As a friend I find it compelling that you are transitioning self in many ways. Can you elaborate further however casual or in depth about your play on the idea of the name Huxtable, in light of your mid 20’s moment into this version of your self-hood?
Huxtable is the surname that was gifted to me by my house (non-biological queer family). My imagination has a wounded attachment to the fantasies of a black American aristocracy - the collective energy of post-civil rights era black youth who had been gifted a sense of entitlement to ascend into the American middle and upper-middle class. The Huxtable family (from the Cosby Show) represented a very specific and powerful moment that I was raised in the spirit of. At the same time, I am a product of the contemporary economic reality and am witnessing the financial and aspirational foundations for those fantasies rapidly decline and decay. Theres an audacity in claiming the name, and it has animated in my work and self a sense of regality. Much of what I fear as someone who is transitioning is being disenfranchised of what most people take for granted - desirability, respectability, employability, safety, etc. My name is my armor and its an agency to create myself in the image I see fit. Its an insistence on the validity of my claim to those previously listed rights, and its a vessel that liberates my creative energies from the burden of a misgendered past. I’m in a very bizarre and transitory state in my life at the moment, but that name has helped me persist. I remember when you asked me how I wanted to be credited for the piece I wrote for Life Is Juicy, I was made aware for the first time that I had taken on a new voice, one that represented the nexus of independence, change in community, hormone replacement, etc. that Im experiencing.
I remember asking Antonio Blair and Adam Radokovich (Founders of House of Ladosha) about the origins of the name LaDosha. They said it came about when watching Ghetto Brawl DVD’s and the namesake was a fighter that was always willing to fight even though she lost every single time. Aside from the Sisyphean analogy I found this rather touching and I deeply relate to the pathos of that character. Often when synthesizing your image and your dress I find it very compelling as if you’re a woman from another dimension. What visions of yourself, characters or otherwise do you find yourself meditating upon?
When someone asks me how identify, my response is always, "cyborg, cunt, priestess, witch, nuwaubian princess". I've been afforded the opportunity to reimagine myself, my history, my place of origin, etc in multiple ways. It was first through moving to New York and immersing myself in nightlife that I discovered that potential. It was there that I became close to Adam and Antonio and Christopher (Udemezue), and they became my family - we have entire mythologies for our habits, rituals, dress and language. We all have a character, or multiple, and the narratives we thrive on intersect and strengthen each other. My house and the nightlife we are part of has become a ground for experimenting with and elaborating new ways of expressing myself - be they aesthetic or performative. My transition has been a constant source of inspiration because its opened my potential for self-conception in ways that many people only experience once during adolescence. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of science fiction and theology. Canonizing myself as a Nuwaubian deity in an alternate future or from a planet where sexual dimorphism is nonexistent - these sorts of ideas have become the basis for how I dress, speak, dance and write, and the characters they give birth to have become an integral party of my selfhood.
In your writing I find it uncanny in the ways you present your subjectivity in cadence and tone. I find it often aggressive and tenacious in its observations but ultimately profoundly sophisticated and poetic. Are you working towards any projects with writing further and also what subjects do you find elicit and enrage you: topical, deeply, both, neither?
My writing is a pastiche of all the ways I express myself in static text – theoretical/academic, poetic , tweeting, facebook statuses (perhaps my favorite), tumblr/blog posts, commenting on media sites... I treat them all as equally ripe with potential for engaging an idea or concept in text. The multiple sublanguages that exist here in the city have also influenced me. Just within the communities that you and I share membership in, the wit, breadth and precision of the languages that we all create together is shocking. HAM, shock value, rage, soft-serve, boop, etc - these are words that have a completely different meaning or none at all to most people, but they're legible by way of the referential world we've created that protects them. The work of using, expanding, archiving this language is done mostly through text shared via social media. My goal is to take the dispositions one might have when tweeting or blogging or writing in a journal and elaborate them into entangled extended metaphors. I just finished a set of text fragments for the next issue of Garmento, I'm working on a show of all my text-based pieces and will be doing a reading/performance at BAM in June. I'm hoping to collaborate more as well, as I find that the work of my friends is a huge inspiration and a way to see how our imaginative worlds intersect or collide.
SEX AND THE CITY
I INVITED HER TO MY HOUSE FOR A HOLIDAY DINNER. SHE WALKED IN, LOOKED AROUND AND DRAMATICALLY CRIED “AM I THE ONLY GIRL AGAIN?!”
IS IT BEASTIALITY OR DID YOU FUCK A TRANNY?
WHEN MATTHEW SUCKIN ON MY TITS HE ALWAYS CALLS ME MAMMY
AND WHERE ARE THE LOVERS? PRESUMABLY NOWHERE. LEFT IN PRIVATE ARGUMENTS WITH PARTNERS OVER UNEARTHED SHEMALE PORN, DELETED EMAILS FROM ANONYMOUS ACCOUNTS ON HOOKUP SITES THAT A FEW DATABASE ENGINEERS AT THE NSA COULD ONE DAY DISCOVER IF EVER CURIOUS ENOUGH TO SEARCH FOR ‘REAL WOMAN’ (NOT THAT ANYONE EVER WOULD), “GIRLS LIKE US” AND “MTF” TAG LISTINGS ON OKCUPID, IN AUTOMOBILES DRIVING AT 10MPH DOWN THE STREET LEADING FROM THE SUBWAY EXIT AS WINDOWS ROLL DOWN AND PACES INCREASE, IN STUDIO AND ONE BEDROOM APARTMENTS THAT HIDE INTIMACY WITH THE ILLUSION OF THE PRIVATE SPHERE…
OR ARE THE LOVERS TOO ENGAGED IN CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE PROXIMITY TO GODS WE APPARENTLY HOLD IN NATIVE INDIAN AMERICA, THAILAND OR INDIA TO REALIZE IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. WE’VE BEEN EXPORTED AS SYMBOLS ENUNCIATED IN THE REFLECTION BETWEEN THE TRENCHES OF XTUBE AND THE PATHETIC DESPERATE TREMBLE OF ANTONY AS SHE SANG ‘YOU ARE MY SISTER’.
REPHRASE: A THEATRICALLY STAGED AND METICULOUSLY ARRANGED ORGY OF 9 ‘PRE-OP’ (FOR LACK OF A BETTER OR OTHER TERM) AND CAREFULLY PRE-PARED (RECTAL SYRINGE) T-GURLS SIMULTANEOUSLY PENETRATING AND RECEIVING EACH OTHER IN A SILENCE MAINTAINED BY THE HANDS OF 9 CORRESPONDING MEN WHO COVER EACH OF THEIR MOUTHS AND GRAB EACH OF THEIR THROATS. EVERY GURLS HAS T4T WRITTEN ON HER CHEST IN MENSTRUAL BLOOD AND SEMEN. SUSPENDED ABOVE THE CENTER OF THE CIRLCE ARE THREE HARNESSES, EACH SUPPORTING ONE OF THE THREE NATURAL TRIFECTA OF POSSIBLE LOVERS - M4W/W4M, M4M AND W4W. THE LOVERS ARE THE AUDIENCE WHO WATCH, HYPNOTIZED BY THE SUBLIMITY OF THE PRODUCTION. LAUGHTER IS CUED WHEN ONE OF THE GURLS BLEEDS OR SHITS ON THE OTHER. THE SHOW ENDS WHEN THE TRIFECTA HAVE CONVINCINGLY ORGASMED. THE GURLS STAND IN A ROW, HAVE ALL MAKE-UP REMOVED BY THEIR CORRESPONDING MAN, TAKE A BOW, AND WALK OFF STAGE IN SILENCE
IS THE CLIT THE ORIGIN AM I JUST A SLUT
MASQUERADING AS A GIRL IN HOPES OF GETTING FUCKED
"INSURRECTIONARY COONING" /
"COONING AS DISIDENTIFICATION" /
"CONVERSATIONS WITH CHRISTINA" /
"COUNTDOWN TO MELTDOWN: WHEN THE WAIT TO FREEDOM IS STILL TOO DAMN LONG"
GOOGLE AUTOCOMPLETE, YOUTUBE COMMENTS, & ANONYMOUS ASKS ON TUMBLR AS CONCRETE REFLECTIONS OF THE COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS MAKING ITSELF KNOWN
RE: EVERY FORM OF OPPRESSION EVER
The referential expanse of my self-imagining unpacks at a deliberate pace, avoiding resort to parody of the bodies i grow increasingly proximate to, “real women”. To embrace the exposed epidermis and un-contoured lines of my body as it is nuanced and sculpted by the determined hands of estrogen. The same (and bizarrely so) intentional becoming that i perform with each confrontation with my visage, hyperbolizing the she-elements of my flesh with brushes, bustiers and carefully proportioned jewelry. To dress, to converse, and to foreground as acts of cultural production. The ceaseless struggle to be recognized as the specific nexus of what i represent/embody. Working to comprehend as metaphor the mid-range volume levels of my face. The width of my neck and the expanse of my rib cage in tandem with the softened viscosity of the fat and fluids in my breasts.
JULIANA HUXTABLE, snippet from soon-to-be-published piece
A flurried sigh of relief jumping between the doors of a train nearly missed; a moment in which my left-hand-of-darkness vision of extraterrestrial dress finds itself subject to a psycho-social scrutiny, a dialogue engaged at risk of becoming a defense, a balancing act that requires me to be well versed in the language of the eyes and body. My eyes slant to the 15 year old from Harlem on the 3:30 4 train who is as confounded as he is struck by my appearance on his otherwise commonplace journey from school to home; I don’t have to defend myself.
JULIANA HUXTABLE, snippet from soon-to-be-published piece
Longing to be baptized by his lost father at the alter of his prostate. A generation of boys lost to plague leaving the journey into maturity uncharted and unpaved. His only escape in drug-induced necromancy with apparitions of faggots long gone, distracted as he is ushered into manhood by the compulsive regulatory scheme of respectability. Somewhere between razor burns that no longer fade into the youthful collagen of Adonis and his 35 yr birthday [crisis], they all run, avoiding daddy-by-default by covering their eyes with pillows, now beneath their face instead of atop.
DO YOU THINK SHARRON NEEDLES IS A RACIST?
I THINK MOST PINK PEOPLE THAT EXIST AS A BYPRODUCT OF THE WORLD-AS-IS ARE RACIST. I THINK SHARON NEEDLES DOES WHAT A LOT OF WHITE DRAG QUEENS DO, AND RESORT TO RACISM AS SHOCK VALUE. AS A WHITE QUEEN IN DRAG-CAREER WORLD WHERE BLACK FAGGOTS ARE PERCEIVED TO HAVE SOME SORT OF ADVANTAGE OR DEFERENCE IN TERMS OF EARNING RESPECT (A LOT OF GAY LANGUAGE ITSELF IS INDEBTED TO BLACK FAGGOTS), I THINK AN EASY WAY OUT IS MAKE “EXTREME” RACIAL GENDER OR SIMILAR JOKES, ACTS, ETC. THE SAME GENERALLY GOES FOR THE STRAIN OF GAY MALE MISOGYNY THAT COMES OUT THROUGH REPEATED ATTACKS OR PUNCHES AT LESBIANS AS SOME SORT OF MONOLITHIC BUTT OF “FAGGOTS ARE STYLISH AND HOT AND DON’T HAVE VAGINAS” JOKES. DRAG ENGAGES IF NOT BUILDS ITSELF ON CAMP AND COMEDY, WITH THE OSTENSIBLE LICENSE TO CARRY BASED ON THE APPARENTLY SHARED BURDEN WE’VE ALL HAD AS QUEERS. I DONT THINK SAYING NIGGER OR USING KKK IMAGERY IS TRANSGRESSIVE OR AN INTELLIGENT/ARTISTIC WAY OF ATTACKING THE “EXTREME CENSORSHIP OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS” THAT SOMEHOW FORCES PEOPLE TO AVOID THE DARK TRUTH OF THE FACT THAT WE’RE ALL OUR OWN STEREOTYPES - I THINK ITS GROUNDED IN INSECURITY AND EASY SHOCK VALUE APPEAL. I THINK SHE SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO WHATEVER THE FUCK SHE WANTS, AS AN EXEMPLAR OF THE INTERSECTION (PROBLEMATIC OR NOT) SHE SPEAKS FROM AND THE AUDIENCE WHO WANTS THAT. I JUST WON’T BE BUYING ANY TICKETS TO HER SHOW - THERE ARE SCORES OF FANS WAITING TO DO JUST THAT. LASTLY, NOTHING IS PERMANENT AND A CHANGE OF HEART IS ALWAYS A POSSIBILITY, LOOK AT PRUSSIAN BLUE!
SO I SEND LOVE TO SHARON AND HOPE THAT ONE DAY SHE MIGHT REALIZE THAT RACISM FOR SHOCK VALUE ISN’T H.A.M., ITS HOMICIDE AND AT BEST A REALLY REALLY TACKY ACCESSORY TO A LOOK THAT I WOULD OTHERWISE BE INCLINED TO LIVE FOR.
(I ALSO THINK THAT A LOT OF WHITE QUEENS EXPERIENCE THE SAME HOMOPHOBIA AND TRANSPHOBIA FROM MEN GENERALLY, BUT WHAT IS UNSPOKEN IS PARTICULARLY BLACK MEN, AND INSTEAD OF CRITICALLY ENGAGING WHAT THAT DYNAMIC MEANS, RESORT TO A VERY BIZARRE, IRATE AND REACTIONARY FORM OF SHOCK VALUE RACISM AS A WAY TO COPE)
SNIPPET HERE - WANT TO FIND A FULL VIDEO SOMEWHERE …
Juliana Huxtable reads at FAG CITY at Envoy Enterprises, 11/10/12. Video by Jamie Sterns.
THE WHOLE HOUSE EATS
WHILE THE TERMS THAT DESIGNATE ROLES AND POSITIONS IN A HOUSE SUGGEST A MUTATION OF THE NUCLEAR FAMILY MODEL, IT IS NOT SIMPLY SO. IF YOU LOOK AT THE SOCIAL ARCHITECTURE OF A HOUSE IN AN ISOLATED MOMENT, ONE MIGHT LOGICALLY DEDUCE THAT THE ROLES ARE SET; THAT THERE IS AN ULTIMATE MOTHER AND/OR FATHER WHO DEFINITIVELY ‘BIRTHED’ OR ‘ADOPTED’ CHILDREN, WHO STATICALLY REMAIN CHILDREN. THE MOMENTARY UNDERSTANDING FAILS TO COME TO TERMS WITH THE TRUE NATURE OF THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE IS A FAMILY WHOSE INNER WORKINGS WERE ENGINEERED BY INTUITION - THE INTUITION OF QUEERS, FAGGOTS, DYKES, BOIS, GURLS, AND OTHERWISE OSTRACIZED BY THE FAMILY UNITS THAT DENIED THEM OF THEIR PLACE IN THE BIOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION OF THE FAMILY. THIS INTUITION IS INFORMED AND FORMED BY COLLECTIVE MEMORIES OF DENIED LABOR. THE LABOR OF SELF-CARE, THE LABOR OF LOVE, THE LABOR OF FAMILIAL CONTRIBUTION AND PARTICIPATION IN THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL FUNCTIONS OF SOCIETY AT LARGE, DENIED AND UNACKNOWLEDGED. THE GRIDLOCKED NATURE OF A SYSTEM IN WHICH POWER IS DISTRIBUTED VIA SEX (MERGED WITH GENDER), AGE AND GENETIC PROXIMITY IS COUNTERED BY A FAMILIAL STRUCTURE IN FLUX - ONE IN WHICH LABOR AND RECOGNITION FOR THAT LABOR ARE THE FOUNDATION FOR THE DISTRIBUTION AND ATTAINMENT OF POWER. A MOTHER OR FATHER EXISTS AS SUCH INSOFAR AS THEY HAVE EARNED THAT TITLE AND EXERCISED THE RESPONSIBILITY IT ENTAILS THROUGH THE LABOR OF LOVE, THROUGH THE LABOR OF PROVIDING SHELTER, FOOD, GUIDANCE AND ADVICE, THROUGH THE LABOR OF MEDIATION REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN THE FAMILIAL BONDS OF A HOUSE, AND THROUGH ULTIMATELY PROVIDING WAYS FOR THEIR ‘CHILDREN’ TO BECOME MOTHERS AND FATHERS IN THEIR OWN RIGHT. CERTAIN STRATEGIC FUNCTIONS AND TRADITIONS OF THE BIOLOGICAL/NUCLEAR UNIT ARE STILL PRACTICED, THE MOST NOTABLE BEING A RESPECT FOR ELDERS. ONCE ESTABLISHED AS A MOTHER OR FATHER, THAT ROLE IS NEVER TAKEN AWAY OR UNACKNOWLEDGED. IN THIS SENSE, THERE IS A MORE STATIC ELEMENT OF HOUSE MOTHERHOOD AND FATHERHOOD. HOWEVER, A MOTHER OR FATHER’S RELATIONSHIP TO THEIR CHILDREN IS NOT SO STATIC, FOR CHILDREN GROW, AND MANY EARN THE ROLE OF MOTHER OR FATHER WITHIN THE HOUSE OR ELSEWHERE AS A SYMBOL OF AND COHORT TO ADULTHOOD AND SUCCESS GENERALLY. SIMILARLY, CERTAIN BONDS COMPLICATE, UNDERCUT OR EXIST IN JUXTAPOSITION TO THE PARENT/CHILD MODEL. SISTERHOOD AND BROTHERHOOD, AS MODELS OF LATERAL SOCIAL AND FAMILIAL RELATIONS SUPPLEMENT THE HIERARCHICAL NATURE OF PARENT/CHILD AND MANY CHOOSE TO USE THESE AS TOOLS TO REFIGURE HOW A HOUSE IS UNDERSTOOD AND ORGANIZED. THE HOUSE IS A FAMILY OF LABOR, LOVE, SOCIAL SUPPORT, PROTECTION AND RECOGNITION OF THE SAME.
I’M DISGUSTED BY THE EXISTENCE OF STUDENT LOANS. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO BE INVESTED IN A BULLSHIT VERSION OF DEMOCRACY THAT EVEN AS A “FULLY PARTICIPATING” CITIZEN, THAT PARTICIPATION HAS NO IMPACT ON THE EVERYDAY CHAINS OF STUDENT DEBT. MY EDUCATION CAME AT THE COST OF MY ABILITY TO FINANCIALLY BREATHE IN AN ECONOMY THAT HAS ALREADY RESTRICTED IF NOT SMOTHERED THE THE SOCIAL FANTASY OF COLLECTIVELY SUSTAINING THE TWILIGHT ZONE BETWEEN DREAMS OF SELF AND SELF-SUPORT; THE ONLY HOPE THAT SUSTAINED ME WHILE DEALING WITH THE INSTITUTIONAL RACISM AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC ISOLATION OF COLLEGE; THE ONLY REAL REASON I TOOK ON THIS DEBT IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE STATISTICAL ANOMALY OF MY ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATION FROM COLLEGE HAS BEEN MATCHED WITH THE STATISTICAL ANOMALY OF SEIZING AN OPPORTUNITY TO PAY THE SAME BACK AND SUSTAIN MY GROWTH AS A PERSON. SNATCHED.
THE SOUND OF MY SECOND LOVE
THE SOUNDTRACK WAS AN EMBLEMATIC PASTICHE OF ACID HOUSE, HOUSE OF LADOSHA, HOME-SPUN TRIP HOP, AND GENRES EMBLEMATIC OF A MOMENT IN WHICH BLACK QUEENS HAD TAKEN THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AT THE THRONE OF CULTURAL PRODUCTION,
ALBEIT WITH THE SUPPLEMENTAL FACT THAT MARKY MARK, VANILLA ICE, EMINEM AND THE NOTABLE LIST OF CAUCASOID MEN ASSUMING THE POSTURE OF WHAT ANY 7TH GRADER MIGHT CALL A ‘WIGGER’ MET ITS MATCH IN THE SLEW OF WHITE WOMEN ‘PERFORMERS WITH EQUALLY BRAZEN ATTEMPTS TO FIGHT THE NASAL QUALITY OF THEIR VOICE AND EQUALLY SHORT EXPIRATION DATES, SAVE A FEW NOTABLE MOMENTS OF IMAGINATIVE FASHION DECISIONS
DISSONANT AND ATOPAL HYPBRIDS OF MILDY DATED HIP-HOP/R&B, INDUSTRIAL CLUB AND AMBIENT MEDITATIONS ON THE GREY-ER AND UNSETTLING POTENTIALS OF DANCE MADE THEIR WAY FROM THE WEST VIA SOUNDCLOUD TO THE SPEAKERS OF THE CITY. THE DEMOCRATIC NATURE OF ELECTRONIC MUSIC PRODUCTION AND ACCESSIBILITY ATTACKED THE WHITE-WASHED LEGACY OF MISSHAPES, PITCHFORK, AND RUFF CLUB WITH A BASS-DRIVEN SIEGE FROM THE WRETCHED OF THE EARTH, BOTH ABROAD AND WITHIN THE CITY LIMITS.
NEOPRENE, SPANDEX, FLUORESENCE, AND $400 BUFFALO PLATFORMS SIGNALED A DECIDEDLY ESCAPIST RETURN TO THE ECSTATIC AND YOUTH-CENTERED ETHOS OF RAVE AND CLUB-KID CULTURE.
THE CONVERGENCES BETWEEN AND WITHIN THESE AND OTHERS PROVIDED THE SOUNDTRACK FOR MY PROJECT, POSTURING ALTERNATE WAYS OF IMAGINING MYSELF. FEELING PUSSY, PERCHED, BUT NEVER PARCHED, DRINK IN HAND I STRETCHED INTO A GLORIOUSLYHOLY-MOUNTAIN-ESQUE SPACE, WETHER IN BUSHWICK, AT HOME SWEET HOME, THE WESTWAY OR THE MONSTER, PUSHING THE WEIGHT OF MY HIPS, LIMBS AND EXTREMITIES IN SYNCHRONIZED AND THEATRICAL MOTIONS, I VOGUED MY WAY THROUGH A SUPERNOVA REMNANT MADE OF LINGERING BURSTS OF LIGHTWAVES FROM CAMERA FLASHES PAST, REFRACTED THROUGH SHATTERED HANDLES OF WELL VODKA ILLUMINATING AN EXPANDING MASS OF DUANE READE MAKE-UP AND CIGARETTE ASH PUSHED FORWARD BY THE PULSE OF CELESTIAL SUBWOOFERS AND FOREGROUNDED BY A FLOATING MASS OF SHADE FROM SHITTY FAGGOTS, ANGRY BIDDES AND DISENFRANCHISED BROS.
UNFRIENDLY BLACK HOTTIE (QUEEN READ #2)
TO THE MATTHEW/ROBERT/CHRIS/CHARLEY/SAMUEL:
WHO APPROACHES ME AT THE BAR, PROCEEDS TO PANDER TO AN APPARENT/INHERENT LACK OF MALE ATTENTION I RECEIVE BY COMPLIMENTING MY DANCING AND SINGING THE PRAISES OF PARIS IS BURNING, WHICH HE WATCHED STONED IN HIS SOPHOMORE YEAR ANTHROPOLOGY CLASS AND THOUGHT VENUS XTRAVAGANZA WAS KIND OF HOT
WHO CHOKES ON HIS DRINK WHEN WHEN I PREEMPTIVELY ASK IF HE REALLY THOUGHT IT WAS NOVEL THAT A) HE WATCHED SHEMALE PORN AND B) GOT HARD
WHO IN SPITE OF SUCH WARNINGS INSISTS THAT I DESIRE TO BE DESIRED BY HIM, BITTERLY PROJECTING FRUSTRATION OVER WHEN HIS WALLET WAS STOLEN AFTER GETTING BOOPED MID HAND-JOB BY A ‘LADYBOI’ ON THE TRIP HE TOOK TO THAILAND WITH HIS BUDDIES FROM WESLEYAN LAST SUMMER
WHO REFUSES TO ACCEPT BEING TURNED DOWN BY ME IN DEFENSE OF HIS EGO, WHICH IS CURRENTLY SUSTAINED BY A BY DELUSIONAL PRODUCT OF HIS STONER SESSIONS LISTENING TO LOU REED’S WALK ON THE WILD SIDE AND OBSESSING OVER THE IDEA OF SEX WITH A TRANNY AS AN AVANTE-GUARDE FORM OF INTERCOURSE. I’M UNIMPRESSED
WHO, 3 DRINKS AND 1.5 HOURS EARLIER NERVOUSLY CHUCKLED WHEN I WAS CALLED A FAGGOT BY HIS INEPT FRIEND, AFTER WHICH BOTH SCROLLED THE T4M SECTION OF CRAIGSLIST ON THEIR IPHONES IN THE BATHROOM ALONE
PLEASE STEP TO THE SIDE AND LET ME ENJOY MY THRONE PEACEFULLY
UNFRIENDLY BLACK HOTTIE (QUEEN READ #1)
TO THE ASHLEY/RACHEL/RE-BECCA/BRITNEY/LAURA:
WHO DRUNKENLY TOUCHES MY HAIR AND ASKS IF ITS IS REAL IN AN ATTEMPT TO MOCK MY FEMININITY IN SUPPORT OF THE ILLUSION THAT HERS IS ANYTHING MORE THAN A ‘MAYBE ITS (JUST LIKE A) RYAN MCGINLEY CANDID POLAROID MAYBE ITS A LOT OF FUCKING MAYBELLINE AND D-GRADE FLORAL SKIRT’ TOSS UP.
WHO AGGRESSIVELY INSISTS THAT I DANCE FOR OR WITH HER AS A DISPLAY TO HER BOYFRIEND THAT SHE HAS CONTROL OVER MY FISH AS ENTERTAINMENT. WHO, IN DOING SO, INSISTS THAT I PERFORM A FAGGOT TAP DANCE THAT BETRAYS THE FISHY FLOW OF FEM QUEEN PERFORMANCE FORCING ITS WAY THROUGH THE INNERMOST WORKINGS OF MY BODY AND BRAIN
WHOSE IMAGINATIVE BREADTH CONCERNING IDEAS OF SELF IS RESTRICTED TO DISHEARTENING FANTASIES OF LIVING A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MARGOT TENNENBAUM, WINONA RYDER, CHLOE SEVIGNY, THE GIRLS FROM THE VIRGIN SUICIDES OR ASHLEY IN THE CHRISTOPHER KANE DRESS ON OPENINGCEREMONY.COM
WHOSE DRUNKEN ACCOSTING OF MY PERSON IS SPILLING PBR ON THE NYLON AND PAPER MAGAZINES NESTLED IN THE OUTSIDE POCKET OF HER MOMA/STRAND/NASTYGAL/URBAN OUTFITTERS TOTE THAT HOUSES CLIPPINGS FROM THE WEDDING ISSUE OF VOGUE, SETTING AWAY THE WEIGHTLESS, SUBSTANCE FREE SUBURBAN ASPIRATIONS THAT WILL ULTIMATELY MOTIVATE HER TO MOVE TO JERSEY OR PARK SLOPE IN HER 30s, HAVING SUCCESSFULLY LIVED AN OSTENSIBLY GLAMOUROUS’ NY LIFE DOCUMENTED, I ASSUME, IN THE NUMBER OF ‘FIERCE/CRAZY PPL’ SHE HAS DRUNKEN IPHONE PHOTOS WITH, SINGLE TAG: HERSELF
WHOSE TRAGIC LADY GAGA HOMOSEXUAL BEST FRIEND LOOKS ME IN THE FACE IN ALL SERIOUSNESS AND ASKS ME IF I GOT MY HAIR DONE AT THE SAME PLACE AS MYKKI BLANCO,
PLEASE STEP TO THE SIDE AND LET ME ENJOY MY THRONE PEACEFULLY
How do you deal with the social stigma of being trans in the black community? I am sure you’re hard to clock but do you ever feel discriminated against? Do you feel the aggression more from women? or scorned men who find you drop dead gorgi?
Luckily I live in NY and although this city is by NO means free of trans-hate, I can generally choose to navigate in ways that allow me to minimize the risk that I’ll have to deal with explicit stigmatizing via verbal violence or otherwise. That being said, I still have to ride the train and participate in public spaces daily. The stigma that comes from the black community hurts the most, because of the wounded attachment I have to it. I grew up in the black community, was raised by a black family, and culturally LOVE my blackness. Unfortunately, that love is returned less and less as I transition more and more. There is slowly but surely a visibility (albeit limited and surely conditional) opening up for the black lgbt community, but the last group that will ever participate in this opening up is black transfeminine folks. So much of the black community centers around masculinity as the organizing point for our collective identity, even to the degree that it trumps homophobia in its pure form. The biggest example of this to me is the acceptance of female masculinity in the black community. Masculine women, assuming the masculinity they perform is hard enough, are often more accepted, even if on the condition that it not be explicitly linked to lesbianism (although even this isn’t always true - the fact that Set it Off even exists as central reference in black culture speaks to this). With that being said, femininity is generally denigrated and reduced to a servile position in relation to masculinity. I think that the disenfranchisement (economic, political or otherwise) of the black community as a whole has been equated with emasculation, and there has been a sort of collective identity formation around the idea of the black community as being robbed of its power (power being equated with masculinity). HERE is a detailed explanation on how i feel about all of this. Now, how do i deal? Well firstly, I have found a community here in NY that, when we congregate, allows me to be black, trans, cyborg, cunt, witch, and all of the other beautiful things that make me who I am. I’ve also found a family in my house (LADOSHA!) that is largely black and queer. The stigma that I deal with from the rest of the black community is generally easier to deal with knowing that I have my queer family to remind me that I am not less black by virtue of the fact that I’m a t-gurl. There is also a good portion of the black community that, even if in silence publicly, LIIIIIVES for my rage. I have been approached by mostly black women from the building I work in, the neighborhood I live in, my hometown among other places who have confided in me that they live respect and appreciate what I serve and how I serve it. It sucks that many of these same women are silent when men decided to turn it on me in public, but even just to know that the love is there means a lot to me. As far as black men are concerned … GIRL.