June 6

It’s quite unfortunate that I have to chill till Sunday to say this since Caitlyn Jenner would be a bit of stale news. I’m probably going to sound like a grand douche bag for the next few paragraphs or so, but I feel like I’m correct and nobody has brought up any tangible reason to make me shift my ground.

It started with a tweet I found hilarious and decided to update on my BBM. It went like so: ‘So Caitlyn can transition into a woman, but person no fit bleach…’ or something like that.

I chuckled. Very funny. Then I thought about it. It could be looked at in two ways. This tweet was just an ignorant something the tweep updated to make his followers giggle, or it could actually be pointing out a bit of double standard.

I’m sure many are ready to tear me down for associating something as vain and despicable as bleaching with the innermost turmoil of the souls that find themselves trapped in the wrong bodies. Let me at least try to not sound like a douche.

I get that being Trans is complicated. I’m not disputing this. I get that bleaching and transitioning into the opposite sex isn’t the same thing, but looking a bit closely at it, you’ll see that they are not entirely dissimilar.

Both of them involve changing what a person doesn’t like about their bodies. Admittedly, bleaching is more about vanity, unlike being Trans. There’s also a level of stigma that comes with bleaching. Once again I agree that it’s not up to that of being Trans. But it’s there. I’ve hardly heard people speaking good of someone that bleached his/her skin. Maybe once or twice, but it’s always like, “See that one, she’s/he’s bleaching…” with a look of disdain to accompany it. Even me sef didn’t know when I started feeling like people that bleached had something wrong with their heads.

One common defence for being pissed off at people that bleach is that bleaching can cause skin cancer. Agreed. But we are forgetting one thing. It is not your skin. It’s their skin and they can do as they please with it. Just like it’s my arse and I can take a ten inch dick the size of a cucumber and have it plough at me from dawn till dusk if I please. Anal sex can be dangerous. It doesn’t stop us gay guys from doing it if we feel like. Bleaching skin can also be dangerous but remember before you judge the person the next time – it is not your skin.

I’m not saying you should go hug the next person you notice that changes the colour of his skin. I’m just saying, “Mind ya bidneez!” It is not your life or your skin to tell the person what they can or can’t do.

Yes. That’s my argument. Am I right? Am I wrong? I feel like I am right but that doesn’t make it the right thing. I’m more than willing to shift ground if I can be convinced with reasonable arguments. Maybe I’m just trying to remind the ones that feel they are so open-minded and liberal that we’ve all got our prejudices and it’s a lifelong task to unlearn them and learn to live and let live.

And to Caitlyn, I say, “Do ya thang, bitch!” Inspire people around you to be who they are or who they want to be. Your transitioning may have just given a little kid out there hope that at some point things will get better for him or her.

*

Anyhoo, is it only me that is getting a bit irritated about the number of things I’m supposed to be offended about as a black and gay person. This is racist! That is homophobic! You shouldn’t say this or say that, blah-blah-blah. Take a chill pill, guys! It’s the human race we are talking about. We are wired to say the dumbest shit and be inconsiderate and whatever.

Can racism be entirely abolished with the number of rules one has to follow to not be racist? I read somewhere that the only way racism can be abolished is to stop talking about it. I laughed it off but I’m starting to wonder if this could actually be true.

As if to buttress my thoughts about how it can be so hard to be politically correct, I watched an episode of Banana that I’d skipped (y’all need to watch the series along with Cucumber. Fucking DIVINE). It had a white girl narrating a story of how she wanted to hook up with a black guy, but after she came out from the bathroom, she left the club with a different black guy because she thought they were the same. She was basically saying to the ears of her gay best friend that she thought all black guys looked the same, and he called her racist because of that. She defended herself saying she couldn’t be racist because she wanted to hook up with a black guy in the first place. The twist was that there was a black girl in the gathering of friends and she wasn’t even offended. *sigh*

*

I love to paint. I don’t know how good I am at it. But I bought some oil pastels, and every chance I get, I’m trying to paint something. I even do so on my phone as well. And to be honest, something that I’ve been always drawn to is abstract art. I don’t know why I love to paint abstractly. I’m sure many people have seen abstract painting and thought that must have been easy.

To be truthful, abstract art is not easy. Abstract art is the art of feeling an imagination, and having to dig in deep to find something strong, and then it’s another struggle to channel that something into your medium. Abstract art isn’t drawing random shapes and then stating outrageous prices. It’s reaching deep into one’s self and bringing out emotions, thoughts, imagination, and placing it on your medium, be it canvas or digital.

Sometimes my paintings are just meant to be beautiful. Most times they are meant to mean something. Often times I feel like I’m coming out of a trance once I’m done painting. It’s easy to be confident in that trance-like state. I’m sure of what I want to do with my colours and my strokes are bold. I like that state and most times, even if people don’t get the work, I feel content with it because I’ve transferred a piece of myself onto paper successfully.

Other times, the abstract art takes a process, sometimes from pen and paper to my phone back to paper with oil. Colours are experimented with before the final work is finished. It could take me ten minutes to a whole day to finish one work.

Sometimes I think I paint like I write this journal: with as much honesty as possible.

Doesn’t mean I don’t do other styles of art though. I love the colour green, so I’m drawn to foliage and like to do landscape paintings. I’m still struggling with drawing portraits; besides I really like drawing from imagination anyway.

Here are some of my works, if I may be so bold to share.james art 1james art 2james art 3

The rainbow one done on paper was with oil, and it is reminiscent of an Owl City song titled Rainbow Vein. My favourite part of the song goes: “Cheer up and dry your damp eyes and tell me when it rains. I’ll blend up that rainbow above you and shoot it through your veins…”

The next one with lots of colours and shapes was done on paper, the picture snapped with my phone, a layer created on sketchbook pro and painted digitally. It took me a whole day to finish. There are three variants; I just picked one at random.

The last one was purely digital. I was bored in the office when I was doing my IT, and started painting it. I was going for grass-looked-at-from-above-with-the-wind-rippling-through. Just not ordinary grass though. Grass like God was being very artistic and daring and added blue to it. Lol.

Don’t you just love how art can invoke feelings in you? Not just visual art, but all other art forms. I think that’s what it means to be human. Art. We’ve all got it in us. You being yourself is even an art form, because it takes a special skill only you can harness. A doctor’s work can be considered art. Problem solving is art. I don’t think it’s only secluded to writing or drawing or singing or whatever.

*

A comment was made yesterday about gay people referring to themselves in feminine terms. It’s a lot more complicated than calling yourself ‘girl’ because you think you are female.

I have friends I call “sister guurl”, “boo boo kitty”, and “bitch”, and they call me same and I have no issues with it at all. Then, if certain people dare use such feminine terms on me, I bristle and attack them. Why? Most times because if I use the same term on them, they would have none of it, and sometimes because they attribute some of my behaviour like being emotional as me being female.

Ask most people who use the term on themselves. They essentially consider themselves male. We don’t want vaginas in the place of penises. I speak for myself when saying that those feminine terms are sort of used to show endearment and kinship. It’s something like a black person calling another black person “nigga”.

And really, just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it wrong. Basically “do you” and let others “do them”.

And about giving ammo to other people to use the term ‘girl’ as something to insult or attack us with (I’m guessing that’s what the person meant by “giving the public names to call us by”)… Don’t you think that’s a bit sexist, to think that being called “girl” is an insult? It’s alright if you’re uncomfortable because it’s a misappropriation of gender, but feeling insulted is basically saying there’s something wrong with being female. Wait, what is even actually absolute girl behaviour? Boys cry, like the colour pink, figure-skate, dance ballet, treat their hair with chemicals and do facials. A lot of these macho men, if they grew up in a place where lines on behaviour of each gender are blurred, would be free to be emotional and all that. Heck, I’ve seen straight guys do mani-pedis and even rock stars paint their nails. But I digress.

And yes, you are right, part of being gay is being comfortable with yourself and sometimes for some people, it involves being comfortable with being feminine, because face it, many effeminates are gay.

So to my sisters who like to be called sisters and to my girls who don’t give two fucks about being called girls… *raises glass of wine* Keep being your fabulous selves, to safe limits of course.

To my dudes who are appalled that some dudes think being called “girl” is not such a big deal, remember not everything in life is as you think it should be. You might not understand it, that’s fine. But don’t rain on other people’s parades just so you can feel more comfortable about yourselves.

Those are my thoughts on the issue, what are yours?

Written by James

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