I need proofs and something reliable. This documentary is a must see !