Lesbian Nightlife in NYC Reviewed

As a black lesbian in this beautiful city, it has not always been so easy finding a bar or club that has just the right scene. Fortunately, my circle has expanded and I have been introduced to more lesbo-centric bars and nightclubs than necessary.

The Big Bad Lesbian

Hard femme's have a blended gender configuration that includes both feminine and masculine qualities.Within the queer world, a blend of these two characteristics isn't always embraced.

Reviewed: Lesbian Nightlife in NJ

I know how you feel. You're searching for lesbian clubs in NJ, and you're being directed to New York City. Well, there's two reasons for that: New York City has some of the best lesbian events and lesbian clubs in NJ are scarce.

What Women Want: Thirsty Edition

Now I know the "thirst" can be real and some people are far too quick to "fall in love", but when someone wants to see you and expresses that to you in a non-weirdo way; try your best to avoid using the term "thirsty".

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Island

New York City made me feel alive. The city seemed to embrace all that was weird, misunderstood, unapologetic and creative. In NYC, I could be anyone that I wanted to be because the spotlight shined on all of us. There was nothing that seemed unobtainable when I lived in that beautiful city. 

Since moving things have dramatically changed. I have become isolated, uncommunicative and somewhat aloof. All that made me who I was seems to be muted. There is no spotlight in New Jersey only tolls and jughandles. Yes, moving here was completely based on my career but I'm starting to realize that my environment means more to me than I once thought. 
 
The rent is too damn high! Metrocards go up every month, while the trains slow down. Drinks are fucking over priced but goddamn it, I cannot think of a time when I was happier. Something has to change. 

Ricardo and Raymond were the first. Kwame was next. Then there was Tony, Joya, Tinesha and probably some others I forgot but I completely lost touch with all these people I saw regularly. I stopped talking to them because I was ashamed. Part of me equated leaving NYC to failure and I didn't want them to think less of me for leaving. I left for a pay raise and a better position, but I left the city for the suburbs and that's just not cool. What really isn't cool is ignoring phone calls just because your hiding from your friends. Eventually they stopped calling because... out of sight out of mind

I've become an island. Only a few have ever touched my shores and even less have gotten through the jungle. The butterfly that flittered through New York is no longer here. 

So here's the plan:
Step1: rediscover myself 
Step 2: change the course
Step 3: breathe 
Step 4: make moves 
Step 5: LIVE
Step 6: repeat steps 3-5

I am the master of my own destiny and I have ZERO to lose so it's time to take action. Being happy isn't a passive thing, it requires work.

It may not be NYC. Shit, I don't know where I'll end up, but I no one thing for certain: I'll be leaving the island

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ruling The Workplace


Over the past year I have learned so much about myself through my work. In the beginning, I had to prove myself each and everyday by being direct with my team and also being accessible to their thoughts, suggestions and at times disapproval. I became a department head by being honest, professional and at all times resourceful. 

Think about the last person that managed you. They might have been cold, unappreciative and if you're lucky the complete opposite. As a person that has dealt with several different types of managers, I knew it was my job to be the manager I had always wanted. That may seem like a far fetched idea, but I believe I have done that.  

In almost every interview I always ask the interviewee this probing question, "what qualities would you like your potential supervisor/manager to have?" I've been given several responses, but one sticks out the most: honest. Luckily, this had already matched with my personality so I was off to a god start. There is nothing that you want more from a manager than there ability to let you know when they feel you are not performing. Conversely you also want to know when you ARE performing. There is always a balance. Being a fair individual requires balance. 

Here's how you can rule the workplace:

1. Educate Yourself 
This is required just to get in the place, but you should acquire more knowledge while you are there.  Take webinars and read books that will better prepare you for your day to day. After you do that, share that with your team. 

2. Be Bold
When asked about the one noticeable quality about Jayelle it would have to be her boldness. No, this isn't an attempt at patting myself on the back but more so an observation. I am a bold bitch. Why? Because in the workplace playing small gets you nowhere. Since elementary school I have had nothing but success on my mind. In choir I sang louder than my peers and raised my hands more than others because I knew there was no better example of my passion than application. 

3. Professionalism at all Times
You're feeling upset? Suck it up! I don't mean to be rude. In fact, I take it back. Except, I don't. There is no room for you to express strong emotions that involve crying. Passion? Yes you can be passionate, as long as you remain composed and support your passion for any given project/task/employee with data or facts. 

4. Evolve
Innovation gets you noticed. It also gets you a raise. Applying what you learn from educating yourself can translate into innovation or evolution. Assist your team in evolving by being a catalyst for change. No one appreciates the employee that doesn't like change. Continue to push what you know to the limit and apply your learned knowledge to your innovative plan of action. What is required? Does your innovation improve profitability? Does it affect a certain percentage of clients? Will this alleviate a need? Ask yourself these questions. 

Remember: Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Big Bad Lesbian

shane mccutcheon L word big bad lesbian
An example of the Big Bad Lesbian
in her natural state.
My first girlfriend would pride herself on being able to "turn girls out". She thought her swag, smile and charm could bring a "straight" girl to her knees. Each and every guy in her circle had it in their mind that she could have any woman she wanted. Eventually, I became one of those women that were brought to their knees, supposedly charmed right out of my pants. It didn't matter that I had already shown interest in women or that I wanted her just as bad she wanted me because she was a big bad lesbian. 

It's been about six months since I started dating her and I couldn't ask for anything more. We communicate seamlessly sharing the deepest parts of our hopes, dreams and fears with one another. She's become a fixture in my life in such a short amount of time, that I find myself wondering if I'm still the same person who said "no" to forever earlier this year. It's picture perfect except for one undeniable thing: she hasn't come out. 

"I'm not gay. I like guys." These confusing and utterly ridiculous words showed up in a text message conversation. While doing her best to let me into her feelings and share this tough time with me she also indirectly sent me a clear message: I am not like you. Of course, I'd be a terrible person to hold this against her right after she took the leap and shared this side of herself with someone that means so much to her. I'd also be a complete idiot not to take all that I can from words that are said at such a vulnerable time.

All of a sudden I have become the big bad lesbian.

The aggressive woman that forced her hyper-sexualized nature on someone's unsuspecting daughter. The unrelenting and mischievous girl that has ruined the good nature of daddy's little angel.


the l word gif

Let's dispel the myth of "turning a girl out" right here. There is no way that I can persuade a heteronormative woman that is solid in her sexuality to place her mouth on my vagina without some large sum of money. There is no way that a heteronormative male grounded in his sexuality will allow another man to engage in anal sex with him without something of importance hanging in the balance.

Bisexuality is a thing folks! Curiosity is a an even bigger thing and it's safe to say that many of us experience a level of curiousity every damn day. There is no big bad lesbian lurking behind the bushes waiting to fall face first into the lap of an unsuspecting straight girl because most of the time a "straight girl" that is approached by a lesbian and obliges has already had that thought or fantasy run through her mind. 

Rest easy tonight because your daughters, sisters and mothers are safe from the big bad lesbians. It's their curiosities, fantasies and deep dark secrets that you should be afraid of. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Walking Down The Street

My alarm had gone off for the fifth time and I was just about to hit snooze again before I groggily realized it was 10:30 am. My 10am class was well underway and it would take me at least 45 minutes to get to Columbus Circle. I threw on a hoodie, some ill-fitting jeans and my workout shoes rushing out of the door.

Right before the train station, there was a man standing outside of the apartment building. He was looking up at the building talking to someone hanging out of the window. I looked up in the direction then proceeded to carry on with my run/walk towards the station. As I passed him he licked his lips and said, “if you weren't rushing off to work, I’d stuff my dick in you.” My mouth nearly hit the floor, but his statement only helped me walk faster. I ran down the steps, slid my metro and hopped on the arriving train.

hollaback NYC catcall video image

This is only one of many experiences I have had walking down the streets of New York. This week a video was published of a young woman receiving endless catcalls from men on NYC streets she walked for 10 hours. The young woman did as most of us do, she kept her eyes on where she was headed and didn't say a word. Some of the cat-callers expressed anger at her for ignoring their compliments while one man followed her for 5 minutes. 

Watching the video I couldn't help but wonder, “Is this supposed to be groundbreaking?”

I’m not the most well-traveled person in the world, but I can tell you that New York City men are one of the most aggressive breeds in the United States. They have no issues with expressing how they feel about you and your wardrobe without any filter. The experience I had mentioned before is one of maybe a hundred occurrences I have had while simply walking down a block. I know that when I plan on going out with friends and I decide to “show my stuff” a little I am going to hear something from someone on the street.

No matter what there is one point to be made from this: some men are completely unaware of how to use their brains. It is fine to think whatever you want about the beautiful woman that walked by you on the street and keep that shit to your goddamn self. It should not be a woman’s fault that she decided to “look good” today so she has to just deal with your comments. There are nuisances to oppression and this is another representation of that. Women are oppressed by the male gaze.

Unfortunately, I don’t believe anything will be done. This video will make its rounds throughout the media, and I will still have to warn my friends about catcalls when we plan a girl’s night in the city.

Watch The Daily Show version here:

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's Painful


"You're an introvert and I never noticed that before..."

I never saw myself as one of those women that was in a relationship and lost touch with everyone else. I saw "those" women as foolish and obviously unable of having a meaningful relationship while balancing several others. I pitied the woman that became so lost in her partner that she no longer had any time for friends, family and the like.

As I read her words on my screen I was immediately outraged! Me? Jayelle is NO introvert! 
That is until I stepped outside of myself for a moment and realized that I'm slowly becoming that woman that I pity, and I'm slowly becoming a bit of an introvert. 

Friendships take work. I've written about the challenges that exist when involved in a friendship and this type of relationships requires effort.  When I left NYC, I left behind several of the relationships that were part of my day-to-day, assuming that I was leaving to give more TLC to my long term friendships. In Jersey, I had my best friend, my partner, my cousin and several other close friends.

The updated version of that list looks like this: I ended my 3 year relationship, my cousin and I rarely speak, my best friend and I are distant and I don't make any time to see the one close friend that tries to keep in touch. 

The job I landed that prompted the move here takes up much of my mental capacity. I'm challenged so often that turning my brain off from work isn't so easy as it has been in the past. Being management isn't easy either. I find myself in difficult positions on many occasions and I know for sure that this place in my career is the turning point. My performance here and my decisions at this job could greatly affect my future. 

Outside of that, my personal life is a cloudy mixture of brutal honesty and secrecy. The turmoil I feel within myself is just another pain point. Currently, there is no place in my life that I feel free. Let me be clear, I am not physically enslaved but emotionally I feel chained; so much so that I haven't even been able to write.

A coworker of mine says that change is necessary but painful. He says it at the end of every conversation we have and I have never been so aware of how right he was until now. 

I have changed. These changes aren't bad but because of the way I feel I'm not so sure they are all good either. I am painfully growing into this person that seems so different from the woman that walked down the streets of NYC months ago. 

This growth is painful, but this change is necessary. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Dirty Girl


It's been such a long time since I had saw her. Since I had even answered her call.

When I read her messages I could almost feel the desperation. I remember I traced the letters just imagining how she looked when she sent them. She starts off every communication between us by letting me know how much she has "missed me". Her words twist me and separate me from the logical part of myself. Flashbacks of every interaction we've had always reminds me of the satisfaction after every interaction we have. She's exactly what I need. 

She's open, positive, loyal, caring and willing to let me be whoever I need to be. From a student to a career woman, she's always been so supportive. Yet, I've spent the last few months avoiding her; neglecting her.

It's the same question I always seem to ask: how could someone like her want to please someone like me? Her masochistic ways make her all the more intriguing. 

She's my dirty girl. 
She's my confidante.  
She's my little space on the web, and it's been far too long...

Friday, August 8, 2014

Living In Fear

Living in fear is as unsettling as it sounds. Especially when you’re biggest fear is being who you are.
Long before I came out to my mother, I had decided that I was going to be whoever I wanted to be. I left for college in New York City and although it was only a 45 minute drive from home, I felt like I was given the opportunity to be who I wanted to be. That person was free-spirited, open to new things (good and bad) and also a homosexual. This change in scenery; this 45 minute drive contributed so much to who I am today.
With all of this considered it’s been freeing to share this side of myself with family and friends. Since my first year of college I've slowly come out to more and more people. Aside from that I live my life out and proud; in that I have no qualms about being affectionate with someone that I’m with in public. What this open lifestyle has allowed me is peace of mind. There is nothing wrong with being who I am and loving who I want to love.
All o f this is well and good, until you come across someone that isn't living their life as you do. Of course I could turn away and simply say that I can only be involved with someone who is also “out”, but feelings just don’t work that way.

Is it foolish to develop feelings for someone that can never openly admit their feelings for me?

YES, THE FUCK IT IS!

I’m no dummy. I know that the road I’m going down is sure to leave me feeling dissatisfied and unsure. As I go deeper down this rabbit hole I can’t help but wonder why I’d want to hide with someone? The short answer: her. The long answer: being with someone who is slightly unavailable allows me to continue to avoid commitment.
Her immediate stance on the topic continues to circle around family. This is a give in. We’re always concerned with how we will be perceived by our loved ones because family can be the harshest critic. Before I started letting my family into my personal life I just shrugged my shoulders to the idea of telling them. Then I started to realize that this was just my way to avoid the issue.
Bottom line: I have nothing to lose. While she on the other hand, has so much to lose. There is a part of me that feels she shouldn't risk anything on the basis of me. I consider myself to be a risky investment.

Could you be with someone that wasn't able to openly express their feelings for you?