My heart is still beating.
It’s a political event;
This desire to be here,
To keep breathing.
I want to live.
I want to be happy when my eyes
I want to rest in peace,
Long night hours I’m keeping.
My only torment: a sweaty pillow.
I’ve been unknowingly drooling.
I want to live.
Rush me to a hospital bed.
Blood transfusion, see it dripping.
The burn of a scalpel, my only proof,
I’m still capable of feeling.
Strap me down, see me raw
From incessantly screaming:
I want to live!
If the shadows in the corners
Rise up around me, all consuming.
If this body, fat and brown
Brings nothing but pain unrelenting,
Then let this pain be my only proof
My heart’s indeed still beating.
Fear and dread will make my brain
Crackle with terrible feeling.
I want to be alive,
Even when my life is only fleeting.
Being present and visible is something that I often struggle with. There have been countless incidents in my life when I’ve been told, “Are you sure you’re in the right place?” This doesn’t happen when I’m lost, but almost every time I go to a queer space, or a white-dominated space (which is often the same thing). After a while I start wondering if there is another place I could be. I keep searching, hoping to be in a more accepting environment, but it hasn’t happened yet. I suppose the thing that has changed is me wanting to stick around when I feel so unwelcome. Biphobia, racism, fatphobia, class-hatred are some of the things that I am bombarded with on a daily basis. It gets tiring. It only adds to me feeling like crap. I don’t know if things will improve, but I don’t just want to exist. I want to be happy to be here: happy to be alive.
QTIPOC and Erotica
What does it mean to us when we have a skewed presence in erotic fiction? Too often we find ourselves squashed into specialist (and hard to access) publications, or we are simply made invisible. People of colour are rarely presented in erotic fiction; for QTIPOC the…
Transpose Halloween Edition.
I had the pleasure to perform at Transpose at their Hallowe’en edition. I felt right at home as soon as I walked across the sticky floors of the University of London’s Student Union bar. CN Lester had provided some sparkly vegan pumpkin cookies, which were yummy. I met up with Sandra Alland, who I hadn’t seen in years, and Kat Gupta who is always fun and full of energy (plus they had a brilliant werewolf tee-shirt!)
The event started with some wonderful songs from CN Lester.
I read a story about a singer who was born a woman but dresses like a man as part of their performance. When they start living as a man, they find little in the way of acceptance until they start to embrace the fluid nature of themselves.
There was also a story with a great take on a kelpie; a re-imagining of the Little Mermaid, and a film and poetry readings that were brilliant. Towards the end of the evening there was an auction to raise funds for TENI. I had to leave before the band finished it all off, but I had a fab time.
Transpose was a fantastic night, and I am already looking forward to the next one in February 2014.
My Bisexual Anthem for Bi Visibility Day
By Jacqueline Applebee
We’re not straight or gay.
Not a silent B
After this great day.
We’re out and proud,
Clothed in purple hues;
Smashing fences down
With our New Rocks boots.
Going all the way.
Neither straight or gay.
Let your voices shout.
Don’t dare leave us out!
The updated bingo card for hanging out with geeky/nerdy white folks. Still quite British, but now 20% more clueless, privileged and racist!
The original bingo card is here
I’m still bisexual. I’m still hanging around with geeky/nerdy white folks. I love my friends most of the time, but they also manage to piss me off on a regular basis. Hence the extended bingo card. It is still my major resource to surviving interactions with them with my brain intact. And without being incredibly lonely.
I’m going to concentrate on the centre four squares, because I actually have a job, and it ain’t this. No further explanations of the outer boxes will be given. Please don’t ask.
Game of Thrones
This show manages to tick every single box of what it is like to be on the outside of popular culture, watching horrified at the world around you. It manages to be racist, misogynistic and triggering to survivors of violence and/or abuse. http://smokeandstir.org/2013/06/22/game-of-thrones-racism-and-white-saviors/
So many white geeky/nerdy folks love this show, and will not shut the hell up about it. Dare you complain about any of this, and you will encounter the next square on the bingo card.
No other black people around
You’ll probably notice how alone you are if you try to speak up about anything. Not all white folks are racist, but the cluelessness and privelige that many have can leave you flummoxed. Get used to explaining why things are hurtful, insulting and racist, because that will be your major contribution, whether you like it or not.
Or what happened when Goths discovered the colour brown. Never mind that steampunk is a fictional concept, it’s a case of history repeating itself and ignoring people of colour. Do an internet search of “Steampunk images of people” and try to find more than three people who are black. Scroll down a good few pages. Go on, I’ll wait for you to come back. Not much luck? Yeah. I thought so.
I wish this wasn’t on here. I wish I didn’t have to encounter this in almost every conversation I have with white geeky/nerdy white folks. But I do. Some examples I’ve personally had to grit my teeth through…
“X isn’t racist, it’s artistic.”
“X isn’t racist, it’s an accurate portrayal of the time period (even if it’s set in the future)
“X isn’t racist, because Islam isn’t a race.” (seriously, do not get me started on this one)
“X isn’t racist, because Scottish/Welsh people get called names too. Nobody starts a riot about that.”
Things that didn’t make the card: Esperanto, Torture Garden club night, Richard Dawkins.
Things I removed from previous card: Slutwalk, Referencing the Guardian newspaper.
Bitcoin. Seriously? Everyone has way too much time on their hands.
I had a wonderful time at Nottinghamshire Pride. It was the first pride festival where I performed my work. I read my Biphobia story and my Personal Ad hell poem (I was asked to do non-smut!) on the Community stage. It was certainly daunting to look out at all the people having picnics on the grass as I read out loud.
This was only my second time at Nottinghamshire Pride. I got totally lost in Nottingham, but some friendly goths helped me find my way. I felt really welcomed the whole day, which was great.
I read my pieces in the afternoon, so I had a lot of time to enjoy all the other acts including a brililant dance troupe, soulful Single Bass, and some spoken word from Seattle’s El Dia, whose Dragon Lady tune blew me away. Maryam Bibi Din did a mythbusting piece on Queer Muslims that would have made the entire day worth it. There was just so much to enjoy!
UK Black Pride was just excellent! I had a wonderful time in an oasis of relaxation. I was joined by lots of queer and trans people of colour throughout the day. They brought energy, laughter and some good food too!
More photos can be seen on the Bi’s of Colour site:
Welcome to my life…
I came up with this bingo card as a way to keep sane whilst hanging out with white geeky folks. If you’re bisexual and you live in the U.K, hanging out with white geeky folks will be an unavoidable fact of life.
I’ve learned how to nod and look appreciative when people blather on about the focus of their lives, when their lives actively ignore anyone who is black, poor, not a programmer, or entrenched in a very specific range of British-isms. So instead of feeling sad, I can have fun shouting BINGO! at random moments during the evening.
This basic bingo card is very British-specific, so if you live elsewhere, go forth and make your own regional specialty.
P.S - Linux totally needs to go on the next expanded bingo card.
I almost forgot:
I no longer have a womb.
When I come crying out hard;
Swearing “Fuck!” to the ceiling,
My cunt tightens, implodes under my fingers.
The space where my womb used to be
Becomes a vacuum.
Nature may hate it, but I don’t.
For every time I come I feel a spark:
A flicker of life in my innermost parts.
Something is growing. Something moves.
I squeeze my eyes shut. I imagine a bloom
Of pure energy.
Drawn out of pleasure,
A hopeful alien life reaches out.
A concept that nobody spoke of,
Until they took my cervix and my womb
To save my life;
To give me something new.
Life after a hysterectomy? Yes.
Sexual desire after a hysterectomy? Yes
Mind-altering orgasms after a hysterectomy? Hell Yes!