Sunday, September 30, 2007

About Me

About moi-

Well I'm a love child of the 70's born in 1974 to an interracial couple. My mom & dad were almost 28 when I was born & during that time we all lived in the great state of California. After some drama between my parents my mom & I moved to Minnesota when I was 4 years old.

Some more drama followed us until I was about 8 years old when I saw my father for the last time & discovered I wanted to be a nun. But my life as a mid-Western Catholic ended after a series of pertinent discoveries about my self such as that I'm gayish, wanted to live on the west coast again & wanted to be free from religion.

At 24 I quit drinking & doing drugs because I'm an addict & alcoholic & had put myself through some funky shit. It was actually my 2nd stab at sobriety & though I have not had a drink or illegal drug since that time I had to change my sobriety date due to a nasty over-enjoyment to vicodin. My sobriety date is 11/15/05. I am so grateful for recovery programs such as AA & Al-Anon.

Currently I live in Portland Oregon with a cat & two tea-cup chihuahuas and my partner. We live in an area with too many hipsters making noise at three in the morning on their bicycles but are glad that a Stumptown coffee shop is nearby. We plan to marry (not legally which sucks because of our current system of discrimination) in August of 2008 and hope to get our honeymoon paid for by well wishers. For work I've dealt with books for over seven years and am still kinda underpaid.

My interests in no particular order include this blog & reading other peoples blogs, beading, crafts, astrology, reading, films, the arts, animals, spirituality, personal growth, yoga, walking, comedy & mystery TV shows, music, public speaking, justice and generally being the backlash to the backlash.

This blog started named as Redolence. I wanted to create a virtual space for the detailing of parts of my life that was like a scent almost. Scents conjure feelings & thoughts & I wished this blog to have a similar effect via the web. After a time I began to notice that there was not a lot of visible representation of queer women of color blogs out in the world wide web. That doesn't mean they don't exist as many queer women of color prefer the focus to be on things other than their racial, gender & sexuality status. And though I definitely focus on romance, silliness & non related issues I felt it was important to be visible as a QWOC so those that are like me don't feel so invisible & can feel more connected albeit virtually to others like us.

Not that I only want queer women of color to read this. In fact I hope what folks get from stopping by here is a peek into the brain of someone who may seem different but is as crazy, happy, sad, loving, goofy, interesting & boring as you, who ever you are. QWOC is about politics that effect especially folks whose identity encompasses multiple minority status but is also about the struggle day by day to keep on keeping on.

As always

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Personal Photo

I know my most recent posts have been mostly pics and today is no exception. Today is the first day I got out of bed & didn't fall back in so a longer more substantial post will come soon. Until then I thought I'd post a personal photo. No not personal like that. Just a pic of me & my beloved. All the photos of her on this blog have been sun glassed or the side of her head or perhaps a tooth. With her blessing I wish to introduce you all to her beautiful handsome face.

My love & I last Sunday at our friends wedding. Though I have been in many a photo with past partners & lovers I think this is the first pic I'm in with someone where it's so obvious I'm totally in love. And I can't help gushing... I really am! Peace!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Pics o' Moi & a QWOC Button Just 4 U!

First here is the tag. You can put it on your blog to promote my blog. This makes sense no? Anywho here it is. Lovely eh? Just copy the thing & do the thingy to make it go back to this ol' blog. I'll give out kisses to all how have this on thier blogs & websites!

Anyway feel free to gaze at the pics of moi last weekend after I performed a wedding ceremony for my good friends. It was a really powerful moment for me & I'll say more on it later. Peace!

Me pursing my lips apparently

Priestess Fran!

The Fruit of my Loins

That's right y'all. On top of being sick I'm bleeding. It's my period but I'd rather not add that on to how I'm feeling. Ahh well.

Hey have any of you checked out the Natyional Day of Pandhandling for Reparations day blog. If not do so here. Peace!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nasal Douching!

Nasal douching is not fun, but very cheap & easy to do. I've been terribly sick with a sinus infection/cold from hell. Needless to say this will be a short post until I can get back on track with all my blog reading & such. Until then please entertain yourself with two links.

One is Know Thy Neighbor Oregon. It's a website that publishes the names of those who sign any petition against the Oregon Family "Fairness" & "Equality" acts. Though I have very mixed feelings about what I feel are separate but not quite equal laws, it is interesting to note just who in my State doesn't want me & my family to even have some equal protections. Check it out.

Addicted to Race has a new podcast out. This time the subject is on building a multiracial movement. Though I have not had a chance to listen to it yet I'm sure it will be another great episode. Have a listen.

That is it for now. I'll hopefully be much better soon with rants & TMI tales galore. Until then...


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Whole New Meaning to Craigslist! An Open Letter to Larry Craig

Dear Larry,

At first when I heard about this whole bathroom debacle I felt bad for you. Felt even worse for your wife & family. The fact that you were caught trying solicit an officer of the law in my home state made me even feel a connection to you. I thought "yes, I too have tried to have gay sex in a public bathroom in Minneapolis." And so I felt we had a bond. Even if you publicly said you were not a homo, you & I like to get it on in bathrooms & that's enough of a link for me.

Then you resigned. I thought it was a mistake. I thought you ought to fight the restrictive, homophobic laws that govern Minnesota bathrooms & not take such treatment, ehh hem, sitting down. I should have told you ahead of time that you could avoid pesky police officers by contacting the Minneapolis Men4Men section of Craigslist.

Then I read a Savage Love column last week (of which I can't find the link to) & started to think. If you had had the opportunity you would have voted for police patrols in every public bathroom in the United States & maybe even Canada. You would have been the first person to point your finger if it had been one of your colleagues. You Sir do not like lgbtq2s folks. You would legislate against us at every turn if you could.

So now I'm glad you've stepped down despite the fact that you & I both enjoy gay bathroom sex. You do not get to live one way & try to legislate another. And you got what you deserved because when you try to destroy basic human equality, you get it in return. It's karma baby & you got it 3 fold. I will pray for you & wish you well. But I will not have an ounce of pity for you.


P.S. Enjoy this video. I dedicate it to you.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Summa Books

It's been a decent summer for books. I spent most of my time with a young adult series by Stephanie Meyer. There was Twilight then New Moon and finally last night I finished Eclipse. They were easy and totally fun books. With the exception of a couple weird comments by the protagonist like "she was beautiful in an exotic sort of way." Hate that. Anywho I also read another great young adult book by Sherman Alexie called The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian . It was very very good & I recommend it to adults as well as teens.

After seeing Mr. Alexie in person this last Wednesday I thought it would be good to read some of his other stuff. So I'm already 24 pages into The Lone Ranger & Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. It's a little fantastical which isn't usually my thing but I'm sure it's worth it.

Don't Play in the Sun by Marita Golden was a good book although it took my a while to read it. It's about colorism & was an important read.

And I re-read Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris because that book is funnier than shit. Oh & one I almost forgot despite that it was fun was Dead Connection by Alafair Burke. It was a murder mystery from an author who used to live in good 'ol PDX.

Let's hope for some good fall reading! Feel free to note your favorite books that you read this summer! Peace!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Of Modern Day "Gangsta" Rappers and Old Timey Uncle Tom's. Why not Much has Changed

Today's mainstream rap stars are no different from the happy jigaboo uncle tom characters of yesteryear. The only real difference is that these so called tom's of the past seemed outwardly happy to entertain their masters.

The rap artists of today still feed the white mans fantasy albeit a different one now. Instead of enjoying the idea of Black men serving them with glee, this time the servicing is in the form of fulfilling the character stereotype of the tough, dark and sinister man who doesn't care about taboos of sex, drugs and money. This character like the one of uncle tom has no family, hobbies or meaningful interests or real life of their own other than fully playing into this fantasy.

These men of fantasy have only one real purpose: to provide an outlet for white guilt, anger and boredom. Pissed at your boss? Pretend through 50 cent that you can blow him away or that at the very least that you are & always will be tougher than him. Turning to this fantasy allows you for a moment to hate your boss safely, be someone else safely, without the pesky possibility of getting fired or being exposed to real inner city problems.

Your wife giving you grief? Tune into Snoop Dogg where your wife turns into the magical exotic ho you've always wanted that will please you when you say. And when your done with her you can move on to the next woman and degrade her if you wish. Because it's fun for a moment to, in fantasy do all the things you want to a woman and not care. Where in real life your wife would chew you out if you slapped her told her to suck you.

To pretend that the white love of rap, more importantly rap that is violent, sexist & stereotypes Black people, has no element of racism is to be purposely ignorant. If a person of non-color really wanted to do something about being "down" with Blacks and other folks of color, they would perhaps try listening to rap that wasn't filled with lyrics about Black men only being thugs and Black women being sub-human. Maybe they would try to actually get to know some Black folks, read some of their blogs and articles and see that each one of us is very different, unique and yes...human.

The rap artists talking about all the violence and sex stuff that they do, generally don't actually live that way. I'm not saying they all live in the suburbs and drive minivans, but many have children, partners they love, homes and hobbies that have nothing to do with diamond purchasing and drinking 40's.

Are these artists making money? Yes. Are they choosing to say these things? Yes. And so did all the actresses and actors who took servant roles in movies way back when. They got money and screen time & chose to play mammies and uncles. But these folks had limited choices back then. They played these roles because the pro-white racist entertainment industry back then owned most productions of the time and chose not to have people of color be equally human, in character and/or in life. These artists now, like back then are still shucking and jiving and playing a role to the white man to get paid. There is no real difference except that the song and dance has changed.

Of course we can say those films were a reflection of the times when Jim Crow and separate bathrooms ruled the land. And that is true to a large degree. Which then really makes you think about the state of the world today regarding folks of color. Yes we are thought of as folks who can have money and some stature. But the rap videos we watch would tell us that we don't handle our money very well. That we don't know how to be vulnerable or are capable of emotional intimacy. That all we think about is sex, violence, guns, drugs and money. We are just plain not smart enough to do anything other than survive on what white men let us. Yeah we're not shown serving our massa's on TV anymore but we certainly are not being given the "cred" we deserve either.

Photos courtesy of Photobucket

Monday, September 10, 2007

When White Privilege Goes Really Really Bad. Britney Spears at the VMA's

Last night I did not watch the VMA's (MTV Video Awards). Instead it was pizza & porn for my beloved & I. Porn???? You gasp. Well don't get too excited as it was a documentary on John Holmes that included some of his porn & we could only get it from the porno section in Movie Madness.

Anywho tuning in to my favorite gossip blog Jezebel I wanted to see how the whole Kanye West Vs. 50 Cent thing might have gone down at the VMA's. What I forgot was that Britney Spears was opening for the show. And oh-my-gosh what a nightmare.

Many seem to think she was terribly out of shape. For the record I didn't think she looked so bad at all. Yeah her body wasn't all super tight but I think it looks better than mine thank you. If my body looked like that I'd wear a bikini to work everyday! Anyway her body wasn't the issue for me as much as her lazy ass performance. You can see it here to see what I mean.

Gimmie More?!?! Yeah gimmie more is right because she barely moved at all. She seemed bored or scared or something. I feel kinda sad for her and quite frankly think her career may be over after this one. Her best bet at this point would be to go to Kansas, buy a farm, raise her kids & ger herself together for the next 10 years and then make a stunning comeback. Brit if you're reading this, please go now. You'll thank me later.

Why do I even care about any of this? Because I like watching train wrecks and it takes my mind off my other problems.

So Kanye West said something about all this that got me thinking. Though I do think he's a hack in many ways from crying about getting snubbed at the VMA's to calling mixed race women mutts, I did think it's interesting to note that perhaps Brit did get to where she is in part because of her aryan appeal.

I can't believe that if Mary J. Blige had acted the way Brit did and too boot hasn't had any recent hits, I really doubt Mary would have opened for the show. Mariah Carey certainly performed after her meltdowns but open she did not. The whole thing just trips my white privilege trigger in a big way. But of course we all know the entertainment industry like most thinks in this country are whack in it racist crap.

So it was really rather funny when in a Jezebel post about the VMA's they noted Britney's crappo extensions and how it was the first thing you saw when her "performance" started. It said "this is what a nappy headed ho looks like." Bah hah haha ha.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

New Look

Howdy all! If you are a reader of QWOC you'll notice some changes to the look. I really loved th ol' template but decided it was time for a fresh look and to mix it up a bit but not too much. The header was made with the lovely & free program myimager and I got the colors for the face of this blog from colourlovers. Unprofound is my favorite freeshare photo place & that's where that great color bubbles image came from. All these sites are free and you can do some pretty fun stuff!

I decided to tone down the pink tough I love it. I just want to make this blog as readable and user friendly as possible. And I felt the pic in the header was more representitive of the focus of the blog itself. Don't ask how though because I can't explain that.

Lastly I've added a couple new links to the sidebar. One I should have had for a long time but kept forgetting to add was Pam's House Blend. The other is one I just discovered called The Real. A very funny vlog. Check them out! Peace!

Friday, September 07, 2007

It's not the Oppression Olympics but I Still Wonder Why the Jena 6 got More Coverage than the New Jersey 7

Look I don't think gays suffer more that POC or that POC suffer more than white women or that women in general suffer more than trans folks or anything like that. But I do think when different minority classifications get combined the likelihood of something being written off faster is likely.

Take for example the Jena 6 case. Most of you have heard of it by now I hope, but if not here's a video link with a great explanation.

The whole thing is crap for the dudes! I mean talk about injustice! A guy gets his butt kicked some but not enough to really harm as he was able to get to a social function that very night. Yet the guys who gave him the can-o-whoop ass get 2nd degree attempted murder charges. Oh and of course it's a white dude that gets his ass whopped & Black dudes that get the erroneous charges. The whole thing is a mess & the young man judged guilty by an all white judge & jury may possibly be given a 22 year sentence. Ahh the smell of racism.

The whole thing sucks & I for one am utterly incensed by all the circumstances surrounding the Jena 6.

That being said I am a little surprised by the fact that the Jena six case is getting so much more press than the case of the New Jersey seven (or four depending on who you read). In fact the fact that some reports say four and some say seven is in itself a problem as no one seems to care to get the facts straight.

Here's an example: I googled the key words Jena 6. And get pages of links. I googled New Jersey 7. Nothing. New Jersey 4. Nothing. New Jersey four. Zip. New Jersey seven. One link to an NY post titled "Attack of the Killer Lesbians." WTF?

Are the circumstances different? Sure. One event happened in a small town and one happened in a big city. One case was all men and the other was women and a man. One case had a white person and several Black people. The other case had all Black folks. One case had (as far as we know) all heterosexuals. The other had homosexual/genderqueer people & a straight person. And to be fair the Jena case initially had stiffer charges against the accused.

Here are the similarities. Past prejudice fueled an attack. Past injustices due to privilege fueled anger. A lack of freedom in choice of location fueled resentment (the tree only belongs to the whites and the streets only belong to men). A legal system that favors the majority to minorities. A person with more privilege provoking the accused. Both cases had the person attacked suffer minor injuries yet the attackers were charged beyond the reality of the crimes. Both cases had prejudice based tensions of the recent past adding to already existing pain of living as less-than-equals. Both cases involved African Americans.

Oh and here's one more difference. In the New Jersey seven's case the accused were not only Black but queer women. Triple minorities that force us to think about the many layers of injustice that happen here in the U S of A.

I'm not saying for one second that the media attention the Jena 6 are getting is undeserved. On the contrary. I think an even bigger ruckus needs to be caused. In that same vein the New Jersey seven's lack of attention seems questionable. Why isn't there more about these women and their case. What are the reasons one case gets more support than another?

With the New Jersey seven I have to wonder if there is sexism here. Or homophobia. Or genderqueer phobia. Or all of the above. Maybe it is just too much for us to think about that many levels of injustice and oppression. Maybe we can get behind men but not people who we consider immoral due to their sexuality and gender expression. Whatever the reason I figure it is important to at least ask.


Thursday, September 06, 2007


Whoopi Goldberg is this week Morrrrron on the View television show. Did she actually compare Michael Vick to Chinese folks eating cats? *sigh*

Check out more at Angry Asian Man.

Photo courtesy of unprofound

Monday, September 03, 2007

Triple Threat

It's official. I'm now a triple winner. What the F*#k am I talking about? I'm talking (or writing really) about recovery. I'm a member of three different recovery programs now. Sounds excessive to some I suppose but I'm okay with it & not over doing any of these programs. And I've found that I need each one or I and everyone around me suffers. The one I've had to join most recently has become my life jacket. It's about money and debt & helps me with my problem (which is putting it lightly) with compulsive spending. My chronic & compulsive spending has brought more agony to my mind & heart that I can bare anymore. Photo courtesy of Photobucket.

Reflecting back I see now that since my youth my spending has been unhealthy & destructive. From stealing my mom's money out of her purse to sneak over to Arby's & buy ham & swiss sandwiches to finding my pockets empty & having to "borrow" from friends so I can buy whatever.
If I had only 20 cents I'd find a way to spend it. I just had to.

As I got older I used the people I was in romantic relationships with to get me the things I wanted/needed. They would take me to dinner or even buy my groceries. That way I could spend my money on the frivolous things I desired. Kinda like prostitution only I called it dating.

Facing the ugly ways my lack of responsibility has effected myself & others isn't easy. A part of me does with I was different. But regret won't change the behavior. Only action will & that's what at long last with HP's help is happening.

I can feel the tide turning inside me. The woman I want to be emerging!

Never really realized until now how much my compulsive spending has effected my life. It's deeper that I could see or feel. And every way I tried to fix & control it never worked. All my tears & turmoil, all my promises & guilt never changed & thing for longer that a few weeks, days or minutes. None of the other recovery groups I belonged to could really help. But now I've found a source of support, guidance & strength to show me another way to live not just within my means but to one day thrive!

But it's one day at a time. And my daily mantra is this: With God's help I spend wisely & conscientiously. And today I am.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Aother Great post on Racialicious!

Once again my favorite blog has hit a home run in my heart. Latoya Peterson posted her thought provoking piece: 4th generation racist: Can you be anti-racist if you’re anti-white?

Here is my comment that I made in response to it. Please check out her post for more background. I just thought I'd share my comment with my readers too!

Wow! Latoya your honesty was so beautiful! I struggle with racism (which I define as prejudice towards individuals & groups based upon notions of race) and wholly identify as an anti-racist activist. I'm guilty of making Jewish jokes. I'm guilty of not being as nice to someone as I could because they were white. I'm guilty of seeing the quote-unquote big black man walking towards me at night & being scared. I'm guilty of seeing people acting out my preconceived notions of them & hating them.

I'd like to think or at least I hope that my work as an activist & doing tangible works to benefit equality for all humans has helped my racist karma. But what seems to help me most is doing just what you did Latoya- honesty. To admit my prejudice, to admit my mistakes. To admit these things & then actively work towards changing my thoughts & attitudes. If I don't acknowledge the hate & pain of racism I can't move past it & help others to do the same.

The forgiveness & understanding of my own prejudices helped me to feel a little less angry towards those who are or would be racist towards me. That maybe if we all had ways to take action & see racism not only as something that "kinda sucks for some people" but as what I feel it is, a dis-ease of perception, we can really heal ourselves & the world(s) around us.

So how do we take ACTION? I heard a long time ago that people can't think their way into right action, but must act their way into right thinking. So far there is no 12 step racism recovery group. There are no prejudice rehab's. But there are groups like Carmen's anti-racism group. There is this wonderful website Racialicious & the equally great podcast Addicted to Race that gives folks a chance to listen. And to really listen with all out heart is a great way to take action.

The price we pay for being honest can be great. So many are afraid of their own feelings. But getting honest with ourselves & then finding the ways to do the real work of erasing racism within & around us does have rewards. The rewards are being able to have that one moment when we look at someone & see the person & not just their skin color. We get moments where we can be satisfied with the freedom of knowing ourselves & becoming the people we wish to become. We get to listen (as George Michael would say) without prejudice one moment, one day at a time. We get to know others experiences with race & racism & not shut them down. We get to see folk's skin not as something that defines a them but adds to their experience.

Well that's enough out of me! Peace y'all.