On Kevin Spacey & Recentering the Dialogue

For decades upon decades LGBTQIA anti-sexual violence activists have worked TIRELESSLY to stop the vicious homophobic and transphobic conflation of sexual violence with sexual orientation and gender identity.

Rather than focus on ending sexual violence routinely committed against children and adults, especially those who are the most marginalized, attention is focused on why someone is LGBTQIA.

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This is one of many reasons why Kevin Spacey's coming out of the celluloid closet responses to being accused of causing harm 30 years ago to a 14-year old boy are despicable and unprincipled. What the HELL does his (FINALLY) living as an out gay man have to do with his attempted sexual misconduct with a minor twelve years his junior? These are separate issues.

I do not want to hear about sexual exploration and I write as a unapologetic Black lesbian/queer woman child sexual abuse and adult rape survivor who also explored her sexuality as a teenager. I want to hear about adult accountability. PERIOD.

LGBTQIA children and teenagers are some of the most vulnerable to being sexually violated by adults.

If you are looking for resources to help you get a grasp of sexual violence outside of the heterosexual cisgender man/boy harming the cisgender woman/girl, here are three of several: sibling survivor/comrade/friend Amita Swadhin's Mirror Memoirs project has collected over 40 (to date) oral her/hxstories/histories from queer and trans child sexual abuse survivors of color. What they are uncovering through this groundbreaking work is mind blowing. Sibling survivor/comrade/friend Ignacio G Rivera's The HEAL Project aims to prevent and end child sexual abuse by making visible the hidden tools used to guilt, shame, coerce and inflict violence onto children. Sibling survivor/comrade/friend Jennifer Patterson's edited award-winning anthology Queering Sexual Violence features multi-racial, multi-gender LGBTQIA survivors and activists whose writings are at the intersection of survivor status, race, sexuality, gender identity, mental health and disability.

Let's work to end ALL forms of sexual violence committed against ALL humans.

Paying Homage in Queering Sexual Violence

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Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement edited by Jennifer Patterson

Paying homage to a true survivor who preceded me - Great Aunt Jessie Neal Hudson and working to create a world where my nieces Zari, Avye, Kylin and nephew Ameachi along with all children of their generation and younger are safe and free from sexual and physical violence in their lifetimes.

More information on the website.

“Removing the Mask: AfroLez®femcentric Silence Breaker” in Queering Sexual Violence Anthology

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In late February 2010 white queer feminist sibling survivor Jennifer Patterson asked me if I would contribute an essay about my child sexual abuse for her anthology in process Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement (QSV) I didn’t know Jennye very well and she definitely didn’t know the details of my incest herstory. She reached out to me both because of [my film] NO!’s impact on her life, but also because of my publicly identifying as an incest survivor. I was both horrified and terrified at the thought and told her as such. I essentially told her that I would consider the invitation but doubted that I would be able to participate. Less than one month after Jennye’s invitation, the life of the beloved family member who molested me over a period of two years in grave danger.

That was a major turning point in my life. I began taking the small steps, which over time became giant strides and leaps in my own rebirthing process. I took an unflinching look at my incest herstory and its last imprint on my life. Through that process, I put pen to paper or key to screen and for the first time in my life I took an unflinching and yet, deeply compassionate look at what happened to me as a child and the subsequent latter years (three decades) of the man who molested me never being held accountable by my parents in his lifetime for what he did. This is not a mommy/daddy dearest narrative but instead an opportunity to reflect upon what #LoveWITHAccountability looks like in the most compassionately humane ways.

My essay “Removing the Mask: AfroLez®femcentric Silence Breaker” is one of over twenty-five essays and poems written by radically diverse LGBTQIA activists, scholars, healers, cultural workers who center queerness while we/they write about sexual violence. This anthology is a paradigm shifter in a society and dare I say frequently pathologizes queer survivors.

There are no words to express the depth of my personal gratitude that Jennye never ever gave up on her vision because there were many reasons along her six-year journey to just throw in the towel.

The anthology is hot off the press and available for purchase TODAY. For more information about the anthology and the upcoming readings (May 10, 2016 in NYC at Bluestockings is the launch), please visit the website.

SPREAD THE WORD and GET YOUR COPY TODAY!!!!!

On Incest, Migraines, Vipassana Meditation, Therapy, Healing & Cleansing

The onset of my living with severe migraine headaches began when I was ten years old. I firmly believe that my headaches were a physical reaction to my being repeatedly molested by my grandfather and never removed from the environment. My body was screaming because I could not. After twenty years of being completely dependent on over the counter and prescribed medication for my headaches, I went cold turkey because of deep concern about the impact of the side effects on my body. I was fortunate enough to have a lifestyle that enabled me to ride the headaches out through shutting everything down for the day or two when they would emerge. Two years later, I took my first ten-day vipassana meditation course in 2002. My work with a Black feminist licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in sexual trauma and my dedicated meditation practice have served as anchors through the headache and other storms.

Last autumn, thanks to the generosity of my dear friend Enid Lee, I was introduced to a doctor (Dr. James Cartwright) who drastically changed my hardcore essentially vegan diet. Since that time, my headaches have almost disappeared.

I spent a significant part of yesterday afternoon and evening revising an essay that I’ve struggled to write for five-years. It’s the first essay that I’ve ever written that interrogates What it means to both learn and be encouraged to interact with, deeply love, and care for someone who terrorized me as a child for two years?

I tried to get out of writing this “peace” for years and my sister-survivor, comrade and friend Jennifer Patterson gently supported and encouraged me to “go there” in print in her forthcoming edited anthology Queering Sexual Violence.

This morning I awakened with a headache that’s not quite a migraine but it is intense. I haven’t had one in a quite a while. I sat on the mediation cushion and observed the sensations. Usually, I struggle with feeling defeated when headaches occur. This morning, I actually feel liberated. I understand that this is part of my process. I went to a very deep space and buried place to unearth what I revised and sent at 12:31a.m. This headache this Thursday morning is part of the cleansing.