Thursday, July 24, 2008

beautiful; fuck you

your best friend is Nigerian. and Igbo. or maybe it was your bus driver? your neighbor? your high school teacher? so you assume I’m Igbo too when you find out I’m Nigerian. no honey, I’m one of the other hundreds of ethnicities you didn’t take the time to learn about.

I’m listening to guns n roses (“november rain”), jagged edge ("gotta be") and boys II men…like “please don’t go away from me” and “it’s so hard to say goodbye.” yeah I’m feelin like that.

this last one fucked me up something serious.

I don’t wanna talk to nobody.

an evil melody of past pain is haunting me. broken hearts screaming at each other about the dissonance of the sound of the pain neither of us created, but continue to exacerbate with all our shouting.

fuck you is the easiest thing for me to say these days.

at the club last night, she said: I hope at least 5 people have told you you’re beautiful tonite.
no, I said
15? she asked
I smiled, said no.

thinking: naw baby, I hear I’m intimidating. beautiful. and intimidating. flying a rocket ship with no formal training is intimidating.. me? I’m just a person (wounded).

me being beautiful is cold comfort to me tonight.

cold comfort on a warm summer night.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

stevie & ejeris

my dear friend ejeris called me to sing stevie wonder

("i just called to say i loooove you,
i just called to say how much i care,
i just called to say i love you
and i mean it from the bottom of my heart")

so sweet. my eyes got a lil moist, lol. i've been thinking a lot about my last post (The List, (dear aggressive)), wondering if it was too harsh, wondering if people who read it will just think that i'm this hella hard woman with a list of demands. wondering if people can see my soft beneath my hard. i told ejeris i feel like a hard bitch sometimes cuz i done been thru some serious hurting and am jaded. i feel like a lot of what i wrote about in my last blog is in reaction to some of the bullshit i've been thru and don't ever ever want to go thru again.

she told me to let myself heal, to let myself feel however the fuck i wanna feel. and yes, i am hard and fierce, and i am also kind and generous and loving and sweet.

she said, “I want to see you date someone as spectacular as you...
you’re not a bitch love, you’re incredible. and if you are, you’re my favorite kind."

thanks sugah. i needed that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

The List (dear aggressive)

dear aggressive,

I’m 28 now. I know what I like. In the interest of time, I’ve prepared this list of what I love and can’t stand. after completion, proceed or recede.

welcome to my list.

  1. I want a feminist colored sensitive thoughtful sexy funny intelligent sweet attentive hard butch lover
  2. Understand a little jealousy is cute, too much is oppressive. I don’t cheat so don’t worry, if I ain’t happy, I’ma leave you.
  3. I want a butch, full time, all the time, all day, everyday so please do not wear my clothes, shoes or makeup. If you’re femmey on Tuesdays and Thursdays, let me know upfront so I’m not all shocked and shit at your lip gloss poppin all of a sudden. I welcome gender fluidity in my friends, not so much in lovers.
  4. Be forewarned: sometimes I “feel a certain kind of way” and when I “feel a certain kind of way”, I dress butch. Usually I’m going thru something and need to feel protected so I retreat behind baggy clothes. I dress butch, still act femme. I’d say I “feel a certain kind of way” about once a month. You gotta be ai’ight with that.
  5. Not over your exes? Peace.
  6. Street and grimy, I love sooo so so much.
  7. Timbaland laces undone, jeans baggy, saggin a little low, sports bra, white tee, chiseled muscles. Yesyesyes.
  8. I am loud. I am outspoken. Please do not be intimidated. Know how to handle me without making me feel handled. Feel me? Let me rephrase so it’s clear cuz this can be a little sticky: I like a butch who knows how to hold me down, take care of me, who takes the time to learn me. Know that I like it grimy. Also know there’s a fine line between grimy and comin out your face. Learn that line and stay on the right side.
  9. Be easy. I need you to be chill and respect that I am a diva. There’s no point in me denying that shit—it’s the truth. Love and nurture the goddess I be. Know that I will always love the queen/king you be.
  10. I do not expect gifts or for you to pay my bills. I can and do take very good care of myself. I want sensuality, kindness, deep politicking, hand holding, to be listened to, to be held, laughter, dancing all night, soft kisses. These are the currencies I care most about. If you wanna spend money on me, go right ahead. It will not make me love you more. But I will say thank you.
  11. Have your shit together. If you’re still upset about shit that happened 16 years ago, please consider therapy. (Seriously.) I am not here to be your therapist. Work your shit out so we can actually have time to have fun instead of spending every waking moment processing thru every fucked up something that ever happened to you.
  12. Be clear about your issues. Commitment issues? A serial cheater? Lay your cards on the table.
  13. Speak your fuckin mind. Speak your fuckin heart. Share your fuckin soul. This is not about pulling teeth. I will not chase you. I will not play games, I will not say one thing then do another, keep you waiting, intentionally make you jealous, “test” you to see how much you care or use you. I will keep it real for real and want the same.
  14. I’m not gonna change for you. Don’t change for me.
  15. I am eclectic in my tastes—I love Fela, New Kids On The Block, Mary J. Bilge, Frente, Whitesnake, Pebbles, Fleetwood Mac, Tupac, Lil Wayne, Bonnie Raitt, The Supremes, Nirvana, Chaka Khan, Kenny Rogers, Ginuwine, Prince, Rihanna, Ani Difranco, Jay Z, the Village People, Peter Tosh, Wilson Phillips, Teddy Pendergrass. Appreciate that in me.
  16. I don’t wanna move in together. Keep your apartment and I’ll keep mine. Give me a minute to miss how your body feels. Please do not constantly be up under me, blowing up my phone, emailing and texting! We both had lives before we met, let’s not forget that just cuz the sex is so good.
  17. Know how to cook. I will not eat out of a can. (Yes I know how to cook. Well.)
  18. I’m African, specifically I am Nigerian. Respect my culture. No I’m not Yoruba or Igbo or Hausa. Get on google and learn something about where I’m from so we can have a real conversation about my culture and your culture.
  19. Do not post up on the wall at the club being the bad-ass,-don’t-give-a-fuck butch poster child. Come into the middle of the dance floor and shake it fast, slow, sexy and wild with me.
  20. Do not fight other butches to try to prove something. Your butchness should be natural and undeniable and not require violence to validate its depth or intensity. I want a hard butch, not a can’t-communicate-feelings-and-breaks-shit-when-angry butch. Butch does not mean emotionally stunted and spastically violent. As my dear friend K. said, “I can be masculine without being a patriarchal fuck.”
  21. Don’t be scurred. I’m cute. Folks is gonna holla. Be secure enough to realize…(see #2)
  22. Motorcycles are great. I love dykes on bikes and in trucks. LOL.
  23. I don’t want kids and I don’t wanna raise yours. Don’t try and convince me otherwise. So if you got some, I am not Mommy #2 waiting to pack kids’ lunches and attend PTA* meetings wearing sensible shoes and baking cookies. That just ain’t me. I like other people’s kids so yes I’m down for mentoring kids at a local community center. Raise them? Nope.
  24. I am not a fuckin trophie femme. I’m not a piece of ass you walk around with to prove how bad you are. These labels of ours do not define us, we define them.
  25. Age. This is a funny one. If you never heard of or watched YO! MTV Raps, you’re too young for me. If you were in middle school during the Watergate scandal, you’re too old for me.
  26. Do know how to work a strap, your tongue and fingers. (I can.) Do know how to make me wet with your breath on my neck, no words. (I definitely can.)
  27. Do read books, magazines, comics, newspapers, the nutritional facts of the foods you eat.
  28. Do smell good.
  29. Do call when you say you will.
  30. Do let me know your soul and heart. Do share your stories with me.
  31. Do let me hold you sometimes.
  32. Do know that I love your masculinity and love the woman you be.
  33. No smoking, no drinking, (social drinking okay.)
  34. Do keep a clean house.
  35. Do not define your masculinity according to sexist, straight male culture as men do not own the copyright on masculinity and we/you/I can create it ourselves.
  36. Do know that I know you got a list of your own and do know I’m waiting to read it.

*Parent Teacher Association

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hard Femmes Stand Up

yvonne fly onakeme etaghene

It’s Sunday afternoon, the first in March. Listening to the Onliest on myspace getting lifted. Went dancing last night with my peoples. Cut up a rug for real. Been meditating on lots of things: these ideas up in me double dutch with each other, play tag, run relay races. My mind be runnin on roller skates in the rain: faaaaasst. Here are some thoughts…

I identify as a hard femme, a femme aggressive, a fierce femme. This means I am fire, sometimes I wear stilettos and always I don’t take shit. I like my lip gloss poppin, my lip gloss cooool. Sometimes I rock boxers, baggy jeans and kicks if I’m feelin that way, but mostly my clothes and body language/mannerisms are femme. When I dated men (oh wait, there was just that one guy), I always wanted him to be a woman—I wanted him to kiss me, hold me, listen to me like a woman…I’m sure you can see how this was an exercise in futility for all parties involved (lol.) My first sexual experience was with a woman, my first and second and third and fourth (and so on and so on) relationships were with women. I kissed boys, tried to make it work but it didn’t and it wouldn’t. I eventually realized I was not the bisexual dyke I thought I was but just a dyke. Old school butches have at times challenged me identifying as a “dyke” because their definition of “dyke” was “butch”, but my definition of dyke was and is “a woman who loves women proudly, fiercely, passionately.” A sista like me loves butches. Now if you know me you know I adore all kinds of gender identifications from hard femmes like me to soft butches, androgynous beings, soft femmes, folks who traverse the gender spectrum with a flow easier than water, trans folks and on and on but for me, as far as what I’m attracted to, nothing beats the flyness of a butch. Hands down, no question, no contest.

Because all my firsts were women (except that first kiss I had with Eugene at our eighth grade dinner dance), when men would try to holla, I just did not fit into their idea of what a woman “should be”. I didn’t have enough experience with boys or men to know what was “expected of me.” I was too independent for their idea of independence and would not allow them to sweep my dykeness under the rug or bed they kept trying to rush me into. I was bored and unsatisfied so I left. It was the masculinity in the men that I liked, not the men themselves. I love how masculinity looks on a woman’s body—how it flows, hangs, its hard edges, soft curves. Even when I’m around or dating butch women, my hard femme fire can become an issue, as the way I am femme is not based on the heterosexual norms some butches (and femmes and queers in general) subscribe to. Straight women are not my role models for how to be a dyke (!) and thus when I’m with a butch women I do not treat her like a man, despite encouragement to the opposite from society and/or the butch I’m dating. It’s tough on us queers sometimes—the media demonizes us, caricatures us or doesn’t represent us at all. We are thirsty for images of our colored, queer, woman-loving selves in the media (the L Word don’t count y’all) so sometimes we may look to the (most likely) straight relationship we grew up watching our parents have, or we look around our heteronormative neighborhood, in the books we read or films we’ve seen for some sort of example of what we do in relationships. And then we impose these straight ideas on ourselves and our partners/lovers/fuck or cuddle buddies/girlfriends. I don’t want a man with a pussy. That’s not what this dykeness is about. Some “educated queers” feel that the whole butch/femme model is always a mimicry of heterosexuality, they look down upon it and formulate complex critiques about the problematic nature of what they assume to be dykes adopting unhealthy straight relationship models. I say life isn’t that fuckin simple people! Butch/femme isn’t just straight in drag just like gender isn’t just boy or girl (check one), you feel me? Choosing to fuck and love and flirt in a butch/femme context can be unhealthy just like any other way of being or having any other “type” when you cruise for a new partner can be unhealthy. We have many, many labels to choose from but so many of us shun labels because we feel them to be confining, restraining, too big or small to hold our spirits, our everyday loving, our quirks, our humanity. True indeed, I understand not wanting a label, but more than that, I embrace the labels I wear, I wear them vibrantly, naming and claiming my peoples, who I am and who I want around me.

I’m a hard femme, through and through, proud and fierce. Holla back y’all.

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