The 334th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Marlon James
This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by a courageous photographer, a thoughtful pro-choice stance, language and gender fluidity, dog vomit, a single sock stash, coming out about non-religious spirituality, putting words to Katrina, and Marlon James:
"Photographer Captures The Very Moment She Told Her Family She Was Gay" by Fotografia Magazine at Medium's Vantage:
Paola Paredes is a 29 year-old Ecuadorian photographer currently based in London. For many years, she kept her homosexuality hidden to her Catholic family, but recently Paola found the courage to sit her parents and sisters at a table and tell all.
She feeds me, and takes care of me, and tries her best to make me happy even when she can’t, and at one point she and I were one and the same, and no matter how much I like to be me, I wasn’t me when I was her. I was just another piece of the way she was. I wasn’t a life, I was an extension of hers, and inevitably, I would fight for the thoughts I have now with all I have left, but that life wasn’t mine, back when I was her.
"Defining Your Gender As A Black Queer Femme Is Revolutionary—Don’t Take That Away" by Sydnee Thompson at Black Girl Dangerous:
From childhood, we’re objects for the consumption of others, lacking agency or inherent value. All of that baggage muddies the waters when you realize you’re different and start trying to figure out why. Is it the internalized oppression talking, something else, or both?
I am continually shying away from sharing Hows. I don’t know, it just seems like my favorite advice has always been to throw caution to the wind and dig your own ditch. But here’s a story…
I've always paired socks. I know some people that just keep clean socks in a basket and the family lives out of that basket, pairing as they go. Or not pairing, just grabbing two socks, all willy nilly and unmatchy. We are a family that pairs our socks.
"In Defense of Spirituality (With or Without Religion)" by Tina Rowley at Quiet Revolution:
I’ve heard all of that so much over the years that I’d internalized it. I thought the fact that I’m a spiritually-oriented person was something I should be ashamed of and hide to avoid people thinking less of me. For a long time, I kept this central part of my being closeted and only talked about spiritual matters with close friends—friends who either looked at things the same way or friends whose love and respect for me I knew wouldn’t shift even if our takes were very different.
For the past decade, my attempts to construct some sort of language to describe what I saw that day has seemed a wrought and largely futile effort. I’ve struggled with analogies, euphemisms, and descriptions to express what I saw with the veracity it deserved. But it was not a bombsite. It was not the lost city of Atlantis. It was not a plundered village rotting in the residue of war. It was only what it could be, which was something that felt beyond the capacity of words.
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