How straight people are ruining gay spaces.

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It’s nice to see straight people be open enough to enter a gay bar and live it up. We get it, we’re a fun bunch! To the straight girls, we let you live it up in a space where you’re away from the straight male gaze. For some of the straight guys who attend, your ego is fed and you leave feeling a bit more better about yourself. However, when more and more of you come in, this gay space will no longer be populated by the gay individual but by the straight community who have sold out our security and safety for a bit of fun.

Recently I went to Amsterdam and it was mandatory for me to enter a gay bar as its the only place I can twerk without being judged, tragic, I know! After google searching and quickly seeing the star ratings of some gay bars/clubs, Club NYX stood out the most. So, whilst partially intoxicated and in a rush for a groove, we headed straight for it.
At the door we were ID’d, normal, I know, then had the whole stamped and cloak room process was done with. The music was alive! I meant like, base hitting you so hard your heart beat became irregular at points. We were ready.

However, as we entered the door, something was off. The energy felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t till we did a lap around the club that we realised, that the straight to gay ratio was higher. We were flooded with straight people who were here for a good time AND some more, and we could feel the discomfort of it all. Someone must’ve put on the straight world wide web, “HEY! straight boys! Girls love gay bars, go there and prey!!”, because it was exactly that! The same reason why straight girls escaped straight clubs was happening right in front of me, straight men who plucked out women in the crowd, who enforced themselves on a victim, who with every gaze stripped women bare and violated them. I could not believe this was happening. The safe space wasn’t safe anymore.

We know, straight men invading spaces isn’t a new thing but, it wasn’t only them who were polluting my gay space.
At one point, during my wonderful performance to ‘Dutty Whine’, I looked from the corner of my eye and was struck by a straight girl giving me the dirtiest of looks. Her and her straight flock made me feel like Trump in a Beyonce concert, unwanted! How dare they! But i refused to be made to feel like this in my space. So from then on, like a straight, white male, I suddenly felt the urges of self-entitlement! This is MY space and you straight girl are not gonna steal that away from me. I swam my way through to the middle of the club and danced my night away. I ignored the gazes, I redirected any straight traffic that was going to puncture my bubble and made sure people knew that this gay space will forever be gay.

For those who have read this far and thought “hey, this is heterophobic”, let me just tell you, you’re lost and severely incorrect! I do not mind sharing my space with straight people, heck! come have fun with us! But as soon as you start turning that space into yours and dominating it so much that you push me, or anyone who fits on the ‘other’ category, out, then that’s when you need to leave!

Everyone in LGBTQIA community have been made ugly and unwanted in your straight spaces, so in order for them to enjoy their night life, they’ve decided to create their own space where those alike can be in a safe space full of acceptance and love. So for you, straight person, to come in and take that away, consider your continuous damage to our identity and at least be cautious of that.

Also, any bars/clubs who bare the flag for the LGBTQIA community, please make sure that all your policies cater those who you represent! Make sure their space is protected and that they aren’t, at any point, made to feel uncomfortable. Everyone is here for a good time, so lets all respect each other’s spaces and dance the night away in peace.

 

P.s. To any gay readers, ignore Club NYX when on a night out. The reviews were mainly from straight girls. Some reviewers have written how they were badly treated by the security staff and experienced hate crimes. You shouldn’t pay that much to travel just to be ostracised! Go when they update their policy and security! 

 

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How internalised racism takes part in my depression

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There’s a lot in the world I get sad about,(and yes, I use to word “sad” so i don’t have to use the D-word). One of them is people’s lack of understanding on how internalised racism works. No, it doesn’t always have to be about a “race thing” all the time, but this “race thing” has been around for so long, that getting rid of it so you can avoid the guilt trip is something I can not let slide so easy.

People have comment multiple times on how I seem to always be dating white people, to this I always come back with:
No, I’ve dated plenty of coloured people“- which is true but since I’m calling myself out on my own internalised racism, this is the equivalent of:
Omg no, my brother’s, neighbour’s, uncle is black“.

This is what society have done to me.

My internalised racism has stopped me from pursuing relationships with people of colour (POC) because society has taught me that white = wealth, white = class, white = less hassle, so I’ve unconsciously picked partners of a lighter shade in hope that I could somehow attain these qualities; but later, I realise that, although I may not be all of these things, I can work towards attaining them, and my skin colour has nothing to do with it (even though society will somehow make my skin colour be an obstacle).

In addition, my internalised racism, with the help of my “sadness”, has created a level of self-hate where my confidence is a mask and my being is a performance.

Although I advocate the beauty of those who are blessed with a high level of melanin, I, at times, find myself uncomfortable when my naked skin is exposed under a light. I still feel the need to cover my bits even when I stand in front of my partner, turn and lean against the wall to hide the way the stretch-marks on my derrière are more prominent against my dark skin, not to mention the dark patches on my skin where the skin are closer together (e.g my knees/elbows etc). These are the things I try to love but its hard when the media is telling you you’re only a sub-culture or a trend but never a wholesome being.

In dating someone white, I find myself questioning why they are actually with me. I start to find other white people and match them. I look at my round nose and find myself matching them with someone with a more slender and symmetrical nose. This is how deep my internalised racism has reached, where I feel unworthy to be loved based on the shape of my nose.

This is not a post for me to fish for your compliments or for you to tell me things about the beauty of my skin like I don’t already know them. This is a post for you to recognise your position and how you allow levels of racism to exist. This is a post for you to understand how racism doesn’t have to be verbal or physical for it to exist, for the internalisation of it is a toxic existence that harms the individuals mental state. But most importantly, this is a post for me to recognise my own internalised racism and begin the journey of tackling it. I am worthy of love and I am worthy of blessings, my skin will have nothing to do with it.

Follow Rules or Follow Passion?

A couple of Sundays back, there was a small meeting with the young people of the church. I think the aim was to inspire each other, to celebrate each other’s achievement in order inspire those “following our footsteps”. It was a great idea simply because it brought together a small community of Fijian youths who live in the UK, so, you know, SOLIDARITY.

With it being in the setting of a church, there were certain tones that attached success to obedience, to God and parents obviously. You couldn’t be where you are, or who you are, if it weren’t for your obedience to your parents and God; and I agreed with this statement to an extent. I did have to give credit to myself for my own choices in this journey. It was bizarre for me to think that I have no part in being the person I am today, actually, I refused to have someone else take credit for my efforts.

I respect my parents to the fullest, with me being raised in a religious environment, I too also respect religion. I sometimes question religion, I mean, who doesn’t right? But I can’t disregard it’s positive influences on some people’s lives. So with that, I will accept that my parents and religion has had a massive impact on my life, from the way you treat people to the way you see life, and I am grateful for that.

However, my life has consisted of some battles with both religion and my parents. Growing up my brothers, in my opinion, were considered the favourites, left me with middle-child syndrome. Because of this, I spent a lot of time alone thinking about how I want to get out of this place, both metaphorically and literally. It’s never a great head-space to be in to think that you were the least favourite. Hopefully this could be argued otherwise. This feeling partly contributed to who I am today. Since I felt like I wasn’t having fun during that time of my life, I thought to find things to enjoy.

I liked art, but a distort type of art that my mother use to refer to as “the devil”. It wasn’t flowers and pacific related art like my older brother did, but who wouldn’t wanna amp up Egyptian gods? This was the first push to my “do what makes you happy” motto.

I took up drama because my grandmother asked me in hope that I become a famous actor. My parents thought maths and business would’ve been a more employable option. But now, my presentation skills are off the hook and I fake-pretend to be a director of a play, coming up with set designs and costumes and stuff; unfortunately my acting didn’t match up.

I wanted to dance, but due to my parents commitment to their religion, there was no way I was going to be shaking my goods to non-christian music, however they did let me try out for dancing auditions and dance in the church, all PG of course. Anyways, as soon as I got to uni, I applied to all the dance societies. Ended up dancing 4 competitions in big places like Sadlers Well and O2 indigo, where even I got to choreograph something (twerking might have also be included but cannot be confirmed). On the topic of uni, in our mindset, it was a safe option to join the army, so my parents advocated for that instead of me going to uni, but it’s me so you know which option I opted for.

I know it may seem that my parents were ‘awful’ for not letting me “follow my dreams”, but you see, the thing is, we came from nothing, my parents just didn’t want me to jump in too deep into something and drown. I could not hold their attitudes and thoughts against them simply because, survival was more important than ‘having fun’. If anything, even with me ‘rebelling’ against their wishes, they were still there every step of the way. My mother who, if I were to say was my rock would be an understatement, she was more like my Jupiter (so like, a really BIG rock). They did teach me how to be respectful, they taught my how to be humble, they taught me how to love others and even to be a strong independent brown boy who is domesticated enough to live in a house with 3 housemates and be able to clean the whole house without their help.

My parents still have issues with my “lifestyle” but I think they are confident in me enough to know that any decisions I’ll make would be good ones. So to whoever is reading this, yes, taking ‘orders’ is good to an extent, just don’t end up selling yourself to a life that you didn’t want. Now, my new motto is “Do what makes you happy, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else“. (I’m pretty sure there’s a movie out there somewhere that has quoted this, but since I’m blanking, I’m going to pretend like I came up with this myself).

Munroe Bergdorf vs Piers Morgan

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Ever since Munroe Bergdorf got pulled out of her L’Oreal contract due to an out-of-context status about the structure of racism, she has received a lot of heat for it. I mean, she states that racism exists and people attack her by telling her to go back to the jungle. It’s like calling someone a murderer and that person comes and provides the evidence to their own crime.

So because of it becoming viral, Bergdorf was given an opportunity to explain her out-of-context Facebook post on Good Morning Britain. Hosted by Susanna Reid and Charlotte Hawkins, it seems that Piers Morgan however, thinks that it is HIS show by “challenging” Bergdorf and speaking over everyone on the panel. It was so infuriating to watch but let me help reiterate Bergdorf’s points.

Her status ran like so:

                  “I don’t have the energy to talk about the racial violence of white people. Most of you refuse to acknowledge your existence, privilege and success as a racist build on the backs, blood and death of people of colour

The first question they then asked was “Do you think ALL white people are racist?”. If you have no idea of the history of, well majority of countries, it would make sense to ask this question as a reply. You automatically criminalise her by making it a personal attack to your whiteness rather than seeing its truth. You cannot say that the foundation of places like Britain and the US was not built on the “backs, blood and death of people of colour”. Go through any history books and it’ll tell you otherwise right there and then.

To ask if racism was created by white people? well that’s also an uncomfortable truth also because no other race dominated the world by enforcing standard of living and human value. Read up on colonialism and imperialism if you’re still confused. Bergdorf tried to clear it up by saying how she’s mainly talking about how people are socialised when it comes to race, as well as how the structure of racism exists where white people lead and the rest follow below; and that’s when Piers Morgan decides to open his ignorant mouth. An attempt at intellectual, verbal heroism without any actual intellect is how I saw it.

Bergdorf understands that not “all” white people are racist, but just because you don’t say racist things doesn’t mean you’re actually an ally. She urges the activism in dismantling racism, so for white people who have all these privileges, they must use that super power well by speaking out and actively take a role in calling it out. If you don’t, then you’re still part of the problem.

I’m a white, straight, male guy, so basically I’m enemy number one“- PM

I’m not even going to further comment on “male guy” but already you can tell that his argument is not based on any evidence but a little tear to his white, straight, male pride.

It’s not about you though“- Bergdorf and everyone else who truly understands the injustice within society.

 

For a platform to allow someone to voice their point, I’m confused on why Piers Morgan then starts to silence her by continuously talking over her. He says he’s not sexist but if this was a literature class, this would be a perfect moment to point this out as a metaphor FOR SEXISM!!!!!

You are calling all straight, white guys like me a serious offensive, stereotypical labels I find very offensive” – Yes, PM, Again.

I’m just amazed that he was so offended. Who would’ve thought that being called a racist was more offensive than actually experiencing racism. I felt really bad that Bergdorf called him that. Bergdorf may have experienced racist, sexist and transphobic comments, but what are they next to the fragility of straight, white pride?

He then moves on to saying that her comments will cause a divide as if there isn’t one in the first place. Does he think that we as a society all live in unison? I mean, I would so agree but till my ethnicity is not vital information during a job application, then please leave that at the door. Piers Morgan tries to play this brutal honesty who speaks the mind of the public, but in this case he only speaks the mind of those who share similar qualities to alley-ways. You are part of the problem Mr. Morgan, there’s no doubt about it. Till you understand your racial position within society and start using its benefits to help those who don’t share that benefit, rather than silence them, I’m sorry, but again, you are part of the problem.

His denial and constant interruption has now become a clear metaphor for oppression. Oppression within sexism, racism and any other isms and schisms that exist. He even tries to undermine Bergdorf’s knowledge by challenging her to define what “patriarchy” is and pretending that it doesn’t exist. Like, how can he not see that by undermining her knowledge he proves that IT DOES EXIST. “the top 5 most successful people in Britain are women”, ye just because people are no longer slaves doesn’t mean that racism is over!

I could go on to describe how this whole interview frustrates me and how mentality shared with the likes Piers Morgan will never allow us as a society of move forward, but i’m trying to stick to a word count. He refuses to admit that racism is a structure that white people benefit from. He believes that just because racist comments aren’t said out loud it must mean that it doesn’t exist. I don’t know what world he lives but it must be a nice place to live in.

Here are the things you need to take from Bergdorf. RACISM, for all the white people out there, know that your skin colour puts you above majority of people who don’t have the same skin colour as you. It is a superpower in a way, so please use it well. Know your privilege can create an impact within society. So instead of being offended by the truth, try using it so we all end up having the same sort of privilege. We know that not ALL white people are racist, but if you’re not helping dismantle it, I’m sorry, but you are the man who stands and watches a murder and does nothing about it. Don’t be that person, it’s so not cool. Don’t try to justify it by coming up with ridiculous comparisons like Mr. Morgan did because deep down, we know it’s true. Everyone likes to be the hero not the criminal, so don’t deny your position, embrace it and use it to help others along the way.

 

Watch the video here if you want Piers Morgan to annoy you.

 

 

What I learned about women during my travels

 

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Womanhood 

It’s not often that I go travelling. Actually scratch that, I’ve never been travelling ever! not even a holiday with the ‘lads’. But thankfully, I have managed to push myself to save and got myself a month ticket to travel three countries [Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong], which isn’t much I know, but for me, that’s a blessing!

During my travels, I noticed things about these countries. Although completely different, they did share certain qualities.

As a black man, I’ve only slowly started to learn to love the skin I am in. It’s hard when I was raised around a majority of white people. It wasn’t till I moved to East London that I learnt to embrace my skin.

In these Asian countries on the other-hand, it reminded me of the shame of a dark skin. There were multiple advertisements on skin bleaching. Everywhere you look there was bound to be a billboard that associated ‘white’ with ‘beauty’. It didn’t shake me of my self-love, it just made me sad how some people are made to hate their own skin. You even see some girls using foundation ridiculous shades lighter than their natural skin. This then reiterated the power of consumption and their constant feed on insecurities.

There was also a warped idea on the “ideal woman”. The usual of course, skinny, light skin, not superior to their male counterparts in every way possible, it even went as far as to dictate the shape of your eyes. With these expectations of women, it proved how powerful the patriarchy is. Not to be superficial, but the men asserting these ideas weren’t even great lookers themselves so I couldn’t understand how women had to conform to standards of beauty, but men didn’t have to.. so much anyways.

The expectations were so strong that it even lead women to judge other women. There women who classed themselves to be modest judging women who dared to wear dresses that showed too much leg, shoulders and cleavage. I mean, you got the same thing she does.

It was bizarre though, whilst in Malaysia, I visited a temple dedicated to Aditi, the mother of all Gods. So I couldn’t understand how one of the most powerful Gods was a woman yet they viewed women as an inferior breed. I couldn’t understand how mothers and grandmothers should be respected with their maternal titles but as women, it meant nothing. Men had access to women in ways that even women themselves don’t.

With all this happening, I came to a conclusion about women, in specific women of colour. They are the strongest beings on the planet. They have managed to survive in a sphere where they aren’t considered equal. They have managed find opportunities for themselves where even without a voice they have existed under the radar. There were multiple times where I saw women doing male-dominated roles. I know it’s not as much of a big deal in the west, but here are women who were working in construction with no helmets. There were women cutting grass in fields 5 times the size of a rugby pitch with just a strimmer brush cutter. There were older women hoarding out heavy equipment to unblock sewers with just a t-shirt and sandals. I have never appreciated the work-ethics and perseverance of womanhood more till now.

The patriarchy exist, no matter what Piers Morgan says. But no matter how strong it impacts a society, it does not beat the strength of womanhood.

Things that are Suppose to be good in 2017

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There are certain things, that when I decided to breathe the air of 2017, that should be fine by now. I mean I know things take time but I kind of want to live in an era where improvement is visual, as in I CAN ACTUALLY SEE THE DIFFERENCE! but hey, it looks like some big important people just thought, ‘naaah, let’s mess it up for a bit longer‘. So here are 4 examples on things that shouldn’t be an issue by now but still is for some reason. ( I thought 5 examples would’ve been too mainstream 😉

  1. Housing.

I’m no where near financially capable of having my own home anytime soon, heck! I don’t even have a lot of money to rent a place. So momma (and any other family member willing to put up with me), sorry but you’re gonna have to put up with us much longer. It seems that with the housing crisis, there may be potential for us young people to be homeowners, but that is not going to be anytime soon. According to a survey in 2015, the number of young people (20-34) still living with has raised since 1996, from approximately 2.7 to 3.3 million, that is almost 60,000 people still living with their parents. Do you think these statistics might’ve improved in the last two year? (be honest about your answer)

[But more importantly, does this mean we can change the conditions in TLC’s ‘Scrub’ please?]

You can have a degree, you can have a well paid, full-time job and still you’d be living with your mama a bit longer to save up for basic house in the sub-burbs. I mean, the housing rates have slowed down a bit, London especially, according to the Nationwide housing price index but in comparison to other parts in the UK, the average price of a house in London is £478,142, whereas in the North it’s only around £125,237. So unless your parents got some wongas in the bank ready to be passed down, or you just casually have £500,000 lying around, then the potential of you being a home owner is not that great.

2. Tuition

Like, this is the most frustrating topic amongst young people in the UK. When I applied for university in 2012, where tuition was still around £3,000 for most of my peers. However, due to some circumstances I was forced to take a gap year, what a BIG mistake that was. When I started late into 2013, my tuition was bang on, slap in the face, £9,000. Like, did I become richer in that year off or am I just suppose to poop out this money? Safe to say that there were some regrets in taking that gap year- oh also, this mass amount of debt is a big contribution to why buying a house is more a dream than a reality, so double thanks government.

Oh, if you think that’s where they’ll stop, think again because in September that price will go up to £9,250 and will continue to do so till 2020. I mean, it’s not like we have lives to live anyways, let’s just work and die with debts to pass on to our grand-kids. It’s the only thing that will forever connect us. Thanks Government, we’re ever so thankful. [refer to this GIF for honest reaction]

Apologies to young people who are to be starting university this September. Since we’re here, I would also like to apologise to those who come from poor backgrounds because there was once thing called ‘maintenance grant‘. This was a scheme that gave those from low economic backgrounds free money to help them in their education. But hey, I guess the government has faith that you can survive as well as your rich counterparts. So no free money for you, just more debt. It’s like being in a party you didn’t want to be in but without food, energy and mental strength.

3. Social Inequality

This I guess will always be a thing, which sucks but such is life. The most prominent example of this is obviously the Grenfell Tower Fire. We can use words such as austerity and gentrification to further the example, but the matter of fact is, it has literally caused death. People died because they were poor. People died because rich people could control structures of their surrounding. People died because people high up just didn’t care enough for the little people and this is the sad reality that we have to live with in 2017. We can’t just accept this. We as individuals have to try harder to make some sort of change, a difference. It’s naive for me to say ‘we should care more of each other’ but it’s all that we need for change.

Another within this topic is *drum roll* THE GENDER WAGE GAP! HOORAYY!!! So since the ever so awkward reveal of BBC’s pay, things took a turn when people realise that some people within the industry are getting paid less than others, and by ‘some people’ I mean women [SHOCK]! We have men like Chris Evans who gets paid around £2.2 million, whilst presenters like Claudia Winkleman gets only a maximum of £500,000. Does that sound unfair to you? Of course! Mainly because Chris Evans to me is an overrated radio presenter who still tries his best to stay relevant. Winklemen on the other hand has a far more interesting and exciting tone. She could at least maintain interest of Top Gear audiences better than Mr. Evans over here. So why is she getting paid less than half of what he gets? There are facts that says men automatically get paid more on start. There are also debates that try to justify these gaps by saying ‘women don’t speak up, so why should they get it’, I know, eye-rolls for days right? With article titles such as “Gender pay gap to remain until 2069…” there is a lot of fun ahead of us. I’m 24 now. At 78 I will still be angry and still wondering why this is still an issue. But hey, to all the females out there, at least you have Jane Austen on the upcoming £10 note right? WooHoo! Here’s to PROGRESSION!!!

4. lgb-T-qia Rights

Since we’re on the topic of progression. Lets all give a big round of applause to the thing Roal Dahl made James ride in with giant insects, the GIANT peach-head himself, DONALD TRUMP!!! Whooo. This man did his president thing and has officially banned anyone who is trans to join the military. I do not know where to even begin. He talks about them being burden to the military’s finances, then continue to post up articles about how being trans is a psychological issue, like, SOMEONE STOP HIM NOW!!!! To whatever fool voted for this man, congratulation! You really messed it up for everyone. I don’t mean everyone in the US, I mean EVERYONE! Because we’re now out here outraged that this is happening and as outsiders can’t do anything but show love and support.

To the transgender community in the US, we sincerely apologise that your choice to be brave and fight for your own country has been stricken because those who know less are now running your country. I mean, why pay $8.4 million to help those feel free in their own skin when you can spend $84 million helping men with hardening issues? The US is doing cuts to budget right? So it’s all for the sake of saving.

Ye, kudos to gays being allowed to get married and the whole love is love movement, but the fight is not over till everyone that exists within that abbreviation is allowed to be who they want to be. It’s lgbTqia, not just lgb. So let’s do it like the Avengers and ASSEMBLE!!!!!

These are all that I have time for today but I’m sure there are more to be angry about. 2017 has not ended yet guys, so woohoooo LETS GET READY FOR MORE BAD NEWS!!!! This is not to depress anyone. There are things out of our control that we will encounter. Whatever it is, let us all try our best to be decent human beings and help each other enjoy our existence a bit more.

 

 

Dear Rich People,

Extensive damage is seen to the Grenfell Tower block which was destroyed in a disastrous fire, in north Kensington, West London

A poem I wrote in reaction to the Grenfell Tower fire.

How nice it must be for you to sit high upon your thrones and watch the dusts on your feet whither away.

How nice it must be to dictate the aesthetics of a landscape simply out of pure distaste.

How nice it must be to colonise a town, raise its “standards” to meet YOUR standards but forget that it is the American Dream most can’t reach.

Oh it is not your fault that others are at a disadvantage,

It is not your fault that you were blessed with a platform three inches higher than the rest, no.

But look at what you have done!

Look at how the decision made by the majority of your population to relocate in order to save money has robbed those who don’t have any.

Look at how your pop-up cafes with distillery fonts on its glass panels wipe out the local business that sold hair products not seen on high-street shelves like dead bugs on your Audi Q7 car window.

Look at how you attempted to dress up the ugly beauty of our Grenfell pageant Queen with your cheap Cladding fashion.

On her own she thrived in culture and love. She thrived in a community high above.

But thanks to your wealthy, western standards of beauty,

You deemed her ugly and impoverish.

You looked high up at her and cut her down so far deep that she was the stamped out beauty under your giant feet.

You did that!

You did not apologise, you did not attempt to save her,

Instead you watched her burn from the inside of your white picket-fenced house on every screened gadget that existed within your space.

You murmered sympathy desensitised by your wealth:

“Oh no, how sad!”

“Poor them”

Yes indeed! POOR THEM!

Poor them with 7 family members in a 3-bedroom flat.

Poor them who were promised safety by new reconstruction but were murdered by that.

Poor them for being poor, to not be able to afford the new life you have reconstructed into a space they once called home but thank you for your sincerity that deep down you know is guilt.

Watch the fireworks and sweep up the ashes,

Now the only hard thing to do now is relocate or stay?