Black BEAT 2014 is in the history books and I’ve come home with some amazing memories. I am also sore in spots. I laughed and cried to much. I wore my wonder shoes for too long. Other than for when I was loading and unloading or just hanging about I wore pretty girlie dresses and make up all weekend long.
I am queer.
Historically I’ve always said that I am attracted to people. When required to put on a definition I’ve used: gay – straight – bisexual – pansexual – asexual – queer at various points in my life. I am all of those things though, including asexual even when in a relationship. I am complicated.
The workshop where I felt most at home this event though was the Queer Roundtable.
It’s not news that people of all sexes and orientations attend BB. That’s always been true and will be as long as BB exists.
The thing is though if we are tossing out labels BB is more queer tolerant than queer inviting. It’s not a terrible thing. It’s not an abnormal thing. The founders did not set out to create a queer conference, but we exist so naturally we will pop up.
I suspect its been simpler for my queer to walk the hallways without being a talking point. If people are talking about be its not because they don’t know what pronoun to use to refer to me, or because I don’t visibly present as a female. There is safety for my queer that doesn’t exist for others. It my not be as cool as White privilege but privilege I gots.
That privilege affords me the luxury to accept those who are not Heteronormative swiftly. That acceptance doesn’t always translate. Kinky people are people. People prejudge. People need boxes. A young woman explained it wonderfully, the behaviors we exhibit are learned. We are taught for good or bad and that learned behavior is not always as inclusive as the manner I live with my queer.
We don’t always see heterosexual Black men relaxed an comfortable with gay and bisexual Black men. We don’t always meet people in transition and understand gender pronouns.
This year though I bathed in queer energy coming from all directions and it was tear inducing beautiful.
Being a girl who likes girls, and boys and all the variations that can come with the girl/boy identities it is rare that I can sit in a room and have people understand specifically that my attraction is energy. My attraction, or at least the part of which is not physical, is to your energy. I am drawn to your aura and how it compels me. I am drawn to you as you present to me.
BDSM is an alternative lifestyle. I live in the alternative within that alternative. I live in the space within the space that is different. As I’ve attempted to explain I can define my existence as nothing other than Nicole, because to assign labels is offensive when those labels deny a part of me.
Being in the space of alternative sexual energy, and accepting alternative sexual energy is something I have to seek out quite often apart from my kink. With my loves not so much, but in general being all of me is unsettling to those who need boxes. I was able this weekend to surround myself with that energy without stalking the one or two other people who might be there as well. I am positive that certain people who I won’t name thank you for that because after all these years I am sure it was getting creepy.
The past three years in that hotel, two of them being BB, I’ve had deep emotional breakthroughs. I mean life changing breakthroughs. The type they write about (wink).
Three years ago it was what would be the proverbial final nail in the coffin of my relationship with The Man. It was my attendance at BB two years ago that brought to our faces the reality that the physical aspects of our relationship including sex and S&M were over. There was no more pretending on my part that he would recover. There was no more pretending on his part that he could deny me that part of who I am. I always knew that I would stay with him as long as I could, without complaint, without feeling neglected. I would have denied that part of me until social security if I could be with him. It was always him, even though the him that he was when healthy delivered to me my love of BDSM. He decided though that he would not live with me and I think that it was not a selfless act. His life and pain would be magnified as well with my presence. Knowing that the active life we had together needed to stop and I would be a constant reminder to him of the life he very well could never again have.
He listened to my account of the interrogation. He marveled at my stripes and bruises. He watched the euphoria on my face and made the decision. I’ve hated him and that decision for longer than I will admit. I don’t now. I understand it even better. I might at some point even say it was the right decision to make.
Last year walking into the alternate event I didn’t know what I would I would find. I found myself in ways that I’ve shared with you here. I found my best friend sleeping on top of the sheets in the bed that was big enough for us to share and that one gesture from him to me gave me permission to fall in love with him.
I found a beautiful woman on her own farewell tour of sorts. I walked in to the lobby after a cigarette and she was there. She turned and she smiled and from that moment she captured my heart. She let me hug her and it felt like she was born to be in my arms. A few minutes later when she let me rub her booty I was hooked.
I left Weekend Reunion last year a more complete woman, which in turn allowed me to love two spectacular people in the weeks and months that followed.
I came into BB 2014 uncertain that all that I gained in the prior year could be maintained. I was certain of my love, uncertain of my actions, terrified of consequences. I spent too much time worrying about Bonnie & Clyde. I spent not enough time addressing the behaviors of those who should do better.
I spent Saturday night trying to let go of a pain that I didn’t want, only to see the sunrise on Sunday morning understanding that it is a pain I have to risk because the reward is something I am not willing to never see.
This year’s breakthrough trumps them all.
I love a woman more than I’ve ever loved the women of my history. I love a man who is worthy of my love. I understand that they love me back, warts and all and I don’t question it because I deserve this love.
Even though I had to leave them far too early, the time we had even when shedding tears is nothing I would trade for anything, not even winning PowerBall numbers.