Contemplating Homosexuality & Gender Roles

My life is a miracle.

I see it transforming every day.

Well, I’m learning so many interesting, life altering things in my classes. I am amazed with each lesson. But of all the lessons that I am learning, my human sexuality class is challenging me the most.

I thought it would be fun to discuss sex and sexual habits because I considered myself to be pretty freaky. But I ain’t nowhere near as freaky as the people we have been studying and..a lot of these topics push me way out of my comfort zone. I had no idea that I had a space that was “outside of my comfort zone” when it came to sexual matters, but I do.

In two weeks, I have to turn in a report and do a presentation on Gender Identity Problems. This is where a person is one gender but feels like they should have been born another. ~shivers~

I don’t even know why but this makes me uncomfortable. I don’t like thinking about this.

And tonight…the lesson was about culture and homosexuality. We watched a video about two couples, one gay and one lesbian who are involved in healthy, long-term relationships. By the end of the video I was crying as the two men explained what their love was like. It was the most beautiful description that I have ever heard, and I have certainly never witnessed any heterosexual couple describe their love in this way.

When the lights were turned back on, I thought to myself, “Maybe homosexuality isn’t a problem. Two people who love each other this much shouldn’t be ostracized for their love.”

This is so wild to me because when I thought about homosexuality, I used to think completely about sex. It didn’t really occur to me that love, trust and dedication were involved in these relationships too.

If you remember, over the course of my writing on this blog, I would often question my sexuality, wondering if I was gay. Even my now defunct myspace page had under the heading orientation: Not sure.

I do find women to be sexy, beautiful people, but when it comes down to it, I’ve never met a woman who I wanted to be in a relationship with. I can appreciate their beauty and be sexually stimulated sometimes, without confusing it with being my bisexual or a lesbian.

After the video, everyone made their comments. Most were along the lines of, “Love is beautiful, no matter who you are with.”

We then discussed the theory that LOVE & MARRIAGE are socially constructed concepts. This made a few people raise their eyebrows.

One man spoke up and asked, “How can a man and another man, or a woman and another woman, really experience true love- The kind of love that God made us to experience?”

There was a collective gasp across the room and everyone pretty much ignored his comment, although I could tell people were offended by their murmurs.

A few more minutes into the discussion he spoke again, “But aren’t we forgetting about how God feels about homosexuality? What about what the Bible says? This society is becoming so permissive and encouraging people to just do whatever they want to do as long as it feels good.”

I lowered my gaze and shook my head. I remember when I used to think like that. I thought that my beliefs should be the standard for everyone. My truth was the truth and anyone who didn’t agree was wrong and doomed for damnation.

The rest of the class let him have it. I felt so sorry for him. He was only standing up for what he believed to be true but everyone in the room let him know, in no uncertain terms that if he was going to be a therapist, he needed to keep his personal beliefs to himself and not try to push clients in his religious direction.

“Truth is a socially constructed idea,” my professor stated. “Everything that we perceive to be a fact, is only a fact because socially, we have agreed to believe it. See this table. Well, it’s only a table because we all agree that when we see a structure that looks like this, we should use it in this way and call it a table.”

A classmate added to the discussion, “What if a client comes in because he’s depressed because his family won’t accept his homosexuality. If you counseled him and told him that he was wrong for who he was, he may just go outside and kill himself because the person he came to for help sided with the people he was ostracized by. You can’t do that to someone.”

The class ended after our professor shared a story about how one of her most challenging students changed her perception of sexuality. She said that while teaching this course she had a student who was androgynous. The student would argue everytime she brought up sexuality and gender roles. She said this student frustrated her and certainly made the semester tough for her and the rest of the class. But after it was done she realized that we are all PEOPLE first..that our gender is only a part of who we areand shouldn’t dictate how we behave and what is expected of us.

How many of us fall into the roles that society says we should have? If you’re a woman, you should learn to cook and clean and take care of children. If you’re a man you have to work and provide for the family.

What if the role assigned to you by society doesn’t fit your interests or abilities? I for one, CAN cook and clean but I’m not good at it or interested in it at all. Am I less of a woman or person because I’m not interested in those things?

I don’t know man…this class is really stretching me.

Is It February?

My life is a miracle

Wow. Is it February already? What happened to January? Where did it go?

I am so excited about Valentines Day! I finally have a date! I’m taking my sons out to dinner. I’m so happy to be here with them. I’m so happy to be able to do fun things with them.

I’m watching Extreme Homemakeover. Every week I cry and cry when they shout, “MOVE THAT BUS!” I’m still fantasizing about one day having a beautiful home like they do. I thank God that I won’t have to go through tragedy to get one, I just have to trust and move faithfully toward my goals.

My dreams have changed a bit. No longer do I feel like I need to be this superstar journalist although I do want to make a difference in people’s live through my writing. I really just want successful at being a Mom.

I’m making all of these changes and I’m trying new avenues that I’ve never considered before. We’ll see what becomes of it all.

It’s through my own self discovery that I find solutions to common issues and I write about it all with honesty, or at least I try to. It’s funny that these days, my writing is mostly relationship based. But really, that’s nothing new. I guess all of my writing is like that.

I’m writing for a new website now, contributing articles about healing relationships, which is exactly what I’m learning about in grad school and exactly what I hope to experience in my own life. My biggest desire is for my relationship between my son’s father and I to be one of mutual respect and trust.

Speaking of relationships…most of my friends seem to be enjoying theirs. Tamara is moving forward with her “friend” but they are both feeling the strain of their long distance relationship. The last we spoke about it, he was planning to move to ATL this coming summer to be closer to her. I wonder what’s going to happen with that.

She said the most beautiful thing the other night. She told me that in her last relationship she felt like his preferences for her weren’t what she would have preferred for herself but she liked to make him happy so she went along with his suggestions. In this relationship, his preferences for her are exactly what she wants for herself. “It’s a relief that who I am and want to become is alright with him,” she said.

Kim said something similar just today. “I think I lost myself in my last relationship,” she told me. “I was so wrapped up in catering to him and his personality that I never really was myself. With my boyfriend, it’s like he’s pulling me out of my shell and I’m not afraid to express myself and be who I am.”

It’s wild to see Kim like this because she was hung up on her ex for YEARS. Even most of her friends thought that she was moving to Chicago to try to get back with him. But when she got there, she met this man that she is now with. She really didn’t like him at first. She used to dogg him out all the time and I remember her saying that he kept telling her, “I am going to have you. You are going to be mine.”

Funny how he was right.

I have absolutely no desire to be in a relationship with anyone right now. Sometimes when I hear my friends talk about their relationships I think about it but the thought doesn’t linger for long. My strongest desire is to become a full-time, successful Mom again. I know I can do it.

It’s all about…keeping it moving.

I decided that I’ll try an experiment for this month. Each day I’ll try to pinpoint a reason to be proud of myself. I actually wanted to do this in January, but the shock of being back in school and the depression that followed caused me to lose sight of my goal.


Today I am proud of myself because I am encouraging to everyone in my life. People feel free to discuss really intimate details of their lives with me because they know that I don’t judge them and I won’t try to change them, I accept them exactly as they are.

Research Issues & Exhaling Frustration

My life is a miracle.

But in this miracle I need some help. In particular, help with my research. I love my classes, I adore my program but I can not grasp the research part of my lessons.

I have spoken with my professor about it and she gave me some direction on how to come up with a research topic. I was clueless about how to do that. I contacted my girl Ana (not the one in Orlando) and she gave me a whole tutorial on how to begin looking at databases. I wanted to kiss her for doing that.

I went to the library and they gave me a short tutorial on how to search the databases. I was able to find an article to use as a reference in my first presentation, but that was only ONE article. Most people have 5-6.

I don’t know what I’m doing and typical me…I’m criticizing myself for being slow to adapt to this new world of academia. I’m just not getting it.

Can I do this? Why the hell not? None of these people in my classes are geniuses. They may have more experience since most of them were psychology majors in undergrad so they already know how to do the research but…I’m equally as capable.

I’m feeling so much pressure from this. You know you can’t make any less than a 3.0 each semester or they kick you out of school. I never made a 3.0 in undergrad. But this isn’t undergrad, this is different.

I’m under a lot of pressure these days because I feel like I’m behind on the learning curve. Add that to the fact that each day I am not able to provide a stable home environment for my sons through a stable income for myself, I feel like I’m just…overwhelmed by all I have to do. I feel like I have to do it all right now.

I don’t want my boys to forget about me. I have to keep my promise. I feel like I have to be successful at SOMETHING, really, really soon or I’ll explode at any moment.


I just want my boys back with me. I’m tired of having to go through their dad to see them. His girlfriend is a trip, calling me screaming and acting immature. I can’t even go on a fieldtrip with my sons without her signing up to go too. Can I please have some alone time with my sons? I’m sure it makes you feel important to play the Mama but…hello..they have a Mama. I want to enjoy my sons too.

Damn…You get to see them more than I do. Can I have a holiday to myself without you telling me, “I have plans with them already.”

I don’t give a fuck. Have some kids of your own! Damn! That man ain’t never had to TRY to get me pregnant..What’s going on with ya’ll?!

I’m sorry.

Sometimes I wish I could be mean. If I really think about it, there are lots of things I could say to hurt her feelings and his, but, I think I’d rather die than try to make someone feel bad about who they are or their situation in life. That doesn’t feel right to me. And I’ve dealt with those type of insults all of my life and I never fight back because I know how it makes me feel when my BBDD calls me names and I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel like that. So I suck it up and just take it.

They only do it because they KNOW I’m not going to snap back at them. They KNOW I’m just going to be quiet and try to walk away. I can’t help being like that, I just can’t insult people or intentionally try to hurt them. I can’t be critical like that.

I can’t even be around people who are constantly talking about how other people look or discussing other people’s lives. When I meet a person who does that, I immediately know that we can never be friends, cuz I don’t wanna hear that. That shit don’t affect me in any kind of way. Why the hell would I care what Janice wore to the club the other day? Why do I care that Sabrina’s man is cheating on her?

~shrugs~ I don’t care.

I’ve learned in class that people who spend time criticizing other people’s lifestyles and life choices are really masking their own dissatisfaction with their own lives. They’re saying, “Let’s take the focus off of my insecurities and place it on someone else in order to make me feel better about myself.”

That shit is wack. Just like crack.

But I’ll probably never say any of this to either one of them in person. I just can’t. I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing I made someone feel bad about an issue they are probably sensitive about.

My BBDD used to ask me, “Why don’t you tell me I need to lose weight?”

Umm…Because if you don’t think you do, then I don’t think you do. Why would I create a problem that doesn’t exist? If you think you have a problem and you want my opinion, then I’ll support whatever you need to do to make you feel better.It’s not my place to pick you apart and tell you what you need to change about yourself. It’s no one’s place to do that.

Changing anything about ourselves is ultimately up to US. Anyone who pressures you to make changes is doing you a disservice because if you do decide that you want to change, you’re only doing it to make them happy.

And if you’re constantly changing who you are to please the people who say they love you, you’ll be stuck in that cycle forever and they will never be satisfied. Do you hear me? They will NEVER be satisfied with you.


It’s funny that all of my friends have the ammo to really hurt me because they know my sensitive areas, but not one of them has ever said anything to intentionally hurt me. Never. Not even when they were upset with me.

Today I’m proud of myself because I have developed great friendships that are based on mutual respect and trust. There’s nothing better than that.

Ready To Get Back

My life is a miracle.

And I am blocking the miraculous events in my life by focusing on what I DON’T have versus what I WANT to happen.

I apologize for any negative vibes sent forth as I try to sway my emotions to become more aligned with my belief that God has my best interests at heart.

If I truly believe that everything has been aligned for my good then I should relax and enjoy every single day.

I’ve been neglecting my spiritual practices and I believed that has directly affected my satisfaction level. Ignoring my spiritual side is making me cranky and unnappreciative. I’m not doing what I was doing before visualization, daily readings, affirmations, meditation, positive manifestation excercises and I haven’t seen any magic happen in my life since.

I want to get back to that. I need to get back to that. Doing all those things consistently kept me floating on air. I was also better able to coach the other people in my life toward peace.

I promise I’ll get back to it, for you and for me.

Again..forgive me for losing focus.

God…I’m ready to get back to trusting you again.

I’m Digging Steve

After eating our pizza, we went over to a bar on Biscayne and had two glasses of wine each. We giggled our way back to his side of town, laughing about random stories from our childhood, particularly our dating disasters.

I parked when we got back to his building. “Let’s go across the street,” he suggested and he led across a park and to a bench overlooking the water.

“I hope it doesn’t rain,” he said and looked down at me.

“If you BELIEVE it won’t rain, then it won’t,” I said and grinned.

“Ahh, here you go with the law of attraction stuff again. Some people say that SECRET stuff is really a SECRET cult!”

“Boy please! It’s not a cult, it’s just a new way of thinking. It really changes your life because it helps you to direct your thoughts toward positive things. I’ve been practicing and..I’m telling you, I’m living a better life because of it.”

“So you get more stuff?” he asked me.

“No, I don’t get more stuff. Really, it’s like it freed me from thinking of myself as a victim of my circumstances. If we can conciously choose our thoughts and see the emotions behind those thoughts produce more circumstances that are aligned with those emotions, then I can’t blame anyone for my fears coming true. No one has control over my emotions and thoughts but me. I used to be such a victim, feeling like everyone was out to get me. And they WERE, cuz in my mind they were. Now I feel like the people I meet will love me..or I try to feel that way most of the time.”

We talked well into the night which surprised me because well..I’m not used to that. By the time we caught the hour, it was almost 4am.

I told him I had to go and he walked me to my car.

“Are you okay to drive?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m good.”

“Will I see you later today?”

“Um…on the late night, I have class tonight and all day I’m busy looking for jobs, writing articles, blah, blah…”

“You gonna give me a hug?” he asks softly.

I roll my eyes. “You asking for a lot,” I joke and step towards him.

“You’re a cool kid,” he says and pats my hat.

“I’m full grown.”

“Almost. You’re not 30 yet.”

Over the next 3 weeks, we talk every day. We develop a habit of calling each other in the morning to say goodmorning and in the evening to discuss our day. Sometimes we stay up until 4am just talking about dumb stuff like his interest in comic books and superheroes.

“Bat Man was the BEST superhero ever!” he told me.

“How come? Why not Superman?”

“Because Superman was BORN Superman,” he explained. “He came to earth with his cape and Superman outfit. He was born to be a Superhero. But Bat of us could be Bat Man. He chooses to be a Superhero. And think about it…He lives in Gotham city and that’s the most crime filled city in the world. But he lives there and he fights crime and he’s never gonna rid the city of crime but he fights anyway. How many people do you know would fight a battle when you know you couldn’t win?”

Sometimes after we’ve talked and have to force ourselves to hang up the phone, I lie awake and think of him, replaying our conversations in my mind.

Sometimes it makes me tear up because for once a man in my life isn’t trying to figure out how my talent could benefit him, or even trying to control me or tell me what I need to improve. It’s like he doesn’t want anything from me but friendship.

And I’ve noticed that he doesn’t tell me what he thinks about a particular area of my life. He’ll ask me to give him more info before he makes a comment and even then he never just offers his opinion unless I ask. I like that.

I don’t have to be superstrong, superstar Ms. Tee with him. He’s cool with the insecure side of me too. He offers assurance that everything is divine and God led and He even helps me to understand my BBDD’s side of the story by putting the situations I tell him about in the best possible terms.

I think he’d make a good therapist. When I mentioned that to him, he said his Mom told him that once but..he wasn’t really interested in doing it professionally.

Truth be told, he reminds me of JB. I can say anything to him. We can talk about my sexual history, my fears, my spiritual path and it’s like..he sees me as some shining star.

He never labels me like the others did. No “You’re selfish” or “You’re obsessive” or “You lack the capacity for growth”.

One night I asked him if there was anything about me that he thought I should change and he said, “Tee, how can I judge you for having a past or being who you are? If you’re passionate about something then you’re passionate. If you’re into sex then as long as you’re doing it because that’s what you want to do then, you’re an adult, you can do that. I’m not your judge. I don’t want to be that in your life. I just want to enjoy being with you because just thinking of you excites me.”

He says he doesn’t have a girlfriend or isn’t dating anyone but in the back of my mind I wish he was. Someone whose spirit is this sweet should be getting some head on the regular.

When I told him that he cracked up. “You volunteering?”

“I’m serious,” I told him. “I hope my sons grow up to treat women like you treat me.”

“Tee, that means the world to me. I know how much you want them to be good men.”

“I really do. I believe they will be,” I whispered intp the phone. “Even when other people question the way that I teach them, you know, letting them tell me anything without being mad at them for it, or not spanking them or how I show them lots of affection, in my heart, I don’t feel like I’m doing the wrong thing. So I don’t care what people say. All I’m really trying to do is treat them the way I wish I had been treated when I was growing up.”

“You’re doing fine,” he assured me. “Your boys are going to love you forever. Tee, this is just one season of your life and it’s already getting better cuz met me.”

“Haha..You’re conceited, You gotta reason too!”

“I know you like me,” he commented. “Why don’t you tell me.”

“I like you as a friend,” I offered hesitantly.

“So you don’t want to be my lady?”

“Umm..lemme call you back.” I hang up quickly and dial 404— —-. I need to talk to Tamara.

“Prince! Steve is tripping. He’s getting all crazy on the phone!”

“Calm down Tee,” Prince says and yawns. “What did he say?”

I recounted the conversation to her and she laughed. “Tee, he was just asking. He wasn’t ASKING. You know what I mean?”

“Ohh. Cuz it scared me.”

“Girl, you are a trip. And anyway, if he did ask, why are you so scared? You already like him and he’s nice to you. Tee, remember what I told you, sometimes in order to get over a fear, you have to face it.”

“Shut up Prince. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

I call Steve back and he answers on the first ring.

“What happened? You got scared by my question and had to call one of your homegirls? Probably Tamara, huh?”

Uhhh…”Whatever. I had to go to the bathroom,” I lie.

“You’re lieing,” he says flatly.

“Leave me alone,” I say.

“You’re a trip,” he says and laughs. I’ll be down there tomorrow so be ready to meet up with me by 7.”

“Damn…Is that how you think it goes? You runnin thangs now?” I laugh.

“Be ready by 7. We’re going to my brother’s house for dinner.”


“You heard me.”


“I’ll talk to you tomorrow when I see you. I’m tired. I have to go. Goodnight.”

Ohhhhh shit!

Co Creating Possibilities

My life is a miracle.

I had a dream last night where I cussed someone out like I’ve never done before. I was talking DIRTY and mean spirited and..When I woke up I felt so bad.

But I forgave myself and proclaimed, “Today is going to be a great day!’

And it was…

I didn’t stress myself about anything at all today. I told myself that everything that I want to happen wasn’t going to happen TODAY so I didn’t expect it and it allowed me to relax.

I made a few phone calls to get sources for my next newspaper article. I organized my notes and followed up on the requirements for one of the jobs I applied for. I read a chapter for my human sexuality class and then I went to campus to meet my group member. I’m so glad she decided to meet with me because she helped me with my research process.

With just a few strokes of the key, I manged to get most of my research done for my Gender Identity Disorder paper. There was one thing I didn’t understand though.

If Gender Identity Disorder is about people who don’t feel like the gender they have is the one they should have…isn’t that directly related to socially constructed gender roles? I mean, if we are all born HUMAN, should it matter what kind of traits we have, be it masculine or feminine? Who decided that a man should behave in a certain way and a woman should behave a certain way?

If we weren’t socialized to submit to society’s expectations then maybe this disorder wouldn’t even exist.

Hmm…I don’t know. I asked my classmate what she thought and she was like, “I don’t know.”

“So what about the lesbians who dress like boys? Are they doing that because they wish they were boys or because they like women so they think that’s how they should dress?”

My classmate replied, “I don’t know.”

After we met, we had lunch together and she showed me pictures of her ex-girlfriend, who was really cute by the way.

“Did ya’ll used to cuddle and kiss and stuff?” I asked her.

She smiled, “Yes.”

“What happened with ya’ll?”

“She got married to a man her mother introduced her to. Her parents were pressuring her to get married because they didn’t like her lifestyle and he had money. She’s divorced now and wants to get back with me.”

“Will you?”

“No. I don’t think so.”

At one point she asked me if I was going to write about her. I leaned my head to the right and pursed my lips. “Maybe. I guess so.”

“Just don’t use my real name okay?”

After I left her I went to find my advisor but he wasn’t there so I went over to the Writing Center and had the people there edit my story.

There’s a writing competition that is accepting all kinds of entries. I figure I may as well give it a shot. Before the man started correcting my paper, I told him what to expect and I was dead on. My problem in my writing is sticking to one verb tense. I’ll go from present, to past to present progressive and not even notice it.

After that I went to the computer lab to do some more research and I found so much interesting information that I’m considering changing the topic of my paper. I was all up in those journal articles like…”OOh for real? This is juicy!”

I was dead tired by the time I got to class, 6 hours after I had first walked on campus. But ofcourse my class is never boring and I was fascinated as my professor gave an example of a client that he had.

The child’s parents brought her in because they felt she was too shy. Introverts like myself get a bad rap. People think something is wrong with us because we don’t get all excited when we’re around people and we enjoy being alone.

He asked the girl’s parents to leave the room and he sat down with her.

“So you’re shy?” he asked.

“I guess,” the girl said. “It’s just that when people tell me I’m shy, it makes me want to be even more quiet.”

“Well, let’s try an excercise,” he said.

They proceeded to make a list of about 15 occupations that would fit her personality. Then they made a list of occupations that would suit a more extroverted person.

He explained to her that there’s nothing wrong with the way she is. There’s room for everyone’s personality to achieve success in a career, you just have to make a good match. Being a writer, a computer technician, a mathmetician or a therapist are good matches for people who work things out more efficiently in their minds.

See..That’s what I love about being in this program. We don’t learn how to fix anyone’s problems. We don’t blame them for having an issue. We never try to make them feel as though they are doing something wrong, if it IS wrong (like rape, pedophilia, stalking), then we explain how they can channel their desires in a more socially acceptable way.

We help them to come to terms with how the issue is affecting their life in a negative way, if it is at all. Sometimes it’s OUTSIDE influences that have a problem with the behavior and the client doesn’t really see it as wrong.

We help them to become comfortable with their “problem” until they realize it’s not a problem at all, it’s simply a reaction from some negative perception they made up in their minds and can be easily changed once they change their perception.

One case study I read involved a man who loved to masterbate to porn magazines and felt so much shame he couldn’t have an erection when he was with a woman. The therapist helped him to release the guilt associated with this action. Once the man was over the guilt, he felt more normal and his problem went away.

After reading this..I prayed, “Lord PLEASE send me someone with a sex related issue so I can practice my techniques on them!” ~smile~

It’s so funny how people think the things they do are so abnormal. There’s nothing you’ve done that someone else hasn’t done.

I love the fact that the client and the therapist work together as a team. We’re not experts. We co create possibilities for a brighter future for the client.

This program helps me to feel better about who I am and what I want out of life.

I am sp proud of myself because I’m adjusting to the academic life. I’m not giving up. I’m going to do well.

Allowing Life to Happen

My life is a miracle.

I’m so funny. I put way too much effort into my proposal for my paper. When everyone passed theirs in, they all had paragraph and I had a whole page. I’m glad I did that though, my paper will be easier to organize.

After I turned it in, I picked up my first paper to see my grade and….I got 6 points out of 10. I have to do it over.

For the first time in my life I’m not dissappointed in myself over a failure. There were mostly formatting issues that I can easily correct so I’m taking it in stride. Someone told me about buying software that automatically formats your paper for you so I’ll get it the next time I get paid for a story.

I don’t know how to explain it…Ever since I started back with my spiritual focus, I haven’t been stressed about anything.

I decided that I’m going to take it one day at a time. One story at a time. One application at a time. One breath at a time.

I’m not rushing anymore, I’m gonna stroll.

La, la, la…Whatever, whatever.

Stressing about achieving goals hasn’t done anything for me in the past, I’m gonna try relaxing and allowing life to happen…

I’m proud of myself because I’m learning to relax.

Spending Time On the Chat Line

My life is a miracle.

Guess what I did last night? He..hee..

Kim kept me on the phone so late that by the time her boyfriend got to her house, I couldn’t go to sleep.

So I turned on the TV and watched the commercials when I saw an ad for a local singles chat line. Hmm…Why not? It’s free.

I called up the chat line and made an ad.

“Hi, I’m [insert fake name here] I’m 21 and I’m hoping to make a friend. Will you be my friend tonight?”

Man…I was bombarded with messages from men who wanted to talk to me. Through the chat line you don’t have to give anyone your phone number, you talk through the system. I had a few conversations, one of which really stood out to me.

I met this man, I can’t remember his name though. He told me that he just came back from Iraq and will return there in 2010.

“So you mean you were fighting over there?” I asked him.


“Did you kill anyone?”

“Yes. Three people.”



“Tell me what the military ingrained in your mind to make you want to kill someone when there’s no real war to be fought.”

“You have to understand that over there, every household is armed. They don’t want us there. They have suicide bombers everywhere. Little hids, women. Everyone is a suspect.”

“Well, how was it having to transition back to civilian life?”

“It was hard at first. It’s like, everywhere you go, you’re paranoid. You’re always looking over your shoulder. But I’m better now.”

“What are you doing with yourself now?”

“I’m in school working on a criminal justice degree and I’ve applied to the police academy.”

“Oh, that’s cool. You’re going to be a police officer. But why are you going back in 2010?”

“I’m still under contract.”

“But what if the war is over when by the time you have to go back?”

“It won’t be. Even when the new president is sworn in, they won’t take office until January and then if they decide to stop the war, the order has to go through Congress and all that. It’s not ending anytime soon.”

Although most of the people on there are looking for quick hits and I’m not interested in anything like that, it seems like some of the men on there are really looking for companionship, or at least they say they are.

I don’t take it seriously but I do see it as a viable way to meet someone. I’m not really interested in dating anyone or hooking up but it would be nice to have a new friend to call and have conversation with sometimes.

I may do it again tonight. ~shrugs~

Any suggestions for a new fake name?

Prepping for V-Day With My Friends

My life is a miracle.

And apparently so are the lives of my friends. Let me give some updates.

Anna is still in Orlando. We spoke yesterday about her marriage and how it’s going for her. She had some challenges in the beginning but she told me that she had to change her expectations and now everything is fine.

“Yeah girl,” she said. “In the beginning I had all of these ideas of how a man was supposed to be in a marriage. I expected him to KNOW what to do and I was dissappointed when he wouldn’t just do it by himself. Now I…I ask him for what I want and he does it. It takes away a lot of pressure, but I realize that men don’t know what to do, sometimes you have to tell them. He even got me a new cell phone as an early Valentines Day gift. I didn’t have to tell him to do that, so he’s learning.”

Tamara called me this evening just as I finished meeting with my Professor about my Sex Therapy project. I sat down on a bench while I waited for my class to start.

“Tee! [Pretty Ricky] is coming tomorrow and I KNOW he’s going to get me something for Valentines Day, that’s just how he is. But he spoils me and is always doing stuff for me and I want to surprise him by giving him a really good gift BEFORE he gives me a gift. What should I get him?”

“Damn, Prince. You’re the 3rd person that has asked me what I think they should get for their man. Hello! I don’t have a man! I don’t know!”

“Come on Tee! You don’t have a man but you’re creative! You have ideas! Come on! He’s coming into town before I get off work so I only have my lunchbreak to run and get him something and I want it to be good.”

I sigh. “Ok, Prince. Let me think. If I had a man and he was good to me like yours is, I’d probably buy him something that he can always wear. Something that reminds him of me. A piece for his chain or a watch or something.”

“Jewelry!” she exclaimed. “I was thinking about that but I don’t know what to get.”

“Does he have a chain?”

“No, he doesn’t wear one.”

“But wait.” I said. “I don’t know Prince. You guys aren’t even claiming each other yet. Jewelry is a bit much for someone who isn’t even your man. If you do that you’ll have nothing to work up to when he does become your man. For a first Valentines Day gift I’d buy a man I really liked, a shirt…and a cap if he wears stuff like that.”

“Yeah! That’s a good idea. I was thinking about that too. But Tee, he really does a lot for me and we do claim each other. I want him to be like, ‘Wow’ when he sees my gift.”

“Well then jewelry will get you there. Go for a nice chain and if you are ballin like that, a matching bracelet.”

“What about earrings. I think he would like some of those. He has some but the diamonds are so big, they hurt his ears.”

“Hmm…I think that’s a bit much but I will admit, he’ll be blowed. If that’s what you’re going for then do it.”

“Naw…I think I’ll go for the chain because when I see him I want to be like, ‘I got my man shining like that.'”

“Ok, so you’re set?”

“Where do I get it from, Tee?”

“I don’t know! I don’t live in Atlanta.”

“I don’t know either. I don’t really buy men gifts like that.”

“Well, you go ahead and be the first. You learn by trial and error. Besides all of the jewelry stores should have sales going on. They’ll help you.”

So by the time I spoke to Kim, she was yawning and talking about her near death experience when her car hit a pothole and blew her tire on the expressway. She didn’t even know her car had a flat until a light came on inside her car.

“Damn girl! Your car tells you when you have a flat?!”

“Yeah girl. So I pulled over to this gas station about five minutes from my house and got out to see how damaged it was. This man was there and he helped me to patch up my flat and pull it out of the snow.”

“Wow. It’s snowing there?”

“Yeah girl, it IS Chicago.”

“So what are you doing for your man for Valentines Day?” I asked her.

“Girl, I don’t know. I don’t think about all that. Maybe I’ll put some nice flowers in my house and make him dinner. That’s about it.”

“You’re non chalant about it,” I commented. “This is your first Valentines Day together.”

“Yeah but…I never buy gifts for men. I just don’t do that. I only used to spend a lot on my first boyfriend because he used to break me off like $800 jewelry sets and $600 cash for Christmas so I didn’t mind spending money on him because I knew he’d do it for me.”

“Where did you get money like that to buy him big gifts if you were in highschool and you weren’t working?”

“From him, girl,” she replied flippantly. “He always took care of me. But with my boyfriend now, he’s wonderful. I can tell he loves me by the way he takes care of me. He shows it in his actions. But even still, I take it one day at a time because every boyfriend that I’ve ever had treated me like he does and they all wanted to marry me. But guess what? Not ONE of them is in my life today. So yeah, we may be all in love and talking about marriage and stuff but only time will tell. I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

Unbreakable, Unshakeable, Miraculous

My life is a miracle.

I witnessed a surreal transformation in my city late last year. I got lost in South Miami, a part of town I never have a reason to visit.

There’s a hood there, much like the one I grew up in, except it’s filled with Hispanic people. I couldn’t stop blinking my eyes as I drove in circles around the unfamiliar streets. I thought I was dreaming.

The entire neighborhood was filled with delipidated buildings, abandoned cars and random clutter. The cheap clothing worn by mothers hauling multiple kids through the streets sidestepping broken bottles and resting on bus stop benches reminded me of home except, this was nowhere near the home I knew growing up in Liberty City which during my day was one of the roughest neighborhoods in the county.

Sometimes I sit and ask myself, “Why the fuck do I know Spanish? Why the hell is it that sometimes my words come out in another language when I’m a Black person?”

It’s this city.

I think about the history of my city quite often. I think about the history of my people, Black people.

When I look in the mirror I see me but I also see my past. Not the past that I have lived, but the women who came before me. My mother, her mother, her mother’s mother and so forth. We aren’t that far removed from slavery, you know.

I examine my light skin, my tightly coiled hair, my green eyes and my toned physique. I see my Mama with the same skin tone, the same hair, the same eyes, the same legs. I picture her mother, whom I never met. She was beautiful. So beautiful. One of my aunts looks just like her. My grandmother had 11 children. Eleven.

Beyond that, I don’t know.

I don’t know what happened between the time my ancestors were corralled off the slave ship with rich dark skin and high cheekbones and me standing in front of the mirror noticing the high yellow skin tone I now wear. Having worked and ruled our own land, oblivious to the treachery that lay ahead, we were brough here and our entire destiny was changed.

I don’t know when my genes were diluted. I don’t know why I look like this.

I can’t help but notice how bright my skin is, yet I’m a Black woman. I can’t help but cringe everytime you compliment me on my beauty.

“Ooh, your eyes are soo pretty!” you say.

Bitch please! If you could feel the sting of the rape that caused this, would you still consider it beauty?

I think about them all the time, the women who came before me. Regardless of what they had to go through, I’m proud of them. I’m proud of them for surviving. Many didn’t.

I think about my race, my people. We were taught that we were subhuman, that we were property, that we couldn’t learn, that our lives were inconsequential to this world.

Isn’t that a trip? The very people that used us to build their fortune somehow convinced us that we had no contribution to this world.

And we believed them.

They broke us of our culture. They broke us out of our beliefs. They broke up our families. They taught us that we were commodities. They fucked us up mentally and spiritually.

But you know what..regardless of all that, we didn’t shrivel up and die.

We didn’t give up.

Every single Black person alive today is a part of an extraordinary race of overcomers.

If only we could shrug off the self hatred that they taught us, we would awaken to see the strength that allowed us to sustain ourselves. The same strength that allowed us to become the heroes that we are today.

That is my hope.

That is my dream.

I hope that we realize that we are more than survivors, we are more than what they say we are. We are more than what we even think we are. We are human. We are worthy.

We are unbreakable, unshakeable and miraculous.

It’s true.

But for some reason, we don’t believe it.

I wish we did.