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“Put ya arms up….Whew! Ya small.” 

Shadiness about my size aside, the Caribbean woman working at Macy’s was a life saver when I approached her with a specific, time-sensitive goal in mind: to find a tuxedo on a Tuesday and have it ready for a Saturday wedding. I had been given a three-month window to prepare, but naturally, I waited until the last minute to get everything done.

That would include getting it altered in time and finding whatever else in the hell one needs for a black tie affair. As recently as two months ago, I knew about as much about black tie affairs as Katy Perry seems to know about actual Black people. Even sadder was the fact that when everyone asked me my measurements, I didn’t have the slightest idea. The only measurements I can remember are “36-24-36” and that’s only important to a room full of old people at a cookout or a hole in the wall club.

One of my new favorite people ever, Nicole Richie, put it so eloquently on her VH1 show, saying, “I’m grown up, but I’m not like, a GROWN-up.” This philosophy is pretty true when it comes to how I tackle time management and general responsibility, but most certainly correct in assessing my preparedness and ability to dress for truly adult affairs. When you’re blessed with an invite to a wedding and various fancy people events, even if you’ve never been anywhere nicer than Olive Garden before, you know you better show up and put on some Meryl Streep type performance—looking and acting right immediately upon arrival.

Then again, even when it comes to invitations to speak at events less formal in dress code but still requiring a level that’s more than denim and a tee, I’m usually still ill-prepared and in a rush to find something to wear. This happened to me last year, and basically all I did was duplicate a look I wore to an internship interview several years prior. Luckily, no one in attendance was the wiser.

You see, I work primarily from home, a place where pants can be oppressive, and things like jackets, ties, and dress shoes don’t even enter the conversation. Even worse was that up until a year ago, I lived in Los Angeles – not exactly the place for dressing sharp and formal if you’re not attending an awards show. Yeah, damn me for not learning Final Draft well enough.

Regardless, it is a different time now.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Back on NPR’s “Tell Me More” for another pop culture roundtable, talking about those Time essays I keep getting emailed and texted about, plus on Pam Oliver’s new gig (and weave…sorta) and that 2Pac musical no one wanted to see.

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I’m sitting at my desk in my increasingly uncomfortable office chair drinking red wine while listening to Anita Baker. For someone in desperate need of a vacation, but months away (at the very least from taking one), I’ll take whatever temporary moments of escape I can get. For years now, editors and many of my fellow writers have referred to me as a machine due to the way I’ve been able to churn out assignment after assignment. Maybe, but I think it’s about time someone put me in the shop.

Last week, Cord Jefferson wrote yet another very good essay, this time on how tiresome it can be writing about racism over and over again. It’s worth the read, and as someone who, too, writes about race a lot, I can attest to the sentiment. For one of the outlets I regularly write for, I often joke to my friends that they might as well give me a column called “That’s Racist with Michael Arceneaux.” My way of tackling what I often think are worthless targets is to simply make fun of them. Even so, I’d much rather go with the Mariah Carey method of dealing with a complete waste of space: “Ain’t gon’ feed you, I’mma let you starve.”

I wish dealing with racism was the least of my problems, though.

Since graduating from college and actually collecting checks for my writing, I’ve tackled pop culture, politics, music, celebrity gossip, sexuality, race, satire, and social media. I am happy I’ve been allowed to write about so much. Not everyone can be versatile, or at least, be convincing at. That doesn’t negate exhaustion, however. Like, I’m not necessarily over writing, but I am somewhat tired of a few things.

The aforementioned writing about idiotic racists, but also subject matter I can classify as either “dumb shit” or “silly shit” or “patronizing shit.” I came across an article entitled “The Internet has a content diversity problem.” In it, the writer basically takes shots at varying publications for following into the listicle vortext in response to the chase for clicks. I’m somewhat conflicted on that. Do I think “sharebait” has further contributed to the decline of people’s attention spans and their desire to read anything more than 500 words that might require them to think? Yes. Nevertheless, for a bunch of people stuck in cubicles and offices at least three hours too long, I can understand the desire to read something easy breezy.

Plus, I’ve contributed to the problem ’cause those pay the checks. And honestly, writing a “dumb list” is a lot harder than people realize. It can be a challenge to make any piece look like easy reading.

I’m less annoyed by the list than I am this growing subgenre of online journalism that’s basically “Tell ‘Em Why You Mad, Son.” It’s like watching people race to out politically correct the other in an effort to sound more evolved than the next. There are plenty of things to get mad about, but so many seem insincere because it pays to rage. A lot of it comes across a lot like masturbation. As in, let me patronize you, oooh, baby, baby, they’re so bad, but your point of view, so-so-so good.

I don’t wake up everyday wanting to be “mad.” I want to make people laugh and make people think. If some people deserve a roasting, so be it — just don’t position it as “moving the debate” forward. That would require a level of respect, and gasp, nuance, which so many writers seem to lack.


In any event, I found it more interesting that a writer is complaining about diversity in content but only cited works from mainstream publications. That’s not surprising, but no less dually ironic and irritating.

What I’m personally sick of is having to chase for a check. I’m even more sick of having to churn out more than ever because though there may be an across the board wage depreciation, the publishing industry has really made an effort to take advantage of it. Even when I am offered the chance to write something that actually excites me, I have to contend with the reality that I have to be careful where I pitch it ’cause motherfuckers ain’t trying to pay the way they did even six months ago much less two years.

And yes, sometimes I do feel like Beyoncé being forced to cover Keri Hilson’s catalog due to increasingly stupid and/or lazy readers. 

You know, a lot of the time I get told, “I’m so proud of you for living your dream.” I know the intent is complimentary, but I sometimes wince anyway. Yes, I’ve written a lot of things I’m particularly proud of – this year included – but I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m living my dream. I’ve accomplished select goals, but my dreams are too big to truly embrace a statement I find hyperbolic.

I could go on, but I’m about to switch to Anthony Hamilton and perform “Float” in my apartment.

A few weeks ago, while watching Oprah’s Master Class with Whoopi Goldberg, she said something to the effect of, “Do what you have to do until you no longer have to.” That’s something I continue to tell myself, though I do know I have to push (and get it right) to do more things worthy of my talent (that pay better). Even if I feel tired. Even if I increasingly get upset by the state of the biz. Thankfully, there are people every now and then who remind me that in the midst of the noise, my voice still stands out. I appreciate that. More than most will ever understand.

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The wonderful people over at NPR’s “Tell Me More” reached out to me about my xoJane essay that chronicled me tackling my fear of sex. This is the segment that aired yesterday. Was honored to be asked. I felt classy as opposed to my usual classy ratch. Now, I make Beyoncé and Mariah references during the discussion because I am who I am (you just can’t change me…I hope you hear that in Lil’ Kim’s voice). I was told I towed the line between NPR and not NPR/me well.

Y’all let me know. Thanks to them again for having me.

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My introduction to homosexuality, and subsequently gay sex, came by way of death and a slur. Now, I don’t remember a lot about my dead uncle or his funeral. I can recall being six-years-old, walking up to a casket and crying. He was dead and I was a child: you do the math.

The only other thing I distinctly remember about my uncle is the vitriol spewed about him by my drunk, habitually angry father. My father had a habit of disclosing information he otherwise opted to forgo whenever he was in one of his moods, so not only did I discover that my departed uncle was a heroin addict, but also a gay man or “faggot” as he was described.

As an adult in 2014, these bits of information might provide a fairly clear path to an assumed cause of death. But it was not lost on me as a child that AIDS paved the quicker road to death for a gay man in 1990. What’s interesting about this is while I can only give you the major points of the story, it is one that has haunted me for much of my life and fueled such an immense fear of sex that I am only just now beginning to tackle it.

Sex is something I thought about even as a child. Like the Patron Saint of the Butterfly and 8 Count (Janet Jackson) once said in an interview with the now defunct Blender magazine, “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that I had a very active sexual mind at a very young age. I hope that doesn’t sound bad.” Oh, Janet, you could never say anything wrong.

Like Saint Damita Jo, I always had “little fantasies” and on many occasions, acting them out with other children – boys and girls alike – during recess and naptime. Once puberty hit, my hormones placed shackles around my – umm, there – and didn’t relinquish control until…ha, any day now. My friends noticed.

In high school, one of my best friends called me “Perv” — she still does. The very first friend I made in college describes my club activity as follows: “Yeah, Mike, you dance really sexual. Like it’s the first of the month and rent is due.” One of my best friends called me “Hoettie McDaniels” via text the other morning. Yes, I’m blessed with wonderful people in my life.

Be that as it may, it wasn’t until I was 21 when I actually tried to initiate sex, and not until 23 when I did the full act. I’m only now at 30 starting to truly embrace the Lil’ Kim line, “I used to be scared of the d*ck, now I throw lips to the sh*t.” The way the Lord intended.

To be fair, there was a nice battle with body dysmorphia that helped push this fear of intimacy. But even after my body shifted from Theodore Seville to Alvin, I could get it up, but I couldn’t follow through. In my mind, if I was going to have sex, it needed to be with someone I loved. Someone essentially “worth the risk.”

The problem with that logic laid in the unfortunate reality that I am a magnet for unattainable men and unhealthy emotional attachments. That sentence just described 90 percent of my 20s, and the two men I wasted an entire decade chasing in vain.

In my frustration with each, I ended up engaging in the very sort of activity that would lead me to a shortened life full of way too many pills. This would include literally pulling a virtual stranger off the street in anger. We did go get condoms, but that ended in abrupt dismissal all the same. Two years later, I ended up having sex with a friend of a man I had just shaded out of rage over finding out he had had sex with another guy.

What did having drunk, angry sex in public accomplish? Absolutely nothing besides wasting what was supposed to be a special moment. For the next couple of years, I would initiate acts and then abruptly stop — again and again. It was like “The Mr. Blue Balls Show World Tour.”

Then around 2011 two separate doctors told me that I had syphilis and Hepatitis C. I was under a lot of stress and might’ve been drinking more than I should have been. The stress resulted in migraines and weird body rashes. When a dermatologist told me that I might have syphilis, I responded: “You have to have sex to get that, right?” I didn’t have syphilis – this particular doctor happened to be an idiot.

Similarly, the crackpot male doctor who immediately suggested whatever STI he could think of to explain my apparent abnormal liver levels when he found out my sexual preference was outtie versus innie. For three days I had to think about whether or not my life would be shortened over having Hep C. I also had to seek comfort in my mother, who to this day is likely trying to pray my gay away. That doctor ultimately said I was Hepatitis C free and that he was merely “exploring all options” and that “I gave you no reason to have any real fear.” Screw him forever.

I wish this was the part where I said: “And it was then that I decided that my libido has been left in the ice box for far too long and it is time to overcome my fears and set it free.” Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Read the rest at xoJane.

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A little over two weeks ago when I turned 30, they sky did not open, celestial choirs did not begin singing Beyoncé, nor did the number of nuisances of my life in recent months suddenly decide to do the right thing (exit) and make my world perfect. Sure, I woke up in a good mood all the same, but I didn’t bother pretending to know anything profoundly more at 30 than a did a couple of hours before at 29.

So when I looked in the mirror that morning, I told myself what I felt was most important at the time: “Still look prettttttyyyy.” To Kimbella be the glory. Now and forever.

Time has since passed and while I do still maintain “I don’t know shit, bitch!” stance about turning 30, I do have some reflections.

Since moving to New York nearly a year ago, I’ve done pretty well for myself both professionally and personally. I have a ways to go as far as certain goals, though, but I do think overall I am thriving and leading the life I’ve long wanted to have. Still, in recent months, I’ve been reminded that there remains a certain fragility that will continue to cause frustration until it no longer doesn’t.

As nice as it is to hear people tell me that they love my work or to compliment me on recent achievements – seeing me here, hearing me there, and reading me in places that apparently matter more than where I had written before (in lit, Lindsay > Lupita) – no matter how “prominent” some of my friends and colleagues may perceive me to be, I know that means nothing if I find myself in the predicament where I’m owed thousands of dollars and regret never becoming the sissy 2 Chainz or better compensated Joseline Hernandez, Baby.

It happens less frequently than it used to be, but the reality is if I solely support myself as a writer I will always have to be a bill collector. Granted, I am not homeless. I am eating. I have not stopped living my life. Nonetheless, these are issues that come with being a working writer in 2014. That is partially why I am actively working to being more than just a writer. In fact, if there’s any ironic moment in my life as of late, it’s been the realization that I pretty much had the best career path paved out for myself at 18 and only 12 years later am I remembering I always knew what it was and what it needed to be.

I was a broadcast journalism major in college, not a print or English major. I allowed insecurities to get in the way of the pursuit of that, but I’ve since let that go. There was never a reason for me to deny myself the truth that I am much more than a writer, but we learn these things in our time.

That said, I’ve been working and pitching and talking with people about different things in media, but beyond me writing about things I may not give a solitary fuck about for an unfair amount of money. And some progress has been made on that front, though without getting into specifics, I can attest that petty, insecure, and vile people will fuck your shit up for reasons that only they themselves can explain. I was pissed about that. Very, very pissed. Drag you to the ground by your hair pissed. #FreePorsha

It’s so interesting how you can make other people feel without even trying. Over it? No, but not iron-pressed about it either. Often missed opportunities are blessings in disguise. And even when they’re not, things happen on their own time as they are supposed to. My impatient self has to hug that shit tight and never let it go.

Not to mention, there are more important things going on.

Which leads me to my mother, who I am still unsure of whether or not I will have to let go. I wrote this post a bit prematurely. I don’t regret it as it helped bridge a rift between me and a colleague whose hustle I greatly admire and aspire to duplicate, but I hadn’t really let go of the hurt as purported to. I still haven’t really. I will say that I have since made it plain to my mother that if she chooses to continue being apart of my life, discussions of my sexuality will not be tolerated.

Another talk needs to be had. And oh, it will. I love my mother very much and I find her to be an amazing, strong person despite her faults. Even so, I am not afraid of her the way others are. Moreover, no matter what anyone has done to us, while it gives us an source to root mean spirited and hurtful behavior, it doesn’t make it okay. You don’t have to exercise that option, and even if you do, once it’s brought to your attention, it’s up to you to decide if you want to carry on with it.

It’s not easy and it’s not something you can quickly conquer. But if you want to change your ways, you work for it. I wouldn’t say I was a mean person, but I know I can be when provoked. Pure evil, depending on how much you push me. I know that my temper is not as dormant as I want it to be. I know that I need to talk to someone professionally to help me sort out how I grew up and how that continues to affect the way I live now.

There is so much heavy lifting and sometimes I get lazy like Britney Spears on any stage after 2007. That’s why for a few months before my birthday, I couldn’t open my mouth all the way without feeling an immense pain. I started to grind my teeth the way Rihanna used to grind into Matt Kemp Well, at least how I would like to grind into Matt Kemp anyway.

I waited too long to have it checked out. When I finally did, I instantly thought, “Why in the fuck did it take you so long to see a dentist and then a doctor, you big teeth, lanky sum’bitch?” ‘Cause my ass is crazy sometimes, but again, we live and learn — particularly when it comes to making your life less difficult than it needs to be.

All that said, I could’ve easily checked out of my birthday and allowed myself to be angry or sad or some combination of the two. I refused. One of my friends, the ever so fantastic Mitzi Miller, mentioned last year about choosing happy. Mitzi is not one of those fortune cookie, social media fake deep fucks, which is why I could embrace her philosophy. It doesn’t seem as easy as it sounds, but it can be depending on the severity of whatever all is consuming you.

Nothing that was going on felt worthy of taking away from my moment. All of it is short-term frustrations. There are things on the horizon for me. Besides, if I don’t like my situation, I have to be the one who pushes myself to change it. I have been blessed to have wonderful people in my life on a personal and professional level, but I have played an integral part in much of what I have accomplished so far.

So I keep going and I do whatever I have to do to make sure I don’t stop. If I need a muscle relaxer to stop attacking my own mouth, so be it. Same for whatever cools my anxiety.

And in the meantime, I admit certain truths to myself and to others around me.

It is my own fault for spending a decade of my life chasing the unattainable. And while you’ll always be someone I deeply care about, you will never be what I want you to be. I’m not sure if you ever loved me, but I have known that even if you did, you didn’t want to. Because you felt it was wrong. Because you think who I am is unnatural and sinful. Because you resent me for whatever feelings I seem to bring out of you. It hurts, but I have to let it go. This Frank Ocean, peculiar friendship fuck shit cheated me out of ample ass and super-sized happiness. No more. You forever finer than a motherfucker, though. Ugh.

My parents did not want children nor each other and even though they fulfilled their duties, there’s a bitterness and darkness there that tainted everyone in that house. I became so obsessed with not being anything like them that I was repeating their mistakes. I’m glad I never slit my dad’s throat the way I wanted to, but if I have to pretend both of them are already dead for the sake of living my life with a freer feeling, I’ll do what I gotta do. Hopefully not, but I’m not above. It’s either me or them. That goes for them and anyone else.

I’m never going to be Pharrell-level of happy. That’s fine ’cause he sounds like he’s smoking hash in a blunt made with fortune cookie paper. I’ll settle for Mary J. Blige when she’s singing over Black beats — bopping and killing you hoes with a tight wig and exercise regimen.

I really care about someone. To the point where I’ve engaged in the nastiness that is public displays of affection. Actually, it’s not nasty. I have quite enjoyed simp life despite being initially weirded out the first six or 19 times or so. Granted, Pimp C would slap the dog shit out of me, but that’s fine. Bun B would get it. My brother calls me Bun anyway.

That said, I may have to let that go. As Vivian Green once said on the album y’all didn’t buy, “I like it, but I don’t need it.” My mom once said I’d end up alone. That stuck with me until the homie La explained that she probably only said that given she knew what I was and knew that some man would eventually want to live in sin with me. Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe it won’t. I’m cool either way.

Overall, I don’t deny myself of certain pleasures anymore either. I’ll be exploring that a little more in work elsewhere and maybe in this space, too. We’ll see.

Oh, I’ll get my fucking book deal. These polite, you’re a Black and not famous, so can’t see me selling this project, sis, but I love you, though, rejections tend to make me itch, but it’s also planting seeds. It’ll come.

Bottom line is, things are not perfect, but they are better. I am happy inconsequential people, broke ass media companies, sabotaging sum’bitches that turn out to be blessings in disguise be damned.

To quote one of my favorite prophets, T.I., “Nann nigga don’t stop my show.” And to be honest, the only person who ever truly fucked up my program was me.

For some months now, I’ve described my career, and I suppose my life as, “Kelly Rowland on a good day.” Cute, but I’m a Beyoncé and it’s about damn time my “Crazy In Love” moment happens already. It could be happening very soon or could very well be underway already. Whatever the case, I am going to be more than fine. I always am. 

That’s why I spent my birthday being around a bae and then getting drunk and twerking with the people I loved. I’ve done enough worrying for a lifetime. If I have to grit my teeth in the meantime, I’ll do just that. Just not too hard. Can’t give head when you can’t open your mouth.

I’m kidding! Okay, I’m totally not, but whatever, I got it going on, what what or something.

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On Friday, I participated in a Google Plus chat with Hello Beautiful about being Black and gay in Hollywood. This would include whether or not Black folks pressure Black gays to come out, if they are obligated to for the sake of the representation and awareness, and also my least favorite riddle: Did this gay somebody come out for the sake of a come up? It was a fun chat albeit a bit of a sausage fest. Scheduling issues and shit. Still, a very nice chat worth checking out if you so desire.

I normally don’t go back and watch or listen to any media appearance I do. I’m learning to break that habit for the sake of improvement. Ugh. Mariah Carey is my kindred spirit because like her, I know I am all about a good angle. And like her, I know the wrong angle will have me looking all the way fucked up.

Full disclosure: I had braces as a kid, but listen, I broke my retainer. My stupid ass took out my retainer in a rush to open a fucking VHS tape I bought at the Walmart. A wrestling tape at that. Not even WWF. It was like Starrcade 1993 from WCW. In other words, some total bullshit. Yes, I totally realize how nasty it was.

In any event, I broke the shit and my mama was like, “I am not spending $100 to get another one. So.” I mean, she spent a smooth few thousand or something on my braces and we ain’t have money like that, so I get it. Then my wisdom teeth came in and shook the table of my fucking mouth.

All I could do while watching this was think, “Oh, bitch. I gotta get my Invisalign fund going.” I mean, I don’t have like J. Cole mouth. No shade. Still, it’s really just two teeth messing up the service — kind of like LeToya and LaTavia before they got the boot. But, it’s alright. It’s coming, and again, with the right angle, it doesn’t look so bad. 

At least my skin looked good, though. Thank you, painful ass laser hair removal treatments.

Why am I saying all of this in this space? Hell, I don’t know. To humanize thine ass or something. However, this is the part where I now go sing “Flaws and All” to myself. Okay, I’m lying. I’m about to go look in the mirror and say, “Still look pretty!” like Kimbella of Love & Hip Hop: New York, season two.
Sharing time is officially over now, though. Enjoy.
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I almost allowed someone to spoil this moment for me. That someone being my mother. I love my mama dearly, but my sexuality bothers her. My insistence on talking about it bothers her even more. The whole idea that not only was I born with a penis and drawn to other individuals in possession of one, I have the gall not to be ashamed of that frustrates her beyond belief. And the fact I even act on that desire sometimes? Sourpuss squared.

Professionally, I had a very good 2013, and from the looks of it, I’ll enjoy an even better 2014.  I don’t have everything that I want, but I am learning to accept that nothing ever comes to me on my timeframe. Ever. I work extremely hard and have sacrificed so much. Now, at a few months shy of turning 30, I see light. I’ve spent a very long time waiting for that.   I’m not getting in my own way as much. People are coming to me with new opportunities, and when they come, I’m excelling. I remain hard on myself, but I’m making progress on that, too.

I feel good about being on, Vulture and I’m so proud of the work I’m doing at and other places.

I love that I have a personal essay in the new issue of ESSENCE and one of my best friends in the entire world – a person who has always believed in me and pushed me to keep fighting – was my editor. It feels good. And I love, love, love that my work is in a magazine with Oprah on it. Oh, and the boo thang in head, too.

In my mind, my essay being in ESSENCE with Michael Bae Jordan on the cover brings us closer together. Shut up, I said “in my mind.”

But what I hate, and still very much grapple with, is that I can’t really share my good news with the people who should be closet to me.

I came out to my mother after an essay I wrote about two Black boys who hung themselves within the same month to escape the anti-gay taunts that haunted them.  The only reason I told her was that the essay went viral and was smacked right in the middle of the site that at the time was her go to Web page. Her response was nasty and I didn’t speak to her for weeks.

Not much has changed since 2009 and we don’t talk about my sexuality. It’s usually for the best because she has a mouth and so do I. However, I gave her the courtesy to inform her about this ESSENCE essay since it’s a widely read publication that has my big head literally on the page of my work.

I tried to be civil. I tried to talk about God and difference of opinion. I stressed that I think no matter how she feels and how I stopped going to church, I do think God is using me in someway to help create dialogue. I write about politics, pop culture, sexuality, culture, race, and because a check is involved, celebrity bullshit. But I have put myself out there to help people. Most of the gay Black writers people admire are good and dead.

I never wanted to be the ‘gay writer,’ but I also don’t want to be true to myself when I know that we’re not nearly as evolved as well pretend to be.

My mom’s response was not surprising, but no less disheartening before it ultimately irritated the living fuck out of me.

“Am I happy that you’re gay? No. I’m sorry it happened to you.”

“Am I hurt that you’re still gay? Yes, because I feel responsible.”

I so wanted to quote “***Flawless” in this moment. Respectful southern boy, though.

There was also a bit about my extended family potentially abandoning me, though I could really give a less fuck about that. As I explained to her, where were they when the drunken monster known as my father was giving us all hell? Weren’t they judging your other straight children’s life choices? Better yet, of all those people, who is the one with a college degree that actually got out of the hood, did something and stuck with it?

Exactly. So who gives a fuck about what anyone thinks, much less them. Oh: no shade.

Anyway, that wasn’t about me. That was about her and how she feels and what my work and my growing presence as a writer means to her. That’s her issue, not mine.

Thankfully, my beautiful and always loving sister made me feel better. I am not a crier, but I broke down a minute. I was mad about that because I didn’t want to give her or anyone that satisfaction.

My mom says she loves me and won’t abandon me. I believe her. Nonetheless, she is embarrassed and she wishes I were straight. I understand why she is the way that she is and why her point of reference to all things gay is so full of sin and death and the like.

She is not a monster and can be the sweetest person imaginable.

I love her dearly. She humanizes the ignorance gay people face throughout the world. In some respects, I’m grateful to that because it’s made me a better thinker and a stronger person. Ultimately, though, her opinions about what my work means only go so far. Like on the scale of Destiny’s Child, her thoughts and her feelings about my career are Farrah Franklin. Mine are Beyoncé, obviously.

Seriously, I know myself. I know my voice. I am always being reminded of what my words – no matter the theme or tone – mean to people. I know my value.

No one is “using” me to be a “spokesperson.” She of all people ought to know not I am my own damn person, always have been and always will be. Hell, I wouldn’t be a Howard grad, ex-LA transient, or current Harlemite had I listened to her.

Maybe one day she will evolve. Maybe she won’t. Whatever happens, I will die knowing I lived my life as I saw fit and I went for mine no matter what anyone said — including the person who gave me life.

I have fallen on my face several times, but again, things seem to be turning around. I don’t care who isn’t happy about that because I’m happy. That’s why I’m back to enjoying this moment and all the moments that are to come.

P.S. Since we’re on God, Jesus, and the Saints, shout out to all of them and my editor, the lovely Charreah, for making sure my picture turned out okay. Y’all. That was hell week when I took this. I was doing so much work, not getting any sleep, and I didn’t even have a fresh lineup. I damn sure wouldn’t have mentioned this at all if I looked like a bugawolf in the magazine. That line up will be together the next time, though.

Beyoncé would never.

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About two weeks ago, I took part in another panel on Hot 97’s Street Soldiers themed around the men of reality TV and whether or not Black men who act a fool on television for pocket change are dooming the race.

If you’re vaguely familiar with my opinion on that “respectability” rooted argument against reality TV, you can imagine what my comments were. Actually, don’t imagine. Listen. And then tell a friend. After that, a cousin. Maybe even a co-worker who you don’t really like, but imagine will see it for the kid. Did you hear “the kid” in Nicki Minaj’s accent? God, I hope so. That’s how I intended you to.

The episode replayed on Sunday so I decided to quit playing and post about it.

You can check out the show below. Click on the player below, select “Reality Men.”

Now one thing I will say is that while Peter Gunz’s life is a fuck shit sandwich with fries, I do have a better understanding about why Tara sat on it. I also found myself defensive on his behalf after the way another panelists described him and his co-stars. I think reality TV deserves criticism just by nature of it being available for public consumption. Still, be mindful that these are real people no matter how they’re edited and storyboarded.

I’m increasingly realizing just how much I love to be on a mic. Okay, I was a broadcast journalism major so it’s not so much realizing as it is remembering. 2014 is all about making me the hood’s Donahue until I’m everybody’s actually Black Andy Cohen once Don Lemon is sacrificed in repentance to our ancestors. Order my steps, God and Beyoncé; be sure to include hot sauce with the order.

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