a rose by any other name

hi my name is admonished

sorry I mean adulterated

I mean accursed

I mean Addy

wait no nevermind

that can’t be my name

that doesn’t belong to me

it doesn’t match?

it’s not

mine

I think

when I found out that there was a doll

who looked like me

who had hair like mine

who

wonder upon wonders

shared my name

                addy: the black AMERICAN girl doll

I was ecstatic

I was young and naïve and so so so stupid

when my mother found out there was a doll

who looked like

me

who had hair like

mine

who shared

my

name

she was disgusted

                that’s a slave’s name

                that girl was a slave

                you

                are not a slave

                we are not her

                we have history

                we have a country

                why would you want a doll that doesn’t come from where you come from?

but –

                    aren’t we both black, mother?

                don’t we bleed red, mother?

                don’t we get treated the same, mother?

                ain’t no white man going to care that she was born here and I was born in Nigeria,                 ma

                black is black is black is discrimination

she didn’t see it like I did

apparently

there are shades of black

hi, my name is Adachukwu

wait, I mean Ada

you’ve never said it the way it should be said, so why should I give you what belongs to me?

but if you really care

you can call me

ah – dah – choo – koo

that’s how it’s pronounced

I think

the thing is

I’ve spent so long shortening it for you

I’m not sure how it’s supposed to be said

                the name my mother gave me

there’s the way my parents say it

loud and purposeful and like THEY KNOW WHAT THEY MEAN WHEN THEY SAY THINGS

                adachukwu (igbo translation): first daughter of god

and there’s the way my friends say it

                they don’t

and the way I say it (?)

                adachukwu (rushed and mostly unsure and this? is what i mean and I’m sorry for my culture and my skin and my pronunciation and…)

but you are welcome to try

at least one of us should

hi my name is not here

it left

it couldn’t stand the ambiguity

it’s changed so many times

it has lost its shape

I could try to remake it

but I don’t know who I’d be

the issue is

juliet was wrong

about names

and the idea that life without romeo wasn’t worth living

at least in my case

under a pseudonym

                false name

                fake name

                NOT MY NAME

I am not the same person

I am sure of that

Addy was kind and sweet and always saw the best in people

Ada was apologetic

sorry I mean aborted

sorry I mean abrasive

sorry but

I am all that’s left

*dial tone*

*click*

I’m sorry, but I don’t know who you’re talking about

she doesn’t live here anymore

she

left

please leave a name message

anon

Racism In The Queer Community

LGBTQ+ representation has grown massively in the last ten years. There is no denying that in today’s’ western society we have come far in terms of agenting love that isn’t traditionally heteronormative. As wonderful as this is, the representation tends to focus on able bodied, cisgender white males. There is a stereotype for gay men that is yet to be challenged in mainstream media. Just like in any group of people, there is more than one type of person living within it which isn’t realised, in many cases, by 21st Century inhabitants.

Queer love shown on TV to bring ‘diversity’ to the shows is so likely to be between two impossibly good looking white men with ripped bodies, one of them playing a more  campy, overdone effeminate ‘gay best friend’ character. The other tends to be a hyper masculine guy with intense muscles, showcasing the two extremes of gay stereotypes. If there is a show or film with a gay character in, they are rarely the main character or play a powerful role, like a CEO or any type of leader. If anything they are a b*tchy personal assistant with pursed lips and high cheekbones, drinking lattes in high fashion outfits. If there is a black gay character, he is once again the sassy gay best friend personality, playing to the stereotypes where, like before, he is in a position where he has no significant power or authority.

As a young queer teen myself, I was constantly looking for shows and films that could validate my feelings. At the time, the Netflix ‘LGBT section’ was somewhat limited and I found myself re watching the same films about white boys falling in love. To contradict myself however, films like Moonlight and the channel 4 series of Cucumber, Tofu and Banana have been big steps in achieving suitable representation that shows off real diversity within the LGBTQ+ body. There IS some representation out there for communities of minorities but work should be done to be more inclusive to the many types of people living within the queer world. It isn’t just ethnicity representation that should be recognised either. Disabled, transgender, bisexual, Muslim, intersexual and many more groups are failing to be represented as their respective communities and the queer folk within them.

The terms ‘no femmes, no Asians, no blacks’ is a phrase that comes up a lot. It is most likely to be found on a Grindr account, or any page looking for gay relationships/hook-ups. There is a line between preference and racism, in my opinion ‘no blacks, no Asians’ no favours the latter. Even as a young female, who is not yet able to join such popular sites, I have seen the term been tossed around far too casually. When you actually dissect the phrase what are they saying? They are eliminating entire races and types of people as if they are too good for them. As if they are not worthy of the likely average sex the likely average guy has to offer. To group whole races and assume they are all the same is outdated and seems reserved for conservative thinkers. Queer people can be mistook for liberals, a believable theory however not always so true. In the last US election, presidential elect Donald Trump boasted that he had LGBT supporters, who turned out to unsurprisingly be made up of a majority of white men. Rich, white men. Men that create racist, sexist, islamophobic statements…whilst claiming to be liberals. Milo Yiannopoulos is the perfect candidate for this title. A far-right, British media personality who, whilst being openly gay, furiously supports the republican party, is a strong opponent for the Black Lives Matter movement but claims that he can’t be racist because of  “the intimate relationships he is easily able to strike with African American individuals”  He also sells hoodies reading ‘feminism is cancer’ titling himself a second wave feminist and calling women ‘common prostitutes’.  The way he peddles hatred and offensive material yet is still a supposed ‘representative’ for the gay community is sad. He represents nothing the community stands for, which is, in my eyes, generally and simply equality and love between all people.

The whole truth is that the LGBTQ+ Community is more than just able bodied white folk. It is a beautifully diverse community full of people from all ethnicities, body abilities, backgrounds, heritage, body types and genders. There are There should be more media focusing on other parts of the community, like Muslim, Latino, Trans and disabled people living within the body. In the first world we have come far in showing women in positions on power in adverts and TV. I can only hope we are not far off doing the same for queer people.

INSOMNIA

There’s always something so beautiful about the night,

you don’t usually notice that because you’re sleeping or you should be,

that’s what I keep telling myself,

everything still, natural as the day it was created

 

I twist, I turn, take another glimpse at the clock on the wall,

I sit there watching the hours go by, darkness turn to light

I hear the birds calling and with that comes the harsh reality,

This isn’t normal.

 

Everyone tells me to ‘chill out’, if only it was as easy as that,

I know it’s only sleeping but, it forms a big part of the bodies functions,

I’m not living anymore, I’m just existing

I sit in school, barely learning, I myself am barely functioning.

 

When will this end, when will I be myself again,

Everything I loved, everything I hated, it circulates in my mind

I want to get better but, I just don’t know how,

If there is a god up there, take me from this.

 

This poem is a short representation of how some people who suffer from insomnia feel, It’s always important that if you are having trouble sleeping, you let someone know whether that be a parent, a friend or a doctor.

 

What is Love?

featured image via pinterest

*

“What is love?” She asked me, bright eyed and bushy tailed, while the storm raged on outside, beating on the ground almost as hard as you did on my heart.

Tears turning my vision blurry, refusing to look her in they eyes, I answered,

“Love is a passion that overwhelms you and takes your breath away before painting your vision scarlet. It grabs your hand, whispering in your ear, sending shivers down your spine trust me… before running so fast you don’t know if you can keep up. It forces you to try new things and makes you want to be better than you think you can, it’s a scary thing. It gives you butterflies in your stomach and makes you head spin in circles while thinking sinful things. It’s the sound of soft giggles at four in the morning when you should be asleep but you just want to talk to them. It’s night and day merging together to create an eerily beautiful blur, every second since you took your first breath coursing through your veins at a million miles an hour. It’s your hopes and dreams mingling with your flaws and fears, preparing a wondrous pain that tortures you but keeps you living and you cherish every damn second of it. It’s the familiar feeling of waking up tangled in your bed sheets mixed with the amazing scares you encounter when you meet someone new. It’s nothing and everything formed together to create new colors, it’s the most hideous and gorgeous thing all at once,” Pausing, I took note that I had described my last happy moment with you. Taking a painful, shaky breath as though I was allergic to the air around me, I brought closure to my mind “It’s love, it’s life”

who is longing the monster

featured image via tumblr

*

who is longing the monster

chapter 1
its calloused hands demanding more

from the broken body on the floor

 

its yellowed crooked teeth spitting out the words trapping her in a cage

only later to call her crazy in its outbursts of rage

 

its poisoned tongue wraps false images around the minds

of the joyful youth who once learned to be kind

 

the urge to prove the others wrong

is revealed through the monsters malicious song

 

the empty threats feed off of defeat

desperation the only thing it eats

 

for whoever  is longing the monster so dearly

do not let it fool you as it almost did to me, nearly.

Metaphor – half empty, half full.

Let’s imagine a cup of glass.
A really strong cup of glass.
One that’s really strong, yet fragile.
It’s filled with water. The water is almost pouring out of the cup. The water cannot drip off. It simply cannot. Rather it’ll pour out fast, and the glass object will be empty. Left with nothing but air and maybe some remnants or droplets of the water that had been inside.
The glass is now nothing but that – a fragile cup of glass.
Is the fact that the glass is empty a good or a bad thing?
The glass is empty, no more water inside, no more trying to make the liquid contain itself and not drop out.
The glass is full, the water slowly starts pouring down and it takes a long time for the cup to be empty, if it ever gets to that part, really.
The glass is full, the water freezes – turns into ice. The cup breaks. It’s gone. No more cup, no more water. Nothing.
Do you know what I mean?
The glass must be half empty/half full. Water and ice. Close to the sun but never too exposed to it. You can keep it in the fridge, but not for too long.
Don’t let everything freeze,
it’ll break with more ease.

– ♡