Learning to be human. Learning to love bigger.

Because nagging young folks to vote isn’t good enough

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Photo by Afif Kusuma on Unsplash

I finally feel like a half-way decent American citizen. After 12 years of voting eligibility, 4 presidential election cycles, and 1 of which was the historic election of the first Black president, I finally gave a genuine F about voting.

It’s all thanks to the pandemic. Well, more specifically, it’s all thanks to the mail-in-vote option that allowed me to sit in front of my laptop, take all the time I needed to google every candidate and contest, and become grossly invested in some of the issues. Now, I can say…I get the hype over this voting thing!

“Vote? Eh.”

Why is my political journey from apathy to actualization relevant? Because for a country that heralds itself as a beacon of democracy, we’ve been historically represented by only around 55.7% of the voting population. Elections for state officials and midterm elections have even more abysmal turnouts. Then, if we hone in on the statistics, it’s been significantly clear that young people ages 18 to 29 aren’t about that voting life. …


On reclaiming the sexiness of my Black sexuality

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Anti-blackness is everywhere. Apparently, it’s even in my sex life. It showed up while watching my husband and me make love from the laptop screen. Even though our brown skin on display was a vision, like the blaring siren of an emergency broadcast announcement, a thought interrupted the show.

Black sex is unsexy.

Pause.

How does a Black woman in the middle of an intimate moment with her Black husband of seven years, with historically only one of five partners outside her race, ever come to such a conclusion? The answer isn’t hard to find. …


Sometimes maturity is revisiting a weakness and seeing its strength

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Book 2’s villain Unalaq as the Dark Avatar — Screen capture courtesy of Nickelodeon

Editor’s Note: This piece contains spoilers for ‘The Legend of Korra.’

Netflix’s re-addition of arguably the greatest show to grace television, Avatar: The Last Airbender, sparked the one silver lining of 2020: the Avatar Renaissance.

As a fan of 15 years, I’ve had the thrill of reliving the glory of the show while witnessing new fans like my 15-year-old cousin enthusiastically join the fandom. In addition to adding new fans, the Avatar Renaissance has also revived an age-old war: Avatar Aang vs. Avatar Korra.

It’s no secret that The Legend of Korra did not receive the same level of acclamation as its predecessor — a tall order for the sequel of such a well-received show. And if the Rotten Tomatoes scores alone are an indicator, no other season of the show gets as much hate as Book 2: Spirits. …


SATIRE

Do you need a ride?

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Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Urban Dictionary describes a car-ist as one who holds prejudice or discriminates “against those who are vehicle-less…” As someone with two toddlers living car-free by choice for over two years, it’s an injustice I’m all too familiar with.

Outside of Manhattan, we live in a society whose default is car ownership. Not just cars but SUVs. Always. With. The SUVs! Anyways, I’m tired of having to justify my lifestyle by making my choice about saving the planet. …


SATIRE

Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution rewritten as a listicle

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Photo by Ben Noble on Unsplash

Fun Fact: Some of the Founding Fathers were only in their early to mid-thirties when they drafted the constitution. James Madison, known as the Father of the Constitution, was only 35. Hard to believe when it seems like sleepy white men in their mid-seventies run the country.

But imagine them as present-day 35-year-olds establishing what makes someone eligible to lead an entire nation. Oh, how much hope we’d have for the 2020 Election! Because I doubt just being 35 and Amurican would be enough.

  1. A presidential candidate must have attended a retreat or group therapy within the year of their candidacy to address any childhood trauma or emotional baggage. …


Satire

Mosquitoes are the ultimate gaslighters, but no one is talking about it

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Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

I ignored the warnings.

With all the Facebook statuses, tweets, and headlines warning me of all the potential ways I could be gaslit, why didn’t I listen?

Maybe it’s because my apartment runs on electricity. Or, maybe like 2017’s toxic, 2018’s trigger and 2019’s narcissist, gaslight was just running in the race for 2020’s new intellectual synonym for assholery. What do I know? I don’t pay attention to politics.

But, if I had, maybe I wouldn’t need to write this. …


Facing a reality that has been and always will be: I am a threat to humanity — with or without a virus

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

One thing this submicroscopic, biological mystery of a virus has made abundantly clear is this: we are each a threat to humanity.

That’s the best way I can articulate what this new normal is. Overnight, like a bite from a radioactive spider, we’ve all adapted this superpower — or curse — to spark fear in one another. Every interaction with the outside world is a glaring reminder, especially in those early weeks of the pandemic.

Like when a tickle in my throat triggered a cough during my post-op physical therapy session. My sweet ol’ therapist offered me some water for “the Not-COVID thing” I said invaded my windpipe. Then, the unthinkable happened. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I call it a curse.

Disease, death or distance,
or a dad’s dirty business —
A whole generation of women left with
Motherlessness

Motherless. Left us to dream of a serene being
to be our queen.
Our knight in shining armor giving life
happily ever after.

For a cousin,
She’d call her beautiful when no one else did.
For a sister,
She’d slay the dragon father who set her innocence ablaze.
For the other,
She’d take the burden of a child she didn’t bare.

And for me?
She’d be white.

Yes, she’d be white.
Since the fairness of skin is akin to perfect. Isn’t it?
No different than the dark-skinned girl with pigtails
who pointed at the baby doll — blues eyes, skin pale —
when asked, “Which doll is the good one.” …


Get what you need without spending more than you need

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Image: Thomas Breher/Pixabay

Health care in America is a rather sensitive topic.

For one, even with the Affordable Care Act, health care is still not an established human right as defined by the World Health Organization. So as a for-profit business, if you don’t have the money — insurance, or not — you don’t get the treatment. The unfortunate consequence, as numerous stories and stats show is death. Furthermore, the obnoxiously high cost leaves an average of $10,739 spent on health care a year per person.

It’s a lot to take in. Especially if you’re a 22-year-old college grad having to select a health insurance plan for the first time, health care can be downright overwhelming. …


Once forbidden, porn showed me what love should look like — especially in a time like this

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Photo by Rawpixel on iStock

‘Porn’ and ‘love’? In the same sentence?

Ask me a year ago, and I would have conjured up a stereotypical image of some 15 to 30ish-year-old dude that regularly beat his meat senseless to [insert porn star name].

“Man, I love porn,” he’d say.

But here I am instead — your cliche product of sexually repressed Evangelical Christianity — claiming that porn has the potential of being a stepping stool to radical acceptance, inclusion, and…love?

In a time like this, when a pandemic, racial, and sociopolitical dissension leave us at a brink of an apocalypse, isn’t that the kind of love we need right now? Interestingly enough, the definition of apocalypse is to uncover or reveal something. I can’t help but think that the secret message in all of this is…love one another. And just maybe, as we learn to expand our capacity to love one another, there’ll be a release of all this tension to send the world into orgasmic bliss. …

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