JAMES’ JOURNAL (Entry 38)

JAMES’ JOURNAL (Entry 38)

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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46 Comments

  1. Mandy
    June 07, 05:36 Reply

    This is KD’s first nonfictional series, and in my opinion, the best. James, you simply have a charming, yet naive, aww-shucks way of putting your points – very strong issues, I might add – across.
    Happy Sunday.

  2. Masked Man
    June 07, 05:55 Reply

    Yea. I remember that Micheal Jackson wasn’t applauded for his bleaching and cosmetic surgeries. But awards have started rolling in for Caitlyn. It is well.

    • ruby
      June 07, 10:02 Reply

      MJ had a Melanin disorder which caused uneven discoloration *hence the sequined glove*
      he had to do a full body bleach to even out his skin

  3. pete
    June 07, 06:31 Reply

    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,

    James, I feel you should have stopped here.

      • pete
        June 07, 11:41 Reply

        we bristle when people compare homosexuality with bestiality or paedophilia. comparing transgenders with people who bleach come across as same thing.

      • JamesJemima
        June 07, 15:36 Reply

        I believe the comparison was mostly people’s reaction to the change a person does to their body. My argument basically is “why applaud a person for transitioning and frown on the other for changing the colour/tone of their skin?” they are both a change to something the individual doesn’t like about their bodies.

        I’m wondering if there’s a bit of hypocrisy in the two different reactions.

        • keredim69
          June 07, 15:56 Reply

          Transitioning is not just a “change to the body” is it? It’s deeper than that. It’s waking up every day from a very young age knowing one is in the wrong body. There are a lot of profound psychological issues surrounding this and a lot of steps taken to correct it.

          Compare this to someone bleaching ones skin to conform to colonial/slavery imposed norms.

          Both have different causes. THAT is why society applauds transitioning and not skin colour/tone.

  4. pete
    June 07, 06:34 Reply

    please, do you mind being called Denny? #AskingForAFriend

  5. chestnut
    June 07, 06:48 Reply

    James I saved d paintings; I hope that’s okay?
    I understand what u say about bleaching, and I’ve read stories of women who became tremendously happier and more confident,when they changed their skin-tone( not much different from a transgender who becomes happier with his/her life,when he/she finally gets to live as d gender he/she is truly comfortable with). And I know it’s not my skin,and not my skin-cancer…but I have to look at it sometimes,so pls,just do it right. If a person can bleach “properly”,without any discolourations or pigmentations or blemishes or uneveness and blah blah blah, then I’m here for it.(Me I kuku like red-bones right from time, as long as they have a relatively uniform tone all over their body).
    It’s true that there’s nothing wrong with women/girls, so when a man is called a “woman”, he should only be offended,not because women are inferior,but because there’s a misappropriation of his natural(and preferred) gender.but let’s face it,most ppl – including homophobes and even gays- call someone a ‘woman’, with the intention of insulting and referring to u as ‘inferior’, because they erroneously feel that women are inferior to men. So it’s the intention-to-insult that should be offensive, not necessarily the word itself. Someone could tell a naija girl,”u have the body of a super-model”, and mean it as shade (I.e: “u aint got no booty or boobs and u look like a 10-year old boy”). In dat case, a statement which should normally be a sort-of-compliment, becomes annoying,not cos supermodels are not hot and sexy,but because of the intention-to-insult,attached to the statement…

    Nice one today james(per usual). Er…did I mention that I saved the paintings?

    • Dennis Macaulay
      June 07, 07:02 Reply

      Chestie sometimes its not derogatory, I have seen gay men use it on themselves as a term of affection

      “Nne pass me the remote”, “No I wont you mannerless girl”

      And they laugh over it! To me its not a biggie if the person doesnt find it offensive. If they do, then dont

      • chestnut
        June 07, 07:53 Reply

        Oh no Dennis, I don’t mean it’s offensive ALL d time -especially coming from gay guys – but sometimes, even gay guys use it in a derogatory/derisive fashion, like when guys who have never met Uti or Desmond Elliot will say stuff like “see dat one,na real MADAM,she go just dey form “man” for camera, dey feel big,mscheeewww”…in this context,it’s obviously not being used as a term of endearment or expression of camaraderie…

    • JamesJemima
      June 07, 13:31 Reply

      Thank you chestnut! The paintings cost £100.50.. Should I forward my account details? Lol. Just kidding. I’m glad you liked them them enough to save *kisses*

  6. GOld
    June 07, 06:54 Reply

    Nice one James. My favourite writer here.Always so educative and eye-opening.

    I really wanna have those paintings. I so love them.unfortunately I’m not the paint-ey type. I’m all surgeries and dissections and injections and the likes.

    Happy Sunday kd.

    • JamesJemima
      June 07, 13:35 Reply

      Hmmmm.. Do I know you??

      You could have the paintings.. I often give out some of my works. Maybe if you were close by.

  7. mirage
    June 07, 06:58 Reply

    The bruce transitioning, he said it’s being 6 years you moved from my granny’s house and now you even working in a new city and he simply said each night when you dream which house do you see when you sleep? I replied my granny’s and he said imagine after 6 good years and he said that’s a demon bruce would fight for the rest of his life cos even in his subconscious or “dream” he would see himself as bruce and wake up to see boobs and find out he is now Caitlyn and my friend said he felt he was trapped as a man now he has embarked on another inner demon unknowingly! I just kept on pondering, has bruce made a mistake?

  8. Absalom
    June 07, 07:01 Reply

    We can’t peg skin bleaching – dangerous as it is – down to just vanity. It’s a little more complex than that. People who bleach feel that, if their skin is lighter, they’ll be deemed more beautiful…and the question is why, who is giving them that idea?

    In Igbo, when a woman is praised for her beauty and “freshness”, chances are that she’s light-skinned. (Very) dark-skinned persons are constantly teased to not marry an equally dark person so their kids will not be “too black”. As if that’s how biology really works.

    Hollywood is colourist as well, hence the breakthroughs of “dudu” women like Lupita and Viola Davis is widely celebrated.

    I’ve also heard people say, “If so-and-so person were not fair-skinned, they would be ugly.” Not sure how that makes any logical sense but, yeah, there’s a privileging of lighter skin tones in society and people tend to talk about (very) dark skin like it’s a congenital problem.

    *

    On “political correctness”, it is the price humanity is paying for the injustices and inequalities of the past. Women screen everything men say about them for traces of misogyny and sexism; LGBT persons regard anything “gay” that falls out of a heterosexual’s mouth with suspicion; whites are constantly explaining themselves to blacks in order not to be branded racist.

    Whenever the issue of “PC” comes up, watch the two groups at war closely: one used to oppress/marginalise the other.

    In the real sense, though, “PC” is a stupid, unnecessary term. It’s either an idea is correct and upholds the dignity of the human person, or it is not and disrespects people.

    Lovely entry, James. 🙂

    • Max
      June 07, 07:30 Reply

      Million likes Absie

    • Khaleesi
      June 07, 12:09 Reply

      My God!!! The wonders of watching highly refined brains at work!! Am blown away Absie! Your mind is DEEP!!

  9. mirage
    June 07, 07:04 Reply

    For my sanity, passed through stadium road in ph 2day on my way back from an all night study oh Jupiter’s cock! the sweaty guys on the morning jog, thank heavens my colleague was with me was almost asking one of the joggers for his digit, c’mon he sagged and the cute butt and he had his shirt off!*faints*am so going to study there again tonight!#don’t judge me

  10. Max
    June 07, 07:24 Reply

    Lemme start with the pics-
    The first one looks like a puckered asshole
    The second looks pretty
    The third looks like ocean waves/aurora
    .. This is the reason I love gay people.. We’ve been pushed so hard by the society up to the level that knocks our minds open. We think differently from the entire populace, we see things differently.. We’re simply divergent and I love it..
    Unlike most of your hugely nonsensical posts in the past which seemed like a scribbled manuscript of a lonely spoilt brat, this actually made sense.. I think its the best I’ve read so far. My issue with skin bleaching isn’t about people’s health(I could care less if the next person sitting to me chokes on their saliva).. Its about self-esteem.. I often feel like people don’t love themself as much as they should, so they bleach to make themselves feel better… And it’s also racist too.. Because everyone believes white skin is better. Its not about skin disease, its about the black and white narrative, about black being inferior and white being the better norm…Even in chess, white piece moves first.
    Racism can’t be stopped by abolishing the word, it’ll just create an atmosphere where people can be openly racist without being checked because there’s no word for it. Its just like saying you can abolish “gay” by stopping the use of the word.. It’s quite laughable.
    “Live and let live”<< That phrase often brought up by people when they want to justify an act. We're all human and we can't always live and let live. Its impossible. To achieve that, you'll have to isolate yourself from the society. There will always be something that someone is doing which you dont like and you just can't help it.
    I saw this recently somewhere- Our open mindedness has its limit.. We r all open minded towards issues as long as its not affecting us.
    Nice piece.

    • JamesJemima
      June 07, 09:04 Reply

      An insult and a compliment at the same time. I’m torn. Though for the life of me I can’t figure out how I came across as spoilt. Lonely, maybe. Anyways thanks.

    • Francis
      June 08, 06:43 Reply

      I don’t see Bleaching as a racist act unless the “bleacher” insinuates so. I’ve seen dark peeps whom I feel would look better in a lighter shade and I’ve seen fair peeps who would look amazing with a few shades of tan. It’s all about finding that shade makes you look and feel good.

  11. Gad
    June 07, 09:53 Reply

    One needs little or no efforts to be politically correct at all times. All thats needed is to not put ones brain to the rigours of deep thoughts and just say “oh yes” to every opinion that has the nod of the majority. on the contrary,if you dare to be different,be ready to use your brains.

    • Chuck
      June 07, 11:35 Reply

      Political correctness is a majority opinion? You lost me there. How many people are white, how many are black? How many are Conservative/Republican versusDemocrat or liberal?

  12. ruby
    June 07, 09:59 Reply

    Lovely pieces of art Jamie.
    I Loooooove being called gurl, sista, babes, etc only within the confines of the community *I’m pretty sure I’d shrivel up if someone were go call me any of those in a mixed orientation gathering.
    Its simply a case of accepting whatever floats you’d boat. <3<3<3

  13. iamcoy
    June 07, 11:31 Reply

    I think after being done with Vet Med you should follow up your dream of being a professional painter. Trust me you will earn alot from it cos its your passion. I was watching a Black American of Nigerian descent (Kehinde) on Amanpour the other day, its amazing how he gave a modern day interpretation to antiquated portraits. He has won several awards and gotten to meet with John Kerry bla bla..
    as for your other points, well posited as always I must add

  14. Chuck
    June 07, 11:36 Reply

    I’m with Absalom. Bleaching isn’t just vanity, it’s tied to racist paradigms of beauty. Transitioning is about owning your body and not being trapped in the wrong body.

  15. alpha papi
    June 07, 11:44 Reply

    Yes.. Not everyone likes bin called sister, nne nd girl etc. But some yeye pple won’t agree cos since it’s OK with dem, dey expect it to b OK with everybody.smh.

    • pinkpanthertb
      June 07, 12:14 Reply

      Hehehehehee! Point well made, alpha papi. (I never thought I’d say that)

  16. Khaleesi
    June 07, 12:24 Reply

    Awww James, am glad someone else agrees with me that you do have a beautiful mind. Its always a pleasure to take a peek inside.
    I also have a lot of friends who i refer to as “Gurl’ “Sista” “Momma/Mama” “Aunty” ” Nne” “AdaNee” “Achalaugo Nwanyi” “Witch” “My Co – Wife” etc and vice versa, the list goes on and on … its all lighthearted fun and has absolutely nothing to do with their preferred roles, some are tops, some bottoms and some versatiles! I have also come across some guys who utterly dislike being referred to by any names which are even remotely feminine, i learned the hard way to respect that.
    Being a light skinned person, i have grown up to become aware of our society’s preference for light skin, i really dont understand it at all especially as I prefer dark skinned men over light skinned ones. I guess its all down to colonial/slave mentality which has ensured that anything associated with whiteness/europeanness or being Caucasian is deemed as superior. I once had a long drawn out argument with a friend who insisted that its better to be light skinned because dark skin looks dirty and not as healthy as light skin … smh!! All i can say is, if you’re not comfortable with the alluring black skin you’ve got and decide to tamper with its tones and textures via bleaching, smh@ you, but then, it is your skin and you have the right to do with it as you please, so Nne/Sista mi, bleach away if it makes you happier!!
    I dont claim to understand the world of transgenders so i wont say much other than, its their body and so long as they harm no one, please please let them be! live and let live …
    Nice piece James ***Plants a wet cherry red kiss on your forehead, ruffles hair affectionately***

  17. Jeova Sanctus Unus
    June 07, 15:41 Reply

    Eerrhmm…can you really “take a ten inch dick the size of a cucumber…from dawn till dusk”??

    #ISwearIAmAskingForGadsPeaceOfMind

  18. La-Coozee
    June 07, 16:39 Reply

    *Sips bloody mary* lol

    Beautiful write up from you James. I adore you so much, do you know? You have this subtle way of driving in points. I love.

    BTW, I love your paintings! Especially that one with the swirl of colors and the rainbow too. I want a painting too lol. If you want more inspirations, then permit me to suggest you look up: David Osagie and derwentartacademy.co.uk Beautiful works!

    Peace 🙂

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