#IDAHOBIT

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Everybody say LOVE 🌈

 

Topic Tidbits

 

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The Little Things Interlude

It’s the little things.

Like watching him get ready and realizing

How handsome he is right before a night on the town.

Damn.

Can’t we just stay home?

He never wants to skip anything productive with me.

That says more about me than it does him, ha.

But, come on…

Who is this monster?

Crispy button-up shirt and fitted jeans,

Appropriate accessories and casual Vans.

I did that.

And don’t forget the coffee.

(A queen’s gotta survive the night and keep the Zs away.)

Homie didn’t drink coffee OR eat spicy food before me.

(Enter dramatic sigh here)

It’s the little things.

But seriously…

Netflix and chill?

 

Pulse Reactions 

It’s just after midnight and I find myself unable to sleep. All the faces of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting haunt my thoughts and bring light to every dark corner in my mind this hour. So much life stolen. So much life wasted. So many lights dimmed only to become a flicker in my mind… When it’s already too late. Maybe these are just random thoughts and a suppressed guilt for not really being active in the LGBT community as I once was. Is living enough? Living by example of what my gay harmony in the United States of America is? I’m not positive, but I’m not positive about most things when a tragedy of this magnitude strikes. What’s one to think? What else is there to feel besides an extremely heavy sadness? How do we come back from this? These are just my raw and unfiltered thoughts and feelings. The faces of the victims are faces that I will remember. At least for a long, solemn while.

A brief note:

I wrote the reaction above using an app called Flowstate. Flowstate allows you to write for five, fifteen, or thirty minutes. In the case of this midnight reaction, I selected five minutes as my first Flowstate piece of writing. What makes this app so special? Well, if you stop typing for more than five seconds? Everything you’ve typed so far will disappear. No editing or saving until you’ve continuously typed for the selected amount of time. This forces the user to really dig deep and come across as honest and authentic as possible. I plan on using this app to stop over-editing and to write more on this topic. 

My Black Thoughts

I’ve always said that I’m bad about following the news, and keeping track of things that are going on around the world and in my country. “Twitter is where I get my news!” is what I usually say when people ask me if I’d seen some story on the eleven-o-clock news the night before. I’ve never been one to sit down and watch the news on television, read a newspaper, or actively search for developments in current events, but here recently, I’m having a hard time NOT checking the news. The list of unspeakable treatment of Black Americans is growing at an alarming rate, and the deaths of Black Americans – wrongfully killed – was a large list to begin with.  As a black man I have to follow these stories. I have to keep track of stories like this for my own safety, to educate myself further on the existence of racism in America, and to gain strength for my people.

I was extremely saddened to learn about the event that took place in South Carolina, where nine black church attendees lost their lives after a young white male sat in their prayer meeting for an hour before opening fire on the peaceful group of people.  I cried reading this story in my cubicle at work, because, what did these people do to deserve this? Sadly, this is a question Black Americans have had to ask ourselves a lot recently when following news stories to learn of more black deaths in our country. Before the South Carolina tragedy, we lost the lives of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, and a more black lives that didn’t make the news. All of these innocent black men lost their lives due to pure ignorance, and nothing else. In the Walter Scott’s footage – and thank goodness for mobile recording technology because now police can be held accountable for wrongful treatment of any individual they handle – we saw the white cop try to create a false crime scene; tossing a weapon near Scott’s already dead, and unstirring body.  What gives?! I don’t not know.

The people in Ferguson and Baltimore lead peaceful protests and candlelight vigils after the loss of their community members, and unfortunately some protest activities turned into violence and riots. Violence is never the answer and Deray Mckesson framed the rioting in Baltimore the best in an on-air talk with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer, excuse me, CNN – because Blitzer was just their sacrificial lamb when it came to talking to the “angry black people” in Baltimore – seemed to be more worried about Baltimore property damage than the wrongful death of Gray. Blitzer kept pushing for Mckesson to say the violence wasn’t necessary, and in response Mckesson stated “There should be peaceful protests, but I don’t have to condone it to understand it, right? The pain that people feel is real.”

A good, white friend of mine – and it’s sad I need to even tell you his race, but in the hopes of promoting good interracial relations, there you go – asked me if the strides the gay community have made in recent years can be linked to the stand the black community is taking in the face of all the recent negativity and deaths. This is was interesting to me. I’m black, gay, and from Alaska. I was always aware of race issues when I was growing up, but I never really faced any racism until I moved to Indiana. There have only been a couple non-violent instances when it comes to my experience with racism, and I am definitely more aware than I ever was when I lived in Alaska. When I think about there being a link between the success the gay community has seen in their fight for equality, and the black community’s current fight, I think there are similarities and differences.

There were major strides made in the original civil rights movement between the years of 1954 and 1968. Things were made fair(ish), everyone could move on with their lives, everyone could be somewhat comfortable; and I use that term loosely. The gay community was different in the sense that most people in this community remained in the closet and watched silently as the AIDS crisis played out across the nation. Now, don’t take that the wrong way. There were a good number of people who were out, proud, and fought for equal rights for the gay community, however, there were many who were afraid to join the fight, and for good reasons. The gay movement’s fight was slow, steady, and has finally reached a point where people can have open conversations regarding gay-straight relations across many platforms and topics.  We, as a nation, are JUST now attempting to have an open – and ongoing – dialogue on the topic of black and white relations; any color and white relations, really.  Show’s like ABC’s Black-ish do an incredible job illustrating everyday situations between black, white, and other races in today’s society.

It’s extremely easy to be ignorant and afraid of the unfamiliar. Being gay has always been a huge stigma in the traditional Black American family, and I know this because it took my own father eight years to say, out loud, that he had a problem with me being gay. My dad met my husband last summer when we visited Alaska, and things went really well, and quite honestly, it shocked the hell out of me. I have an uncle who is gay, and I’m still not one-hundred percent sure that side of the family has dealt with it openly. When I think back on S meeting my dad, I have to wonder if Black Americans can draw some inspiration from the gay community, and start sparking smart, honest, and real conversations with people of all colors.

Equality is a work in progress, and I feel that it’s something that will always be under construction, but it is with communication that we, Black Americans, can invite others into our world, and grow together.  The presence of video technology, the internet, and the ability to share what’s going on in any given area of the country – sharing events like the McKinney pool party incident – should be used as tools for learning for those who respond inappropriately to a situation. The journey through race relations has never been easy, and won’t get any easier, but the fact that people are talking about these problems is a great start. Not all black people hate white people. Not all black people hate gay people. Not all (insert community, race, gender, etc) hate (insert community, race, gender, etc). So what now? Let’s give this an honest try, and fix this.

Bonus Material: Cake Update

So the The Last Slice of our wedding cake actually tasted pretty damned good after spending a year in the shadows of our freezer. S didn’t actually have any of it, and I absolutely demolished it after I had a hearty amount of champagne in my system. Maybe he would have had some if I asked again – I think you all are learning that I’m a little impatient – but my drunken-not-wanting-to-cook-anything self said “quit picking at this cake and just finish it. ” The gluten-free, red velvet materpiece was still so soft, moist, and melted in my mouth. I could feel a most devious look forming on my face as I took the last bite, and memories from the day it was given to us played in my memory. I’m not even sure S was looking to eat any of that last slice of cake. It’s been almost a month, and he hasn’t said anything about the thawed dessert’s absence. Oh well! It was delicious.