Bad Boys, Bad Boys

There used to be a time I wanted a thug. Yes, that Timbaland wearin’, jersey-sportin’, jean-saggin’, swagger-havin’ stud that would just scoop me up and give it to me rough and sweet. (I drew the line at gold teeth. Yuck!) The perfect example: Felicia “Snoop” Pearson from The Wire. I used to have a small crush her – until I heard her talk. It was all over.

I’ve dated a couple of these women, ones who grew up rough around the edges but could hold a sistah down.

One such stud, “Redd,” was my first thug-stud. Really, she was my first everything: first lover, first real adult relationship. I shouldn’t say Redd was a bad boy, just that her growing up was far from a white-picket fence existence, and it hardened her attitude to the world. Redd was always in survival-mode from being ejected from her home as a teen for being gay, so she had that street-smart swagger that made her seem dangerous almost. When one of my friends first told me about her (as a set-up), I asked what Redd looked like.

Her words I would never forget: “Well, she looks like the kind of woman no one would mess with.”

And she did. With her muscled arms and stocky body, Redd gave off that “don’t fuck with me” vibe. That was until you got to know her, because then she would do anything for you. Especially me. With me, she could let her guard down and open up about the things she had been through. Redd was my my protector, I felt safe. Where I was more book smart, Redd was head smart, and it made for a great combination – at least until it ended. (That’s another story for another day).

The second and last bad boy was a stud I’d label “Nate Dogg.” Nate was a woman I met online, when I was going through a dating dry spell. Exchanging short emails, we got a good vibe going on the phone, talking about life and our past relationships. Although we hit it off, we were opposites in our backgrounds. Nate was a smoker, with hardly much education, and later I discovered, a convicted felon. A dark-skinned homegirl with blonde (yes, blonde) close-cropped hair, she wasn’t what I thought once we met, appearance-wise. But nonetheless we hung out frequently, not doing too much other than chillin’ at her apartment. She worked from paycheck to paycheck and her resources were tight since she had recently relocated to my town.

While there were a few spaghetti dinners here, and a few nightcaps there, we never really defined what we were doing. We weren’t exclusive, as I could tell by the inconspicuous phone calls she got. And, truth be told, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted a relationship with her. The felon thing freaked me out at first (although once she explained, it didn’t seemso bad; a white-collar crime). But the way she looked in her wifebeater and low-riding jeans with just a peek at what was underneath her boxers had me all flustered.

It was no-strings fun. Then after a while, it kind of fizzled out. The calls and text messages slowed down. She had told me she was planning to move again, and I just figured she followed through on her move. It was confirmed when she texted me one day.

“Deepdiva, this Nate. I’ moving to Georgia today. Ive transferred my job.”

We lost touch after this point. Then a month or so later, Nate called me, and explained the real reason she left. Apparently, Nate had been cultivating a relationship with another woman while seeing me. She moved in with this new chick and her houseful of kids. However, Nate’s bad boy persona had met her match when things went horribly wrong after a month – the girl pulled out a butcher knife on Nate during an argument, chasing and threatening to kill her. She was then forced to relocate again (her third city in six months), and now that that drama was out of her life, she was blowing up my phone. Nate wanted me to visit her. I declined.

By then, I had gotten those bad boys out of my system, and was looking forward to a new relationship with my soft-stud Lebron. I didn’t have time to go backward. I haven’t looked back since.

Yep! Wanda's Gay!

Not that it comes as any surprise to me, but Wanda Sykes has recently come out. She says because of the recent passing of Proposition 8, she had to speak out by proclaiming herself as a lesbian.

“Now, I gotta get in their face,” she said. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

She was at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, where she told the crowd, “You know, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

I am proud of Wanda. My gaydar was way high on this one, coupled with the fact you never saw her in dating men. I’m also glad that she opened herself up to her fans. Maybe that will inspire other black gay celebrities to come out. Hmm…Queen Latifah, anyone.

Saturday Morning Ramblings from Borders

This morning, I’m doing my weekend routine of sitting in my favorite bookstore, Borders, reading magazines, drinking iced coffee and enjoying the beauty of being around readers like me who just enjoy a good book. Call me a nerd, but it’s comforting. I love ambiance of a bookstore and reading has been a passion of mine since I was an 8-year-old spending her entire allowance on paperbacks at $2 (yeah, remember when they were that cheap?). I remember reading such classics as The Baby-Sitters Club, Just as Long as We’re Together (Judy Blume is the bomb!), and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. Now, the paperbacks are $15 and even more for hardbacks. Books aren’t cheap but totally worth the enjoyment they give me.

People-watching is one of the things I also enjoy. It’s interesting to see the different walks of life, from students armed with laptops and iPods to retirees lounging reading the newspaper without a care in the world. It’s even better when I spot a girl like me, a rare occasion. Spotting them with my gaydar, it’s so sexy to see an intelligent sistah getting her studying on. A few years back, there was a girl I noticed reading Curve and chatting it up on her Yahoo messenger. Single at the time, I found her to be attractive and even more so that she seemed to be playing on my team. But alas, I never approached her. I can be shy when it comes to those situations, and usually, I need an encouraging sign to approach a woman in public. You never know about those kinds of encounters.

But I digress. So today, I have picked out the following magazines to read: Essence (with Will & Jada Smith on the cover), Sister 2 Sister (simply to get my black gossip on), US Weekly (to get my mainstream gossip-on), and The Advocate (to read for gay issues). Every one offers something different, and knowledge is definitely power. I begin with The Advocate, which has a column about a woman’s struggle with money living in the high-ass city of San Francisco, an article about the recent approval of gay marriage in Connecticut (yeah! :-)), and an interview with E. Patrick Johnson, who wrote the book Sweet Tea about gay men living in the South. I need to pick that one up. I love reading about our stories, from self-acceptance to coming out to being in love. I guess that’s why I’ve been absolutely drawn to the women on my blogroll. We all have being a lesbian in common, but each have our own stories and journeys that make us different. I love it, and can’t get enough.

The gossip mags, Sister 2 Sister and Us Weekly, offer the same ole thing, but Essence is one of my favorites. The article about Will and Jada is just beautiful, wherein they interview each other about love, marriage and children. The way they interact is just real and refreshing. Listen to this quote from Will to Jada:

“Well, the truth about life is that we’re all alone. But when somebody loves you, right, that experience is shared. Love is the only real connective tissue that allows you to not live and die by yourself. It gives you purpose beyond you. You don’t necessarily have to get married have that, but I’ve always wanted to be married. I knew you were that person for me because you’re loyal, to a fault…”

That’s deep. And considering the fallout from the defeat of gay marriage in California and Florida, it seems to be right on time, and leads me to think of something I read recently about gay marriage. Elton John, that flamboyantly gay icon, said he thinks gays had it wrong when it came to California’s Proposition 8. He believes it was a mistake to go strictly for gay marriage, suggesting that maybe they should have asked for civil unions instead – a move that would have been easier for the mainstream to swallow. I do understand where he’s coming from, considering England approved civil partnerships four years ago and gays have the same rights and benefits as married couples. Maybe it would have been easier for straights to accept us having civil unions, but who says they should be the only one to have the privilege of marriage. They aren’t respecting the institution of marriage any better, so why can’t I have the right to marry my lover?

Actually, California surprised me by opposing gay marriage. Considering how metropolitan the urban areas are, like Los Angeles and San Francisco are, I didn’t see that one coming. Florida, yeah. We’re so conservative as a whole that it was just expected to say Yes to Amendment 2. Considering the protest I saw in front of the Capitol building, and how muddled the language was on the issue, I didn’t have much hope for it to pass. The protests this weekend should show the public just how disappointed we are, and we’re not going away.

Also on my Borders reading pile is Hiding in Hip-Hop by Terrance Dean. It’s an interesting look at the gay world of entertainment from the eyes of an insider. He gives you the skinny on how gay men deal with being on the down-low to achieve further success in Hollywood. There isn’t much name dropping, unless you count pseudonyms he gives actors, singers and rappers to shield their identities. Some of them I’ve been able to figure out, like Ne-Yo (surprise, surprise), but others are like a riddle. I’m excited trying to figure it out. Terrance portrays his life in an honest fashion, from growing feeling abandoned to trying to make heads or tails of his sexuality. You should check it out.

Well, back to my reading. Essence awaits…

Beyonce Bootylicious?

I must preface this post by saying I like Beyonce. I’m very impressed with her, uhh, assets. She is a beautiful woman and can sing her ass off (no pun here).

But let me tell you something. As stimulating as it is to she her shake her, uhh, assets, I’m tired of seeing her shake ’em in a video. Single Ladies, her newest, is her in a bathing suit, popping and dropping and shaking what Tina Knowles gave her. I love the song; it’s catchy and gives trifling men fair warning about taking women for granted. While it does a lesbian’s heart good to see this, it’s tiresome that she can’t make a video without her trademark ass-twirling.

Have you seen this? What do you think?

The Same Things You Do in the Beginning…

marriedDomesticity has become us. Us meaning me and my lover of two years, Lebron. After a year of living together, the mystery is gone. Perhaps this has happened to you; maybe the sweet nothings have taken a back seat to the day-to-day duties of running your household.

It’s not that you don’t love each other. Lebron and I still have fun as a couple, still laugh at the silliest things, still love being around each other. Our favorite pastime is laying in bed together, talking about our dreams and our childhoods, in that easy way we always had since first becoming friends almost six years ago. Or at dinnertime, when we catch up on our day and watch our favorite shows (which if it’s Saturday usually means college football).

But here’s the thing: We’re comfortable. I know that can seem like the kiss of death, one or two steps away from the dreaded lesbian bed death (thank God we’re not at that stage). That sounds bad, I know. Without children, it’s just the two of us, and the same things we did in the beginning of our blissful honeymoon stage, we ain’t doing now.

For instance:

  • In the beginning…I wore sexy matching underwear, something cute and involving a thong or boy shorts, showing off all my curves like my baby likes.
  • Now…I’m typically decked out in a basic black bra (for work) and Hanes panties (at least it’s hi-cut), with the matching sets and teddies saved for special occasions.
  • In the beginning…I got bi-weekly pedicures and was never seen too often without French-tipped nails.
  • Now…I’m lucky if I go once a month. Hey, it gets expensive.
  • In the beginning…we called each other five times a day, speaking all lovey dovey and saying we couldn’t wait to see each other.
  • Now…one phone call in the afternoon, with Lebron whispering such sexy phrases as, “What’s for dinner?” and “We need some toilet tissue.”

Don’t get me wrong, I love our life. It’s times when Lebron looks so sexy cooking dinner, I have to contain myself. And we still give each other knowing looks that speak more volumes that the love notes she used to email me. I guess after a while, all couples hit the old married stage, the one where you love each other, couldn’t imagine life without one another, but get used to each other’s daily habits.

Like Lebron’s routine of leaving the door open after a No. 2 session. Or my habit of leaving my clothes lying around the house. Or hers of eating and leaving crumbs everywhere (even on our beige-colored couch.) Or mine of leaving the toilet roll empty after using the last of the tissue paper.

It’s just one of those things that come over time. As much as I complain, it’s good between us. I feel a coziness I haven’t felt with anyone as I do her. I can let my guard down, and she can, too. That’s not to say we don’t have our moments. It’s times I want to choke a bitch from the annoying things she does, but when it’s good, it’s beautiful.

Except for that damn No. 2. Now that’s some damn shit.

Yes, We Did: Things Overheard Since Election Day

“After 7 o’clock, don’t call me. I don’t want to talk to nobody. I’m watching the election.”
-My father, who didn’t want to be bothered with any foolishness while watching the poll results. He was joking (I think)

My mother: “Oh, he won?”
My father: “Yeah, he won. It’s over.”
-My parents, talking to both of them on the phone right after the returns showed Obama had won the election and John McCain had already conceded. Apparently, my mother fell asleep before Obama’s victory had been announced on the news.

“A little while ago, I had the honor of calling Senator Barack Obama to congratulate him on being elected the next president of the country that we both love. In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving.”
-Senator John McCain in his concession speech

“I guess the election makes people hungry.”
-An employee said to a long line of people in the cafeteria at work. She got no response.

“Why y’all so quiet? I’m the one who should be upset.”
-A Caucasian co-worker who was a big McCain supporter. As the black folks in my office began to congregate first thing, we turned silent when he passed, as a sign of respect. This was his response.

“Come January, I’m gonna electric slide down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
-A Black co-worker who of course voted for Obama

“I’m so happy for you all. Y’all needed this. This is something y’all been needing for a long time.”
-A Caucasian employee to a black employee, overheard in the hallway after having lunch with three of my co-workers. We were about to get rowdy, until we found out she was talking about a new supervisor who had just been hired.

“I’m happy. I believe marriage should be between a man and woman, not a man and a man. It’s not right.”
-My co-worker, who was happy Amendment 2 was voted in, which upholds the law that marriage should be defined as only between man and woman in Florida. She believes in gays having domestic partnerships but not have the right to get married.

“I can’t believe we lost.”
-One Caucasian worker to the next, overheard in the parking lot.

 “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
-President-elect Barack Obama during his acceptance speech.

Sam Cooke – “A Change is Gonna Come”