Save The Prayers: What The LGBTQIA+ Community Needs From You

“I’ll be praying for you” is so broadly used that folks don’t even really do it, most at least. As a former Christian, I often did generally pray. I asked for God to look over my family, my friends and even for folks who probably will never have an encounter with me. But I often witnessed this as empty sympathy and pseudo humanism from people in my church. The same folks that spread anti queer, transphobic, classist bullshit all of a sudden became the most empathetic person when catastrophes hit these communities.

 

Overtime, I asked these folks to not pray for me but for themselves. I’m not accepting any prayers from anyone that call themselves a follower of any religion that speaks of loving on the next human but uses the same principles to shame folks who are “the nastiest type of sinners.” Before you pray for anyone, think and reflect about how you can be better person to people before they experience events that are tragic. Think about how you “sending love and healing” is actually belittling them. In a time of need, pity doesn’t do much.

 

One of my chosen family members Takeallah once said: “I’ll pray for you” means “You’re  going to hell but I have sympathy for you”. Ain’t that some shit? The same folks who condemn my “lifestyle” pray for me when I lose a Trans chosen family members to suicide, when Trans women of Color are massacred or even missing because the foster care system don’t care about LGBTQIA+ youth. Wasn’t we faggots last week? Weren’t you the same person mocking someone with They/Them pronouns? Didn’t you try to say that Trans women are men in a cis sexist rant to defend your blatant hate rhetoric. Wasn’t you just praying my gay away last night at supper?

 

The next time you want to pray for members of a marginalized, oppressed group, also participate in asking these folks what do they need. How about you tell the ignorant folks in your congregation to stop making fun of that one gay kid who loves God just as much as you? Y’all want folks like me to be dance choreographers and music directors for the church but pick on the child that wears his bow ties and switches his hips when they come into the sanctuary. Have more QT folks active in temple and educate folks on how to love them. Let Bi Muslim women be free enough to speak their truth. Hold workshops in your worship space about how you can truly be the best neighbor to someone that doesn’t look like you. Attend Pride and other events to show you want to build community. Make clothing drives for poor and/or homeless Trans folks. Counter protest anyone religious group that targets us. Stop leaders in your religious/spiritual groups that can possibly feed into the extremists fantasies about hurting marginalized people. That kind of power and platform comes with so much responsibility. It doesn’t take extremists much to commit acts of terrorism. We can’t depend on prayers alone. Use your principles to combat hate.

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Formation: Decoded By A Black Femme.

Where were you when Micheal Jackson dropped the video for “They Don’t Really Care About Us?” It became one of the anthems for protests and Black resistance. I have sung that song for rallies like SAYHERNAME and BLACKLIVESMATTER. Or when Whitney came and blessed us with “Greatest Love of All?”. I would hear her legendary vocals every morning for early morning assembly in grade school. Not only did it remind Black folks self love, it taught Black youth like me I was living excellence. I can’t wait for my babies to ask me where I was when Formation dropped. I can’t wait to break it down for them. She dropped it during Black History Month? AND PERFORMED IT AT THE SUPER BOWL?! Chiiiiiiiiiiiiile.

                         

  “Y’ALL HATERS CORNY WITH THAT ILLUMINATI MESS.”

My heart started to beat fast when this came outta the Queen’s mouth. She was calling me out and I felt like a scolded child. I deserve it. Forgive me! For I have once been one of these people. There was a period in my life that I was once one of the haters. Thinking that someone such as Beyonce having so much power was acquired through doing “taboo” things. Why is it we always hear about celebrities who come from marginalized, oppressed groups (People of Color, Women, Trans People, Gay/Queer folks, etc.) having to do more shady things to acquire success? The older I got, the more I realized it is misgynoir and anti Blackness to think a Black woman can’t have all these broken records and surpass any other artists of our time. Or artists before her. AND EVEN ARTISTS AFTER HER. I decided that Black femme solidarity is better than having ashy hotep standards of patriarchy. Isn’t life better when you uplift people instead of dragging them?

 

I LIKE MY BABY HAIR WITH BABY HAIR AND AFROS/ I LIKE MY NEGRO NOSE JACKSON 5 NOSTRILS/ EARNED ALL THIS MONEY BUT THEY NEVER TOOK THE COUNTRY OUT ME

My baby in the flesh, Miss Blue Ivy, graced us with her presence. She was the best part in the video for me. I never liked how folks, including our own people, shamed Blue for having hair like us. What y’all expected? Blonde hair with 2C strands coming out that girl’s head? Y’all was real pissed to see that girl ain’t fitting the “mulatto” fetish that everyone goes in a frenzy over. To see Blue Ivy with her 4C mane made me look at my own hair and feel pride. A little girl made me feel as if my hair was a crown. To see her in between two dark skin cuties made me feel like it was the ultimate BLACKGIRLMAGIC moment. Did you see the melanin on them girls? I need to find out who they are. Beyonce saying she loves Jay Z’s nose showed that she don’t care if you don’t think her man is cute, she do. Jackson 5 nose and all. We always make fun of his nose and how he looks. Is that a sign of anti Blackness programmed in us? Hmm. Even though Bey is larger than life, you could never take her roots out of her. She knows where her Blackness stems from. While she eating smoked ham and collard greens, slow cooked pigs feet and buttery cornbread.. She still making money. And let’s not forget “I GOT HOT SAUCE IN MY BAG, SWAG.” I have so many Black elders in my family that carry extra heat.

 

MESSY MYA AND BIG FREEDIA FEATURED ON THE SONG GAVE ME MY FUCKING LIFE

As a queer trans person, I love to see us included in anything. Queer/Trans folks have always been the main fan base for pop icons such as Beyonce and even responsible for dances, clothing, makeup, hair and ideas that are part of her image. We have always been the people to be the biggest supporters and helpers. Think about it: What would happen if artists didn’t have a Queer/Trans following? Think of all the contributions we made to pop culture. If we weren’t a strong part of pop culture, would pop exist? We are the trendsetters, we deserve every drop of recognition. Big Freedia had to remind you Beyonce is that bitch and she love her some Southern cuisine. Messy Mya gave me ballroom scene tease. I felt like she would be the speaker at a function for the Walking Face and Sex Siren category. “Ooooooh, oh yes, I like that.”

 

CAUSE I SLAY/I SLAY/ALL DAY I SLAY/WE GON’ SLAY/WE SLAY/OK LADIES NOW LET’S GET IN FORMATION/PROVE TO ME YOU GOT SOME COORDINATION/SLAY TRICK OR YOU GET ELIMINATED

These verses are signs of femme solidarity. Beyonce is uplifting herself while uplifting us. Not only is she awesome but so are we. Black femmes do it best. She wants us to reach our full potential and grind the way she does. Whether you are a recording artist or a great school teacher, YOU SLAY! She knows we are so resilient and determined. She knows she has to always be on top of her game in order to stay in her positions. Beyonce is always up for showing us why she is always gonna dominate and will always be persistent. If you aren’t, you will be ripped of your title and no one will care about you. A sad truth in the music industry but she got this. THE QUEEN WILL REIGN FOREVER.

 

 WHEN HE FUCK ME GOOD, I TAKE HIS ASS TO RED LOBSTER/IF HE HIT IT RIGHT, I MIGHT TAKE HIM ON A RIDE ON MY CHOPPER/DROP HIM OFF AT THE MALL, LET HIM BUY SOME J’S, LET HIM SHOP UP

This had me grinning the most. She is married to a rapper, she knows how patriarchy is always rearing it’s ugly head with rappers. For years she has heard the way women are objectified, treated like pets and looked at as trophies in the rap game. You ain’t think she side eye Jay Z once or twice over a lyric about herself in a rap song? And yeah, that is one of the biggest elements of hip hop but for her to say these lyrics is her turning the tables around a bit. It’s so empowering for men to know how it feels to be on the “other side” for once. It could also mean that she is “Big Mama”. I’ll give you some new toys if you do what mama likes. Now show me how much you deserve it. Maybe that’s a dynamic in their relationship that we don’t know about. Whether it’s just a song verse or real life, we all wanna be a “Big Mama” at some point in our lives.