To Write or Not to Write? That my fellow radical badasses, is the question.
30.9.13 at 19:26.
Once upon a time there was little girl from Bed-Stuy who loved to read. She was entranced by the dynamic sway of the written word: its ability to transport the reader to lands that could never exist, its insight into the workings of minds that would frighten most, and most importantly, the freedom; it was a universal freedom that could translate to any number of things in the hands of all manners of people.
It was ultimately how I got free. It was the only way I knew how, and my understanding of this knowledge would inevitably become the weapon of my revolution.
Long story short, I dig the written word. I feel the written word and have found no closer ally than the printing of passion to paper. And so, as I became concretely aware of my need to indulge my lust for expression, I began to seek out platforms upon which I could speak freely, in the vernacular that was truest to my soul.
First, I wrote for a sex toy website, reviewing toys and sharing intimate stories (I used an alias back in those days, so don't bother goggle-ing that shit). I loved it, I loved that the editor only changed grammatical and syntax errors, you know just made it pretty, but the voice...the attitude...was still me. Following this first step into the world of writing, I explored different venues and subject matters. My favorite topic was and shall forever be sexuality, whether it my sociological mind examining the relationships of sexual beings or my good ol' fashioned primate brain just looking for the next great nut.
Now wait, my vision is not even remotely that short-sighted. One of my professors called my writing "political, without a shred of sympathy for politics", he inferred that I had given up on the government and therefore declared all that they said as lie, without granting them the courtesy of research. So, I was a angry, radical Black girl who wanted to dismantle a governing body, so what? I bet your childhood wasn't all roses and daisies and shit either!
So I spent and still spend a good chunk of my time rapping about that. Then, came my queer identity: exploring it, (un)defining it, and adorning the fuck out of it. I wanted to build community based on the absence of gender boundaries, and I could think of no better way to do so than with the tip of my pen and quickness of my lips. I submitted my work to both well-known publications and lesser-known publications, whether they were blogs, zines, or websites. I was delighted to find that my literary voice was appreciated because it was gritty. The head honchos in charge praised my openness, my colorful language, and the descriptive manner in which examined the topics which engaged me.
Alas, it has not all been "Go Tie! Go!" In fact, in the last couple of years, I have found that my voice has been stamped out, smoothed out, and often times dismissed altogether. And I must confess that this has been damaging. Let me just state that I am a fan of criticism, I take it all with a smile because I realize that I write with a particular type of community in mind, and that my particular verse may not translate to the more....let's say 'bougie' factions of my people. I totally get that, if I need to be polished up around the edges from the time to pacify the masses, cool, I am in it for the progress not the popularity.
All that aside, mama must admit that adapting my ways of being seen have been taking a toll on my peace of mind. It always has. It's essentially the reason why I fuck not with the corporate world, I would much rather work for non-profits, help build impassioned ideals into sky-scrapping dynasties, and engage in the empowerment of my community...if that means I have to work twice as hard, then so be it. I LIVE FOR IT!
Anwho, this entire barrage of text is to say that I am finding that my less-than desired transition into the pressed and prime is really fucking up my equillibrium. I mean, come on, yo...today for absolutely no reason at all, I sat down in the middle of a fairly empty park and felt tears creeping up in my eyes. What the fresh fuck, yo?!!? Sure, I have endured a number of tragic and debilitating losses in the last two months or so, but there are tears of grief and then there are tears of desperation. These shits were the latter. I wanted to cry because I was without my peace, I wanted to cry because her absence was noticeable. These tears wanted to remind me that everything was not OK. A piece of me is being snuffed out and damn it all to hell, I am letting it be done. The issue here is that I am deeply committed and feel dearly for each of the organizations, publications, and digital platforms for which I have pledged my words to. They are not things that I can part with without losing an even deeper part of my being. And so, here I am, a Black queer woman with a voice who defines sinking as silence, yet consciously links herself to endeavors that seek to throw her overboard.
UCH!! and that has been tonight's episode of "Rants With Tie".
Labels: rants and reflections