King Kevin and I

I was nervous and over it as I walked to my third period Humanities class. It was the class in which Kevin Booker, the gorgeous high school quarterback ass hole jock and his fellow asshole jocks reigned supreme. I couldn’t understand why they always had to flex, why they always had to fuck with me especially Kevin . I was not a threat to him, didn’t have popularity, wasn’t on the football team, was gay as I pleased. But I always muted myself around him and other jocks. Didn’t even befriend female students as much this year as in the past because it seemed to out me more. I couldn’t be too gay and risk embarassing my little brother who would receive reports of his older brother acting like a bitch. He’d had more fights than a little trying to defend my name. It made my love for my brother grow exponentially but over time the obvious of who I was could not be denied. And my brother had dreams of being Kevin one day. So I entered Ms. Davis’ class bucking the system a bit. I’d worn my fitted jeans and made sure to wear my long sleeve lavender v neck just above my recently discovered lil booty. Instead of mousying into the room, I looked directly to the back where a minion was entertatining Kevin with a story about the party at someone’s house and how so and so was a bitch. Kevin bored and looking up at me as I sat down interrupted his hype man and screeched in a falsetto “Okay Ms. Thang”. A few chuckles escaped across the classroom. Ms. Davis a rather apprehensive , slow dull woman didn’t even bristle. Feeling myself getting hot and just over it in my senior year , I turned back and said in the voice I reserved for Christopher Street and with lovers , ” Heyy boo”. The unexpected delivery as well as the gall made everyone gasp for a second before they all bust out laughing. ” Awwww shit Kev , he got you “, one of his homies clowned. Asian girl Sara said ” You go Raheem.” Even Ms. Davis reddened and forced a smile before she asked everyone to settle down. My heart beat and I shook slightly to myself cause I knew to challenge anyone, let alone a king like Kevin was grounds for a guaranteed fight or unrelenting social media bullshit.

Class ended a half hour later and I packed my shit as fast as I could . Algebra I was next and ever the annoying ass subject I needed every minute of the learning. I breezed through the teenage times square filled with every rep of the UN, saturated with the smells of AXE, insecurities, cigarettes and facades. I hated high school and had checked out so long ago. I made it to the stairwell at the end of the hallway when I felt that feeling of being followed. It was Kevin in his Abercrombie glory, the open buttoned cardigan, the fitted sweat pants that hugged his physique. It was amazing to me how gayness was sold and yet rocked religiously by its’ haters. We locked eyes on the middle landing and I said hi Kevin. He guffawed, ” You’re such a fag Raheema”. ” Thank you “, I responded unsure of this newfound confidence . My little brother Tyshawn was at the top of the stairs and gave a pound to Kevin as he passed and I tried not look at Kevin’s ass.

Tyshawn, ever the eager Freshman and looking like me minus 3 inches height and 100lbs gave me the head nod and passed me on the stairs. It hurt like hell to see my lil bro play me like that. I had to accept that no one wanted to follow in the footsteps of a homo, least of all a fatherless young Black boy in the Suburbs. I headed to Algebra late with a heaviness in my heart. Over the next few days, weeks and months I became gayer. I stopped trying to hide my soft voice. I bought and wore tighter jeans. I got back in the graces of the girls in my class. And every Humanities class, I stared directly at Kevin in the back. After that day of confronting him, he stopped fucking with me. But such is the oddity of life that in spite of how mean he was to me , I couldn’t help but fantasize about him. He was every high school girl’s wet dream, everything that was rewarded in life; charismatic , cool and handsome. He was every guy’s guy. And I thought it horrible how I could never have him, could never tell him I liked him.

It was the Saturday morning after the junior prom that I didn’t go to when the stars aligned. I was walking from Dunkin Donuts when I passed a red BMW jeep all gleaming and screaming Lil Wayne. I also caught the hint of some good weed and me not wanting to be nosy did not notice the window had rolled down and its’ occupant barked ,” Ay Yo.” I turned on my heel and faced the handsome, brown faced God Kevin with his red eyes. I said , ” Sup Kev”. “Get in Raheem” , he commanded. My eyes bulged a little wondering why royalty would bother with my peasant ass. I said , ” You sure?” ” Nigga get in !”, he barked with a little attitude. I got in wondering if I was about to get Matthew Sheparded. ” Come chill with me “, he breathed a little softer noticing my apprehension. “Ok”, I responded as Wayne’s Kush blared in the cool interior. “You want some?” he asked pulling off indicating the el burning in the ashtray. “Sure”, I said still in shock. I pulled the good bud nervous as fuck and hoping we didn’t get pulled over. We were very Black in this white ass suburb . Cleanliness was a must. Kevin bopped his head , rapping as I pulled and checked him out on the sly. It dawned on me that he had on slacks and a white dress shirt.His Polo cologne still permeated richly amidst the sour d. I said “how was prom?” Kevin responded,” it was aiight, busters really jocking the kid. You ain’t go?”, he asked glancing at me for a minute as he turned on Tree Ridge Lane, the street that marked our entry to the rich part of town. “Nah ain’t really for my kind ,you know? “I said owning my gayness. “True”, he grunted. We passed the strip malls, McDonalds, Wendys, Panera, Nordstroms and mansions upon mansions with private lanes and trees everywhere my eyes could see. I never passed into this side of town and was in a bit of a culture shock.

We pulled up to this rich money green 3 story Victorian house with gold hedges and a double garage with a long ass driveway. “Nice crib” I murmured in absolute awe. “Thanks come in” Kevin offered as I followed him in through the garage. The house was airy and pristine , looked like the houses in the magazines, all art works and shiny appliances. Kevin and his family was living large for real. We walked up a carpeted stairwell and entered Kevin’s room. His room was the size of mine and my mother’s combined. He had at least 50 boxes of sneakers . A large 56 inch flatscreen tv , a plush unmade king size bed all added to cementing Kevin as teenage royalty . “You ever play live?” , he gestured to the game system on the floor. “Yeah”, I lied although I had stopped playing video games four years ago. We played Live for about an hour and of course he busted my Knicks ass with his Lakers but I didn’t care. My focus was on his fine physique , his echoing” I’m busting ya ass dude “every three point shot he made , his hands moving so fast against the controller. I suffered with off and on hard on ‘s and a dvd on the floor called Big Dick Anal Whores was not helping my cause. After the third game Kev blurted out ,” Yo Raheem so you really gay?” Startled and blushing I said ,”yea why?” “I mean like you aint a ugly nigga or nothing . You don’t be wanting pussy?” he asked with a laugh in his voice. “Nah I like dick” I said owning all those words. “Wow”, he said looking like he was giving that major thought . Then he asked, “so you be sucking it and all that”? And I looked at his crotch and his eyes and said boldly ,”yea you want me to do you.” He bust out laughing,” yooo ,you wilding son.” Feeling my chance, seizing it and suddenly aware of my power, I said” well you ain’t say nothing”. “Did Tasha hook you up or Molly or Renee” I said listing off just a few of the girls he fucked with. He laughed again but didn”t say nothing. Sat there looking straight ahead gripping the controller tight on the pause screen. And I knew he wanted me. I got off the chair on my knees and crawled between his legs, he wasn’t looking at me. I started to massage his print and felt it growing hard straining against the slacks. He unbuttoned them still not looking at me. He was wearing gray polo briefs, slightly wet at the head. I rubbed my face along it , pulling my tongue out and licking his dick through the fabric. When his boxers were good a nd wet I pulled out the chocolate steel with the pink head and went to work. I made sure to suck him so sweetly and to let the meat gag me. I wanted him to remember this blow job. Kevin moaned so loud as I went to work. I sucked him from head to balls, gagging and slurping wetting the chair and beige carpet. I’d catch him looking every now and then, sensing the opportunity and wanting more I pulled the dick out my mouth and said, “Kev ,Fuck me.” “Nah suck it yo” he breathed. Feeling rejected and wanting him so badly I begged with my most feminine voice “please Kev.” “Fuck yo alright get on the bed”, he acquiesced . I got up off the floor as he got up from the chair. I tried to reach for a kiss but he leaned back. Understood. I asked him if he had condoms but he pulled off my sweat pants and the black panty boy shorts I had on. “Well” I said turning around . “Shut up” he ordered and spat on my hole. He eased his dick in and I imagined it like rubber burning. I squealed and said “ooooh” slightly breathless as he pierced my hole . Kevin said “this ass is tight”. I moaned as the pain diminished , my hole opening laying doggy style on the high school king’s bed. I savored this moment so intensely . I turned to look at Kevin but he only pushed my head forward. “Turn around bitch”, he ordered. And about ten minutes and 100 strokes later I felt hot cum coating my cheeks. I could only lie there as he pulled out and the warm cum started to cool. I lay there after Kevin got up and and went to the bathroom. Wanted to sleep in this nice ass bed . Wanted to kiss him . Wanted more of him. Kevin returning in the room with a gun in his hand shattered my post fuck blissful dreaming. ” You bet not ever tell nobody about this you heard “, he barked in the harshest tone. I was so startled and frightened. He had fucked up such a beautiful moment. “You heard me nigga?” he rushed towards me reaching for my neck with his other hand . I shook my head ,”Yes Kevin please don’t hurt me.” I pulled up my panties and my sweats and fought my hardest to blink away the tears that were threatening to scorch my eyes. He drove me to a bus stop in front of the McDonalds on the deserted wooded street. “Raheem you member what I said now”, he said as I got his jeep. I shook my head again as he drove off blasting Cassidy. I cried as soon as he crossed the light. “I won’t tell “,I said aloud to nobody.

It was a moment I’d think about periodically till I was 25 and living on the West Coast and saw an alert on Facebook, RIP Kevin Booker. The story was that Kevin had killed himself after his lover went to his wife about their affair. Under all the RIP’S AND SOB STORIES was a comment from a minion who wrote “Who’d ever know the great Kev B was a straight up homo. Good for that fag being exposed”. I closed my laptop weary and said, “I won’t ever tell” crushed and fighting tears.


It starts off hot

speeds up real fast

Meet him and he say he likes it

He goes,” Are you a tranny?”

I say I’m transgender

Do you wear wigs, makeup and heels?

No I don’t.

Do you wear a thong?

And the phone goes click.

It makes me sick in so many ways

The ways these chasers play

and the fixtures and appliances they covet

Real person with real feelings and real life be damned.

You want a porn star. You want a fake bitch.

You want fake parts and pieces.

You don’t want me for me. You give a fuck about my story

You care less about my conversation. You want scandalous details

about all the surgeries Im posed to have. You want to know how

big my dick is and can I still come? You want to know how close I get to

them visions on porn sites. You like the rest of them do not see

me as a woman. You dont see me as a real person.

You want flashes, amenities and fixtures, bells and whistles

There is no possibility of discussions of anything else

I hate you and hope you go to hell

For failing to be more

For throwing salt in my face and the game

You not a real fan, nor are you a supporter

You’re an endorser of us never being mainstream

of remaining dark, dirty little secrets you can harbor

that you self flagellate everytime you cum and everytime you

pretend to be a good husband, family man, favorite son,

regular dude from around the way.

I see you chaser, you lowkey hater,

you superficial bitch with your affinity for bells and whistles

I hate you and I hope you go to hell

For almost being nice and failing like the rest of them

to see us as real people, as real women, for forcing us

into boxes of performance and making null and void the possibility

to be anything else.

Fuck you Chaser

The Journals

They haunted Yvette. Day and night like white headed pimples or hard scratchy coughs, confident you could get over it but never sure the outcome. They haunted Yvette for their heaviness, for the sheer volume, for the living memorials of someone dead. They haunted Yvette because she was sure they were brimming with untold horrors, of countless lonely days and dread filled nights. She was sure that in them were vast collections, thoughts , pain and fears of him. They were his last words.

It had been almost two years and still Yvette hadn’t the heart to open them. She kept them on the floor of her closet along with his other stuff that she didn’t know what to do with. Her baby boy had gone out of this world wrongly, taking too soon. Discovered in an alley , beaten beyond recognition. The coward sons of bitches had beat his beauty off the face of the earth, silencing that hearty constant laugh, knocking out the teeth of what had been a beautiful smile. Her beautiful yellow boy, he’d always been so, so beautiful and gentle. And she hated it because a Black boy was damn useless being pretty and soft and sweet. As the only man in the house he was no protection in their hood. Yvette did what she could to steer him right, put him in boxing, football and basketball, made him go to the park , made him stand up and go to the store after the shooting of Ms. May’s son . He’d screamed that he was scared of getting shot too but she didn’t give a fuck. He had to toughen up. It was brutal out here. No matter what she did or what reinforcement she got when she had a man and begged him to toughen her boy up, he remained sweet and gentle. He got his ass beat on the regular until the lioness within him came out. And he learned how to duck, how to avoid , how to throw a punch. He refused to let them punk him against his will. His pretty skin constantly nursed some shade of blue until it didn’t. Her boy grew and found more boys like him and they formed a gang if you will. All prancing and proud and rebellious and loud. He grew prettier and easily became the sister to his little sisters .

Yvette sighed and started to read the 1st journal, the one dated for his 16th year . The year she finally kicked him out. The name on the front of the composition book said Emani’s journey. God she hated that name Emani. The fool had been calling himself that since he was 12.Emani was the name on the love letter she found in that 16th year. It was the name he tatted on his lower back that she caught sight of when he bent over. It was the name the boy she caught him with was moaning when she came home early from work one day and saw the vilest acts. He was wearing a long curly blond wig and mascara and servicing a local D -boy like a porn star. Yvette had punched that boy so many times her hands hurt. When he stopped sobbing she told him to promptly get out.He never again darkened her doorstep. She learned that first year that her boy couch surfed various people’s homes, some in her building. She learned how he turned tricks from sun up to sundown. She learned how he lied to survive, forging her signatures to begin hormones and his research in changing his name. She learned he visited his little sisters at school sometimes and dropped them a few dollars out of his little bit of money. By the end of that first year he is living in some kind of community house sleeping on a floor with a “house mother”.

Yvette found herself intrigued at his journey into becoming Emani. He did so much so young. He wrote of being scared of catching HIV, he wrote of feeling so insecure around regular women, he wrote of the fear he had of being killed. He also wrote of often in the same passages, the beauty he found in life, the love for his often fickle, fair weathered friends. He wrote of loving his Black and gay communities. He struggled alot over the years she ‘d learn over the next few months reading the journals. His hustle spirit would grow. He’d learn how to charge more for sex, how to find higher end clients. He spoke of the craft lifestyle and the ability to make thousands of dollars doing some computer sorcery. He was always hustling and at 19 he finally legalized that horrible Emani. His first arrest would happen that same month. The cops had caught him in the act servicing a john by the park. He described the stench of the jail cell as unforgettable and the coldness as his bare ass sat on the bench. The house mother bailed him out from his own savings. He’d be arrested a few more times unable to leave that one strip.

At 20 ,his best friend would be thrown off a roof. He said that the cops would classify it as a suicide but he knew better having known details he wouldn’t write for fear of being found. He starts trying to find a job, trying to find his own apartment , trying to find happiness. Yvette finds herself both increasingly curious and overwhelmingly morose about her son’s plight. He mentioned her often as the reason why, as voices he couldn’t unhear. He expressed sadness that his being a woman made her so sad. He expressed sadness at not being able to make her proud, as not being a strong, successful young Black man. The one who would buy her a house and move her out the hood. He hated her sometimes too. For all her attempts to correct him, to make him normal, for all the fears she expressed that left him with nothing good to hope for in his queer life. Her baby would find love , a real love one time with an older married man. This older man named Mel would dazzle him with adoration, great sex, humor. He met this Mel when he was getting his hair braided. This Mel was selling pepper spray and seemed to “really live” as he put it for him, complimenting his style and beauty. Buried in the pages is a photo of the two of them. Mel a smiling , graham cracker brown man with big brown eyes and a sharp goatie and her baby looking absolutely resplendent in a burgundy afro curl style. She is wearing hazel contacts framed by copious amounts of blue eyeshadow. Her lips are Dorothy Dandrige boldly puckered and her beautiful teeth give sheer joy and love. She had to admit her baby Nick really lived up to be this Emani.

The relationship doesn’t last. One day this Mel stopped calling her, stopped answering her texts even the one she sent him about finally being approved for that project apartment. She expressed a hurt felt that brings Yvette to tears reading her baby blaming herself for the failure of the relationship. It sent her into a nasty depression that followed her into her shifts at the Burger King. A nasty female customer one day hurls ” faggot” one day and Emani spits on her. She is immediately fired and instead of seemingly wallowing about it she took herself to the Cheesecake Factory , went to a bar and cruised the city night having only what she would say were “funtimes with the boys”.

Yvette approaches the end with trepidation. The depression lingers, Emani’s once vast numbers of friends have dwindled, she wrote of her loneliness everyday. She writes of finding herself with her dates who become like her friends. She hustles all day and all night. She starts to entertain groups. She hates herself, she hates everyone. One of her last entries ,she says she came back around the way. She looks so different and dons shades on the hot day. She writes of guys hollering who beat her up when she was younger. She writes of the girls she used to know who played double dutch with her and talked about boys and other girl stuff. And those same girls who never stopped reminding her she was a boy. She writes of passing our building and saying one day she ‘d day hi to Yvette’s evil ass. She hopes her little sisters, now preteens are still sweet and not letting the hell they come from make them devils too.

Her last entry she writes of wanting a vacation ,somewhere far away. She writes of the Arab cashier smiling at her, telling her she was so beautiful. She writes of needing to hear that sometimes. Of the power of feeling righteous in her womanhood. Of loving her face and hair and strength and pretty days too. Yvette finishes her last words. She knows she’ll mourn the daughter she never allowed herself to know. With these final living words, the mystery of Emani is only slightly less infuriating.


You saw my titties

and did not touch them

I did not take it personal

I smiled at your refusal and enticed you

with my eyes, hoping to warm your ice

You heard my brain

but asked no questions

I continued to spill but it was never mopped up

you felt my pleas and turned your back

I reached out and massaged your feet and foolishly thought

you’d return the favor

You tasted my love, it never digested in your system

I seasoned it with jokes, with soft blond inspired verbiage, made

you the man but I was never your girl

I smelled your indifference

but thought it rightful resignation that

needed to be mollified, pacified

and won over.

You could not know for me no flame burned.

On being sometimes

It is dangerous to be a transgender woman. Always. That thought has found a way to haunt me everyday of my life. It comes to me at the oddest of times in between thoughts of what to eat for dinner and what show to binge next on Netflix. Women like me make a sort of uneasy peace, an acceptance of bad shit can and will happen to you because of who you are. And your identity , your life , your essence is the cause and the outcome of whatever fucked up thing should happen to you.

But in the meantime, I try my best to still try to live. To persist as I dwell on all that is unknown. My therapist would tell me I deserve to have my needs and wants met. It’s a sentiment I aspire to hold always but I confess that it’s hard to imagine a world where this is so. I’m too stuck on there seems to be a million ways to get fucked up in this world and so few where I can actually thrive. That same therapist once asked me would I ever admit to being afraid, would I ever admit to owning fears. And the Harlem kid in me dripping in bravado wants to say “Fuck outta here, I only fear God. But the reality is that fear does pervade much of my life experiences. I have seen too much and know too much about what it means to be me in this world. How I invite incessant surveillance, how by not following the scripts set for trans girls, Big , Black trans girls to be someone so bold, incessantly confident, to be my fiercest self, to move about with an intense ferocity and effortless swagger. I am supposed to be some cis woman’s loud friend who makes her laugh and who is always ready to go off on somebody. I am supposed to be approachable and apologetic. I am supposed to be talented with hair or makeup. I am supposed to be decked in labels and have a million surgeries and wear long weaves and talk in the softest voice ever, to the point of sounding like a toy. There is no space to exist depressed, anxious, anti -social, hateful, resentful, ready to beat someone’s ass, ready to be a bitch. Cause in life one is posed to strive in spite of their circumstances. One is posed to take all those hits and all those rotten lemons and make Lemon meringue. You’re never supposed to wear the weight of being afraid and being tired and being over it.

But who knows ? Maybe I’m an anomaly. Maybe I view things through a fucked up lens, maybe I don’t focus on the bright side enough. There is a tragic beauty in being a transwoman. On one hand it’s so amazing to live your t everyday. To feel pretty. To feel beautiful, to feel strong and secure in my mannerisms, my style, to not have my feminine parts perceived as false, to be a natural woman. And to take that in the world with you. But on the same time it is being acutely aware of how small of spaces you can be yourself in. It’s dealing with the validation of men who flirt and catcall, who acknowledge you as the woman you are in the world and those same men on finding out you’re not cis, insulting you, treating you like you’re the most vile thing they ever seen. In that moment you’re like less than human to them. It’s the discomfort felt in women’s spaces, lack of contribution to talks about periods and ovulating and children and men too. Our experiences with men can be similar but also vastly different in the levels of privilege cis women have. The amount of options that they have, the myriad ways they can be, the ignorance of being rejected just on the strength of what you are. It’s hard at times to not be envious. That’s something I’m not posed to admit, it’s at the heart of their frequent charge that trans women are just jealous of and want to be them.

I read about my sisters’ murders . I read articles about this jack ass politician or this state that wants to pass some law restricting trans rights to be. I read about the bathrooms and the athletes who face their struggles in striving to be apart of exploitative systems. I realized that you know all the struggles faced by many different groups. Everyone wants inclusion in systems inherently designed to be exclusive. Everyone wants to be part of the oppressors. No one wants to be oppressed. It sounds like a no brainer but I think that there is immense loss of identity when marginalized people aspire to be like those with advantages.

I’d like to stay alive a little while longer. I have so many places I want to travel to . I have so many ideas of foods I want to cook and eat. I want to see many more seasons of snow. I want to find my piece, my place, my foothold within the world. I want to live for Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and the other transwomen at Stonewall who fought so that women like me could be treated as people. I want to live for all the other ancestors of trans experience known and unknown who existed therefore validating my life and the lives all other transwomen. We aren’t disposable or trash. We do not need to apologize or explain our existences. We will fight to survive and we will keep on “tranning” our best lives. We will inspire awe and disbelief at what we manage to accomplish and create and produce and look damn good doing it.


Being happy with those shards you give me seems like a betrayal of self. Gloating I replay every moment of our time together. Thinking of how lucky I am to have you at that moment. My obsession fuels your growing disdain. And you think of cute ways to tell me to fuck off. You don’t know the drama that ignites in my head, kinda like your refusal to give me head and validate my Queenly needs. When you play text a boo , leave me on read, I wish I was dead to not feel all the ways you bring up all of them

Everytime you Casper me, everytime you hesitate to respond, all the ways you refuse to say my name, I grow less in love and more in hate. Let me go hard, let me go fast, throw me away like tomorrow’s trash Join the ever growing list of my heart attacks. Me five years from now is shaking my head saying, “Why am I wasting my time?”

Our dance is brutal, the steps only taught by experience, styles clashing never coalescing. And you can never teach them that which you don’t know about. And you never get over the horror of never being shown. Just a kid, just big , barely grown. My time universe endowed is on a loan. Defaulting, tricky investments, short dividends , haunting remembrances and I think of how I just wanted you to hold my hand.

Never let you go and I won’t lie to myself. I’m S&M approved, bondage grazing, pious to my chains. My chains of blond girl things; the blue sky and white dress and the adoring audience. lots of fab laughs and you and I the epitome of success. I trip off the sanctity of Hollywood and my inability to be a good adherent.

Hate you and love you too. Kiss you and punch you too. Tell all my truths and reveal none of the lies. Say because whenever it starts with why. And wait for the traditional , never come goodbye

“Inventing Anna” and white girl privilege

Like many ,I recently sat through hours of Netflix special Inventing Anna. I found myself laughing , shaking my head and absolutely incredulous at all the poor bastards on screen. But somewhere in the middle of the series, I found myself disgusted by the reporter Vivian looking for a redemption arc with Anna, how she insisted that there must have been some great motivator that spurned this woman’s lies. It is quite obvious that Vivian like every one else in this film was smitten by this blond haired, blue eyed girl with the charming accent and icy wit. When I saw how hard Vivian worked to vindicate Anna, I knew what was at stake, the upholding of white girl imagery by any means necessary. Anna Sorokin was only able to pull of her scheming and double dealing because she was a white woman. Being from Europe ,only increased her appeal to everyone she met. She was able to dupe everyone because it was necessary by those around her to believe her lies, to believe that this cool foreigner was quasi Royal kin , that she was connected to much more than her actual working class roots. She absolutely fit in just on the strength of her aesthetic and accent. It amazed me the level of access this woman was granted just off the strength of her appearance. Anna could never have been Black or Chinese or Indian. She could’ve never been granted access to all these different levels, she would’ve never been allowed to essentially run up tens of thousands of dollars in bills at different hotels. If Anna was Black or Chinese or Indian , there would be no Vivian fighting with her team to find an angle, to fight for her to be innocent, to make it appear that she was a good girl who’d just lost her way.

I posit that Anna couldn’t have pulled off her stunts in Europe. In Europe ,I imagine they would’ve laughed her out the room because social cues and proximity would’ve lain bare her lack of access and connection. But in America, Anna joins the ranks of all the blond haired darlings empowered by a cutthroat society invested in nostalgia and white supremacy. I find it interesting that two of her inner circle were Black women and that too is not by coincidence. Black people have longed been used as props and as seemingly evidence of a white person being able to appear un-problematic, hip and as a distraction for their wickedness. There is also amongst some of us Black people, a rush to uphold and defend “our white people” if they are good to us , if they extend more than the typical, superficial relationship. The Neffe character more than the Kacy displayed that , she was smitten by the life Anna led, took in by the excessive perks of being in Anna’s circle. She played her Mammy role to the fullest even defending Anna to the very end despite almost losing her job and everything she was working towards. The Kacy character also plays Mammy too albeit a lot more savvy than Neffe. She at least wises the hell up earlier but she is taken in as someone who works as this yoga instructor/ motivator for mostly rich white clients. In her case , proximity to Anna was read as being able to get even more money and clients.

I love a good Robin Hood-esque story. Wealth and its’ distribution is so fucking disgusting in this world. The hoarding of materials and numerous social safeguards that ensure access is limited fuels innumerable social inequalities. It will only get worse and it has reached peaks beyond even imagination. Obtaining wealth is so ingrained in the American psyche that to not get to a place of possessing more materials is looked at as a failure in our society. To not “make it”, to not end up with lofty picket fence and yard dreams , to be unable to leave generational wealth are all smears that haunt those without. We don’t word it that way but millions and millions in America are essentially failures because they don’t succeed in a rigged game. Anna Sorokin did what she did because she knew that it was possible. She knew that she could be granted access to out of reach levels of American society off a well read/ practiced facade. I’ll say that it is noteworthy that she wasn’t willing to whore herself to the top. I kept watching and thinking maybe she should sleep and seduce one of these rich men to at least be socially inducted in the scene, maybe marry them and pop out a baby or two. She would’ve been set. But it was a power thing. She wanted to be those men. She wanted to have that same level of control and privilege. The Netflix special and the accompanying pop culture rosters will ensure that Anna Sorokin won’t be a name we’ll ever forget anytime soon. I predict a great future for Anna wherever she ends up , definitely a financially secure one. They’d make her like a Suze Orman figure, a business maven , a “bad girl gone good” story. Vivian reads her well when she calls her out for wanting to be famous. And there is always redemption for white women and girls in this world no matter what they do. God Bless America!


Yvette woke up on that Tuesday in March with her head hurting. The tears yesterday had erupted like waterfalls out of her eyes, it was absolutely endless the way the tears flowed. Tyrone, her boyfriend for six years had totally shitted on her on her birthday. He’d promised that he’d go to dinner with her, the first dinner, the two would’ve ever shared outside. Not only had he not returned her texts, in her boldness ,she’d called him twice just to be able to confirm if he was coming. He knew how long it had taken to get reservations for the restaurant. And she felt like a fool, all dressed up, all luscious feeling on her 32nd birthday and her only friend in the world, the man she spoke to day and night by text , the closest thing she’d ever had that was a real relationship had bailed. To be fair, she realized he probably was occupied by his bitch wife Judy. Judy the giraffe who he married two years ago, four years after they met. Judy, who by stroke of luck first pregnancy in her 40 years had been blessed with triplets. Yvette had accepted it at the time being homeless herself and unable to help Tyrone find a place. He’d used that 10 inch cucumber and gift of gab and bagged a desperate Judy one night at a bar. She took him home and never let him go. Deemed ugly by society’s metrics and way too tall and wide, she took great solace in finally having a fixer upper like Nasty Rone.

Yvette woke up and walked around her six month lived in -studio. She looked at the periwinkle curtains, the king size bed, the posters of Pam Grier and Toni Morrison, the pink and blue flag of her tribe and all the emptiness of her home. She was so alone. She reflected on the words of her therapist who told her not to blame herself for lack of relations, to focus on her non- existent dreams, to count her blessings. Yvette looked at the picture of Ty, the picture she’d snapped when he slept , the picture he didn’t know she had and which she was careful to hide when he came over. In the photo, Ty’s graham cracker skin is smooth and worry free, he looks much younger than his 45 years, his darkened full ,weed puffing lips had looked so welcoming that early evening when the photo was taken. She’d gently pecked him , feeling guilty knowing how much he hated kissing and hated her requesting it . She understood, she’d always known. He couldn’t help but see her as the tranny whore he met one night on the train platform. The one dressed in her sexy whore garb, the one who had by chance been forced off the track early for lack of customers and crossed paths with the one Ty who’d peeped the Godiva amazon since 34th street. Cautious approaching, followed by intense staring, minimal conversation and a follow back to her crib with the promise to deliver her only d of the night. The sex can only be described as life -changing, as liberating , as femme affirming as a new trans girl like Yvette could ever get. She knew she was in trouble the night the sexy stranger left. She’d even let him hit her raw that first night. He demanded it, hell took it without convo and as scared of HIV as she was, she accepted this new form of living on the edge as par for the course. She did sell it for a living. And he accepted it, knew about hustling , about sleeping in parks and in stairwells. He knew about back being against the wall and one having nothing. He supported her hardworking grind and counted the stars on finding a young, clean ,tight tranny who also could cook, who took the meat no complaints, who respected discretion.

Yvette thought about all of this as memories and thoughts of Ty got her to touching herself. He made her feel so feminine, had finally gave her some head for the first time, the last time he was by. Of course, he’d just asked her for $300 to give his daughter for her birthday But the gesture was appreciated, she constantly like her kisses had to affirm that it wouldn’t make him gay to please her. It didn’t take away how she felt softer and weaker with him, with his alpha male bravado, his hard from the streets vernacular, when she could sit on his lap, when he made her keep her panties on as he kept on his boxers. She felt her most feminine when she saw those two articles next to each other. She knew her place. And for five years amidst all the ever changing plots and settings of her tumultuous plot, amidst arrests and shut downs of strips, and brief outta town trips and homelessness as a force, they found their way to each other. Even if it was brief encounters in the park or on a roof. And she was so grateful that he was there, to affirm her, to make her remember lighter days, and rubbing his head, and being his goddess. He stuck around always encouraging her to stay strong. In the last year ,she’d finally landed her first legal job in three years, her first real job as a woman, with her name legal. And six months into working ,she finally had her own apartment, finally able to leave the shelter. Tyrone came around every day and soon every other Friday he had his hand out. What a drastic change from what used to be, from when he’d get a hotel room every now and again, from never ever breaking his voice to ask for money through the ever current money woes. And now he tithed her faithfully. It was nothing at first and she brushed it off when her new trans acquaintance Natalia warned her ” Sis that is a bad idea, giving a man money”. Fuck Natalia, what did she in her skinny blond- haired Columbian pale body know about the struggles of having a real man for girls like herself. She never had to lower her standards or understand that she was on the lowest rung of the desirability totem pole. Those words haunted Yvette now as she smashed Ty’s picture against the wall. She realized he wasn’t worth shit . She knew she deserved better and she knew that things with them would never change. She couldn’t believe it was now almost two and not one text message came from Ty.

The tears began again and Yvette didn’t know what to do or how to stop them . She was tempted to call him until he answered, a tactic she never tried because she didn’t ever want to be messy. She didn’t believe in that very endemic tradition of queers who messed with straight men and who eventually exposed them for their hidden lives. She knew that it could get her killed. She just wanted him. She needed him. This city was so lonely, he was a huge comfort in her introverted world. He was her source of validation as a person. She knew that it was pathetic but sometimes you have no way of knowing that better things could be for you too. Tyrone was the best man who’d ever crossed her path. As the tears continued, a voice came in her head, “let it go”. It said that over and over and over. That night of tears continued and the memories and long glances at herself in the mirror and more tears and the Help like affirmations. She looked at Yvette. She was having those moments in the movies when those tragic bitches finally see what bad asses they are for surviving. She felt like Jada in Set it off at the end, Halle in Monster’s ball at the end. And she knew she would get through this.

The next morning, Yvette awoke to a message from Ty. It said” Sorry bae about your birthday, some shit went down, I owe you Mama. Just may need to hold $omething. I got you baby love”. Yvette deleted the message and blocked Tyrone’s number. She got up suddenly in the mood to wear something sexy.

Thoughts on Hunger by Roxane Gay

Hunger by Roxane Gay was the sort of book that I read where I can’t say I loved it or hated it. This sounds odd being the memoir of someone else’s life, their truth, their trauma and their triumphs. I was impressed with the way she wrote so simply, there was no fancy language or grand imaging that accompanied her words. She writes as if she is having a long , drawn out conversation with someone, it almost reads like a journal entry. I can relate to this form of writing, where you are screwing with all the rules and not following some standard, where you jump around, pulling from all sorts of thoughts. Nothing is ever as simple as it seems.

As the title suggests, hunger and by extension food and nourishment are big themes. To take it further , there are different kinds of hunger Ms. Gay alludes to in her writing in my opinion. There is the hunger for food, hunger for safety , hunger for an escape from trauma, hunger as this being within one’s self that is never content. She makes clear throughout her book how eating is greater than about satisfying a bodily obligation or enjoyment of food. Her hunger is to make herself bigger, stronger , untouchable. She wants to put great difference between her present and the young girl who wasn’t able to prevent misfortune and violation.

Ms.Gay also writes in the tradition of the weirdo. The weirdo being someone who doesn’t really fit in with his or her environment ever and seeks to make sense a society that won’t accept them. She has grown to expect and cleaves to her differences as much as she can’t stand them as well. I get the feeling when reading Hunger that she is never really comfortable. And how can she be? At the heart of Hunger is the story of fat people. And fat people’s struggles to exist in a fatphobic world. The allusion of the body positivity movement, the intersectional weights of being Black, female and Queer as well as fat, the fear and hatred of fat people are all themes Ms. Gay talks about as well.

I’ve been bigger than average since I was about 5. I too have struggled with my weight and even today I am still sensitive about it. I haven’t reached the levels that Ms. Gay has described but I definitely know the feeling of food being a friend, of never getting enough, of feeling chronically uncomfortable and “un-womaned” because of my size. I know what it is like to hate my body and to hate my size. To feel it undesirable and offendable and something to apologize for. So reading Hunger is like hearing someone else echo things that I never was able to describe for myself.

Shout outs to Ms. Gay for speaking her truth. It takes balls to be honest about the most mundane and the most embarrassing and all those little ugly things that we are ashamed of. I love how she doesn’t make pretty her feelings. I love how she gives depressed without woe is me. I love feeling like after reading this , one’s right to be fat. And fat as an act of rebellion in a society predicated on self hate and inducing of shitty self esteem. Fat has a right and a place to exist. And more work needs to be done to combat one of the last seemingly acceptable forms of discrimination. Fat people are people too.


She hoped this one would be the one. The one who would finally bring her to relief. It was time and she was so tired of being tired. Lord only knows, how hard she tried to be better, to want better, to do better only to end up falling on her ass again and again crying those rivers of what ifs and that’s why’s. She thinks it was the day the most important one told her she was less than pretty. To be fair he did say she had style. But denying her her beauty had greater weights than he knew in his Margarita entrenched state. He didn’t know how badly she wanted to cleave to some semblance that it all made sense, that she had not just wasted ten years of her life becoming the woman she knew herself to be, if it was only a bad joke, an act, a mind tripped out on spirits and roots as the old folks said. Yeah that beauty comment from that man whose juice she erupted from hit hard in the gut and crushed her little spirit.

She left him at that old station in that old neighborhood where they once knew each other. She felt so ugly and so relieved too cause it explained it all. It explained the lack of real relationships, explained lack of self esteem, informed her current health status and predicted her mother’s words of warning. He’d confirmed what she always knew deep down. That she was ugly and unwanted , a monster, a ghoul, a big ass joke who insulted the real ones. Those precious , perfect ones with their magic pussies. Those sweet, beautiful pussies that made them the rightful owners, heirs and tenants of womanhood and femininity. Her lacks made her an intruder, a caricature, a creature of pretend who had the audacity to think itself like them. Getting on the arriving uptown train opposite the direction she needed to, it took her to needing that fix.

Looking around the morose train car for possessors of masculine bodied peen, it was time to fuck herself better. And even more all those familiar mores of telling t and being open about her baggage was out the window. She snuck a sip of her brandy and waited for penis to come. She wanted some untouchable kinda penis. The kinda penis that taunted her in the unseeing , horrified owners. The ones who scorned her, who secretly got off on that undivided worship the pussy holders could never give, the one who intrigued as much as repulsed. The kinda possessor who’d never give her a chance. At the last stop before they crossed into another county he appeared. The whiff of Tom Ford tickled her nose as she spotted him a whole train section away. Bold was her name as she checked out the god. He was Basketball player high, he was Godiva brown with a low haircut and the well moisturized skin of a pussy magnet. He had on the freshest clothes complete with the fresh as fuck j’s. He had the look of a man who’d never look her way. Even if she stood in front of him he never would.

She walked to the other row of empty seats and sat in front of him. ” I like your cologne”, she purred in her sweetest voice. She employed a crisp Hilary Banks persona. “Thank you” ,he responded barely looking up from his phone. She went bolder,” I betchu no other hotter man has ever worn such a scent.” He looked up from his phone in the low , weed smoked dull eyes framed by long lashes and bust out laughing. Fresh one are you, he said taking in the fat black bitch in front of him. He hated her kind with their desperate asses. They always said whatever the fuck and were horribly easy.

“Yeah sometimes I can be especially when I see something I like”. She loved this show . This boldness, the raised voice, the obliviousness to the other passengers or station stops. She was gon pull it all out to get this dude. She needed him bad. Those muscles confirmed he would handle what she needed. He decided to humor her badly built self. She had decent looking lips. The rest was a mass of big eyes and wide nose and the general profile of a wack bitch. None of her clothes were name brand and on her feet were some old Uggs that had seen better days. Chicks like this were good for some Grade A fellatio and maybe some hard, dry anal when his beast was in full mode. They were never knowable and he never asked their names or nothing. ” You a funny chick yo” he said to her , taking in the fixed gaze of this woman who didn’t let up.

She said more slutty things, he listened to her as the train went on. He said show me what that mouth like and they ended up getting off the train in the worst hood of the county. She knew of a cheap motel that she offered to pay. She was actually surprised this was going to happen. He told her to walk ahead of him to lead the way and also cause a dude like him could not be seen with a girl like her. It all seemed to happen in a matter of minutes. Getting the bed bug suite in the dirty red lighted motel. They had up to 3 hours to consummate nothing. In five minutes she was gagging on a still clothed, still coated him. She gave him her old strip special. She had a way of sucking aggressively but withholding the motion to prevent premature ejaculation. She wanted him to enjoy it , to get so into it, under her spell that he wouldn’t notice till it was too late. And head nibbled, ball sucking spit, jack with hand. The coat came off then the Armani sweater, the true religions were unbuttoned and the red polo briefs were removed. He was now fingering her tits , was reaching for her ass and her pussy when she swatted his hand away. His eyes were closed enjoying the worship.

” You want some of this daddy? She was down to her pink Vicky’s and the red thong underneath. Yea turn over bitch he barked relishing in the abject disrespect he could dish out. She pulled the panties below her cheeks and lay on her stomach. She was happy he said nothing bout a condom. She wanted it bare. He hog spit enough to cover her ass and hit crevices of her back fit. There was no easing , he shot that throbbing pole into the tiny hole. The fiery friction probably immediately produced a month’s worth of fissures. She didn’t howl , wanting the pain, wanting that gratification he was feeling. He was actually moaning in the warmth and tightness. He pulled out about five minutes later coating her back with the juice. He gazed down at his handiwork hoping none of the cum dripped from her ass to her pussy. He noticed extra meat that didn’t look like a twat. He felt the head of a small penis. Yo what the fuck he barked . This was some porno bullshit and he wasn’t with it. He hit her on the back of her head with his fist. He started pummeling her. And she wasn’t crying. She turned over and faced his mad rage. He punched her in the face and then the stomach. Barks of obscenities and spitting and knuckles and kicks for good measure. She felt a crumpling and it went black.

“Ayy “boom , boom, boom, the knocks and yells from the old Asian man roused her in to the pounded head and twisted vision courtesy of the congealed blood and broken blood vessels in her eyes . All over her brown body were seas of purple, blood was everywhere and it all hurt. Everywhere hurt. He hadn’t succeeded in taking her out. But she was finally able to see in the finger smudged dirty mirror of the room, how ugly she truly was. It hurt to smile but she did. That’s what the broken ones did.