“The thunder and lightning crash so hard around my home it knocks paintings from the wall and tchotchkes to the floor. A wall of rain smashes down so thick I can’t see the road just metres from my front door, nor the community pool out back. I wait for the inevitable sound of sirens that follow these epic peals of skyscape fury — the majority of my town’s residents are elderly retirees; someone once had a heart attack from the noise. As the wind wails, altering the direction of the wall of water this way and that, I imagine this is what it feels like to be in a meteor storm in outer space, frightened and alone. I wait for the power to cut out as it would in Asia, but it never does. This is America, after all. And while I might have experienced ferocious typhoons in Thailand and savage monsoons in Sri Lanka, all those storms combined pale when compared to Florida’s minor tropical furies. I wonder if I’ll ever get used to these terrifying and magnificent displays of nature.” For Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, December 2016.
“These (white) individuals believe I owe them explanations of who I am so they will know where and how to file my brown presence with a suitable label, thereby establishing my validity as an American. These (white) individuals believe it’s their right to put their hands on me because I am different from. Ultimately, these these are questions of (white) entitlement over people of color’s bodies, because it’s never brown or black people who ask invasive questions or cross physical boundaries. They probably have it happen often enough to understand how degrading and humiliating it is to have someone treat you like a zoo or sideshow exhibit.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, November 2016.
“As 2016 continues to steamroll our tired hearts, I can’t help but see yesterday’s passing of beloved, iconic Canadian poet-minstrel Leonard Cohen as yet another thread unraveling from the very fabric of society. I can see Uncle Leonard in the corner of a dive bar, clouded in smoke, a notebook and pen on the table in front of him next to a tumbler of whiskey, nodding along with me, his eyes sad but ever hopeful.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, November 2016.
“Learning that people of color like me who have supported your work for almost 30 years don’t exist to you, don’t interest you and aren’t relevant to you is something beyond my comprehension. And that you’ve felt this way since you were a child makes me feel sick to my stomach for having idolized you and your art.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, October 2016.
“After the Stanford rape survivor released her powerful and detailed victim impact statement, I was inspired to write my own open letter in which I discussed my experiences with sexual and partner violence. In the months since my “coming out” as a survivor — a decision that I did not make or take lightly — I’ve been actively reflecting on my myriad emotions and identifying distinct stages to the process. As with the five stages of grief, this isn’t a linear evolution; I found myself cycling through some of these stages multiple times before the emotion passed. Here’s what to expect.” For Wear Your Voice Mag, October 2016.