This is truly beautiful. Clicking on the photograph takes you to the website that provides more information. Fight patriarchy and homophobia!
omg this is great
“The six-year-old girl who wanted to leave love letters to her parents”
When 6-year-old Elena Desserich was diagnosed with brain cancer, she began hiding hundreds of little love notes around the house for her parents to find after she was gone. She was given 135 days to live. She lived 255 days, passing away in 2007. After her death, Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith, found hundreds of notes from Elena hidden around the house — in between CD cases, between bookshelves, in dresser drawers, in backpacks. “It just felt like a little hug from her, like she was telling us she was looking over us”. Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith Desserich, later published these notes in a book called Notes Left Behind to fund a non-profit organization The Cure Starts Now dedicated to fighting pediatric brain cancer.
If you need me I’ll just be over here crying forever
by Mia McKenzie
Dear Fellow Folks of Color,
I am writing to tell you that I’m in love with you. I would have said it to your faces, but I don’t have that kind of travel money.
What I love about you, POC, is…well, there’s a lot.
First of all, I love that, despite what you may have heard, your ancestors pretty much built or invented everything that was ever built or invented in the world. They built the pyramids. They built the United States (this includes buildings, roads, bridges, and the entire economic system that came from the cotton of the South and which made this country a world power). They invented chess, jewelry, sculpture, dance. Air conditioning, the fire extinguisher. Guitars, horseshoes, rock and roll, mailboxes, motors, refrigerators, traffic lights. They invented chopsticks, spoons, and forks. To eat the food whose domestication they originated: rice, chocolate, potatoes, carrots, coffee, wheat, ice cream. I could go on. The first game of soccer was played by them. The first songs sung with the human voice were sung by them. By you. I mean, how could I not love you? (Also, I’m pretty sure you invented love.)
But that’s really not even the half of it. POC, I love you because you are fierce. Because you are strong. Because you are hella resilient. Because despite living in a country that finds some new way every single day to tell you that you are less, you somehow continue to be more and more and more. Despite racism and xenophobia and poverty and white women’s tears and Mitt Romney, you still manage, somehow, to hold it together. Even though every Arab movie terrorist is played by an Arab dude but the hero “Prince of Persia” is played by Jake Gyllenhaal; even though some people think “reverse racism” is a real thing; even though API folks are like .003% of the characters on US TV shows right now and most of them are on Glee, you haven’t just given up and started speaking gibberish and throwing your feces. Which, under the circumstances, would be really understandable. No, instead you find more and more ways to survive, and not only to survive, but to thrive. Despite your children being gunned down by cops like every single day, despite your mothers being sent to prison for “stealing” public education, despite your sisters dying in the heat of the desert while “sneaking” into a land that belongs to your own ancestors, not to mention being deported from that same land in record numbers, despite the CONSTANT beatings inflicted on your souls, you somehow still have souls. That’s fucking amazing. I mean, I’m not surprised. Your ancestors couldn’t have survived slavery and genocide without some damn serious sturdy genes. But still. It’s impressive.
I love you for all of these things.
I love you, too, for the way, despite all of this, you continue to love each other. I love you for knowing what community really is. I love you for understanding what family means. I love you for the way you lean into each other when you laugh, the way you rock when you hug, the way you cook and fight and die for each other. The way you forgive. The way you remember.
I love your thick lips and your thick/curly/kinky/bone-straight hair. I love your slanted eyes, and your round and not-round asses, and your high cheekbones and your big/tiny feet. I love your brown eyes. I LOVE your brown skin.
I love the way you do math (which you also invented), the way you dance, the way you talk. I love your fire. I love your anger.
Folks of Color, I am so fucking in love with you. So in love with us.
Call me, k? ;)
*The Black Girl Dangerous Writing Workshop for queer, trans*, and gender-non-conforming writers of color is OPEN. Join us in Oakland or online!
Mia McKenzie is a writer and a smart, scrappy Philadelphian with a deep love of vegan pomegranate ice cream and fake fur collars. She is a black feminist and a freaking queer, facts that are often reflected in her writings, which have won her some awards and grants, such as the Astraea Foundation’s Writers Fund Award and the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award. She just finished a novel and has a short story forthcoming in The Kenyon Review. Her work has been published at Jezebel.com, and recommended by The Root, Colorlines, Feministing, Angry Asian Man, and Crunk Feminist Collective. She is a nerd, and the creator of Black Girl Dangerous, a revolutionary blog.
*Although this post is US-focused, I realize there are Folks of Color holding it down everywhere in the world.
Support the Black Girl Dangerous Writing Workshop for queer, trans*, and gender-non-conforming writers of color! Click the DONATE button at the top of this page! :)
your poly is only politicaly relevant to me if…
- you center respect and love for women and femmes in how you do relationships.
- you understand and care about how your actions in relationships are directly connected to the well being of your communities. (y’all know that this shit breaks up friendships and communities all the time.)
- you are aware of and work to resist heterosexist and patriarchal notions of love that are grounded in ideas of capitalist property ownership, misogyny, and racism.
- you respect any and all of your partners.
- you do not pit your partners, hookups, or love interests against each other by being shady and shitty about communication — especially if you are masculine-identified and your partners, hookups, and love interests are women and femmes. *of course, when this happens, it’s “unintentional,” right? but when misogyny structures how we understand and do relationships in such concrete ways, you need to fucking fight as hard as you can to actually BE intentional. being unintentional in the way of, “oh it just happened,” or, “but i didn’t do anything wrong,” when what is naturalized is being careless about the relationships between women and femmes, then not having intentions or thoughts around all that is a problem.
- you understand the importance of (and work to center) the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs and boundaries of yourself and your partners.
- you understand how each of your relationships impacts all of the other ones. and you understand that the way you carry yourself in one relationship will show up in your others relationships.
- you do not dismiss your partners’ jealousies, insecurities, or negative feelings as just them being “jealous” or “too emotional” or “not really getting it.” you don’t blame people for their emotions.
- you accept full accountability for your actions when you are hurtful, unintentional, or careless in your interactions with others.
- you do not dismiss others’ concerns about you being possibly disrespectful or misogynistic as them not being radical or sex-positive enough.
- you understand that having the space/freedom to love and fuck however you please does NOT mean that you are operating in a vacuum. you understand that everything you do has consequences - and act with care.
- you understand that poly is not about having the freedom to do whatever the fuck you want to. you understand that poly is about having the freedom to pursue your needs and desires openly without shame, and to hold yourself to being intentional and responsible especially becausethose needs or desires are about OTHER PEOPLE and OTHER PEOPLE’S BODIES.
- you get that you are not entitled to the guarantee that everything you do/want will be okay with all your partners or your communities, esp when your actions will impact them and when people are always operating from different contexts, traumas, desires, needs. (aka, you don’t do disrespectful shit and expect your partners or friends not to respond just because you didn’t mean to hurt anybody.)
- you understand the importance of informed consent — meaning, if there are things that are going on that might even possibly make someone reconsider cuddling with you, having sex with you, or being intimate with you, then you need to be open.
- you don’t take consent for granted. ever.
- you know how to set, talk about, and respect boundaries.
- you don’t use your “poly” status to be emotionally neglectful and/or abusive to your partners.
- you don’t treat people like they are expendable, disposable, or otherwise meaningless, even if it’s a quick fuck or a fling.
- you communicate openly and honestly without withholding important information, especially when it’s hard.
the desire to love/fuck lots of people at the same time is not something inherently radical or meaningful. people have always wanted to love/fuck multiple people, whether or not that’s been in accountable ways. basically, if people are side-eying you about how you do poly/relationships it’s not always because they’re just colonized sex negative tools of the state or some shit lol.
(and thanks disorientd, seafoamknives, & lowendtheory for talking/thinking through a lot of this with me. all love. ♥)
This is so fantastic. I agree and need all of it except:
you don’t treat people like they are expendable, disposable, or otherwise meaningless, even if it’s a quick fuck or a fling
Sometimes I really enjoy treating and being treated like trash consensually.
This patch was made by Damien Luxe of the Heels on Wheels Roadshow. When they came through Atlanta, Maura and I had only been dating for about 6 months. Because of Maura’s hard work and hard ass I’d started interrogating my femmephobia and misogyny(both internalized and otherwise) and found that femme identify resonated deeply with me, but I didn’t identify as femme because I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t co-opting an experience that I admire. Anyway, I bought this “Femmes Fight Back” patch for Maura because she taught me that femme is tough, and that claiming radical femininity in a misogynist culture is just one way that femmes fight back.
Maura recently gave the patch to me for this vest. I joke that she’s my femme mentor, but I don’t know if she knows it’s true. I’m constantly in awe of her loud, slutty, sparkling, fuck you, fuck me, femme magic/rage. We fight cry fist mourn scream love struggle together, and I’m completely aware of how lucky I am.
Thank you, vicious grrl. I love you.
i go on my tumblr and it’s like “annoying white people saying annoying white people things” on my tumblelog and i’m like “ugh i need to post pictures of my beautiful face and write about my awesome life so i see that instead of boring reblogs that i would have preferred ended days ago”
in self-interested news, got the best brow wax of my life yesterday. the first picture is from last night when i got home, and they still had a little bit of the shaping pencil on them that the tech used to guide my ~future brow growth pattern~. she didn’t try to get me to wax off my mustache like she did before i started testosterone when it was much lighter and less sparse, which made me feel really good. i am glad i got over my fear of getting my brow waxed and being shamed for having a mustache or “upper lip hair” (uhh, no). i used to hate my mustache so much because every time i went to get my nails/hair/brows done the people working in whatever salon would always try to get me to get rid of it. and duh, of course, cause people are on their hustle. that’s what you gotta do, sell services. but there was always a tone of authority and shaming and to be honest, confusion/embarassment when i would decline. and there are few things i love better than a properly shaped brow, so i’m glad that i was just like “whatever i’m doing it and if she tells me i need to get rid of my stache i will say that i love it and then while she prepared the wax go on my phone and look at pictures of various beautiful femmes with facial hair” but instead, everything just went great. happy brows, happy boy. denise at queen nails II on telegraph & 25th in oakland is the best. <3 <3 <3
the second picture is from earlier today, before an interview for an internship at a book publishing company. i took that awkward smile pic and texted it to my mom because texting pictures of myself to my mom makes me feel less nervous?? idk. after i met with the staff, i was taken into the basement warehouse stock room (via an old dreamy beautiful freight elevator) and told i could put as many books in my backpack as i could fit. never have i so regretted packing my (small) backpack full of snacks, my notebooks, and an extra pair of shoes cause i couldn’t really fit much. (i did get three books though: radical acts about theatre and teaching theatre thru a lens of feminist-of-color methodologies, banned by alice walker, and this huge like 2000 page long anthology of women writers from the 20th century that features like, most of my favorite authors from the 20th century. p.s. lani, i didn’t take a picture like i said i would. i wore black pants and the tassel shoes and a skinny green belt that belongs to anna.
i saw that picture on the sidewalk and messaged it to a glittercat because it’s true.
after i sat in a taqueria for a long time and then hung out with my friend nico who is just one of the sweetest humans i have ever known in my whole life and i love them to pieces and am the most grateful ever for my friends, and i am so happy that i finally have friends in california, like lots of them who love each other and we spend time together and not just awkwardly go to shows together maybe once a month. ahh, i wanna cry a little bit. <3 <3 <3
oh also today was so beautiful and dry and warm and i rode my bike in the sun a lot. so california i would like to kiss you and thank you for being good to me (if you want that)