Protecting My Energy

This shift in my focus forced me to see myself beyond the professoriate, and critically imagine what it would mean live the remainder of my grad school life on my own terms. What would it mean to no longer stress myself out about academic publishing because I didn’t have a “sufficient” record for the job market? What would it mean to no longer care about “lacking oral dexterity” (a phrase that a professor used to describe me) when discussing complex, jargonistic scholarship with my peers? At the time, I had no clue. But I owed it to myself to find out

Black Man ADDing: 9 tips to navigate ADD as an adult without medicine

I take this perspective not to desensitize myself to the troubles of mental disabilities and disorders. Rather, this stance allows those suffering to develop habits that can help one maintain focus despite being diagnosed with ADD. As someone who was diagnosed with ADD in 9th grade, I took medication until I started my master’s degree. This medication only worked for a couple of years.

Finding My Queer Black Joy

Well, I'm not going to lie to you and say that it's easy. Merging happiness with self-acceptance is a state of being that is rife with pain that transforms into love. It's not uncommon to have thoughts of suicide when you exist on the margins of societal respectability.

What saved my life

But, seeing the blood and seeing the cut made me feel better. It took the pain I was feeling internally, and made it external. It gave a physical source and location and I finally felt good. I made sure no one would be able to see my scars and I always put a smile on my face. No one could know the truth. Throughout my entire time in high school I battled my thoughts and actions. I was very careful to make sure people saw one side of me. The lowest I’ve ever felt was in this time. It got so dark that I had a noose ready. I had pills ready. I had everything and anything I would need to just end it all. I couldn’t continue to mask and carry this darkness with me. But, I couldn’t go through with it. I was a coward, but I didn’t want to be. I wanted to make adecision that, at the time, felt like the only one I needed to make. I faked my way through high school, friendships, and even my relationships. I was hurt beyond measure because I knew everything I built, was a lie.

Pride & Privilege

I was afforded something that other people with different identities that intersect did not have. I could watch TV and if there was a queer character I could almost guarantee they were white. I could go out to a queer nightclub and see mostly white individuals. This used to be okay to me, but I have since (through much literature, self-reflection, classes, conversations, and much more) thought that this is something that I benefit from mentally. I have times where I do not feel welcome in spaces like nightclubs or pride events because I do not fall into the body image of what a gay male-identifying individual looks like. That sucks… a lot because I feel unwanted and shunned, yet I still have my privilege of being white in those spaces. For my family who are folks of color in the LBTQ+ community, I cannot begin to imagine the dilemmas that occur for them. There is already a great amount of sexism and homophobia with the presence of transphobia, toxic masculinity, and stagnant, yet present heterosexism. To add racism to the mix is painful. To my folks who experience racism within the community, I can imagine it has a toll on so many things yet I must speak from my truth.