“Where are you from?”
“I’m from the United States, Boston to be exact”
“No I mean where are you from, from”
“Okay where are your parents from?”
“They are from Ghana”
“So you are from Ghana then”
“Yes I am but I live/grew up in Boston”
“So why do you not say you are from Ghana”
“I don’t know”
The aforementioned conversation snippet is usually how conversations start with some African people I meet. I recently got into a contentious debate with a Cameroonian guy about the intersectionality of my gay and Ghanaian identity. He asserted that I can’t be a gay African/Ghanaian since its an oxymoron. He said I had to choose one. As in, If I wanted to be gay, I had to stick with my “African American/western” identity and live openly.
I have always had an existential identity crisis growing up. I didn’t know where I belonged sometimes. I was either too “white” too fit in with the “blacks” (I was mostly referred to as an oreo throughout high school),or I was too bourgeoisie to understand the plight/struggles of “African-Americans”. And my favourite was that I was too “westernised” to call myself Ghanaian or African. Include the gay bit and it complicates everything.
As I have mentioned several times on this blog, I wasn’t bothered with my racial identity when I was growing up. Heck I used to select “other” or change my “race” on every standardised test I took. For all my university applications, I didn’t check my race section (I still get a lot of criticism for that as most people claim that it would have enabled me to get loads of scholarship since I’m considered a minority). While I didn’t care about racial politics, I cared about my Ghanaian heritage and Pan-Africanism. I got offended when ignorant remarks were made about Africa or when people called Africa a country. I remember when I came back to the US after spending a few years in Ghana , I was asked by a couple of guys if I slept in a hut and chased lions for fun. I was soo mad that I just gave them deathly stares. Yet I still identify with my “Americaness” when I am outside the US. Every time some asks me where I’m from I say Boston, U.S. instead of Accra, Ghana. Why is that?
Leave it to iTunes to randomly play a song that brings back memories that are supposed to remain hidden…forever.
The song in question is Paloma Faith’s song “30 Minute Love Affair”. Listening to the song definitely brought back memories of the guy who took my v-card. The circumstances by which we met was very random. I had just moved to Lausanne, Switzerland for my study abroad and was getting acquainted to the city since my flatmates hadn’t moved in yet.
I went to a Brasserie in the city centre to have a drink when he approached me. We introduced ourselves and I told him that my conversational French was pretty bad so I wanted to find someone I can practise with. We started speaking in French and he would correct anytime I made grammatical error or mispronounced something and laugh at my sad attempts at making jokes in French. After a few drinks he invited me over to his place and for reasons unknown I said yes and we left the Brasserie.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s 2013.
Were did time go?
Most Importantly, where have I been? Hmmm to make a long story short, I have been around. Loads of things have happened since my last post on Boxing day. I will be writing about them in separate posts in the coming days/weeks. I promise to post regularly
I wanted to write a reflection about 2012 but realised that we are 23 days into 2013 so why bother eh? Let’s just say 2012 was a great year for me and I hope 2013 continues the trend.
I ended 2012 on quite the high note. I dubbed the last friday of 2012 as my “Slut Weekend” and it was fascinating. I allowed my inner slut emerge and boy was it fierce and brave. On Friday 29th December, I decided to go out and enjoy the last days of 2012 instead of working on my take home finals (clearly I have my priorities in line).
I met a friend and his acquaintance at the famous G-A-Y bar in London for drinks and we headed to a club called Heaven (quite the appropriate name) later that night. Heaven was great! There were so many boys and men I wanted to bang. Usually when I go to clubs I get very shy and want other guys to initiate conversations with me. I rarely make the first move but this time I told myself it was going to be different this time.
It has certainly been quite a while since my last update. Who ever invented graduate school needs to thrown into a bottom less pit with endless articles and books. I’m just kidding of course. Graduate school is not *that* bad. I just miss the procrastinating days of my undergraduate days. I am counting the days until the term is over. So what’s been going on with me these days? Hmm where do I start. Perhaps with good news I suppose.
The months of endless flat searching and hunting finally paid off. I found a flat and and moved into it last week. Its in the financial district in London and I have a picturesque view of major landmarks and buildings in London. Plus my flat is right next to River Thames. The location is 15 minutes away from my campus via the tube. All in all its almost perfect. Also I am living with one of my mates from school and its been great. I believe I have the best luck when it comes to finding flatmates/roommates. Now on to the bad news…
Last Thursday, I had a fascinating conversation with a friend who I haven’t seen in almost 2 years. We had lunch and both mentioned how we failed at keeping in touch. As we were reminiscing, she asked that dreaded question “Why are you still single”…
I just shrugged and said “I’ve sworn off boys/men until further notice”. But she was determined to get an answer out of me. I just told her I am very non-committal and also I don’t won’t to break someone’s heart. She guffawed and said what I just spewed out was nonsense. She asserted that I was in my “prime” and need to go out and explore the world. She explicitly said;
“What are you now like 22, you need to go out and have fun because trust me once to start reaching 30, you just want to be in bed by 9:30pm”. We then had an interesting talk about being in our “primes”. She reckons since I’m in my 20’s I should go out and have as much sex as I can before I come of age.
I was tagged by fellow blogger DystopiConvert to take part in a Q&A tag game. I will answer the questions as best as I can.
1. If you found out you were going to die tomorrow what are the three things you would do today?
Come out to my mum
Allow myself to fall in love
Go sky diving/ban-jee jumping
2. Name three things that make you happy
My best fiends (yes I consider them singular unit)
3. If you could go back to the past and change one thing, what would you change and why?
I don’t know if this is a personal question or a generalised one but if I had the chance, I will go back and eliminate all the scientific and social origins of racism. This will make the world a bit more tolerable
4. Beer or wine?
But I like both…but I only drink European beers. As for wine I’m having a glass as I type this
Over the weekend, I began to move out of my apartment as the lease on my apartment has run its course. I can’t say this enough but I really hate packing/moving. For my next apartment/home, I am going to find a furnished unit so when I move in I will just bring my suitcase and when I leave, I will leave with it instead of 658709670768 other things. I mean what’s the purpose of buying loads of things (especially for college students) when you move in and having to dump majority of it when you are moving out? Doesn’t make sense to me. Anyway, I am living with my sister temporarily as I figure out my life…
As I was backing up all my files in preparation to update my operating system to Mountain Lion (Apple’s newest OSX), I came across some poems and short stories I wrote for my creative writing class during the summer of 2010. Most of my friends can attest to that fact that I loathe poems but for some reason, I had a morbid fascination with death and darkness when I wrote poems for my creative writing seminar. Below is a sample haiku I wrote:
Death is calm tonight
Yet another soul is gone
At least he is free.
I honestly don’t know where my “inspiration” for the poems came from but it also reminded me of one of my life regrets…
There are very few music artists in the world that I recognise as talented and whose music I adore and love. Amy Winehouse was one of them. On Sunday 23 July, 2011, I had just returned to London from Brussels and was very tired but couldn’t fall asleep as it was around 13h00. I decided to watch anything random on the Beeb (in the UK, people usually refer to BBC as the Beeb) when there was breaking news that mentioned that Amy Winehouse had been found dead. I stayed glued to the telly waiting for any updates. I had been a huge fan of Amy when she first appeared on my radar (i.e before her album Back to Black propelled her to a global superstar). I remember coming back from vacation from the UK with her debut album “Frank” and playing my “Frank”, “In my Bed” and “Fuck Me Pumps”. My middle school and high school friends were fond of saying
“who is Amy Winehouse”
“You listen to weird music”
“Why do you like British music”
I just smiled and nodded.
I really do not get very sentimental when it comes to gun violence but I couldn’t help but feel profound sadness and grief for the victims of today’s shooting in Aurora, Colorado. I went to the midnight screening in my city for The Dark Knight Rises. Upon hearing the news about the Colorado shooting as I woke up in the morning, I keep saying/thinking “This could have easily happened in my city”. I also felt sick thinking about the fact that as I was watching the movie, people were getting massacred…