Conventional wisdom may not always make sense for the ‘storms’ we encounter in life

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Photo by nappy from Pexels

The world of optimism is an ever-growing wonder of mine. For simplicity’s sake, optimism is the secret ingredient I cherish, in both good and bad times.

Today I’m afraid, are mere darker moments that rumble near…

The News

My sunny days are far off in the distance. My present skies are now a sully gray, with swells of unexpected weighing pressures that threw my heartbeat off-beat.

Last week, my Dad’s doctor broke the most heart trembling news to me. I wasn’t ready.

Hell, is anyone ever ready for news like this?
This was my ‘storm.’

Storms Vs. ‘Storms’

Weather storms can typically zip in and out of our lives like fleeting moments. Or they can sit and hover in our present world ever slowly, nearly bringing destruction and soul-crushing pressure. …

LGBTQIA

An observation of my mother’s reaction and feelings to my coming out

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Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

What does a parent go through when they learn that their child is gay? It never really occurred to me what my mom was experiencing when I came out to her. But it makes me wonder and think back to the shifting moment of truth.

As I slowly prompted my mother through selective childhood memories, her eyes froze when I stated matter-of-factly, “Mom, I’m gay.”

She barely even blinked. As if she was still processing what she heard and trying to match it with what she knew to be true. Or so she thought. The waitress walked over and asked if we were finished with our plates. …

PARENTING

How to normalize the act of conversation and improve connections with your withdrawn loved ones?

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

“Use your words!” my mother sharply quipped.

I stumbled and stammered over the same word. My brain and eyes shifted back and forth, seemingly stuck as I grasped to find the next syllable. The next word. The next word phrase. I struggled.

I could not verbally communicate what I was feeling. My mind’s processor could only transcribe in images, one after another, flashing. There were no words.

As I looked up at my mom’s towering figure, her face tilting side to side, I could see her impatience building. I felt rushed and scared.

“What is it!” she said.

“Nothing, Ma.” I walked away. Intimidated. Frightened. Hurt. …

LGBTQ

An ad-hoc mentoring session for self-identified masculine young folx on embracing their unique superpower

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Credit: Rawpixel

Every now and again, I like to write to JaQ, short for Jacqueline. JaQ represents the young Gen X or millennial, assigned female at birth, who self identifies with their masculinity. JaQ is not a tomboy or a girl who sometimes plays a little tough. No, see JaQ is male. Well, sort of.

Masculinity is Bold — Be Bold.

Don’t run away from it embrace it.

This morning, while finishing my mocha-flavored cappuccino with a little whip cream, a thought came to mind.

No one ever showed me or explained to me about the power of my kind of masculinity.

That may or may not be the case for you, too. But if it is, I thought we could discuss it a bit. …

PODCASTING

A new story podcast, Crack This ShXt Open, about coming into who you are and accepting yourself

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The author owns the full rights to the illustration above | Be Better Media, LLC

Crack This ShXt Open: Learn about the inspiring podcast that encourages people to unlock their emotions as a first step to gain their own self-confidence while accepting who they are.

“I was terrified to go back and unlock the crate that was my box of feelings I long-held and stocked away, never wanting to face them. But I knew I had to do just that. How could I help others straight-faced if I was not willing to do the dirty work myself? The challenge of facing my past — it was not easy. But this challenge was the very thing I needed. And it changed my life for the better.” — Shay D. …

LGBTQ

Sometimes you have to turn down the noise to hear that you are enough

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The author owns the exclusive rights to this image.

I want to just be.

Not Mr.
Not Ms.
Mx? — meh.

Can I just be me?

It’s confusing, I know. Who are you telling? I’ve had to live in this dysphoric state of noise for a very long time.

Over the years, I’ve learned how to turn down the knob of cacophony.

My heart and mind balk at the syllable-forming sounds of ‘lady’ and all her close cousins of feminine descriptors. In the same beat, ‘he’ ‘they’ and ‘them’ registers no heartbeat, no pulse… nothing.

I am most alien in sacred spaces I deem lady-only circles. And, I freeze inside when addressed as ‘girl’ or ‘woman.’ I don’t want to belong to their group, so I stand there, frozen, eyes blinking erratically as they desperately scan the horizon of life looking for space of belonging. …

POLICE BRUTALITY

You’ve never heard this story version about the Los Angeles riots, broken trust, and audacity of the LAPD just 28 years ago

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Photo by Dazzle Jam from Pexels

The change we need can only be bought and secured at the polls. Let’s end the audacity of those who commit acts of murder and blind harm under the guise of justice.

This story was a personal account of the events that took fold in my neighborhood following the reading of the Rodney King trial verdict. The Los Angeles Police Department sealed their fate with the black community and the people rose up.

The verdict, the young man, and the men in blue: Los Angeles set off like a match.

On 29 April 1992, the judge read the verdict of the Rodney King brutal arrest — not guilty. …

LGBTQIA SHORT-STORY

Jaq grows up and stops performing for others

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Photo by Ahmad Odeh on Unsplash

Sebastian Walks is a series of mini-stories that follow JaQ, a gender-fluid girl, and witness relatable childhood experiences and mishaps. Each story starts with a question and sometimes ends with an answer.

In #005, Jaq grows up and stops performing for others.

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Author owns the full rights of illustration.

005 — Not Quite Her Perfect Little Girl

Why did I perform for so long?

This person I tried so hard to be, the “perfect little lady” — was a struggle each passing day.

This lady, who I called “Her,” was a performance. As Her, I was off-key, off-beat, even off-script at times.

None of it was natural. I tried again and again, belaboring the details. I needed perfection. The voices in my head would not allow me to be anything else but the perfect version of Her. …

LGBTQIA SHORT-STORY

Jaq, a gender-fluid girl, becomes distracted by their math tutor’s beauty.

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Author owns the full rights of illustration. (Artist: Grace Perkins)

Sebastian Walks is a series of mini-stories that follow JaQ, a gender-fluid girl, and witness relatable childhood experiences and mishaps. Each story starts with a question and sometimes ends with an answer.

In #004, Jaq, a gender-fluid girl, becomes distracted by their math tutor’s beauty.

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Author owns the full rights of illustration.

004 — JaQ’s First Crush

How can something so innocent and natural be declared abominable in the same breath?

I remember things, inside… these feelings would start to merge around 6th and 7th grade. The fear I held for all the things I couldn’t understand.

For one, I did not know why my body was doing what it was doing — the tingling down there or racing heart when soft beauty was near. …

LGBTQIA SHORT-STORY

Jaq, a gender-fluid girl, spends an afternoon pretending to be their favorite baseball star.

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Original Photo by Bo Lane on Unsplash

Sebastian Walks is a series of mini-stories that follow JaQ, a gender-fluid girl, and witness relatable childhood experiences and mishaps. Each story starts with a question and sometimes ends with an answer.

In this series, JaQ, a gender-fluid girl, takes on their favorite sport — baseball. JaQ is a typical, highly active child with an overactive imagination.

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The author owns the full rights to this illustration.

003 — Invisible On My Pitcher’s Mound

If I were a biological boy, would I be more visible?

It is a recognizable fact that fathers look forward to playing catch with their boys. It’s a special rite of passage. Well, I often bucked against those traditions, defiantly dangling my kid-sized 10.5 …

About

Shayla D. Potter

LGBTQ | Life Philosophy | All Things Podcast. I proudly serve in the U.S. Army. Visit me at https://www.instagram.com/shayla.d.potter

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