I Need A Bitch Nigga Rehab

So the fact that this title made some of my friends cringe is part of the reason that got me thinking I need a Bitch Nigga Rehab. In this increasingly politically correct world it has become imperative that people watch what they say in public for fear of offending others. God forbid others get offended at something you say in the heat of the moment. I mean, because all of us are these pious personas that we portray on social media, right? Yeah, OK. Now its no secret that I curse, and sometimes quite sailor-like. I feel like comedian Monique when she said, “Sometimes I just like the way it feels when the cuss words roll off my tongue.” Or like Lauryn Hill when she rapped “After all my logic and my theory, sometimes I add a mutherfucka so y’all ignorant Niggas hear me”, on Zealots. I’m a complex person, with my emotional ups and downs as well as my moments of wisdom and clarity. As humans we are allowed to be these multi-layered creatures who express ourselves in ways that are uniquely individual to each person. My form of communication happens to be peppered with colorful words such as Bitch, Nigga, Shit and sometimes even Bitch Ass Nigga, if the situation is appropriate. Nah mean?

Now I understand that these words hold negative connotations for many people, but I grew up in insensitive NYC where words roll off your back like raindrops on a duck. The normal language of New Yorkers includes cuss words from as early as elementary school. When a New Yorker wants to exclaim how serious the topic is, they say “dead ass”. I mean your parents try to teach you better but at school its a different dynamic and you must use your language to establish your dominance. The consequences of not doing so guarantees you will get tested on the regular. For example, in my case, I was always the youngest in class so I had to establish my prowess with either making you laugh or cussing you out to the point of utter embarrassment to avoid being the brunt of bullies jokes. I learned early on that words have power, and you only are affected by the power you attribute to them. That was the whole point of learning “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me”.

Words can be harmful as we know, if we let them, but we also have the power to change the meaning of the words to us so they become empowering. I believe this is the origin of embracing certain derogatory words like Bitch, Nigga or even Butch came from. In the LGBTQ community some greet each other with a hearty “Work Bitch” when someone is looking good and in the hood “You my Nigga” is a high form of flattery. Dyke and Butch started out as a derogatory titles for masculine identifying lesbians but now it’s simply a description. It’s all about the context. Yes, sometimes Bitch or Nigga are fighting words, depending upon the shade intended and the person saying it. However, those times are glaringly obvious and it is easy to know the difference when to fight or laugh.
I know people judge me based upon the seemingly limited range of my vocabulary, however, I fully embrace that me cussing is my version of letting my inner Bitter Bitch out to express herself. Cussing for most of us is only the tip of the iceberg of anger that bubbles underneath the surface of our PC everyday persona. If, as the Bible says, out of the mouth speaks the issues of the heart, hey I am obviously guilty of harboring a few issues in there.

However, in light of the more heinous things in this world like mass shootings, domestic violence and pedophilia, being committed by Bitch Ass Niggas, I feel like a little cussing literally doesn’t hurt anyone. In terms of rehab, I see we have serial rapists and predators talking about going to a rehab for sex addiction and bigots going to rehab for exactly what I don’t know, so why not a rehab for habitual cussers? Until that time though, I’m gonna continue to dap up my Niggas and Bitches and please let a Bitch breathe, in other words let me do me. I am still intelligent, Blessed and Highly favored, I just like to cuss

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A Seat at the Table: Discussions on LGBTQ Pride

Trans Poet Lee Mokobe

Earlier during this Pride month, I had the honor of attending an interactive discussion series, “A Seat at the Table with LGBTQ Friends in Faith” at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.  The mission of this event was to promote conversations about what it means to be Gay, African American and a person of faith in our society.  The ultimate objective was to identify issues and possible solutions to change the negative experiences in our community, especially to aid the younger generations.  Predictably this subject is very dear to my heart and the discussions did not disappoint.

The format was a panel of speakers followed by group discussions at each table. In addition to this, we heard the poignant poetry of South African Trans Poet and TED Fellow, Lee Mokobe.  His poems about what it feels like to be transgender, especially in the hostile environment of his homeland, were both enlightening and haunting.

The table conversations revolved around a set of questions about how we can improve the relationships between communities with opposing views regarding being LGBTQ based upon a common goal.   There were so many academic terms being thrown around that it may have been a bit intimidating to someone not familiar with the new politically correct terminology.  I guess I’m now considered “old school gay” because I found myself Googling many of the words like intersectionality, heteronormative, cisgender, non-binary and fetishization to know exactly what they meant in the LGBTQ conversation.  Hey, I admit that I’m in the community but not totally up on the lingo.  Even a word like “ally” has a specific definition in the community, according to the USC LGBT Resource Center glossary.  Apparently, allies are part of privileged groups that become actively involved in societal changes to change the perceptions of the oppressed group, such as Trans people.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the diversity of the allies at my table, which made the discussions more engaging.  For instance, hearing about the Trans youth experience and the necessity of them performing sex work to survive from the perspective of a lawyer who works as an advocate was very sobering.

There were so many great points illuminated at this event but 3 concepts stood out to me; Education, Visibility, and Respect.

The first thing needed is relevant education on many levels, especially on religion and history.  Much of the irrelevant education received about the LGBTQ community is based upon religious beliefs steeped in marginalization and hatred.  As Rev. Yvette Flunder, pastor of City of Refuge UCC in Oakland stated, “You need to free yourself of the notion that you have to suffer to receive something from God.  All of the Bible is NOT God.”  This has long been my belief.  I challenge people to educate themselves on Bible history and religion and see if they still believe that the Bible is the unadulterated Word of God. The fact that there are multiple versions and translations proves it is quite adulterated.  Educating ourselves on beliefs before adopting them blindly would eradicate much of the ignorant hatred spewed in the name of religion.  Something as simple as being aware of the correct terminology to use in conversation is showing a willingness to broaden our minds to the changing world.

LGBTQ invisibility in the church is a challenge to connecting the faith community.  We must make our stories visible, demand our rights and acknowledge our accomplishments in the church community.  If it were not for Gay folks, there would absolutely be no Gospel music.  Truth.  If we continue to allow churches to use us up for our creativity without crediting us as being valuable members, nothing will ever change.

We need to be courageous, out and proud.  My Mother used to say, “Tell the truth and shame the devil.”  If you are already transparent and affirming about yourself, there is nothing anyone can say to try and shame you into silence about being LGBTQ.  Also, if you consider yourself an “ally”, speak up and speak out loudly against injustice.

Finally, the end goal is for us all to receive love and respect from society.  It was noted that Millenials start the discussion not at acceptance, but at respect.  Acceptance of LGBTQ people is simply saying I tolerate you, but respect is a whole other level of accepting their humanity without judging.  Let’s stop asking for permission because the way has already been paved by earlier generations of activists.  We simply need to forge ahead demanding respect, our rights and equality whether in the church or in the workplace or in public restrooms.  So in the spirit of Gay Pride, please enjoy celebrating for the rest of this month and continue to demand your Seat at the Table.  Bless Up!

 

 

 

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