Barefoot On Stone

Guest post by Milton Goosby 


The “black queer” cannot claim an ontology outside of blackness….
The “black queer,” then, is a catachresis. The problem I am laying out here is not merely the impossibility of folding the black queer into humanity (humanism) or the ‘community’ of objects (internal exclusion), but whether the injury directed at this being is registered as anti-blackness at all. The prevailing problem is that the injury sustaining this catachresis is so incomprehensible that it is doubly erased, and this is what I will call

‘onticide.’
– Calvin Warren

Onticide

Afro-pessimism, Queer Theory and Ethics

_____________________________________
I am a nonmonogamous, enby, queer black fugitive. Love and acceptance, as it has been taught from a colonized perspective, damn sure don’t love and accept me.
Accepting my queerness has taken all my adult life. Being accepted is a work in progress. I don’t fit within the greater LGBT community with ease.
I have passing privilege, am male presenting, older. I also have two biracial children with my white, transmasculine, nonbinary nesting partner. As neither of us pass we are coded as a straight, albeit strange couple. We have to orbit the nebulous prefixation that has bound the gay community into particulars.
Daily shedding the sickly skin of misogynoir, battling to use the perception of my masculinity and the privilege it affords to provide space for my newfound non-men, NB and transguy comrades, I have effectively alienated myself from most of my long time friends.
—-

Bodies, Space, and Spectrum IV (unfiltered)

—-
This was expected, still I worried over the idea of losing that acceptance once I decided to be more public about being queer. I worried about the silence from my family turning to ostracization. I worried that excising pieces of myself meant the whole of me sliding into Oblivion.
I discovered that my various intersections all ran amok of what is acceptable.
Unspoken hierarchies became clear. I discovered that my relationship status along with my presentation was subject to scrutiny. I understand and agree wholeheartedly, considering our perilous relationship with Eurocentric settler Socialism and state violence.
We speak on it through social media daily. The multitude sings to keep the fire going.
I continue to do the work, putting all my energies into writing missives that will stoke these radical fires already burning. Not tossing my relationship around as if it, in itself, is an act of resistance.
Blessings to the myriad, majestic, multitude of bodies that push at the boundaries of queerness.
Gender, like love as we know it, is a spector of colonial settler politics.
Disidentifying with the stereotypes that have been used to ground white male fears about black super masculinity has made me even more vulnerable to the fractitious machinations that are currently rooted in capitalism. Side note, I gladly revel in the strength of my ancestors. My presentation has not changed all that much throughout my life Revelations.
While dodging the hunt at each turn, I have also learned to glide, strut, stay sexy, speak what I know, shut up and listen, love the multitude, be unapologetic about my stance.
I seek to distangle the self from colonized gender perspectives. A spiritual and psychological reformation that will allow me to reconnect with the ancestral norms that Eurocentric supremacy has effectively erased.
Black queerness for me means a heightened state of awareness. I’m not a placeholder for fetishes, affirmation of the merits of how well I can integrate into society.
This society was not built to accommodate or contain me. My very potential is a threat.
Blackness as negation of whiteness. Queer outside the bounds of acceptable or easily categorized blackness.
And I’m good with that.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Milton Goosby is a queer, pansexual, self gender disavowing author, parent and partner.
He loves unabashedly, is a sometime gamer who enjoys hard sci-fi and being black af. You can often catch him online, walking his two toddlers up to the local Bodega for snacks and Redbox or waxing philosophical.

Keep up with Milton’s work via his public Facebook page or his blog Confessions of an Urban Shaman.
You can become a patron or make a one time contribution via PayPal.

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Living Between Hope and Hopeless

I’m alive

for tonight 

for today

I’m alive and my feet hurt

I’m alive and my body burns, existing at 90 degree angles from itself

I’m alive and they dismantled the ADA

I’m alive and I don’t know what the future holds 

I’m alive but my insurance may partially cover gender confirmation surgery and hormones 

I’m alive and there’s no way to make that last line flow nicely 

so I’ll just say

I’m alive

Chronic Illness Feeling Number Whatever

On the verge of a really big bad, I can’t move and everything is on fire flare. 

not quite though…
instead i feel like freezing cold mud. 
My muscles burn as if after anaerobic excersize 

it is an empty, sputtering, cold, cold burn.
My muscles, so weak and slow
struggle mightily and weakly, an old overheated computer, slow 
-buffering- buffering- buffering-  
every cell in my body surrounded by cold sloughing muck, 
neurons firing through thick sludge. 
a difficult and slow journey. 
The mud drips and oozes 
my muscles are melting.  
i struggle to hold this form 
to not melt away 
and drift into nothingness like a half remembered memory

When We Aren’t Socially Acceptable Disabled People Anymore

Our American white colonizer culture loves a plucky underdog story. We swoon over stoic suffering. We adore an inspiring boot strap story about a person who overcomes great adversity to succeed in an emotionally satisfying mainstream way. 

But what happens when our suffering isn’t sexy and silent? When we aren’t productive “enough”? What happens when we aren’t getting better? When we struggle, flailing, desperate for some sort of support? What happens when we don’t know how to reach out or build the “right” sort of connection? 

I’m far from the first person to ask these questions. 

As disabled people we are given both more room to be imperfect, and listened to more intently, the more intersections of privilege we hold. That means that I get more room and grace from the abled people around me than my disabled peers who carry intersections of oppression I do not. It should be common knowledge that IBPOC, especially black non-men are given no room in our dominant white culture to be human, to struggle. This lack of acknowledgement doesn’t end or magically disappear with the disability community. We are not absolved of our racism or anti-blackness because of our, or their, proximity to disability.  This is something that we white disabled people should never forget or gloss over. 

How does this cultural expectation for graceful silent suffering impact me personally? It’s isolating. 

I don’t know who or how to talk to people anymore. I lack a conversational template for reaching out to casual friends. When my social role seems to be support person or advice giver as far as I can tell most of the time? When everyone misgenders me as older woman, team mom if you will, and we all know what moms are for. How to talk to people when all I have is sadness and negative self image to talk about? who wants that? who can I subject to the pain of standing next to me while I drag them down. 

Even knowing that isn’t an accurate assessment of the situation, how to undo a lifetime of being told that my expression of feelings or discomfort were an undue burden on the people around me, exhausting, vampiric, a sign of my inherent weakness? 

I don’t really have an answer. I know I am struggling. I know I have said all this before. I know it is difficult for me to let my guard down and let people in, that it is equally hard for me to feel worthy of or safe with letting others see or carry any of my pain. I know that it is my normal to feel like this in the winter when I’m so sick and not even able to go out for errands, as my already small life shrinks further. 

But I also know that if I can’t do it for myself, my children, nesting partner, and beloved connections do not deserve to be solely taxed by my emotional luggage when I’m unable to carry it on my own anymore. 

That means learning to feel more safe with vulnerability, I think…or something like that. It means…It means continuing to dismantle the internalized ableism in my head that tells me that I am not worthy of life or love if I am not able to be productive. It means pushing myself to keep struggling at growing and being even when I want to curl up in a ball forever. 

It means I deserve to live. 

It means you do too. 

Reframed

I used to think my sick body was a weak body

for the way it shook, burned, throbbed, and trembled

how I cursed it’s every inconsistency

how I sobbed and railed and wailed 

at my body’s failure to do as I saw fit and proper

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

yet here I am years later 

thriving despite

inspite 

because of

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

and so a dawning of sorts

a realization 

my sick body is a strong body

a persistent body 

an empowered body 

my body screams to live 

trembles in its effort to continue 

burns to live a day in love 

my body shakes with will to live

we shall not stop

not today

not tomorrow 

for this body is a strong body

Still Sorta Reeling

or survival in a universe where we are officially told not to exist in a million different ways

I’m not sure what to say anymore honestly. We work really hard to make ends meet. America keeps doing what it has always done and stomping on anyone and everyone it can. 

I have a lot of nightmares now about what will happen to my family if the government keeps rolling back civil rights. 

I am constantly in a near panic cycle of can’t-must. I can’t do this thing that I must do for us to have more room to breathe, to thrive as the neoliberal illusion of our democracy burns around us. 

I have so many ideas for great blog topics then open the app to stare blankly at the screen. My brain anxiety screaming frantically as it tries to parse all the layers of constant survival math and if then scenarios running in my head at any given moment into something interesting, witty, and just self effacing enough for mass media consumption. 

But it can’t do that so I close the app and go back to different work, Doula school work or commission knitting. This cycle repeats itself at least once a day. 

But then Trump banned some words and phrases, one being transgender. Now I as much as anyone recognize how disturbing and upsetting it is that phrases like science based or evidence based to be banned. It is not nice for the middle class illusion of democracy to have the president going around banning science words. It stinks of the sort of overt oppression that IBPOC and perhaps especially multiply marginalized IBPOC have been experiencing all along. 

Neo-liberal response to this has mostly been hand wringing and the adult equivalent of stomping their feet and insisting that they can say what they want. Shouting Transgender, like a battle call, like we are academic and not actual people who just told again, officially, that we shouldn’t exist. 

But let me just say that shouting Transgender does nothing to protect our most vulnerable trans family. It does nothing to protect black trans women from being murdered. It does nothing to protect trans and gender non-conforming IBPOC from systemic and interpersonal violence and oppression. It does nothing to insulate multiply marginalized trans people from the sort of silencing, erasure, medical, and social neglect that often results in our slower deaths. 

If you want to put your money where your mouth is, give generously to trans IBPOC, to multiply marginalized trans people. Not because they are cool, or fun, or sexy to you; not because they make you feel good about yourself or agree with you but because they and we have just as much a right to live as more than a banned academic concept, as you do. 

Happy Queer Holidays

A History –

Christmas morning 1984: I snuck into the living room in the middle of the night. The lights from the tree seemed like a gentle hug as I surveyed the presents clustered around it. Teddy Bears and bikes twinkled merrily under the lights. No pink I noticed, and breathe an internal sigh of relief. Hopefully I would only get one or two unwanted Barbies that year. 

Christmas morning 1990: My face fell immediately upon opening the present in my lap. Underneath the delicate tissue paper and shiney silver wrapping paper is a universe of pink and teal discomfort. There was  Teen Spirit deodorant, hair gel, hair spray, lip gloss, and other small pieces of feminine coded frippary. I looked up in bafflement at my dad. My step mother smiled a tight lipped smile at me whispering “We thought you might be better at…if you had more tools” as she gestured vaguely at her body. Shame and confusion writhed over me as I peeked at the comfortable and beloved Who Framed Roger Rabbit sweatshirt I was wearing. What was wrong with me anyway? 

Christmas morning 2005: My semi estranged husband had created a beautiful winter wonderland with every day items laying around the house. We both awkwardly hyper focused on our babies and their magical experience of Christmas. I was sad but also relieved that no one was trying to force glittery baubles and pretty blouses on me or reflecting tearfully on what a lovely wife/daughter/sister I was. New words were darting in and out of my awareness nervously: transgender, genderqueer. I wasn’t sure how  yet but I knew my entire universe was shifting.  

Christmas morning 2007: My girlfriend and I cuddled on the couch while our children opened presents. She gave me gifts that didn’t leave me feeling ashamed and confused. I felt like I might actually really exist for the first time in my thirty some odd years of life. 

Christmas morning 2010: I was a single parent, certain that I was not compatible with humanity in any meaningful way. “not fit for human consumption” I joked. But I knew myself and I was happy with the person I was becoming. I was confident and content for the first time in my life. Though I believed I was beyond love, I had language to define my reality more clearly. It was a blessing I never expected.  I watched my sons open presents joyfully. life was good. 

.
Christmas morning 2015: such a full and surprisingly wonderful morning. Beyond all expectations I had met a lover and friend who really sees and embraces all of me. Together we have been able to build a fundamentally healthy and nourishing relationship dynamic. My chronic illness had relatively recently forced me to quit working outside our home. There were many challenges ahead of us. It will be hard, but that day we watched our four oldest children open presents as they laughed and fussed over the new baby. Life was great. 

Christmas morning 2017, A prediction: The last two years have been hard, the last year has been the hardest. My nesting partner and I are worn down in a lot of ways. Our meager social network and resources have been stripped further down outside of a deeply appreciated online community that we have deep love and gratitude for. I have in my partners and online community, people who really see and wholeheartedly want every part of me, for the first time in my life. Something strong and fragile, uncoils in my chest. Perhaps I am fit for human consumption after all. The presents are small and few but the love is very real. My nesting partner is hopefully preparing to visit our/his oldest daughter in Texas. Our holiday, whether celebrated on the solstice or X-mas is an honoring of us all as individuals and a family. Life flows on. 

 Life is magic. Life is hard. Life is my Blessing. 

Happy holidays for all my beautiful, sad, joyous, struggling, celebrating humans!


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