Was it a nightmare and you just thought you were waking up? It lasted for two hours, you could’ve been dreaming. But you were awake.
This year, from April 20th until June 12th, I made some variation of “no” my Facebook status every day. It was just something I found vaguely funny but by the end it was something that I could count on for strength.
“Now more than ever, I think it’s important to say alabanza to those who were slain, to lift their names up in prayer and to remind those of us still living that Black lives do matter — they’ve always mattered and will always matter.”
Ah, pregnant beginnings. Literally and figuratively. The first trimester of this rainbow pregnancy (yes, that’s actually the term for a pregnancy after a loss). Is it possible to grieve and hope simultaneously?
This wasn’t just an attack on a Facebook invite. For many, this was an attack similar to those they experience in the real world navigating as Black Lesbians and in a space they felt safe in. So what exactly happened?
It’s as if I had just discovered a new color and now had this entirely new dimension to my life. I was able to paint a holistic portrait of what I wanted the rest of my life to look like.
Dipping into my summer wardrobe for the first time reminded me just how far I’ve come in learning to love my body.
“Not all of my experiences as an intersex person inform my being gay, and vice versa, but the overlap is there and it affects things in ways that are both good and complicated at a time in history when homophobia and intersexphobia are alive and kicking.”
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. After losing my first pregnancy at 24 weeks, how could we face the conception process again, with the added physical and emotional complications?
Sometimes, even the best laid plans are, well, decimated. Even a type-A mega control freak like me couldn’t control my own body when I was pregnant — and I certainly couldn’t control what happened to my son after his premature birth.
What happens when first love and first heartbreak features a cast of three.
“Dating broken white women became a way to reprise a powerlessness that years of sexual abuse and generations of blackphobia had tricked me into believing in. I drowned this feeling of powerlessness in weed and seeking out relationships in which I could engage in yet remain completely hidden from view.”
“If we think too hard, we’ll never do it,” Kellie said. She was right. A cost-benefit analysis would yield no practical reason to grow our family. The only reason to make a new baby was that we felt like it, and we could.
The journey to finding and deciding on my real name, Melinda Valdivia Rude, took about four years.
“I felt I was gradually becoming like those newly married Indian women with henna on their hands at JFK or Heathrow… Of course, I didn’t look anything like them and my wedding bowtie was probably the only equivalent to their bridal henna, but I couldn’t help noticing parallels.”
“Why do we only collect coming out stories, it-gets-better stories, these stories that are set in the past, that tell of a particular set of experiences that not everyone can relate to? Stories that treat the future as if it doesn’t come with a problems of its own.”
For National Poetry Month, an ode to the queer poets who talk about their love, fight for justice, and helped me save myself.
“I didn’t even tell her when the notes started getting specific. Someone calling out my “crossed eyes” in a Tumblr ask. My “pocked skin” in an email. My “hillbilly teeth” on Twitter.”
“Since the wedding has made me come out to more people than I had ever intended, this trip back to my place of origin makes facing their reactions inevitable. Will my physical presence stoke the intensity of their opposition?”
“If Simón was a girl, then I was a dyke and if my father let the song play, then maybe I could sing to him and we’d finally be able to speak to each other.”