Monthly Archives: March 2016

Image

I wrote the poem below for MancuniCon, the U.K. Easter sci fi convention.  I sadly experienced a few racist incidents whilst at this event, as I do most places I go.  However, when I wrote this poem, I thought about how white science fiction and fantasy is in general, and how the possibility of people of colour inhabiting a fictional space makes so many defensive unless we are subservient to white folks.  The poem is inspired by my all time fave episode of any Star Trek series, Far Beyond the Stars, on Deep Space Nine.

Jake Sisko

I don’t want to be the only black soul in space

I don’t want to break through the atmosphere
I don’t wanna blast off to an unknown place
I want to stay right here

Cos if black folks board those rocket ships
Ain’t nothing new it gonna prove
Cos all they really want us for
Is to shine those white folks shoes

You may say a brave new world’s waiting
Where a man can truly be free
But this black soul be contemplating
This here world and the racist cruelty I’ve seen

Freedom don’t come beyond the stars
I won’t find it way up there
Freedom means stories of my own
Where black folks sit in the captain’s chair

And ain’t it sweet you imagine aliens
Being red and blue and green
But black folks in sci-fi are impossible
Too unbelievable to be seen

That’s why I choose to write what I do
Black fantasy is why I’m here
Far beyond the stars may look good to you
But son, I ain’t got the fare

Image

TW: Mentions of sexual assault and street harrassment



A Poem: What was she wearing when she was raped and killed?

Hey, baby. Why aren’t you smiling?
Hey, baby. Can I walk you home?
Hey, baby. I’m just being friendly!
Fuck you, bitch. Hope you die alone.

Hey, sis. I know it’s late
What you mean, you’ve got a man?
I just wanna ask you out on a date.
See this type of bitch is the kind I can’t stand.

Hey, darling. Give me your number
Now let me check to see if it’s real
You’d be surprised at all the bitches trying to put one over
Fuck you, bitch. You ain’t got the body I wanna feel.

What do you mean, I can’t buy you a drink?
What do you mean, You won’t let me pay?
How else am I supposed to meet hot girls like you?
Fuck you, bitch. You’re too fat anyway.

You think you’re better than me, don’t you?
You think you’re smarter.  Think you’re wise
Fuck you, bitch.  I’ve gotta gun
Fuck you, bitch.  Take a look at my knife.
All they’ll ask is why you led me on.
Fuck you bitch. I got the law on my side.
Fuck you, bitch.  If you leave the car door unlocked
Don’t act surprised when men take it & drive.

Fuck that bitch.  She wouldn’t give me a chance
Fuck that bitch.  She wasn’t exactly a prize.
Fuck that bitch.  It was the heat of the moment.
Fuck you all.  It’s not my fault she died.

Image

Loneliness and Bisexuality

Image Artist: Kinuko Craft

This is how the journey goes for me: loneliness, isolation and desperation.  It happens in that order, although it should never have to happen at all.  As a bisexual person of colour, my chances for socialising are not that high.  Racism, biphobia and misogynoir is an awfully powerful mixture to deal with.  I cannot separate myself into palatable pieces others find easier to digest.  I cannot and should not even be thinking of myself like that.  This is the first part of the journey.  I start to make compromises; hell we al do in some ways.  But for bisexual people, we compromise when we hide parts of ourselves – our sexual orientation from others just to feel closer,to feel accepted and less of a freak.  That trick may work for a while, but to have any kind of self respect means that sooner or later, it will become a stone in our mouth.  The truth will out, and even if it only comes out to ourselves, it will still feel like a betrayal.

I am a social person; as much as I need time alone, I still want to be with others.  Spending half my life with an immediate family whose numbers were more than twenty people, doesn’t make it easy for me to cook for one, to talk to no one, to always be alone.  Rejection is a thing I’ve known; from my abusive family, from lesbians and gays, and white bisexuals too.  Loneliness is a thing I’ve had to deal with for so long.  Loneliness isn’t just the absence of others, but for me, it’s the thing that leads to isolation and desperation.  Loneliness is me sitting in a gay bar and feeling like I have the word ‘Bisexual’ stamped on my forehead, as folks ignore me.  Loneliness is me having no reflection of my life when I look in the Voice newspaper, or Ebony and Essence magazine.

Isolation is a structural result of biphobia, racism and misogynoir in LGBT and straight communities.  It is a process that makes me actively alone.  Isolation silences and squashes my attempts to be a member of communities where I could belong.  Now don’t get me wrong – I give a lot of talks on bisexuality, mental health and racism.  I write a lot of blog posts, articles and pieces too.  But as soon as I switch off my computer, I disappear.  When I end my talk, I become an unwanted guest in someone else’s space.  Isolation gives more power to biphobia, racism and misogynoir that is directed at me constantly.  Isolation is LGBT events that are too expensive for me to ever afford to attend.  Isolation is having community events in pubs, when I sometimes cannot bear to be around alcohol or drunk people.  The feeling that I will be alone forever is what makes isolation so cruel; it takes away any vision of a future I may have dreamed of, and leaves nothing but silence in its wake.

Desperation is the cold side of the bed when my abusive ex-boyfriend finally left.  Desperation is the fact that I stayed with him so long, despite the fact that he said I was no better than a whore.  The loss of self respect; the journey I’d been on since loneliness became my partner, led me to that place.  There are worse things than being alone – I know that, but I am ashamed at what loneliness and isolation has made me do.  I’m not making excuses either.  I know that isolation is a tactic many abusive people use to separate their victims from possible sources of help and support.  But when I face so any types of oppression on a daily basis, I am often afraid to face the alternatives of an empty room, an empty bed and an empty life.

Another tactic abusive people use is to make you feel grateful for any crumbs of affection and attention they toss your way.  It is not easy for me to write this, but I have been there, scrabbling around on the floor, searching for anything to feed my starving heart, even when I knew there was a high probability it would only men a boot on my back.  Loneliness, isolation and desperation are weapons in the wrong hands.  There is no need for these states to be mis-used, but so often I find that they are.  When I exist as an already marginalised person, unwilling to be accepted by the communities I could be part of, I am at risk of being treated poorly.  The stone in my mouth; the silence in my home; the distance I have travelled on this journey, are all symptoms of how broken this society is.  This is the world where women are devalued, racism is excused, nonbinary  folks are ignored and bisexuals are never believed to even exist.  This is my world and I am a part of it, clinging to the edge of the flattened globe, trying not to tumble into the dark unknown as I make my way to something more.  Something better.

Multiple Oppressions in the UK Bi Scenes

Standard

When a very brief exchange reminds you why you don’t miss the white middle class bicon world that much any more. (by extension all the other white and middlecass ‘alt’ worlds: lgbtq, kink, geek etc etc)

so so much emotional labour of explaining racism (and you know you’ve got problems if IM explaining classism too coz i am one of the people who gets it) of being expected to explain/educate, because an ‘activist’. (activist, not masochist doormat/your personal/community resource)

I had to cut off completely from a scene that I’d worked/loved/fucked/found myself in over ten years.

It became no longer possible to be in that scene without being shut down/told off for being ‘unreasonable’ /angry or being a version of me that fanned my internalised racism.

But there are so few spaces which are not shit for bi people. Basically are there any that aren’t organised primarily by bi people?

That’s part of why I stayed so long, and it was a huge huge loss stepping away.

That’s why bi’s of colour, which Jacq Applebee and I founded, has been a fucking lifeline.

http://bisofcolour.tumblr.com/

Gallery