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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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.





Sexuality, identity and God

11 12 2008

 So, this picture right here is an Italian pro-homosexuality campaign that promote the idea that homosexuality is genetic. The poster caption says “Sexual orientation is not a choice”. I think it is a little bit over the top. Some people try so hard to make homosexuality overly accepted that to them, pretty much everything is good to support their cause. Even if it is not true. If it fits with there thesis, that’s ok. I’m not saying that it is false that homosexuality is genetic. But this theory has never been proved. Same thing with the brain activity and size of gays and lesbians. If you want to support a cause, just do it right. This add doesn’t upset me, it just makes me feel disappointed and a little sad. After, if ever someone finds a good and reliable proof that homosexuality is not genetic, then homophobic people are going to use that against us. Of course. It just makes the whole situation more complicated.

 Since society assumes that everyone is straight from birth unless told otherwise, it is a real struggle to define yourself as gay or lesbian. It is a process that straight people know nothing about, since they never have to make that journey. But I wonder if being born gay or not really changes something. You’re gay, you’re gay. That’s it. It’s like: who cares if you were born with blue eyes ? Now your eyes are brown and they are pretty much going to stay that color so why bother about the blue eyes ? You know ?

I mean, do we really chooseto be shy or out-going ? Do we chose to love chocolate and not vegetables ? Have we decided to be touched and affected by discrimination and not by political issues ? I think love is pretty irrational. We don’t know why we love our lover. We just love herhim. We might say: ‘Oh, she’s cute, she’s funny, she cares about me’. But there is more than one lover who is like this, isn’t it ? And we don’t necessarily fall in love with everyone who falls into that description. We don’t know either why we are afraid of spiders or heights or water. We just are. Isn’t the same thing with homophobia ? So far, I met many homophobic people and none of them manage to clearly say why they hated homosexuals.

Aren’t we, as a society, trying to rational the irrational ? I mean: love. Yes, being gay or lesbian or bisexual is about love, I believe. Certainly not about hate, for sure. Some Christians that refuse to see themselves as gay argue that it is not about being homosexual, it is about being a Christian. They say they smoother their sexual orientation and choose to live as a Christian with these attractions which they don’t act upon. They say it is a distinction that more gays and lesbians should see. Okay. Not so bad. The problem is: Are they really going to live all their life with those attractions at the back of their head, not going to satisfy them at all ? If you are happy with the heterosexual live, good for you. But you might want to ask yourself if your are doing that for you or for someone else ? Usual answer: ‘This is what God wants for me’. Or something of that effect. Doesn’t God want you to love yourself the way you are ? …  No ? Yes ? -_-‘

I don’t want to start the religion/homosexuality talk. But man, some times I just wish everything was just nice and easy.





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.





Black lesbian in NYC get 11 years for self-defense

9 08 2008

On June 14, four African-American women—Venice Brown (19), Terrain Dandridge (20), Patreese Johnson (20) and Renata Hill (24)—received sentences ranging from three-and-a-half to 11 years in prison. None of them had previous criminal records. Two of them are parents of small children. Their crime? Defending themselves from a physical attack by a man who held them down and choked them, ripped hair from their scalps, spat on them, and threatened to sexually assault them—all because they are lesbians. The mere fact that any victim of a bigoted attack would be arrested, jailed and then convicted for self-defense is an outrage. But the length of prison time given further demonstrates the highly political nature of this case and just how racist, misogynistic, anti-gay, anti-youth and anti-worker the so-called U.S. justice system truly is. The description of the events, reported below, is based on (read more).

And now, let’s ask ourselves : Why? -_-‘