Thursday, October 25, 2012

An Open Thank You to the Women Who Passed Through the Shelter in Lake Andes South Dakota

Domestic abuse was not foreign to me. It was not something that was hearsay for me. I’d seen it. I’d heard it. I knew domestic abuse well. I knew that abuse came in numerous forms. Those forms could be physical, mental, emotional, and sometimes even spiritual. I’d seen that form of abuse as early as age six when one of my aunts had a husband who insisted on using her as a punching bag. I’d seen it thereafter with another aunt. I’d heard tales of it with cousins in the past and other family members. Thus, when I embarked on a journey, of sorts, to the middle of nowhere South Dakota I figured I knew what I was in for. I figured I understood domestic abuse enough to handle the internship on a Native American reservation in a rural area. I couldn't have been more wrong.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Cause Is Not Your Cause

My cause is not yours. I cannot lay it to the wayside and focus on other elements such as who is dating who in the celebrity world and gossip because I am bored. My cause is not yours! I am Black, I am a woman, I am a part of the LGBTQ community, I am the face of the working poor. You can only attempt to understand the complexities of that. But my cause is not one I could put down; it is the very fabric of who I am. I am the blend of my mother who picked cotton and my father who drove long distance trucks dream blended with my own. My cause is not yours.

- My own words after attending the National Black Justice Coalition’s OUT on the Hill

Upon the 22nd of September, I embarked on a road trip that I’ll never forget. A friend and I decided that we would go to National Black Justice Coalition’s (NBJC) OUT on the Hill 2012. She had registered and wanted to be there for the entire week of events. I, on the other hand, contemplated taking the trip since it was a bit out of my price range at the time. I had bills to take care (who knew?). But opportunity knocked when she decided that she wanted to drive instead and I could go along with her. Hello, Opportunity! I hadn’t embarked to D.C. since the Summer of 2011 during which I enjoyed two days of a hell of a lot of walking and sightseeing. Not to mention I’d spent some time enjoying the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgendered, Queer) nightlife in the “Chocolate City”. This time, however, was not so enjoyable.

I had a hellish eight-hour train ride from West Palm Beach to Deland and had to wake up the next morning for a thirteen hour car ride to D.C. What transpired that weekend had me contemplating my place within the Black LGBTQ community and had me contemplating my place among my own people.