On a bike ride through central park, I felt something deep in my heart.
Maybe it was the shrooms, or am I simply confused?
More than ever, I am the nether.
Fully. Completely. In the moment.
I was free. I am, still that.
In a month’s time after reflecting on my experience at NYC World Pride, I have come to many conclusions. Before we get into that though, I must discuss my feelings and revelations that have been revealed to me over the past few months.
The summer has been blissful thus far. Admittedly, there have also been moments of pure chaos and torment. I got into one of the worst arguments/fights with my mom ever, resulting in a sea of tears and a mild heartbreak. We’re fine now, and yes, I know many of you may be frowning upon the idea of me “putting my business out there”, however, one thing that I have found to be a core principle in my life and spiritual work is transparency. I strive to live a life of truth. This doesn’t mean exposing all parts of myself, my life, or experiences, though I do understand my responsibility having this platform I have created for myself. There are so many young people having these unspeakable experiences, seeking validation, confirmation, and reassurance. I will be, and provide that voice letting people know that they are not alone as often as I can.
The fight with my mother showed me so many things about the human and mother/daughter dynamic. Especially considering our experiences as black women in particular. We carry a burden of generational trauma and poison that has accumulated over lifetimes. If not careful, we become the product of hazardous patterns and repetition. When we heal ourselves and are candid about these experiences, we also heal the generations who were unable to do this. Change begins with us. Though the brutality of emotion within me has subsided, I still think of this line. This line of women that I come from and this cross of generational wounds that I bear. How do I break generational curses, and why exactly has this burden of responsibility been placed onto me? If you are young, black, and woman, as I am, perhaps this is an experience you can relate to. I am not so sure why they have given us this responsibility, though I am sure that with us will be the eradication of the toxicity that has been imprinted in our DNA for generations. The new thing begins with us.
Through this transparency and authenticity, I have also found clarity in my queerness, which was solidified during my World Pride experience. To be queer, in essence, is to be free, though this becomes quite the paradox when you think of the chains of oppression the world has attempted to wrap around our souls. Free? Under what conditions? Sure, free, but then comes the intrusive thoughts. What will my family think of me? What will my spiritual leaders think of me? What does this world truly think of me? How does my queerness inhibit my life? Endanger me? Is this true freedom then? Or simply yet another burden to carry?
At Pride, people from places all over gathered to support this eccentric love and identity we know as the “other”. In this space, we were truly free to be. Boundless, free of limitations, and fear. We just were. Even through the screams of inaccuracy from the bible thumpers holding signs reminding us of our eternal doom and damnation, there was freedom. We do not know what our fate holds, what this unique experience will bless or curse us with, but as long as there is freedom, we live by chance, fully immersed in the moment.
World Pride gave me hope. Hope for the future of queerness collectively and personally. For me, queerness is a way of life, not just who I love. It is the breath I breathe because, in this space, I truly grasped air for the first time in my life.
Inhale- My lungs filled with the promising future of infinite creativity and visibility, without judgment.
Exhale- I was free, and am free in every way possible.
People who enter my space often question this rambunctiousness. There is confusion as to why I am so loud about this ‘queerness’ thing. Perhaps I will leave them with this wonder. For me, this isn’t a choice, rather a matter of life and death. The death of authenticity and expression haunts me. If I am not myself, authentic in speech, thought, and being, I risk death. This spirit of death is always hovering over me, reminding me of this responsibility I carry simply in being. This isn’t a choice, rather an indication that I am here, wholeheartedly. Understood or not, I will continue thriving in the state of liberation, for the sake of my soul.
World Pride lit within me the fire that I have been searching for. It reminded me of the quality of friendship and intimacy. I remembered that no matter where I am in the world, I am faced with an obligation. Just one, which is to be myself, unapologetically.
Though this womanhood I carry, skin I bear, and queerness that I breathe all live within me, I must not hold back. It is up to me to integrate each of these qualities, duality of blessings and curses inside of me. In doing this, I open up space, not for myself, but possibly someone needing the reassurance that it is safe for them to express themselves in a new way. Or perhaps a young girl or boy or them trying to figure themselves out.
Life is a long journey of confusion, passion, bliss, heartbreaks, forward movement, setbacks, and somehow, peace. If we can settle on peace within ourselves, we can find a way to ride out the uncertainties that we are served no matter how blissful or full of sorrow it may be. If I leave you with nothing else, I pray that you find security. Not in life, but the inevitable changes that will surely come. Things won’t always make sense, people will hurt us, we will hurt others. We’ll forgive and move on. We will discover, love, and feel, feel, feeeeeeel. Within all of this, I can only hope that each of us chooses to live a unique expression fully, wholeheartedly, and authentically.
Until next time.