Why 25 Statements?

On September 21, 2016, International Peace Day, I woke up to this stark reminder by my Bay Area neighbor:
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Then I shared this on IG a couple hours later after some initial processing:

Today, my heart feels broken. torn. shattered. AGAIN. At the intersection of

At the intersection of light + dark. White + black. Good + evil. Content + angry. Caught in the cross-hair…cross-fire.

I can NO longer hide in the darkness.It’s time to shine a light on my TRUTH. I am a Black queer mamapreneur + wife. Get ready to hear me roaR 🐯

Yep, after a night of “sleep” to let it all marinate and tweak a bit. Here’s my Lovelution Mama truth-telling roar of Intentional Justice :: small, deliberate action each day to Love Yourself like a Mother!

Then mix in Chapter 7 of Love Warrior. I was inspired to create my own list 25 Facts, as I too love lists. Interestingly, this magical thing happen. The facts are some things even my closest friends don’t know. The point is.

 

The number has risen. We all knew it would.
Terence Crutcher and Keith Smith.
Two more names added to the growing list of Black bodies shot
by those who are suppose to protect ALL of us. Turned into the latest hashtags.
While the traditional media can sweep it under the rug, social media is in an uproar.
Tulsa and Charottle. The Midwest and South.
Protest have and will continue to bring visibility for the NEED for change.
In both regions, I have resided with KC as my roots.
I am here to dismantle the systems of oppression.
One small, deliberate step at a time.
I am at the intersection of many worlds. It’s time I speak my Truth!

My 25 Truth-telling Statements

A step in walking the path of Intentional Justice™speak-your-truth-even-if-your-voice-shakes-by-fionabus
What follows are 25 personal facts that only I could tell YOU that needs to exit my body to cleanse + reboot my body…my soul. It’s time I honor my truths and love myself like a Mother! I have butterflies thinking about you reading what follows, so much love in advance for the compassion + empathy ❤️ two things I feel I was never taught + continue to work on daily with self-love + intention.)
Without further ado…
  1. I am an unapologetically Black woman + mama. Yes, I AM ANGRY!!! YOU should be too!!
  2. I am committed to living authentically by speaking truth to power with love + intention. In other words, it is not my job nor will I attempt to make you feel guilt or shame for my reality. My intent is that it inspires you to know more and want to take your own personal action.
  3. I am queer. I am here. I’m not going anyway. Seriously though, I stand proud in showing up as my authentic self each day regardless of how it makes people feel.
  4. I am tired of senseless conversation. I don’t have time to shoot the shit. Of course, I care how you are doing, so tell me how you’re REALLY feeling–JOY, HAPPY, LOVE, etc. The point is that I am ready and willing to have truth-telling conversations that matter. Matter to our mind, body, and soul. Matter to our identity and lived experienced.
  5. I am the first born to a white mom + black dad. Being the child of interracial parents, I have experienced countless micro-aggressions.
  6. I am now proud of my Black identity + body. Growing up, however, I desired to identify as bi-racial. On my first standardized test in 1st grade, I was asked to choose. I already knew the box I was suppose to check. With some internal resistance, I ultimately checked Black/African-American. That day after school was the first time I remember talking to my mom about race.
  7. I am a childhood survivor of domestic violence. While I figured out how to normalize and cope with this experience for the first 18 years of my life. I have spent the last 16 years healing.
  8. I remember every detail of the first time my father hit my mom in public. I was four or maybe five. We were at Sesame Street LIVE!
  9. School has always been my sanctuary. It was the place I could feel safe and thrive. I remember something special about each of my teachers from grades K-5 and almost everyone after. I believe this foundation of quality educators who care explains why I have never left education.
  10. I kissed my first girl at 6. I figured it was just a thing you did with your girlfriends. While my friends considered it “practiced,” I longed for it to happen on repeat.
  11. Learning about the death of Nicole Brown Simpson triggered the thought in my mind that if a Black man of O.J.’s notary and privilege could kill his wife, then what was stopping my father from taking it too far one time and killing my mom. No child should ever to be able to make such a connection.
  12. I was teased for my hair being different. It makes sense, I was the only Black girl in my grade. This resulted in a couple boys calling me monkey. Kids are cruel. The irony now, I call my lil girl “monkey” sometimes as a nickname and JJ’s hair is often the first thing strangers comment on.
  13. On the last day of 8th grade, I had my first experience of “attempting” to cover-up physical wounds inflicted by my father the night before. I say “attempting” because my act of resistance was wearing a new tank top I was convinced I still needed to wear and visibly showed the wound, and then lying to all who asked, “What happened?”
  14. At 16, I pleaded to my mom that if she didn’t leave my dad that I would runaway with my then 6 year old sister. Where I thought the two of us would go didn’t matter. I needed out of the madness.
  15. As a senior in high school, I made the difficult choice to ask my father to choose: the destructive behavior or I? I was not chosen.
  16. I was the first in my family to graduate from a Top 25 four-year university away from our home states–Kansas and Missouri. This choice was intentional. I needed a fresh start.
  17. I came out as gay at 19. It was the summer after my freshman year of college. It was not a phase.
  18. My college was paid for using a combination of partial academic scholarship, need-based loans, and student loans of less than 15k. Then in graduate school I took the loan bait, and my debt rosed to 45k. I currently owe over $46k in “good” debt.
  19. In 2007, I was diagnosed with depression by my physician. Shortly after, I found my first therapist that recognizes the healing work that must be done doesn’t need to begin with my sexual identity. I had done this work of exploration and acceptance. Instead I needed to begin the journey of healing from the trauma.
  20. With support from my therapist, I seek out further treatment, which leads to a mild bi-polar diagnosis and includes acupuncture. This will be the key to un-numbing my mind + body from a six year long medicated fog.
  21. I “5150’d” myself because I knew I was danger to myself and others in an attempt to break from the fog without the proper support. I spent 14 hours in a county psych ward until I could be transferred to a facility that took my insurance. Let’s just say there was a noticeable difference in care and I will be forever grateful for this low.
  22. I have been married twice. The first, in 2011, when marriage was not legal for same-sex couples federally or in CA. The second, exactly 2 years later after the historic Sumpreme Court decision, when my wife and I were able to get legally married on July 3, 2013. Both times were in Oakland, CA.
  23. I gave birth to our daughter in our living room in Berkeley, CA almost 64 hours after my water broke in the same location. Stephanie, my wife caught JJ. Within minutes, we were all in bed skin-to-skin. This is where Jaylin latched for the first time. This synergy has led to nearly two years of breastfeeding and bedsharing.
  24. Both my mom and wife are white. That’s about where the similarities end. My wife is a white gender non-conforming mommy passionately committed physical educator. We meet 13 years ago next month.
  25. I have no Black men in my immediate community. In other words, I can count on both hands the number of Black men who are in my larger network. This stark reality scares me. This needs to change.

I am ready to use these truths to take small, deliberate action each day! I stand TALL. I stand Proud. I am Mama J.

#BlackLivesMatter #BlackGirlMagic #LovelutionMama #IntentionalJustice

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Can YOU relate?
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