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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Is LGBT History Month: Know Your History


So October is National LGBT History month, and I think it's important to know and honor those who have made the way possible to the freedom and right that we have today. This year one of the biggest accomplishments we as a community received was the right to get legally married in all 50 states. However, I decided to focus more on the African-American community because we as a community have contributed a large amount in the LGBT history. Here are just a few of them:




                                                              Alice Walker 


Writer  Alice Walker earned a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Color Purple, which went to film. It stayed in theaters for 21 weeks and grossed over 142 million dollars worldwide. As a civil rights activist she walked in the 1963 March on Washington and volunteered to register black voters in Georgia and Mississippi. 


                                                                    Bayard Rustin

Black civil right activist Bayard Rustin not only was an adamant supporter of gay rights, he also was Martin Luther King Jr.'s advisor and personal secretary. Rustin helped organize the 1963 March on Washington.



Patrik Ian Polk

Patrik Ian Polk is and openly gay film director who is known for his films on the African American LGBT experience and relationships. Polk's 2008 film "Noah's Ark: Jumping The Broom" won a GLAAD Award for Best Feature Film and was nominated for 3 NAACP awards.

E Lynn Harris

E. Lynn Harris was best known for his writing, which explored African American men who were closeted or on the "down-low." After quitting his job as a computer salesmen Harris discovered his his passion for writing. He sold his first self-published novel, Invisible Life, out of the trunk of his car. 10 out of his 11 novels made The New York Times Best Seller list. 

RuPaul
A long-time fixture in the New York nightlife community, RuPaul rose to prominence with his hit single and music video "Supermodel (Of The World)" in 1993. Credited as the master of transformation, his career is still going strong with the success of his hit reality show "RuPaul Drag Race and the history makers don't end here.


Wanda Sykes- Emmy award-winning comedian, first African-American woman and openly gay entertainer at the White House Correspondent's Association dinner in 2009. 
Bruce Nugent- writer, painter of the Harlem Renaissance his first short story "Smoke, Lilies, and Jade" was the first publication by an African American that openly discussed homosexuality.
Kye Allums- the first Division I openly transgender athlete in NCAA sports history. Kye is currently an transgender advocate and founder of Project I Am Enough dedicated to self-love and self-definition for everyone.

There are so many more on a daily basis making history. Some that don't always get the spotlight.  It is important to know as well as share the history and knowledge to acknowledge and know how far we have to go. If you are someone you know may need different LGBT resources here are some below:

http://www.thehotline.org/ (domestic violence)
http://www.hrc.org/ (coming out) 
http://lgbthistorymonth.com/ (history) 
http://nationalhomeless.org/ (shelters)





Peace and Blessings,
SwaggP




"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Survived: My Story of How I Got Away

This month is Domestic Violence Awareness month. For those who do not have a clear definition, Domestic Violence is an act of violence or abuse against someone living in the one's household, immediate family and/or significant other. October is a month that is important to over 10 million people within the U.S.  It is a known fact that every 9 seconds in the U.S. a woman has been assaulted or beaten. 1 in 4 men have been assaulted by their significant other at least once in their lifetime, and that is just the beginning.

With current situations such as Ray Rice, Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson, Chris Brown, our African American women experience an overwhelming amount of domestic violence versus any other race on the planet. "The number one killer of African-American women between the ages of 15-34 is homicide at the hands of a current or former intimate partner. "African American males experienced domestic violence about 2.5 or 62% more than any other race."  Many have a hard time recognizing the signs, whether it be because this is what is familiar to them. Over 75% of the cases involve people who have seen domestic violence first while growing up, both verbal and physical. Some may suffer from inner self-esteem issues, or have never been shown real love. Whatever the situation was ABUSE OF ANY KIND IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE! Some may not be able to see the signs hence the metaphorical phrase "Love is blind", however let me just give a few examples from helpguide.org

1. Feel afraid of your partner much of the time?
2. Does your partner humiliate or yell at you often?
3. Do you avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner?
4. Convinces you that you deserve to be hurt of mistreated?
5. Controls where you go and who you talk to even family?
6. Hurts you, or threaten yo hurt or kill you?
7. Have a bad and unpredictable temper?

These are signs that I myself have been guilty of. Around 2009, I met a young lady online. Now not that I have a particular type but it's something about a woman the color of sunshine that seems to blind me sometime. My gosh, from the first message exchanged I was hooked, slightly curious on who sent her, but hooked none the less. The first was great I went to visit while she was at work, which means I knew she was employed. We talked and as the typical girl meets girl fairy tale, it wasn't a moment I wasn't talking to her or seeing her. Waited a month (her choice) before intimacy happened, but when it did, well let's just say I wasn't going anywhere. Four months passed by and she was tired of the back and forth and frankly so was I so I went to go live with her. I packed up all my belongings said adios madre and left.

Wow I cant describe the first 3 months of living with her. We went to work I usually got home before her so i would cook, lay clothes out after he bath, uniform ironed, the all around housewife. We quickly exchanged the I love you's and were progressing forward. Even with her heterosexual male roommate we were happy, Ill get to the roommate in a moment. Then we talked about kids and I always imagined being a mother to a child of my own. So with her job insurance we tried. After the second time we stopped for a while, financial reason, then is when the storm began brewing. So after I then get a better paying job 2 months after we try it again. Whelp 3rd time was definitely a charm, I noticed how late I was and well we had finally did it. Bliss, pure bliss we were in love, she was letting her sides and groupies go (she had a lot of thot-trap pics so they were constantly in her inbox) we were focusing on us, went house hunting then it happened.

Her best friend lost his job and had no where to go so guess who we were roommates again. I personally didn't mind because he clearly dating other women, no harm no foul right? About the second week in the house I went from a call center to Wendy's the distance was impossible because we had then moved to Katy so I had to get it how I live. By this time the arguments had begun because she felt I wasn't looking for a better job money was stretched and by this time she got "hurt" on her job so she is just at home collecting workers comp. Then it went from words to fist, then from fist to items. To wrap this up after being pushed down a flight of stairs, me loosing my chance as a parent, 4 hospital visits, after putting on a pile of makeup to hide the neck and chest bruises, after loosing more blood than I planned ever, with the cutting of her words as well as me cutting my wrist, the heaviness in her fist after slapping tears off my face, and boldly entertaining other women in our home I was tired. Mind, body, soul tired, with no one to call. She made me part ways with everybody including my mom because "she just want to run your life". I had no one.

So I woke up after sleeping on the floor because that's where she wanted me to stay. I waited until she left, I reached out to the Houston Area Womens Center, they set up a safe place to pick you up and offers shelter for those who need to escape abuse. That day my life changed, that day I no longer volunteered to be a punching bag or a stress reliever or a maid, or baby sitter, I was done looking out for everyone else but me..I WAS TIRED!! What I have given you today is a mere portion of what happened, but this is why this month is important to me. I survived, I ran and never looked back. I thought about the people who still loved me and who told me to never ever let anyone tell you or make you feel worthless when you're really priceless. The physical, mental and emotional process tuh not an easy road. Although many say it gets better, it only gets better when you seek help, professional help, through the ministry, are even within your family you never know what they have been through when you weren't around. I just want you to know, you, the one who is reading this saying "this is what I've been through" I beg of you please seek help. Reach out and you wont have to do it alone. In that shelter that the HAWC sent me to was surrounded with survivors. Telling me there horrific stories but standing confidently now because they made it out alive and sought help. Now I mentioned how I would get back to the "best friend", well her and her best friend were legally married, with a nice little marriage licence. They even lost a child. I would always wonder why her mom was always looking for her and I was always the "friend". Now I'm not a naive as you may think, there a few black families where they just say "friend" while dating, typically following air quotation marks, and that how my family and her family were so it didn't click.. Anyway, I would tell more but i'll just put it in my book in which i hope to publish soon. I did however wanted to share this poem, I wrote a lot throughout my relationship to help keep busy and stay out her way. I wrote because the paper was the only thing that listened and didn't hit me back when they disagree.


                                                        Killing Me Softly
                                                           11/24/2010
I CLINCH ON FOR DEAR LIFE AS I HANG ABOVE AN OVERWHELMING POOL OF MY OWN TEARS 
AS EACH SYLLABLE FROM EACH WORD CUT ME LIKE A FRESHLY SHARPEN BLADE I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER SEE THE DAY...
THE DAY MY LIFE WOULD BE ENDED BY THE HANDS AND LIKES OF YOU.
 AS YOUR FROSTY EYES STARE THROUGH ME AS IF I WERE TRANSPARENT...
ITS APPARENT...WHAT I ONCE THOUGHT WAS SOLID HAS NOW BEEN MELTED DOWN TO A CESSPOOL 
OF LIES HURT DECEIT UNLOYALTY AND UNFAITHFULNESS...WHAT WAS ONCE AS FRESH AS AN AUTUMN DAY IS NOW THE COLDEST LONGEST WINTER NIGHT EVER.

I STOP U TO ASK BEFORE YOU WALK OUT THE DOOR WHAT COULD BRING US BACK THE LOVE THAT WE BOTH KNEW..
WE KNEW IT WOULD LAST FOREVER AND UNLIMITED DAYS..IT WAS NO LIMIT TO THE LOVE THAT WAS GIVEN BY BOTH …
BUT WHY NOW...WHEN I WAS GIVING IT TO YOU AT THE HIGHEST PEAK MY EMOTIONAL ACTIONS COULD GIVE...
JUST TO LEAVE MY HEART LONELY...YOU SILENCE ME TO SPEAK TO ME FOR THE LAST TIME..
THERE'S SOMETHING U SHOULD KNOW...THERE IS SOMETHING DEEP IN MY HEART 
THAT'S CALLED LOVE..
BUT THE THING IS IT'S NOT FOR U...
AND JUST LIKE THAT...
WE'RE THROUGH.....

If you or someone you know is currently or has been a victim of domestic violence here are a few resources where its free and confidential:

http://www.ncadv.org
http://www.hawc.org
http://www.helpguide.org
http://www.americanbar.org/






Peace and Blessings
SwaggP

"Buzzworthy Cravings, Creatively Satisfied!"