A Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018

Image Description: Three pictures of a Black queer femme (Cody Charles) posing for the camera unapologetically.

In this time of year, emphasis on giving and reflection, I have to fight the urge to neglect my dreams and basic wants.

As a Black fat queer femme, I was never taught to dream. My imagination was only to be used to find creative ways to survive.

I was moved when Diddy showed interest in purchasing The Panthers on social media this December. His interest was met with mixed reactions. He received all sorts of backlash for just pondering in the realm of what is possible. As Black folks, we don’t believe that we can have the things we desire most or the things we dream of or fantasize about. We limit ourselves, with formidable help from white supremacy and patriarchy.

In 2018, I’m practicing the art of dreaming without limits as an act of radical self-prioritization and resistance. I wanna dream so hard that the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred and the idea of what’s possible is expanded.

Remembering that what we imagine and envision in this moment, can live in the now.

Here are 10 dreams I want to live out in my Black fat queer body in 2018:

  1. I must find an intersectional therapist; one that can adequately hold my Black fat queer femme body in its fullness, and allow that holding to inform their analysis. I live in Kansas, therefore, this will be harder than one would think. If there is anything clear from my 2017 adventures is that I’ve got some shit to work out and work through- as trauma and shame has found ways to infiltrate my life in all sectors, dimming my ability to dream. I am addicted to the role of fixer in most of the lives around me, and it’s about time I figure out what that’s all about.
  2. I want to train my body to do a death drop, and I don’t want to do that sad Phi Phi O’Hara “fall to the ground” drop as she did in her lip sync against Sharon Needles on Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 4. I wanna execute the drop like Chi Chi DeVayne and Bob The Drag Queen, expertly done, and with all the drama I can muster. As I hit the ground, I want rose pedals to fall from my lips (a la Sasha Velour) and the ground to mildly tremble in fear of its own life. As I’m falling, I wanna say some slick shit too, like “bitch, brace yourself.” I want my fat Black body to stretch the entirety of the floor. I actually want to be near death as I drop, and have someone prepared to resuscitate me.
  3. I want to make a Black queer as phuck short film, serving as writer, director, and producer of the work. Picture this: the insatiable pacing of Moonlight’s exquisite diner scene meets the sensual tone of Larenz Tate’s A Blues to Nina in Love Jones, meets the colors of Mahershala Ali’s GQ photo shoot- that’s it, that’s the film I want to make. Now, I have very little script writing experience, and even less experience with cameras and lighting. However, I think if I assembled the right people, I can get this done successfully. I’m not trying to make light of the art of filmmaking, but I know I can do this. I love the medium of film, and crave stories that imagine and reckon with Black futures. I love seeing Black people on screen, well lit and joyous.
  4. I want to write for more Black queer centered publications. I wanna write about my Black fat queer underrepresented and undervalued body- the same body where joy and passion continues to blossom. I wanna write about the jubilation and beauty that exists in my life, and not just tales of my struggle and survival. I wanna add to the Black queer portfolio by exploring how I thrive in life. I wanna write about my dreams and the process of dreaming. I wanna write about the different types of smiles and side-eyes we give and the meaning of the various tones of our laughter. I wanna write about ordinary and extraordinary things from the framing of our whole selves.
  5. I want to travel to New York City and have an almond milk cappuccino with Robert Jones Jr. (Son of Baldwin), Lin-Manuel Miranda, Audra McDonald, Janet Mock, and one of my favorite humans, Tanya Fields. I wanna chitchat and be a little catty; talk about the latest Braxton gossip or Ava DuVernay production; talk about our dreams and how we can support one another; take selfies that will allow us to document our joy; eat food that invigorates the soul; and hum our favorite show tunes and Yoncé songs, all while sharing a bottle of Hennessy.
  6. I want to learn to ice skate. Growing up in Houston, we didn’t have much snow. However, we had the Galleria- an expensive shopping area in the heart of uptown that had an ice-skating rink- an area my poor ass didn’t have access to. I used to love figure skating, and low key still think that one day I’ll be able to execute a triple axel double toe loop combination in a world competition. Michelle Kwan and Surya Bonaly were my faves- seeing Surya’s beautiful Black skin dominate that white ice was an act of resistance. I kinda want to recreate the skating rink scene from Soul Food, re-living the 80s nostalgia with my besties. Perhaps, a mini photo shoot in bell bottoms, picked out fros, and dashikis with the white ice as a backdrop is in order.
  7. I want to go to Essence Fest with some of my favorite people and bathe in the sea of Blackness- much like the film Girls Trip. I want to yell and scream obscenities at folks who steal my seat in the Superdome, side-eye some of the triflin’ vendors, drink lots of dark liquor, and find a few Kofis in order to recover my groove. I wanna tell lies and forget I told them. I wanna be in community with the Blackest and queerest folks on this planet. And Louisiana is my home state, so the above shenanigans is fitting.
  8. I want to have the most affirming sex of my life. I’m a very sexual being, but I can’t say that I have ever engaged a sexual encounter that held me in my fullness. I need someone that knows how to love on this Black fat queer body- beyond a fetish or a craving, but a celebration of the union of two or more consenting bodies who want to explore and journey together. I want swearing, sweating, moaning, and the Love & Basketball soundtrack subtly playing in the background. I want to allow myself to folly in pleasure. As Black folks, we have a phucked up relationship with pleasure. We forget that we deserve it, or we lean into antiquated ideologies that convince us that we’re not entitled to it. In 2018, I want to remind myself that I am a sexual being, striving for liberation in all aspects of my life.
  9. Allow someone to like me. First of all, I have zero ability to name when someone is flirting with me, mostly because I believe it is impossible for someone to actively pursue my Black fat queer femme body. I often engage in self-sabotage, which I convince myself is healthier than allowing myself to hope, as it saves time and protects my ego. I’m often right- it does save time and protects my ego. However, I want to be bolder in relationships, treating my life and body with dignity in the presence of potential romantic partners. I want to wonder if they deserve my companionship, versus giving up my goodies just because someone has shown interest. All that to say, shoot your shot with me in 2018.
  10. Stop phucking around with dairy. High key, Dairy doesn’t like me very much, but I still love them. Cheese, sour cream, milk, ice cream, phuuuuuck…ridding my life of the joys above might just become a dream deferred. I’ll leave this in the hands of Black Jesus and Black Santa.

Honorable Mention:
I want to have a conversation with Don Cheadle on reprising his role as Mouse Alexander in Devil in a Blue Dress. Whatever happened to Mouse after he left Easy to fend for himself? I know that the character appears in other Walter Mosley novels, but let’s bring these works to screen. Perhaps even convince Ava to write the screenplay and direct the film. Remember, I’m dreaming.

Lastly, I’m accepting help in making these dreams come to fruition. If there is a dream that you can help make happen, please reach out. Even sharing this piece would be helpful. Additionally, I’m more than willing to lend a hand to your dreaming journey. In a time when folks are attempting to control our imagination, there is no better moment to speak, share, and chase our dreams.

Join me on this journey.

Much love, and Happy 2018.

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This is the work of Cody Charles; claiming my work does not make me selfish or ego-driven, instead radical and in solidarity with the folk who came before me and have been betrayed by history books and storytellers. Historically, their words have been stolen and reworked without consent. This is the work of Cody Charles. Please discuss, share, and cite properly.