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

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