Right Over Left: A Poem

Hands laying
One on top of the other
Right over left
Fingernails digging into her wrist

That all too familiar feeling
The dread, the sorrow, the anger
Swallowing tears, pinching her wrist
Holding it all together like she always does

The painted smile
The makeup, straightened hair, and stylish outfit
A costume of poise

One breath in, one breath out
Fingernails clawing at her wrist
Praying for numbness
Oh God, when did she start praying for numbness

Commanding the tears not to fall
Digging deeper and deeper into her skin
Pleading silently for the subject to change
Because this girl who seemingly can handle it all
May just crumble if she has to feel those tears run down her cheeks once again

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Kevin Hart and the Oscars Conundrum

If you’ve spent any amount of time on social media in the past month, you’ve probably heard about the Kevin-Hart-Oscars-Situation. Essentially, after it was announced that Kevin Hart would be hosting the 2019 Oscars, some journalists noticed he deleted homophobic tweets he made back in 2009-2010. Tweets were not the only documentation of Hart’s homophobic past, he also included homophobic “jokes” about not wanting his son to be gay in one of his stand-up sets.

When all of this began to blow up in his face, the Oscars asked Hart to apologize, and if he didn’t they were going to replace him as host. Kevin Hart then refused to apologize, stating he already had and would not do it again, and then stepped down from hosting the Oscars. Before I unpack this whole mess, let me just say that I believe people can change. I want to see people change, and I think even those with the hardest of hearts can be different if they chose to be. I also think we should forgive people, if and when they make a sincere apology and show changed behavior. I do not believe this is the case with Kevin Hart.

Many journalists have looked for this elusive apology Hart claims to have made, but it has yet to be found. The fact that he was not willing to simply apologize and move on in the first place is very telling to me. The incredibly dismissive and defensive nature of Kevin Harts interviews since the backlash shows me, that not only is his half-assed apology, that only came after stepping down from the Oscars and continuing to receive backlash afterwards, is insincere but Hart also does not see the serious repercussions that the LGBTQIA+ community faces when people like him promote homophobia.

Ellen DeGenerous had Kevin Hart on her show for him to tell his story. On the show he did technically apologize, but not without excuses and continuing to bring up that he had already apologized. She then forgave him and said she believed he should still host the Oscars. Ellen does not speak for the whole community, she doesn’t even speak on behalf of all white lesbians, because I definitely disagree with her. On her show, he said he just wanted it all to go away and to stop being talked about. That only continues to show his lack of remorse. He also painted himself as victim, with a sob story to follow, feeling very much like he thinks the blow back from the LGBTQA+ community took the Oscars from him. When you are the perpetrator you don’t get to decide when the conversation is over.

CNN reporter Don Lemon did an amazing segment on this situation that I think everyone should watch, if you haven’t already. In a follow up, Lemon talks about how Kevin Hart has behaved in other “apology” interviews he has done. To be honest it blows my mind that Hart can’t give a genuine apology. Every single apology is followed with, “…but I didn’t say these things to ACTUAL gay people,” “… but the times were different,” “… but I already apologized,” “… anyone who refuses to accept my apology is a hater and that’s their problem.” He also said that “It’s not his life dream to be an LGBTQA+ ally” in response to Don Lemon suggesting he uses his platform to help end homophobia in the black community. Guess what Kevin? It’s not my life dream to constantly be bombarded with homophobia but here we are.

So, what’s the answer to this situation? I don’t need Kevin Hart to apologize again nor to I need him to be a champion for LGBTQA+ rights. We clearly aren’t going to get a better apology, and I can accept that. I hope we can see his apology through changed behavior instead. I also hope this sets a precedent to show that homophobia is not okay, and our community will hold you accountable for it. Honestly, at the end of the day this could have been a simple situation. One genuine apology would have changed everything. Homophobia comes in all different shades, every homophobic person is not holding a “I hate fags” sign, sometimes it comes out in jokes and comments. While this whole situation may seem silly to some, the reality of living as a minority teaches you even the most palatable bigotry and hate is deadly.

 

Fixer: A Poem

I am a fixer

Lay down your pieces

And I will mend you back together

 

I will sew your scraps

with only the faintest seams visible

and you will leave almost as good as new

 

please don’t mind my own patchwork

with its loose threads and sloppy stitching

it’s no representative of what I can do for you

 

Let me restore your soul

Taking your doubts and heartache

Leaving rehabilitation and healing in their places

 

Distract me with your sorrows

So that I may not think about mine

That I have yet to be able to fix

As I am no fixer of my own

Books I Read in 2018

In 2018, I read a total of 30 books! I set a goal to read 24 books this year, so I’m very pleased I was able to not only meet that goal- but surpass it. In 2017 I read 18 books, which means I read 12 more books this year than I did last year.

Here are all of the books I read in 2018:

  1. How to Make a Wish by: Ashley Herring Blake 1/2/18
  2. Keeping You a Secret by: Julie Anne Peters 1/2/18
  3. Ramona Blue by: Julie Murphy 1/5/18
  4. Seven Ways We Lie by: Riley Redgate 1/7/18
  5. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by: Becky Albertalli 1/9/18
  6. Kissing Kate By: Lauren Myracle 1/11/18
  7. Milk and Honey By: Rupi Kaur 1/11/18
  8. The Lies About Truth By: Courtney Stevens 2/20/18
  9. You Know Me Well By: Nina LaCour & David Levithan 4/6/18
  10. The Scorpion Rules By: Erin Bow 4/15/18
  11. Queens of Geek By: Jen Wilde 4/20/18
  12. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian By: Sherman Alexie 4/24/18
  13. Fan Art By: Sarah Tregay 4/25/18
  14. Hate List By: Jennifer Brown 4/26/18
  15. We Are Okay By: Nina LaCour 4/29/18
  16. Dumplin’ By: Julie Murphy 5/1/18
  17. Leah on the Offbeat By: Becky Albertalli 5/2/18
  18. The Miseducation of Cameron Post By: Emily M. Danforth 5/6/18
  19. Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel By: Sara Farizan 5/7/18
  20. Side Effects May Vary By: Julie Murphy 5/8/18
  21. Hold Still By: Nina LaCour 5/15/18
  22. The Gilda Stories By: Jewelle Gomez 5/18/18
  23. Unbecoming By: Jenny Downham 5/20/18
  24. The Inside of Out By: Jenn Marie Thorne 5/24/18
  25. The Sun is Also a Star By: Nicola Yoon 5/30/18
  26. Little & Lion By: Brandy Colbert 6/4/18
  27. Ash By: Malinda Lo 6/8/18
  28. If I was your girl By: Meredith Russo 12/15/18
  29. Of Fire and Stars By: Audrey Coulthurst 12/30/18
  30. Every Heart a Doorway By: Seanan McGuire 12/31/18

My DNF’s:

  1. My Best Friend Maybe By: Caela Carter
  2. Afterworlds By: Scott Westerfeild

For the first half of this year my reading was pretty good. Then I took a summer class and read less, after that I moved to university and my reading became abysmal. For some reason I have a really hard time reading for fun when I’m in school because I always think that I should be reading my textbooks or notes or research papers instead, and that reading for fun is not the best use of my time. I’m hoping to be able to let myself read more during school this coming year. My goal for 2019 is to read 50 books!

Some of my favorite books I read this year were We are Okay, How to Make a Wish, and Little & Lion. I tend to forget what happened in books unless I really love them, but overall I remember enjoying the majority of the books I read this year. Most of these books have some sort of LGBTQIA+ representation in them, and I really want to continue to read more LGBTQIA+ books in 2019. For Christmas I asked for quite a few books, so here are the books I’m looking forward to reading in 2019:

IMG_4404
A Stack of Books (top to bottom): I’m Judging you By: Luvvie Ajayi, Girl made of Stars By: Ashley Herring Blake, Radio Silence By: Alice Oseman, What If It’s Us By: Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera, The Hate U Give By: Angie Thomas, Becoming By: Michelle Obama

What were some of your favorite books you read in 2018? What are you looking forward to reading in the new year? As always I’d love suggestions for books you think I should read, as I have yet to be steered wrong by any of ya’ll!

I hope everyone has a Happy New Year, and your 2019 is full of good books 🙂