by Milton Goosby
"To me, just gay is saying that these ministrations as homage are merely a bold roundabout towards assimilation. Being gay is just as American as being white and privileged. Being me, well..."
Bodies, Space and Spectrum: Flux
We are bound to a reflection of an idea of empire, at its apex, scrabbling for a foothold on stolen lands.
This is what I often see when I look at myself in the morning. Before the tedium of work, attempting to superimpose my queerest self upon each keystroke.
There stands a product of endless labor, sun drenched skin walking the line, blackness commodified, back when our names were imprinted with bible thumpin' whip crack lightning. Back when our culture was replaced with colonial Reason, whole religions, languages and identities eradicated. In Jesus’ name.
Residing in the now as a caricature of Other. Knowing that every word spoken, each action, is scrutinized through a Eurocentric lens. Until those filaments burrow deep into the heart, bringing doubt.
The mirror is always looking back, a headstone, weighing down the progress. All 43 years start to show.
In remembrance of a first kiss, then the first time slave legacy was used to punish a fugitive seeking person hood.
Anymore than now, there was no name to mark the rage. No name that felt comfortable slipping from a busted lip. Even using the droplets of blood to write a word that feels heavy, and once deciphered discover that right was still somehow wrong.
Blackness outside of acceptability, queerness that cannot be quantified. A steady diet of coffee, PTSD and internalized femme phobia, misogyny. Swallowing a second bottle of pills may seem preferable, but it won't disassemble the ways in which one doubts the self.
The image is so silent, unknown. One that is mistrusted, misaligned, stares back. Just how gay are you Sir? Often the question posed. The body, upon which this gaze has rested, is so tired. Many miles walked, beatings taken, also sun kissed, sweat stung scars.
The various stages of, oh honey, that's not a revolution, you're just gay. Or I think you're thinking too hard about it. You're just gay.
To me, just gay is saying that these ministrations as homage are merely a bold roundabout towards assimilation. Being gay is just as American as being white and privileged. Being me, well...
The stripped down version is I fit a fetish. Retired sex worker tainted by incarceration and a education gap between 11th grade and these days. Survivor of various assaults hardly pieced together from self critique. There is vacancy behind the eyes, but one can get 40 hours and a romp out of him if you offer a seat at the bar.
So I start reaching further back, to a time outside of binary gender, secular religions, worth based on productivity.
Where I am is somewhere within the rich history and rhyme of my ancestors before mass consumption commodified our being.
I say to the mirror:
I’m a dandy, a hard edged twink, queer black genderflux parent.
I love my self, my autonomy, my person hood. I'm working constantly to be better.
I'm going to live a fabulous life, and dance in the ashes once we the people remake this world.
Milton Goosby is a 43 year old ex convict, hate crime survivor, former sex worker and mentally ill fugitive. He wrote his first manuscript in prison, by hand. Efforts praised but ultimately rejected, he knew then that writing was his voice.
He's written extensively about life as a trauma survivor, anti-blackness, Otherness. Confessions of an Urban Shaman has garnered thousands of views.
He produces afrofuturistic microfiction on his Patreon page. He's best known for citing the disavowal of black queer, trans, disabled and mentally ill folks in polyamory.