Who Taught You to Hate Yourself

Who taught you to hate the texture of your hair? Who taught you to hate the color of your skin? To such extent you bleach, to get like the white man. Who taught you to hate the shape of your nose and the shape of your lips? Who taught you to hate yourself from the top of your head to the soles of your feet? Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the race that you belong to so much so that you don’t want to be around each other? No… Before you come asking Mr. Muhammad does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.

We don’t steal, we don’t gamble, we don’t lie and we don’t cheat.

You can’t get into a whiskey bottle without getting past a government seal. You can’t buy a deck of cards without getting past a government seal. Here the white man makes the whiskey then puts you in jail for getting drunk. He sells you the cards and the dice and puts you in jail when he catches you using them.

The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman. And as Muslims, the honorable Elijah Muhammed teaches us to respect, our women, and to protect our women. And the only time a Muslim gets real violent, is when someone goes to molest his woman. We will kill you, for our women I’m making it plain yes, we will kill you for our women. We believe that if the white man, will do whatever is necessary, to see that his woman get respect and protection, then you and I will never be recognized as men. Until we stand up like men and pays the same penalty over the head of anyone, who puts his filthy hands out, to put it in a direction of our women.

-Malcolm X

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Power by Audre Lorde

The difference between poetry and rhetoric

is being ready to kill

yourself

instead of your children.

I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot wounds

and a dead child dragging his shattered black

face off the edge of my sleep

blood from his punctured cheeks and shoulders

is the only liquid for miles

and my stomach

churns at the imagined taste while

my mouth splits into dry lips

without loyalty or reason

thirsting for the wetness of his blood

as it sinks into the whiteness

of the desert where I am lost

without imagery or magic

trying to make power out of hatred and destruction

trying to heal my dying son with kisses

only the sun will bleach his bones quicker.

A policeman who shot down a ten year old in Queens

stood over the boy with his cop shoes in childish blood

and a voice said “Die you little motherfucker” and

there are tapes to prove it. At his trial

this policeman said in his own defense

“I didn’t notice the size nor nothing else

only the color”. And

there are tapes to prove that, too.

Today that 37 year old white man

with 13 years of police forcing

was set free

by eleven white men who said they were satisfied

justice had been done

and one Black Woman who said

“They convinced me” meaning

they had dragged her 4’10” black Woman’s frame

over the hot coals

of four centuries of white male approval

until she let go

the first real power she ever had

and lined her own womb with cement

to make a graveyard for our children.

I have not been able to touch the destruction

within me.

But unless I learn to use

the difference between poetry and rhetoric

my power too will run corrupt as poisonous mold

or lie limp and useless as an unconnected wire

and one day I will take my teenaged plug

and connect it to the nearest socket

raping an 85 year old white woman

who is somebody’s mother

and as I beat her senseless and set a torch to her bed

a greek chorus will be singing in 3/4 time

“Poor thing. She never hurt a soul. What beasts they are.”

TDOV

Today is Transgender Day of Visibility and the reality is one of the things I often wish for most in life is to be invisible. Its unexplainable what we as trans people enure living on the cusp of being hyper visible, but shut out and turned away from people, services, opportunities, chances at survival. This day nearly marks three years to the day I created my blog The Cis Jungle. And through this blog I have been able to sharing my experiences and experience growth as a writer and person who walks in vulnerability. I am a product of my experiences as well all are. Today I stand in solidarity with all transgender, gnc, and folks living art varying degrees of or outside of the binary. Let’s transform Transgender day of visibility into a day where we are not simply seen but also heard.

-XOXO CCOJ

Why We Can’t F*ck In My Room

This is why I don’t let men into my room, into my sanctuary because to them my room is just a place to fuck. A place for me to make them feel good and tend to their needs and when they are gone that selfish and lustful energy lingers

Men don’t see my room as the place I spend my morning rituals getting dressed in or the place where I read to feed my mind and soul, they don’t see it as the pace where I come to cry when life is throwing fucking bullets at me; the hypocritical dudes, the racism, the sexism, the transphobia, hearing the news that yet another one of my black trans sisters were murdered.

I don’t want my space my place of refuge and peace interrupted by some dude that just wants to cum and go home. This is why I offer you my couch, my kitchen, my floor, the bathroom, because you can’t have my bed you can’t have my room. What a lecture right? I’m just complaining, ungrateful and angry black bitch.

Beauty

We need to theorize the meaning of beauty in our lives so that we can educate for critical consciousness, talking through the issues: how we acquire and spend money, how we feel about beauty, what the place of beauty is in our lives when we lack material privilege and even basic resources for living, the meaning and significance of luxury, and the politics of envy.

-bell hooks

Brown Bronx Boy

Brown Bronx Boy

Brown Bronx Boy,

You held my face and whispered “ Carmen, I want to be inside of you, put me inside of you.”

There’s something spiritual that happens when you have sex with someone. I find it to be spiritual because there is no other more intimate physical connection other than a parent physically birthing a child. A transfer of my energy to you and yours to me. The mask was off.

Remember that? The Mask? You showed me the video of Maya Angelou reciting We Wear The Mask. At the end of the poem she cried and then you cried and told me about the mask you wore at school, in class, in your fraternity, with the white kids who just don’t get it. They see your pain and trauma and experience as debatable as a sport. Yes, I get exactly how that feels because just a month ago I wrote about that exact feeling I have of men.

One thing I appreciate about our friendship and one of the reasons I tolerate your occasional shitty moods is because through our interactions I learn a lot, without you even intentionally trying to teach me anything.

The way you stopped me from kissing you and held me in front of you and told me you wanted to admire my body and admire seeing me completely naked for the first time. My body something for me that is so often a source of shame and discontentment internally, was interesting to you something you were invested in seeing and intentionally about noting. My mask was off.

And what you told me about your body insecurities, your feelings of not being good enough resulting in you always wanting to have sex in the dark. I also wrote about the same need just a month ago.

But that’s the learning I’m talking about, I would have never imagined you would be body insecure. For me its obvious….I’m trans. But for you I didn’t even consider. I express to you when we are together the desire I have for your muscular arms and your full lips, the thickness of your neck and wideness of your face and how I love running my hands up and down your body and straddling you.

It makes me stop and say Brown Bronx Boy, who the fuck told you that you weren’t good enough, valuable enough………………was it your mom? The white girls at school? Your frat bros? Society? or a combination of all of it? It’s weird to watch you strive for these physical attributes of greatness when I think you’re already there. Boy, you are so fine I would fuck you, you’re so fine I already did fuck you.

I wonder if anyone woman, really anyone had ever showed you love and affirmation without the pretext of family, dating, a relationship, the promise of some sort of exchange for you. Showed you love and affirmation simply because you exist in this world and they believe your existence has meaning and purpose and value.

Once last week and again this week I saw the wolf in you. I know you are oblivious to exactly what that means. Remember how I told you I kind of thought men were trash and you agreed? It’s sort of related to that.

I’ve been spending months seriously questioning how I can be better and showing my love and gratitude for my friends and affirming their existence, my black and brown friends fem friends and woman friends, queer friends. “Strength and guidance all that I’m wishing for my friends” None of us get enough love and recognition for existing and through the pain and trauma achieving greatness.

Expressing my gratitude and affirmation has always been so difficult for me because I’ve developed this hard shell and exterior that doesn’t like to engage in emotion. But you already sort of know that because you called it out the last time we saw each other, you told me I pretend to be a tough girl.

And I also recognize my references to you as a kid or a boy because of your age or outwardly expressing my angst of your membership in fraternity or your enrollment into the army is all a deflection away from vulnerability. I don’t want to admit to myself my assumptions were wrong, or that you mentally and sexually stimulate me. It’s my way to mask my own insecurities about our friendship and about the sex we have. Perhaps I am also worried you’ll think it means something more that it does. It seems for you things always have to mean something. I don’t know why it’s within human nature to make things so complicated.

Dr. Brene Brown says we jump to conclusions in attempt to help the world make sense to us, things always have to make sense. The need for things to make sense comes from our fear our not being good enough which is in part because we have been socialized to fear vulnerability and view it as weak. However it takes an incredible amount of bravery to be vulnerable and lead through vulnerability.

This is me being intentionally about trying to show you and express to you how valuable and brilliant you are as a human being, as a latino man, as a person who cares about social equity. I care about you I value you and I am here for you.

Brown Bronx Boy Man you are a latin man from the Bronx and I am a black woman from Ohio. I see you. I support you. You can remove the mask with me.

Your friend,

Carmen Jane

“Strength and guidance, all that I’m wishing for my friends

Nobody makes it from my ends, I had to bust up the silence, you know you gotta stick by me, soon as you see the text reply me, I don’t wanna spend time fighting”- Drake

The Mask- Maya Angelou

We wear the mask that grins and lies.

It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.

This debt we pay to human guile

With torn and bleeding hearts…

We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.

Why should the world think otherwise

In counting all our tears and sighs.

Nay let them only see us while

We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God

Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise

And we sing Oh Baby doll, now we sing…

The clay is vile beneath our feet

And long the mile

But let the world think otherwise.

We wear the mask.

When I think about myself

I almost laugh myself to death.

My life has been one great big joke!

A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.

I laugh so hard HA! HA! I almos’ choke

When I think about myself.

Seventy years in these folks’ world

The child I works for calls me girl

I say “HA! HA! HA! Yes ma’am!”

For workin’s sake

I’m too proud to bend and

Too poor to break

So…I laugh! Until my stomach ache

When I think about myself.

My folks can make me split my side

I laugh so hard, HA! HA! I nearly died

The tales they tell sound just like lying

They grow the fruit but eat the rind.

Hmm huh! I laugh uhuh huh huh…

Until I start to cry when I think about myself

And my folks and the children.

My fathers sit on benches,

Their flesh count every plank,

The slats leave dents of darkness

Deep in their withered flank.

And they gnarled like broken candles,

All waxed and burned profound.

They say, but sugar, it was our submission

that made your world go round.

There in those pleated faces

I see the auction block

The chains and slavery’s coffles

The whip and lash and stock.

My fathers speak in voices

That shred my fact and sound

They say, but sugar, it was our submission

that made your world go round.

They laugh to conceal their crying,

They shuffle through their dreams

They stepped ’n fetched a country

And wrote the blues in screams.

I understand their meaning,

It could an did derive

From living on the edge of death

They kept my race alive

By wearing the mask! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!