Helping vs. Condemning

Back in 2011 we learned of Amber Cole.

I found out about this 14 year old child who has been misguided and I took up for her like she was my little sister, cousin, or mentee. I did (and will do it again for someone else) so because grown women were calling her all types of names and saying that she “was a fast little (insert your derogatory word of choice)” I did not and still do not agree with those statements. Yes, she was filmed giving head to a young boy who was in her class outside and could have looked like she enjoyed it (I don’t know did not watch the video because I don’t feel that I should participate in watching child pornography)

 

Here are some reasons and questions as to why we know about her (and most importantly, why weren’t these students in school and why didn’t their prospective teachers notice they were missing):

 

  1. Ignorant little boys using technology and watching like it was a freak show.
  2. How has her life been so far growing up? Meaning was she molested, did she watch others have sex, was she taught about self-esteem, was she taught about self worth, did her mother tell her she betta not be fucking but she heard and saw her mother doing the same. All of these scenarios should be included into the fact that she was acting out for attention.
  3. Was she bullied or made fun of? This question matters because peer pressure is REAL in case none of you knew, also did this guy force her to come outside and give him head. Force? Yes, force meaning he would tell people that she did it when she really did not so she would still be made fun of and ostracized so she went ahead and did it. Now she is being called hoe/slut all over the United States.. (How soon do you GROWN people forget that you used to do the same activities.. Some of you gave head or was being fast and got caught kissing at school and was caught on the camera or you knew where the cameras were NOT placed and was able to get away with it. How about looking in the mirror before condemning this child)

 

Now let’s talk about solutions so that there will not be another Amber Cole in this technology advanced world.

  1. This is the number one way to help out our teens whom are misguided and look to the media whether it’s the television or internet for information. This is truer that you may want to admit. We have the boom of rappers talking about how they “banged some hoe” the night before.. have rappers talking about how “you can have whatever you like” but you gotta do something for it be it sex or begging. Think about how you can help one teen out instead of talking about how “fast they are”
  2. Blogging about positive things and posting it for teens to see. Going to places where they are and cutting out sheets of paper with your blog site, giving them five reasons why they should visit. If you draw them in, you will have their attention. Reading about self-worth, self-esteem, healthy relationships, safe sex, physical fitness, and etc will be a great outlet for them.
  3. Stop posting sex-a-pades and tips for teens to see. Not saying you cannot be who you are, but limiting this can be a huge help for them. Remember me saying that the internet is where they are going for information.
  4. Speaking about how to have healthy sex and relationships and talk about abstinence but NOT just that. Telling a 16 year old that they should not have sex is just like telling your 28-year-old self that you can’t have a cupcake. It is going o happen so instead of ignoring it, how about we provide healthy avenues for them to come and ask questions.

All of these tips work, I know from experience have younger cousins and two mentees. When you are a positive light you will draw individuals to you and our teens need more positive avenues. They are not seeing enough, they have stressors coming across their eyes daily, from not being “cute” enough, “skinny” enough, “popular” enough, “smart” enough when in reality these life lessons should be coming from home. BUT they are not. Therefore, WE as a community has to step in to help. Think about being apart of the solution and not problem.


Losing Yourself..

When you meet someone and you hit it off immediately, the connection is there what does it mean when you want to spend every waking moment with that person…… Let’s act as if we do not know what that is or what it means. Lets take it back to the basics…

Infatuation.

Isolation.

Stingy.

Obsession.

Are some of the words we can use for when you meet someone and you forget about everyone else who is in your life. You’re getting to know the person, inside and out, possibly having sex depending on how slow or fast you decide to move and then depending on what the status is you start to get all these fuzzy emotions that may have not been there as soon as they are if you hadn’t had sex…

Let’s face it.

Sex brings about plenty of emotions and it changes things..

 

So how do you avoid loosing yourself?


Black Sheep

When you are born into a family….and mostly everyone is normal.. Normal being Heterosexual in my case, it’s hard being the outcast..

Let me explain…..

I am a proud lesbian, my family feels I am in a phase.. Well let’s just say I have outgrown the phase age stage in my life… The moment I came out of the closet I broke free and have been trying to defend who I was ever since.

Why am I constantly defending who I am though?

This is a question I cannot answer because I have a need to want to be loved.. Loved from my family. I care what my family thinks of me, not people who don’t give two shits nor know who I truly am (let’s get this common miscommunication clear) I think I care so much because my aunts and uncles helped raise me where my mother and father fell short and then when my mother died they stepped in even more. So there’s a different dynamic relationship here…..

However, I have to and must follow the same advice that I give my clients who are dealing with or have dealt with the same issues.

Its simple…

God did not make any mistakes with me.

I am who I am.

I will not change who I am for my family.

I will not hide who I am.

I am in love with Javania.

I will not continue to defend my attraction.

I therefore will not longer feel as if I am the Black Sheep in my family.

 

 

Have you ever felt like the oddball in your family? Share your story below.


Pariah Review

Saint Louis finally got the movie… a couple of friends and I went on opening day… Not many people were there, I’ll say a good 20 people…… that’s pushing it. Of course there were more white people than African American… this is a movie that I feel everyone should see no matter your sexual orientation, however, I do feel that LBGTQ’s needs to see it more….These words are my opinions, please go watch the movie for yourself to get a better understanding.

Pariah:

http://focusfeatures.com/pariah/photos

Alike–played by Adepero Oduye, a young African American woman, senior year of high school, and apart of a family that is full of silent dysfunction.

Which starts with her parents.

Mother Audrey—played by Kim Wayans is overbearing and controlling.

Father Arthur—played by Charles Parnell non-existent because he does not want to be with mother. He’s a police officer and uses that to his advantage, and is never home.

Alike’s younger sister Sharonda—played by Sahra Melesse is the “prodigal” child according to her mother.. she happens to love being a “girl” …

Alike is identifying to be more masculine.

Alikes close friend, Laura—played by Pernell Walker a stud… who is in love with Alike but refuses to tell her (I was able to sense some liking from the first interaction).

Alike’s mother Audrey does not like Laura because she feels that she is influencing her in a negative way.  Audrey is odd, she has issues communicating, in a scene while she was at work on lunch, she is very uncomfortable being around people.  I believe it’s because of low and lack of self-esteem that she never handled from the past, plus having to deal with her husband cheating but not wanting to divorce, add that with her two children being aggravated with her.

Alike mother forces her to become friends with one of her co-workers daughter Bina—played by Aasha Davis, Audrey thinks Bina will have a “positive” influence on Alike… Bina however, is a wild child.  So much so that Bina ends up being Alike’s first and breaking her heart, because she just wanted to chill and have sex.  Even though Alike’s feelings were hurt, that moment was all of the confirmation that she needed.  She knew from that first kiss that the feelings she’d been having were indeed real.

Alike acknowledged that she was a lesbian.  She found her voice.

Her mother proceeds to beat her, Alike packs up some clothes and goes to stay with Laura.  Audrey goes on with life as if nothing happened and the next scene while they are eating dinner Sharonda mentions to her father that he needs to go find Alike.  Alike finds out that she can graduate high school early, and asks her father to sign the paperwork.  Alike goes to her mother’s job to tell her she loved her and to let her know of her plans, Audrey acts as if she is not there, and tells her she will pray for her then walks away.  Alike moves across country to attend a prestigious college writing program..

This film hits on many issues in the African American family..acting as if everything is alright when deep down you know it’s not. Numerous stereotypes are throughout this movie. Some of the stereotypes maybe true for some, but false for others. The point is light being shown on the issues in our families. Homosexuality is not a disease and I do not feel that it is wrong.  God made me and I know for a fact that he did not make any mistakes when he designed me. I know that the family issues when it comes to acknowledging your child is “different” and not going the way you want them to go are in my family. I have talked openly about how my family has responded to me coming out, although I have not been disowned, they have moments when the words they let come out of their mouth equate to diarrhea.  I have no control over that so I continue to live my life.. As it would be pleasing to God, not man.

Website link again… http://focusfeatures.com/pariah


Do YOU need HELP?

For Suicidal Thoughts or Actions?

Do you know someone who has made suicidal comments recently or in the past?

If so please take the time out to read this post and HELP…..

                                                                                                  Image Source

As someone who tried to commit suicide to end the pain I was going through at the time (I thank God daily that  I did not succeed), I always want to help others who are feeling suicidal. I work at a crisis call center for individuals who are suicidal or homicidal. I go out into the community to prevent suicides.  At times it does not always work.  They are too far depressed or was not able to get help sooner.

If you know someone who has said anything to you Suicidal please call the hotline number 1-800-273-8255 to get them some help even if they protest. Suicide is nothing to make light of..

If someone is coming to you saying “odd” things or acting “odd” it is usually a cry for help. Don’t let that cry go unheard. Some individuals don’t want to come out and say the words be it embarrassment or shame. I know that if my college roommate hadn’t walked in when she did, life would be different for me. I never went to my friends and said that I wanted to commit suicide… I was “all smiles and jokes” hurting and rotting on the inside…

If YOU reading this is going through hard times and you want to commit suicide to end the pain I BEG you to try to get help first and know that whatever you are going through right now will get better. You have to work at it and be patient. Please call that hotline number, it’s 24/7 so someone will be there to talk to you any time of the day.

Remember someone loves you. And that someone should start with YOU.

 

Here are some links that you can read to get familiar with suicide:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm

http://healthmad.com/mental-health/myth-and-facts-about-suicide/

http://suicidehotlines.com/

http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html

That Suicidal Hotline Number again is 1-800-273-8255


Meet Nicole Clark

Name and Location: Nicole Clark, New York City

1. What is your passion in life? : My passion centers around educating, including, affirming, and empowering women of color (women who identify as Black, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Indigenous) to becoming change agents in their lives around sexual and reproductive health. I work to make sure that women of color have equal access to medically accurate throughout the spectrums of sexual and reproductive wellness.
2. What is your current job? : I currently work as a social worker at a national advocacy organization that serves people affected with and by HIV/AIDS and homelessness.

3. Do you own your own business? If so, what is the name and the mission? : I recently began my consulting business called Nicole Clark Consulting, where my mission is “Infusing Passion & Creativity to Improve the Health and Lives of Women & Girls of Color”. I share my experiences and expertise on sexual health, reproductive justice, advocacy, images of women of color in the media, street harassment, HIV prevention, community organizing, gender-based violence, and self care.

4. Did you have any fears when first starting your business? : My initial fear was wondering if I had anything to add to this particular field of activism, followed by if I could ever fully get to the point where I can make a substantial living writing, consulting, and speaking on these issues.

5. Did you have any insecurities when first starting your own business? : As I got more into my blogging and started back conducting workshops and speaking engagements (I took some time off between 2008-2010 to attend graduate school for social work), I started to worry more about my personal brand and how I can strategically set myself apart from others in order to generate better opportunities.

6. Describe your brand in one word. : Empowerment

7. Do you have any past failures that you can tell what you did to learn from them? : I haven’t been in my consulting business for very long, so I don’t have any marked failures yet. I guess one ongoing problem I have is over-extending myself and taking on too many opportunities, which has led to burn-out on occasion. Also, trying to balance my 9-5 with my consulting business is always a challenge.

8. Who are your target consumers? Would you want to change this?: My target audience is women and girls who indentify as Black, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Indigenous.

9. Who inspires you? : I often get inspiration from women of color who have decided to live life on their own terms. On my blog, I’ve created the Women Making Moves! series, where I interview women of color in various fields who have found passion in their lives and work. I initially began the series as a way to encourage myself, but I’ve found from many of my readers that the interview series is a favorite of theirs as well.

10. What is always at the back of your mind? : I’m always thinking of how I can be more effective in my blogging style and how I can interact with my social media followers to increase their trust in me. I also think about my family a lot. I’m originally from Georgia and the majority of my family is still in the south. While I’m grateful for the chosen family I’ve developed in New York City, there’s nothing like being with the people who make you…you. I try to go home as often as I can.

11. What do you want to change about your job or career right now? : The biggest change I am making in my career is getting everything in place to fully transition into full-time consulting.

12. What advice do you have for others? : One biggest piece of advice I have comes from a song called “Open Your Eyes (You Can Fly)” by Vanessa Williams and Me’shell Ndegeocello . The lyrics are “You can’t wait for others to applaud what you do. So just congratulate yourself and start something new.” Receiving recognition is always nice, but when we rely heavily on it to the point where it affects our sense of self, it can become problematic. We should also be striving to grow better and to strive higher, and to help others along the way.

13. How do you motivate yourself?: I motivate myself by surrounding myself with friends and family that love me for me. I also create communities that are reflective of who I am as a personal and professional.. Since I am a social worker, activist, and college/graduate school graduate, I try to keep strong ties with people I’ve met that fall into these communities for me.

14. Did you have any obstacles that you overcame to get to where you are now?: The biggest obstacle I’ve ever faced (and continue to face) are the self-defeating thoughts and negative self-talk. Perception is reality, and how you feel about yourself ultimately manifest itself into your surroundings, how you interact with others, and how they respond to you.

15. Where can we find you on the web? You can find me at my website, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


LGBTQ vs. LGBTQ

Here is the guest post I did for Nicole Clark Read, Enjoy, and Comment

LGBTQ vs. LGBTQ

Stud on Stud

Femme on Femme

Stud on Femme

Transman on Femme

Transwoman on Stud

Stud on Transman

NEWSFLASH… IT DOES NOT MATTER…

Fighting.   Fighting because someone looked at your “lady” too long at the club.

Fighting because someone bumped into you and didn’t apologize at the club.

Fighting because your “lady” is flip at the mouth.

Fighting because your “lady” forced you to pop her ass because she kept badgering you.

Hate.  Hate because no one understands you.

Hate because you are tired of explaining why you love women.

Hate because someone else is doing better than you.

Hate because you are tired of being looked over.

These examples are simply real and not the end of the problems present in the LGBTQ community.

We are fighting heterosexuals, our family, our employers, AND our brothers and sisters who are just like us.   WHY though?   With all of the reports of gays being bullied, stalked, and killed because of being different one would think that we would stick together and love one another despite the differences we share sans our sexual orientation.

I remember hearing “just because one is gay, that does not mean they want to talk or be friends with someone else who is also gay” this statement is an understatement. Even though I do not like to admit… that statement makes sense…. To those who are close-minded and don’t want to think outside of the box. In the same regards…..the same goes for heterosexuals…..

However, heterosexuals have rights when it comes to the ones they love, they can get married, and be on their wife’s or husbands insurance at work etc.

Homosexuals cannot.

The “National Black Justice Coalition” (NBJC) is the leading organization that represents African Americans in the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered, and Queer community. NBJC is fighting for us, fighting old stereotypes and traditions.  They are going into the Schools, Churches, and HBCU Universities to get equal rights.  They are also fighting the GOVERNMENT.  These fights matter… Not the fighting that’s done because you have self-hatred that some chooses to spread among others.

Go look in the mirror to see who you are, really look deep because YOU have to live with whomever you are.  If you don’t like who you are then start fighting and hating THAT person…not someone who has done nothing to you.. While fighting the person you want to get ride of.. dig, dig, and dig to bring out a better person.    We must stop fighting each other because we cannot fight for our rights and ourselves as the same time. Spewing hate is the number one way to isolate yourself. When no one wants to be around you anymore, realize that it was you.

I challenge you to go on a positive journey starting RIGHT now and leave all of the hate and fighting behind you, it’s never too late to start over.  Here are some links where you can start to become a positive non hating/fighting individual:

http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com

http://www.nbjc.org

http://www.studology101.tv

http://imgaynowwhat.com

Thanks for reading, share with your friends and family. Go ahead and take baby steps to not become one of the LGBTQ members spreading hate…


Color Purple Circa: 12-03-08

I am cracking up at the poor job of sensual poems I did.. I took an English Creative Writing course..While I was still trying to come to terms with being gay.. The things I was thinking back then… SMH is all I can do… YOU, YOU reading.. Where was your mind frame in 2008? Clearly mine was on sex, sex, and more sex.. LoL

 Color purple

Erotic and deep

Lets you see beyond it

Draws you in and makes you wonder

Why the color is so sexual

Makes you want to…

Color purple

It brings out something in others

Makes you want to beat on someone

Whether sexual or violently

Makes you want to expose yourself

Do you love the color purple?

Erotic and deep

Sometimes things just need to be free from constriction

Color purple

Lets you see beyond it

Draws you in, makes you a sexual being

Color purple


Mentoring OUR Youth

When you sit back and think back to the years when you were in grade school through high school, what do you remember the most? DO you remember bullying, having sex in the corner stairwell hall, being made fun of because you didn’t have the “in” clothes, getting good grades, tutoring or getting tutored, being mentored by someone older ??

Now think about where you are now, and the conversations that your sisters, cousins, brothers, nephews, or nieces are having?

Are you worried that they are getting the wrong information?

I am… and I mentor..

When a teenager asks ‘What does fucking feel like” what should you say?  I can remember thinking about questions like this when I was a teenager.  I remember hearing my auntie telling me that sex is emotional and feels great when it is with the right person.  So again… what should we tell our young ladies when they ask questions like the one above?

 

Other questions I have been asked:

Can you take me to get an abortion?

Can you buy me some condoms?

Can you tell my mom that I am NOT having sex if she asks you?

What does getting and giving head feel like?

Is it okay to reuse condoms?

I thought sex is supposed to feel good, why does it hurt?

 

YOU get the point.. and these are questions from teens who are actively having sex and they are confused about the whole idea of having sex..

 

I have been mentoring since I was 15 with the neighborhood cheerleading team under my Aunt who was the head coach.  These girls were asking me questions about sex that I’d never heard of.. they just assumed that I knew and I am sure I led them the wrong way a couple of times. Butttt it was good to have older friends and to be smart. See I was in honor courses and the upperclassmen were in just about all of my classes soooo I learned and took notes… I first found out about orgasms, oral sex, SEX, and more SEX…You get the picture..(I truly don’t know if that was a good or bad thing..)

 

ANYWHOO…

 

When mentoring a young woman it is your job to provide her with the correct tools and mind frame to help her along her way.  I talk, do activities, give homework (and expect it to be done), and spend time.  I am consistent with them, and I let them know that nothing is off limits, meaning no questions or topics are too personal.  The purpose of me mentoring young women is to help shape and mold them into honest women of our future.  Our youth is hurting tremendously.. and Amber Cole is not the first teen to do something that her boyfriend asked of her because she thought she was in love, teens and “adults” do these type of behaviors daily. BUT the question is WHY are our teens feeling like they must give head or have sex to fit in.

 

I know that I am in the minority when I say that children should be sheltered… my grandmother raised me that way and I believe I came out just fine, of course I had a little bumps along the way, but her strictness was for the better. I grew up in Chicago…we know about the statistics for STDs, STIs, HIV/AIDS there..  I know live in St. Louis and the rates are astronomical in the high schools. These rates will NOT leave until we get real about mentoring, and teaching our teens safe sex and abstinence.

Think about how you can help a teenager out, and make sure that they are going to be prepared for this world that we are living in..

 

Thank you for reading..


Meet Kelli

Name and Location

Kelli Barnes from St. Louis

How old were you when you “came out”?

I came out when I was 21 or 22 years old

How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex?

I realized that I was attracted to the same sex when I was in high school.

How did your family react?

I had a mix of reactions from my family.  My mother is religious and is not accepting of her daughter being a lesbian.  We have had many disagreements and even periods of time where we were not talking because she was struggling with how to deal with it.  At this point she is better; I wouldn’t say she accepts it, but she tolerates it.  Hopefully we will get to the point where she accepts me completely.  I have some aunts that were very accepting…they had questions, but there was no judgment.

Do you label yourself?

If by label, you mean “femme” “stud” or “aggressive”, I would say yes.  I consider myself to be femme.

What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of?

One misconception that I would get rid of, especially among lesbian relationships, is that someone has to be the “man” of the relationship.  I personally do not feel that heterosexual constraints should be placed on a lesbian relationship.  The implication that a woman has to play the role of man suggests that a lesbian relationship is somehow incomplete without a masculine presence.  This misconception shows how much people need to learn about the dynamics of a lesbian or any other LGBTQ relationship.

How can you help the LGBTQ Youth?

I feel that by being out and visible I am helping LGBTQ youth.  The more they see us being proud of who we are, they will realize they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Do you think that you were born gay?

I don’t know if I was born gay or not.  I believe that some people are, but I’m not sure if that applies to me.

How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing?

I feel that people who use religion to justify bashing or discriminating against homosexuals don’t know anything about God.  I believe that God created all of us in His divine image and therefore we all worthy of His love.  People use religion to justify the oppression of the minority because of fear and ignorance.  Until those people release that fear and ignorance they will continue to hide behind bible scriptures to make themselves feel valid in their hate.  It is my humble opinion that God does not want any of His children to be treated unfairly, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ?

I have a son.  My success as a parent really doesn’t have anything to do with me being a lesbian.  I’m trying to make sure that my son grows up to be respectful of himself and others, to have integrity and morals, to value his education, and to be a proud African American young man.  I would parent the same exact way if I were straight.

How do you make sure that you are being positive?

Being positive can be a struggle.  Going through stressful times can sometimes make keeping a positive attitude difficult.  However, I try to be mindful of my blessings and remind myself that valleys in my life are always an opportunity for growth. 

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on twitter @Boho_Radical