asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Let Black Queers Be

I don’t consider myself queer.

For a long time, I thought the word “Queer” was only something that white people could be. No one in my family, that I was aware of, was queer. None of my friends were talking about being queer. It wasn’t being said on the tv. It wasn’t being sung in songs. Whenever my aunts talked about someone being queer it was always a white person. I’m not white, so back then, I thought I couldn’t be whatever this mysterious queer thing was. I didn’t think I could ever label myself a queer being.

Many of my friends do though; they consider me the queerest of the bunch. Even though my older sister is a lesbian and one of my closest friends is trans. To the people around me, I’m queerer than they are because I’m asexual. A word that many people haven’t ever heard of and can’t begin to define. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction and/or desire. That’s the simplest and easiest definition that can be given. I’m not attracted to people, sexually. I’m not attracted romantically either but that’s a different story, different article. I’ve had sex before, a bunch of times with several people so I’m by no means a virgin or inexperienced. I can still look at a celebrity and automatically think “I want to fuck them”. I understand the general idea of why sex is enjoyable to people. But it’s not to me and it hasn’t ever really been. A few of the times I had sex I enjoyed it, but I rarely saw myself actively seeking it out. Those celebrities I’d like to fuck are more enjoyable in theory because whenever I imagine a scenario of it actually happening I end up shutting down. I wasn’t able to properly express this when I was younger, when my boyfriend demanded sex from me daily or when girls weren’t taking the hint that I just wanted to be friends. Now though, I have the tools and the language to get my point across. I use this to my advantage at all times possible.

I don’t like to be touched. It’s a trauma thing and something that grew and crossed over with my Asexuality. When one is in a relationship, you realize it involves A LOT of touching. I’m not with it so I removed myself from the equation of sexual/romantic relationships. Other people, however, haven’t removed me and still expect me to be interested in them when they show interest in me. Nevermind what I want, all that matter is what they want. They don’t consider the idea that I’m not interested in anyone at all. As a Black woman with the face and body I have, I must just be curving niggas when I decline their advances. My ass cannot be this fat and there’s no man or woman claiming it. I haven’t had sex in five years so I must be “crazy” because only a mentally unstable person wouldn’t want to engage in that universally loved thing. I have been preached at, screamed at, lectured and given looks full of pity. And all the while, I simply sat back and observed what I saw happening around me and the things happening around Black Queers. It all comes down to one thing for me, personally: Black Queers are constantly being policed and it needs to stop.

My perspective on sex comes from a different angle, one that most haven’t thought of before. And that somehow makes me both broken and queerer than the people out here having sex. Which is strange to me. I’m broken because I lack sexual attraction but I’m queer because of that as well? I often lost track of time trying to figure out if when someone called me queer were they really calling me broken in a nice way. What’s even stranger though, is the idea that something or someone must be invalidated in order for one thing to make sense. While my friends around me have been calling me queer for a while, once I got on the internet, I was told with a hard resounding “No” that I’m not queer and it’s disrespectful for me to even think of myself that way. Because I’m not interested in sex, and honestly that’s fine with me. What isn’t fine, however, is the way that Black people are constantly policed by queer white people because we don’t fit in the definition they deemed would define “Queer”. If you’re not X, Y, Z then you’re not queer and can’t be apart of the LBGT community. As if all sexuality isn’t a spectrum and ever-changing, but that seems to only apply when discussing white queerness. The only people who told me that I can’t be queer because I’m Asexual, have all been white. It’s very noticeable on the internet that if you’re not thin, white and pretty by European standards then your experiences, words, and perspective as a queer person aren’t taken seriously. Queer white people aren’t interested in hearing how being LGBT interests differently when it comes to Black people because they aren’t able to wrap their minds around any suffering that doesn’t directly affect them. They refuse to. And in that refusal, Black queer people can end up drawing the short end of the stick.

In the Black community, sexuality is a sensitive subject. It’s not talked about. If it’s not a man and a woman having sex then suddenly it’s problem, or it’s mocked. Queerness isn’t a joke, it’s an important part of many young Black peoples lives. As a community, it seems we’re fighting amongst ourselves for the idea that we are all Black despite what happens in the privacy of our bedrooms. It’s the old heads versus the youngings and I don’t really understand it. Especially because there are definitely Black queers that are 50 years and above. Any time Black men are near each other and show affection, they’re called gay. Black women are hypersexualized by the masses (men and women alike) and expected to like it. Black children are groomed to be homophobic. Our instant reaction to something that makes us uncomfortable is to crack a joke, to put down whatever the thing is. Instead of talking about why it makes us uncomfortable in the first place. The safe space for Black Queers in the Black community is very small. That’s gotta change before we lose even more Black Queers than we already have. The problem isn’t the Black community as a whole, the problem is we’ve been conditioned for literal centuries to think and react to differences in a white way. We react in the only way we know how. However, every once in a while I see something that lets me know we’re headed in a better direction. A progressive direction that we as Black people should and need to define ourselves. I’d never met another Black asexual until I started posting about being Ace on Twitter. I found other Black individuals like me and they’ve put me on to even more Black Aces than I could have ever imagined. We’re out here, we exist.    

I don’t consider myself queer, but there are hundreds of thousands of Black people who are queer and deserve to be so in peace.  

-Danyi

Advertisements
asexuality · black girl blogs · black women

Represent Me, But Do It Right

I have a lot of dreams. A lot of them. I want to be a writer, traveling the world and writing scripts that are turned into films. I want to be a director, bringing a group of people together to create stunning images that people will run to see. I want to show run my own television show, have something on the air that marginalized people will look forward to seeing. I want to write several books that will range from fiction and fantasy to poetry and essays. I want to one day soon, write a story that’s turned into a movie, a tv show, a book, something that others will be able to get their hands on. And I want that story to center around a black asexual woman.

Representation is a hotly debated and long withstanding argument in nearly every part of the world. Everyone wants representation, and everyone deserves it. Yet the most represented person in media today is still the white male, followed closely by the white woman. Marginalized people still have to wrap characters in their imagination and stretch their minds to relate to them. And we can do it without so much as batting an eye. Personally, however, I’ve been working to stop myself from doing that. My mind shouldn’t have to work overtime to relate to a character just because I’ve never seen someone like myself on a screen or in a book before. It’s time to start creating characters that mirror my image. So that’s what I plan to do.

In an ever growing and changing world, the idea of representation seems simple enough. Someone wants to tell their story, their experiences, their perspective on things. So they should be allowed to do so, right? That’s hardly ever what happens.

I’ve seen one asexual character on screen. Todd on BoJack Horseman is asexual. He’s stated so himself and the identity explored for a bit, Todd even gets himself a date with another Ace person. At the moment, it’s nice and reassuring to see someone on a screen say they’re asexual. And to see them be accepted. But Todd is still a white male, still, the most represented being on the planet. His asexuality is nice but it’s blanketed by his white and male privileges. He further assures the idea that asexuals are thin white people. More times than I care to count, I’ve told someone I’m asexual and the first thing out of their mouth is “that’s white people shit” or some variation of it. Todd being openly asexual on one of the most popular new animated series is fantastic but it’s not really a step forward nor does it open a door to asexual representation being as diverse as should be. Because it’s been over a year since Todd came out as asexual, and he’s still the only character to do it. I’ve heard that there was a character on Shadowhunters that was Ace but I’m unsure if anything ever came of that. I understand why Todd is the one to be allowed to say out loud he’s asexual. He’s white and a male and they can literally say anything they like and get away with it. Making Todd an asexual was a safe way to give the audience a taste of something most of them had not heard of before. It’s safe, but it’s also boring. Representation of something new, something that most haven’t ever heard of, shouldn’t be reduced to comedy only. We shouldn’t have to make awkward jokes about asexuals in the hopes that others laugh their way into understanding us.

There’s an idea that sits in the back of my head. A story about a black girl making the transition from high school to college and dealing with her discovery of the word asexual, there’d be drama, adventures, awkward conversations, and illuminating education. I have another idea for a WOC that comes to find her asexuality through trial and error, finds love and happiness but never loses her asexual identity. I want to make a movie about a black boy that struggles find his place in poverty and struggles even harder to understand why he feels no sexual attractions towards anyone. I roll the idea in my head of two Aces learning to love each other at their own pace and away from the judgmental eyes of society almost every day. I dream of the movie/show where a superhero has zero interest in love and instead works to save from the world without romance. I have ideas for days about the way asexuals can be represented differently but as a whole. The identity has such a wide spectrum and such diverse people fall under the umbrella of asexuality, there’s no real reason that the only representation we have at the moment is a white guy.

The point of representation is to give people a feeling of acceptance. We all want to see ourselves in what we consume, it’s that small bit of reassurance that we aren’t alone in the world. When I was first discovering asexuality, I would have given anything to be able to find a movie where the main character was Ace. Even if the movie had of sucked, I would have loved it for the Ace character. Visually, being able to see someone not be interested in sex would have been world changing for me. The part of me that kept insisting something was wrong with me may have been silenced so much earlier had I seen asexuality represented in a positive, affirming and sincere way. Too often asexuals are made out to be childish and cringe-worthy simply because of our disinterest in sex. I’m not sure when it was decided but apparently, if you don’t want to have someone in your space sexually it makes you a child. It means you haven’t reached an imaginary checkpoint that all “adults” must hit. And even if you have hit that checkpoint, many times over, if you didn’t enjoy it you’re not only childish but broken as well.

The spectrum for asexuality is pretty big, there are so many different kinds of Aces that representing everyone can be a bit of a challenge. However, we won’t know until we try. I’m going to make movies about asexuals, I’m going to write books about them and I’m going to try to have every project I create to give some type of representation. We deserve it. So I’m going to give it to us.

-Danyi

black girl blogs · Movie Reviews · reviews

Blindspotting: A Look Into A Perfect Scene

Every once in a while, I get obsessed with a movie. There’s a scene or a moment that completely draws me in and makes the movie, in my opinion, perfect. When the first Iron Man came out, watching Tony take to the skies in the barely put together 1st suit and come crashing back down impacted me significantly. Because at the end of the scene, he got up and started walking. To me, that’s a perfect summary of who he is as a character. He creates something fantastic, it fails and he keeps going. In Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa and Max fight the first time they come face to face. It’s violent and intense, it also perfectly frames who they are as characters. At the end of the fight, they still don’t like each other, and one could argue at the end of the movie they still don’t really like each other, but they pull together to face a bigger threat. In a raw and almost not seen before way. Max respected Furiosa and she respects him. It made me obsessed. When I saw Blindspotting this past summer, for the first time it was a dream sequence that resonated with me. Made me want to watch it over and over. As a whole, Blindspotting is an award-worthy movie. But for me, it only took one scene in particular for me to love this movie and drive me to write about it all the time.

Usually, dream sequences are used for foreshadowing. When both the audience and the character need help to look deeper into something or connecting dots that aren’t obvious. In dreams anything is possible. What draws me in when it comes to Blindspotting’s dream scene is that it chooses to stay grounded in the real world and focus on putting out a message in a pop culture fashion that’s nearly universally understood. I’m talking about rap and the fact that, as the movie puts it later in the film, everyone is conditioned to listen to a rapping nigga.

Collin can’t speak, and because he can’t speak Miles has to do so for him. But Miles only has negative things to say no matter how pretty he makes them sound. And he raps out these backhanded compliments because people are more likely to listen the smoother you make the words go round. They’re even more likely to listen the lighter the skin color, so Miles is perfect to get this message said out loud. About how Collin hasn’t changed and is still the gangster society assumes him to be. Sure he’s calm and collected but still, there’s no room for pussyfooting because there are no passes and the last thing they’ll tolerate is to be disrespected by anyone let alone the masses. The courtroom is dimly lit so the judge remains a silhouette unseen. The jurors are all men. They’re all dressed in black, a signal to our subconscious to know what that means. Then Collin starts spitting up bullets in place in the words he’s trying to spill.  And the red light that kept Collin from getting home on time starts to blink in a rhythm that’s eerily chill. It all comes to a climax as our judge is illuminated to reveal, the cop in real life who shot a black man. A police officer whose aim wasn’t to detain, but to kill. When Collin does get his voice back, it doesn’t matter. Miles words have already been taken at face value, even though it was clearly against Collin’s will.

Blindspotting holds nothing back with its dedication to getting its message across, even when the message is uncomfortable. It’s multi-layered and demands that we as an audience pay attention to what is being put in front of our faces. Miles is the outlandish one, the one that runs off at the mouth and the one that does things without thinking. But it’s Collin that this is constantly projected upon. He’s racially profiled by the police, he’s judged by his ex for the things that Miles does and looks down upon by his own skin folk in charge of the halfway house. Everyone has been conditioned to see the two men in two very specific ways, even though they’re both always proving that they should be seen in a different way entirely.

I think what I love most about Blindspotting is the conversations it brings to the table. Different subjects that all in some way or another intersect. The dream sequence focuses on one topic, in particular, the commonly known theme of how even after someone does their time in jail, they are forever after judged as a criminal. Collin isn’t a criminal, a situation got out of hand and he ended up paying the price, he’s hardly violent or a thug. But since he’s been to jail and he’s got a record now, when mostly everyone looks at him now they see him as criminal. A bad tough guy that’s to be feared. No matter how much he shrinks himself and holds himself back in attempts to change the outside view. Which Miles perfectly articulates in the last half of his rap. This is Collin’s life now until it’s lights out.

I’m really appreciative of Blindspotting. It’s a story that I hope is spread far and wide and I hope it resonates with people the way it’s resonated with me. It’s a movie that should be taught in classes and essays should be written about it.

-Danyi

asexuality · black girl blogs · short stories · Uncategorized

A Game of Perspective

When Angy was younger, she would sit on her sisters’ bed and watch the older girl tape magazine pages to her wall. Clara had a thing for boys with strong cheekbones and dark hair, the pattern was evident to Angy who spent a lot of time listening to her sister gush about whichever popular boy they went to high school with. Often Angy would wonder why she never felt the same way about the boys that Clara did. She even had an English class with her sisters’ second biggest crush. And every time he smiled at Angy she would try her hardest to understand why her sister liked him. Each time though, she found herself left disappointed. Her sister had terrible taste in boys.

After Clara graduates, Angy doesn’t have to listen to boy talk anymore but she’s more lonely than she’s ever been. Her sister is her best friend and without her, Angy doesn’t really have anyone. The girls she sees the most in school, Alex and Caden have both recently gotten boyfriends. And the sound of lips smacking against each other makes Angy’s skin crawl so she doesn’t see them like she used to. They don’t seem to notice or mind.

The summer before college, Angy got her first boyfriend. A guy from her senior English class, James. He was nice and he was quiet and Angy thought she liked him. They would sometimes go to the movies together and Angy always enjoyed the conversations they had afterward. James was smart. James also wanted to kiss Angy and hold her hand and put her hand down the front of his pants while they sat together in the car. It was something she hadn’t expected and at first, didn’t quite know how to react to. He wanted her to touch him for what? He wanted to always have his lips pressed to hers for what? And when Angy had asked him about it, after spending ten minutes awkwardly trying to kiss him back and move her hand at the same time, James hadn’t really had an answer for her.

“You make my dick hard.”

After he drops her back home, Angy texts James that maybe them hanging out so much isn’t a good idea. She doesn’t want to spend all their time together kissing and touching when they could be talking and laughing. Angy reads the text message over several times before she sends it to him, hoping that she’s explained herself fully and in a way he can understand.

James calls her and laughs at her.

Angy spends the rest of the summer in her room. She doesn’t even tell anyone which day she’s leaving for school or when she’ll be back. Alex and Caden don’t text her goodbye, Angy finds out from social media that they’re practically living with their boyfriends now. Both of them seemed to have forgotten Angy’s entire existence.

It doesn’t matter though, because Clara texts her and asks Angy if she’s on her way. Angy packs the last of her boxes into the trunk of her Dad’s truck and doesn’t bother to look back once she’s buckled in her seat and they’re turning onto the highway.

College is very different from high school. But it’s also very much the same. Clara is a junior and Angy a freshman. Her sister has already moved off campus and although Angy spends a lot of time there, she can’t spend all her time in her sisters living room. Her roommate in her dorm is nice enough, a small girl named Kathy. She’s beautiful and she knows it, her boyfriend knows it too. Angy wonders if he ever gets tired of having her pretty much glued to his hip. Then she wonders if Kathy ever gets tired of always having someone in her space. She’d asked her roommate about it once, but the girl’s answer hadn’t made much sense.

“We’re addicted to each other,” She winked at Angy. “The sex is amazing.”

Angy went to bed that night wonder what amazing sex had to do with letting your personal space be taken away.

“You’re thinking about it too hard Angy,” Clara tells her the next time she’s sitting at her kitchen table doing her homework. “It’s human nature to want to fuck, you just gotta find the right person. Just because it didn’t work out with James doesn’t mean it won’t with someone else.”

Angy isn’t sure Clara’s right but she doesn’t say anything. Maybe she hasn’t met the right person yet.

She meets Ashley by chance, they have the same sociology class together and they awkwardly stand together one morning waiting for the door to be opened. Only the professor doesn’t show up and by the time it’s twenty minutes past start time, the rest of the class has wandered away.

Ashley bangs on the door one last time, sucking her teeth and muttering about professors being unprofessional. She kicks the door with the toe of her heeled boot and a pen drops out of her backpack, rolling over to Angy. It’s a black ink one with a theme designed on it. Angy picks it up and studies it for a moment before she looks up and holds it out to Ashley.

“You can keep it.” Ashley waves a hand, she’s digging around in her purse. “I’ve got so many of those things in my dorm.”

Angy blinks a few times before she slips the pen into the side pocket of her backpack. The two of them are still the only ones standing in front of the door.

“You’re Angelica right?” Ashley asks, pulling out her syllabus for the class and glancing over it. “Clara’s sister.”

Angy nods. “You know Clara?”

Ashley laughs and nods. “I do.” She grins at Angy, folding the syllabus back up and replacing it in her purse. “You could say she’s like my big sister.”

Angy doesn’t know what to say, but she smiles at Ashley anyways.

“You wanna grab lunch?”

Angy doesn’t see a reason to say no.

Two months later, Clara throws a party and Angy doesn’t have any choice but to attend. It’s her sisters’ party, first of all, and Kathy is going and so is Ashley. If she doesn’t go, she’ll never hear the end of it.

Angy even goes the extra mile and lets Ashley dress her. She wants to try and understand what is so fun about being hot and sweaty around other people. Angy wants to process correctly why people have a need to drink alcohol and socialize. So she attends her sisters’ party with her roommate and her best friend. In a tight dress with high heels and her face made up. She’d let Ashley go the whole nine yards.

Clara’s house is packed with people. There isn’t a room that’s empty and there isn’t a seat that isn’t being sat upon. It makes Angy’s skin itch, to see her sisters space so full of people. She isn’t able to dwell on it for long, almost as soon as the house fills up Ashley is shoving a red cup into her hands and pulling her through the groups of people.

There’s no ice in her cup, so Angy struggles to force the liquor down. She thinks about mentioning to Ashley that she should have asked Clara to make their drinks. Her sister knows exactly how to make her drinks so that Angy doesn’t taste the alcohol. It all works out though because soon Ashley is pulling her back into the kitchen and Clara just so happens to be in there as well.

She takes the red cup from her sister, she looks in it and sucks her teeth.

“My sisters picky about her drinks,” Clara explains to Ashley. “You need just the right amount of ice and if you have it, a chaser for her to gulp down afterward.”

Ashely’s listening intently to the older woman and Angy can’t help but find the whole situation strange. Her best friend being taught how to make her drinks the right way by her older sister. It’s weird.

Again though, she isn’t given long to think about it. Clara’s quick and within minutes Angy’s drink has been made and put back in her hands. And of course, Ashley is soon pulling her back through the party. Back into having to socialize with a bunch of people she barely knows.

They’re sitting on the steps, drinking and laughing when suddenly Ashley is taking her hand and pulling her to her feet.

“What’s wrong?” Angy asks, she’s surprised her words aren’t slurred yet.

“It’s kinda loud down here don’t you think?” Ashley asks leading Angy up the stairs. “Let’s go somewhere quieter.”

Angy lets out a sigh of relief. Finally, she’s getting away from all the noise, she’s getting a chance to relax. Maybe even actually enjoy the drink she’s been swallowing down because it’s expected of her.

They end up in the bathroom, her sisters’ bedroom is locked and the guest bedroom already occupied. Angy doesn’t want to think about what whoever is in there doing. Ashley shuts the door behind them and locks it, her thin fingers switching the lock with ease.

Angy jumps up onto the cabinet, setting her cup next to her and letting out a deep sigh.

“You okay?” Ashley asks as she checks her makeup in the mirror.

“Yeah, it’s just overwhelming.” Angy shrugs. “My sister loves people, she always has.”

Ashley laughs. “She throws a good party, I’ll give her that.” She looks at Angy in the mirror. “Are you having fun?”

Angy shrugs, swinging her legs a bit. “I guess, I mean it’s kind of boring to me. Just drinking and talking to people about things I don’t really care about.”

Ashley grins and puts down her mascara. The tub rolling across the counter and coming to rest against Angy’s thigh.

“Well let’s liven things up a little bit huh?”

Angy turns to give Ashley a questioning look but she doesn’t get the chance to. Her friend is suddenly moving and reaching for Angy at the same time. Her fingers are clammy as they touch Angy’s cheeks and come to grip in her hair. The other woman had moved between Angy’s legs, pressing herself close to the point she’s against the cabinet itself and her chest is pressed to Angy’s.

Ashley kisses Angy hard, her lips smashing against the girl on the cabinets. Angy finds she can’t move, as if someone or something has reached through the mirror behind her and holds her in place, Angy can only sit and feel her friends lips moving against hers. She pushes her tongue into Angy’s mouth and whether it’s the taste of another person or the feel of Ashley’s tongue against her Angy isn’t sure but it shocks her enough to the point of moving. Angy’s hands find Ashley’s shoulders and grip them firmly before she shoves.

Her friend falls back, arms flailing in the arm. Angy thinks she might actually tip back into the tub but she doesn’t wait to see. She hops down from the cabinet, knocking her red cup over in the process. There’s a crash behind her as her fingers slip on the lock of the door but Angy is able to clumsily flip it open and twist the handle.

She’s out the bathroom and down the stairs before she hears Ashley calling after her.

Clara’s in the living room and she sees Angy rushing down the stairs. She meets her little sister at the front door, blocking her path and demanding to know what’s wrong. Angy doesn’t think she’s crying, her face doesn’t feel wet but her sister doesn’t move out of the way even when she tells her that she’s fine.

They stand in front of the door, quietly arguing for a moment. Angy insisting that she’s fine and just needs air and Clara not falling for the bullshit excuse in the slightest. It isn’t until Angy hears her name behind her, coming from Ashley’s confused voice, does she shove past her sister.

The night air is cold against her face but Angy welcomes it. Her sister doesn’t live far from campus. She can walk back.

There are footsteps behind her, frantic and rushed and Angy ignores them. There’s only one pair so at least she’s sure that not both Ashley and Clara followed her. Only one of them did. Angy won’t turn around to look but she hopes silently that the one to follow her wasn’t her sister.

“Jesus Ang, slow down!”

Angy can’t be granted any small mercies tonight apparently.

Her sister is buttoning the last button on her coat when she finally falls into step with Angy. There’s something draped over her right arm and when she holds it out to Angy she sees more evidence that her big sister is exactly that. A big sister. The coat is dark green and new, Angy isn’t sure she’s ever seen it before. She slides her arms in and zips it up, burrowing down in the warmth.

“So,” Clara clears her throat. “You wanna tell me what’s happening?”

Angy sighs. Her eyes sting with unexpected tears and Angy blinks rapidly, suddenly mad and frustrated with herself. Clara waits, patiently and silently while Angy wrestles to get herself together. They walk two whole blocks before Angy can decide on what to say.

“I….I don’t understand people.”

She winces and sneaks a glance at her sister.

Clara is looking ahead, her eyes scanning the dark streets ahead of them. Checking and making sure it’s safe. Big sister Clara, Angy thinks with a small smile.

“Is that all?”

Angy shakes her head and takes a deep breath.

“Everyone’s so obsessed with sex.” She says, the words suddenly wanting to come bubbling out. “I don’t understand it, I don’t get it and I don’t want to get it. It seems like all everyone wants to do is have sex, or talk about the sex they’re having. It’s weird and it’s honestly kinda gross.” She looks at Clara again. “Ashley kissed me in the bathroom and I panicked.”

Clara meets her eyes. “Why’d you panic?”

“I don’t like kissing.” Angy stresses. “I don’t understand why everyone else does. And I don’t understand why I have to like it just because you guys do.”

She sees her sister smile and Angy huffs.

“Relax,” Clara says, linking her arm with Angy’s as they come to a stop at a red light. “I’m not laughing at you.” She looks up and down the street, there aren’t any cars. “It’s just not like you to get caught up in something like this.” She tugs Angy across the street, against the red light.

“I’m not caught up in anything,” Angy says defensively. “I just wish my friends would stop wanting to kiss me.”

Clara nods. “And that’s perfectly okay to want that.”

Angy looks at her warily. “That’s not what it seems like.”

“Angy, if you don’t want anyone touching you or kissing you or dating you that’s completely in your right,” Clara says firmly. “You don’t have to let someone be close to you just because everyone else has someone close to them.”

Angy chews on her lip and looks around, watching the dark shadows as they pass them.

“It makes me feel like an outsider.” She says quietly, her stomach clenching with embarrassment as she speaks. “Like there might be something wrong with me, with my mind.”

“There’s not,” Clara says sharply. She stops walking, forcing Angy to do the same. “Ang, I’m serious.” Clara unloops their arms just so she can grab her sister by the shoulders. “There’s nothing wrong with you, do you hear me?”

Angy looks at her sister. It’s not often that they get serious with each other, very rarely does the situation call for it. She’s heard this kind of firmness in her sisters’ voice a handful of times. It always catches her by surprise.

Clara squeezes her shoulders, bringing Angy back into focus.

“I hear you.” Angy nods, sniffing quietly. “I hear you, sis.”

If she doesn’t believe her, Angy can’t tell but Clara nods her head and they start walking again. The dorm rooms are within sight now.

Her sister walks her all the way back to her dorm door. The older of the two mumbling about how much it had changed since she had been there.

“You were just here not even two years ago.” Angy snorts opening her door and peeking inside. It’s dark, Kathy must still be at the party.

“Are you gonna be okay?” Clara asks.

Angy nods, smiling at her sister. “Of course I am, I just needed to vent.” She starts to unzip the coat but Clara’s hand stops hers.

“Keep it.” Her sister rolls her eyes. “I know you haven’t bought one yet so I got you one.”

Angy smirks. “I appreciate you.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Clara pulls out her phone. “I’m gonna order an Uber. Come over tomorrow?”

Angy thinks about it for a minute before nodding. “Yeah okay, I’ll text you.”

Clara taps away at her phone, already walking down the hallway. Angy watches her go for a moment. She’s just about to go into her room when her sister calls out to her.

“Angelica!”

She sticks her head back out of the door, meeting her sisters’ eyes all the way down the hallway.

“There’s nothing wrong with you,” Clara says firmly. “Okay?”

They hold each other gaze for a long moment. Angy can feel a wave of emotions crashing over her, the words her sister chose to emphasize and the fact she came after her in the first place. Angy doesn’t think anyone will ever understand her the way her sister does. And she’s grateful for that.

Angy takes a deep breath and smiles at her sister.

“Okay.”

The End.

-Danyi

black girl blogs · black women · mental illness · poems · poetry

A Hard Feeling

It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain. The words and language acquire such judging looks. This is the first time something wasn’t explainable by book.

It has many faces, some of them are hard to forget. It’s a decision no one wants to regret. It’s embarrassing and that sucks to say. But when society is watching, you can be dragged for mis-identifying in any type of way.

People say they’re open minded, but only in a certain box. It’s not tolerance they’re looking for, it’s not what they really want. Humans have to categorize, they have to make sense. If you’re not easy to label, they’re more likely to act like you don’t exist.

Don’t get me started on the feelings. On my actual account. I’ve been recording my emotions, I refuse to let them gain an uncontrollable amount. I don’t feel happy, I don’t feel sad. I don’t know anymore what it means to be glad.

But one thing I do know, in this wave of depressed mess. I’m never attracted to anyone, it’s like that feeling packed up and left. I don’t want to be touched, I most certainly don’t want to hold your hand. I have absolutely no interest at all, in calling you my man. I don’t want to call you my girl either, let’s make that clear. I just like your face, that doesn’t mean I want it near.

I like my space, I keep everyone at an arms length away. Please don’t ever touch me, especially not my waist. Let’s just be friends, it’s so easy and it’s such a nice steady pace. I don’t want to get close, I don’t need you constantly in my face.

It’s a hard feeling to explain. Most the time I end up sounding like a jerk. But is it really mean when I’m the one who has to deal with the risk I took? At the end of the day, all I got is me. So if I betray myself, the way I know I’m supposed to be, at the end when I’m dying who’s gonna be there for me?

-Danyi

black girl blogs

Turn Out The Light

A blinding beacon, in my dark quiet peace.

I turn my head to the West, and they’ll come from the East.

It’s not that I want to be left alone, alone is just the best way I can describe it.

They’re always looking for some missing piece, always tryna find it.

Don’t even believe me when I say, if I had the part I damn sure wouldn’t try to hide it

It’s confusing, when your two steps only equal two but their two steps equal three.

And it’s only because their laughter burns in your belly, do you decide maybe you can’t be free.

-Danyi

black girl blogs

Out of the Ordinary

When you’re out of the ordinary, on tv they say you’re extraordinary. But in real life they say you’re boring me, some even go as far to say you’re destroying me.

Out of the ordinary, yet not too far outside the box. Learn to reel it in or you’ll be fighting to not be doxxed. Certain quirks are fine, they can only be a vague part, don’t you dare keep that weirdness close to your heart.

Out of the ordinary is fine.

Out of the ordinary has a very thin line.

-Danyi