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.

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Adam Lambert on 20/20

1 07 2009

Yep, another personnality is out of the closet (keep them coming! ;)) I’m not a huge AI fan, but I admire celebrities who decide to tell the truth about their sexuality since there are so much people who need role models, especially gay, lesbian, asexuals and transgenders.





summer update

22 06 2009

Hey girls (and guys ;)),

just a quick update to let you know where I’m at those days. I don’t have much time to update this blog any more frequently (partly because my internet is just so slow, it is ridiculous), but I’ll try to write a couple of articles in the next few days.

Now. You might have noticed that I do keep on updating my links list on this blog. There are a lot of lesbian sites out there, but the good ones are somewhat more rare, so I am trying to filter all this out for you. The list is growing so check it out. The very last add is : The lesbian postcast (very, very good website, I recommend it. Politics, gossip, culture, chat, blogs, and more).

Anyhow, there a couple of gay, asexual, transgenders and their friends websites on the list, but I really focus more on lesbian-related websites (and women of colour, but not exclusively). If you speak french, there are a few french websites as well. Since there are also some adult websites, make sure not to click on whatever link you see. The names are tricky sometimes.

Yep, yep, I’m still in the closet (I know, I really do need a shot of courage right now), but I’m still in the process of getting out. Thanks to all of you who wrote to me! 🙂





Mom, dad… I’m left-handed

11 01 2009

Original text here.

Dear Mom, 

This letter will doubtless find you in a good mood, at least I hope for it. It is a painful secret which I carried for years. I was not able, so far, to share it. And to say it face-to-face is for me too difficult. That is why this small letter will bring you the truth, my truth, the truth about me.

Here is: I am left-handed. I know that it is not easy to admit, but it is so. You are not responsible for that. It is the way it is. You certainly noticed that I often spoke about left-handed persons. Of course, I laughed at them, showing you how much I was proud to be right-handed. I event voted for somebody who defended the right-handed people against the left-handed persons in the society, somebody who opposed to the union of two left-handed persons; however, this person was not a right-extremist. It took me a long time to accept myself as left-handed, although I was that way since I was young. I had to bury it in me, to hide it to myself and to others. I built a fortress around me, so that the others would think I am a good right-hander. But I liked my left-hand better and could go anything about it.

I was right-handed with the right-handers, continuing to laugh at left-handed persons… We often saw our left-handed neighbour receiving other left-handed persons. One day, you said that you preferred that to a drunkard. Feel reassured, I am not a drunkard. Just a left-handed person. It took me time before I talk to you about it because being right-handed is considered as the standard in our society. Nevertheless, how would it without left-handed persons? Léonard de Vinci was left-handed, and nevertheless, his hand did not prevent him from being a genius. I see you asking you ” but why is my son left-handed? “.

It’s not your fault. Since I know how to use my hands, I feel more comfortable with my left hand. My right hand”s purpose is only to make me look a certain way. My left hand’s purpose is to unable me to be myself. I decided to apply Rochefoucauld’s quote: ” we would more win to be allowed to see ourselves such as we are, rather than to try to look what we are not “. (You see, the left-handed persons are cultivated all the same).

If you still have questions on “this”, I could answer you, or you can talk to associations that help left-handed persons’ families to accept the left-hander as he is.

Kisses,

 Mattew





Am I out of the closet ?

14 12 2008

teenager_by_adikijaOf course not. I mean… are you serious ?! There is no escape for me, unfortunately. My family is pretty homophobic, especially my father. Gosh, sometimes he says things that are just so awful… 😦 I consider myself quite young (maybe too young) to break my family apart. They don’t want this, neither do I. I know someday it will happen. Just not now. Let’s just say I’m not ready to come out of the closet just now. It is so easy to say: just do it, this is who you are. Of course, I wish to everyone to be out of the closet and be accepted. It’s just not that simple. Not only would my sexual orientation break my family apart, to be totally honest, I am scared like hell of my father. There are so much things that happened in his life and in my life and in our life as a family and knowing that his daughter is lesbian would just be too much, I guess. I am just afraid of what he would do like I’m sleeping, if you know what I mean… Seriously, it’s not even funny. At time, he just so violent. But anyway. My father is pretty much the main reason why I keep a low profile about this. Better off this way.

There is nothing else much to say about this. Except that for the moment, my only alternative to this unfortunate situation is to move out in Ontario (probably Ottawa or Toronto) after my CEGEP studies. In other words: Cut any type of relationship with my family. They won’t know anything about who I would be living with nor how my life is like. I would just be gone.

Well… Nobody knows what the future holds.





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.





Who likes ZE romance ? – Black lesbians books

29 08 2008

Who likes ZE romance ?

Did you ever wonder where the lesbian literature is  hiding ? I did. Not for long, I have to admit, but yes, I did. I’ve never really been into any kind of soap or romance lit (it’s just a question of taste). I personally am a lot more into coming of age, XXe century, contemporary and young adult fiction. But sometimes, I think every reader likes to read something lighter, just for entertainment. So here is a list of a couple of authors who write books on lesbianism, and especially on black lesbians (just because it’s somewhat harder to find then just lesbian books). Enjoy. 😀

The Gilda Stories: A Novel by Jewelle Gomez.

Abeng by Michelle Cliff.

Bliss by Fiona Zedde: Zedde’s first fiction effort features Bliss Sinclair, a New York publishing executive that is looking for love in all the wrong places. After dumping her boyfriend and in turn being seduced and abandoned by Regina Velasquez, a lesbian player into sex but not into long-term relationships, Sinclair travels to her birthplace, Jamaica, in hopes of restoring her emotional balance. Love enters Sinclair’s life in the sexy person of Hunter Willoughy, a Jamaican woman who is all about loving women.

Zami: A New Spelling of My Name (Crossing Press Feminist Series) by Audre Lorde.

The Gilda Stories: A Novel by Jewelle Gomez : The central character of this multiracial, feminist, lesbian vampire romance fantasy travels through time and leads multiple lives. Throughout her lives, Gilda is a woman of African descent with strong feminist traits and a sense of loyalty to her friends and family, both mortal and immortal. In her first life, she is a runaway slave in Louisiana in 1850, not yet a vampire, not yet named, who stabs a rapist/bounty hunter in self-defense. Rescued and adopted by Gilda, a vampire who runs a brothel, she soon becomes a vampire herself and adopts Gilda’s name. Subsequent lives take Gilda to California in 1890, Missouri in 1921, Massachusetts in 1955, New York in 1981 where she does a stint as a cabaret singer, and into the future in New Hampshire in 2020 and up to the year 2050. Gomez provides an unusual twist to the erotic vampire novel, introducing issues of race and sexual preference, but there is no attempt to address these issues except as fodder for an ultimately uninteresting romance novel.

Leave of Absence by S. Renée Bess.

Undercover by Laurinda D. Brown.