Friends We Follow
Bea and Krysta are a bi-national couple who write about their trials and triumphs in separate countries — 5,020 miles apart, between Alphaville (Brazil) and Austin (Texas).
Aisha and Danielle Moodie-Mills, the first lesbian newlyweds to be featured in ESSENCE.com’s Bridal Bliss, are rising stars in Washington, D.C. where they labor together in their passions and politics. Earlier this year, the power couple founded a website called threeLOL and is dedicated to “living, loving, and laboring out loud.” Check them out!
Too often the voices of bisexual men and women are rendered silent. It’s also common for members of the lesbian, gay, and transgender community to discriminate against their bi brothers and sisters. Adrienne Williams (pictured right), founder of the Bi Social Network, created an outlet to address the needs of this frequently overlooked segment of our community. Check it out!
ELIXHER caught up with Alix B. Golden, the brains behind the blog A Brown Girl Gone Gay. Her writing has been featured on Mamba Girl and Project Q Atlanta. She has also been nominated for 3 Lezzy Awards from The Lesbian Lifestyle.
ELIXHER caught up with Shawn Smith from Her Saturn Returns, “an outlet to explore the rupture of self-realization in the transition to our 30th year through poetry, the written word, our stories.”
ELIXHER: What is “Her Saturn Returns”?
SHAWN: “Her Saturn Returns” is an anthology I’m putting together. It’s about sex, death and other people’s money. It’s a collection of writing from lesbians of color who are approaching their Saturn’s return. The topic is sex, death and other people’s money because my Saturn is currently returning in Scorpio, which means that I will experience challenges in those parts of my life and I’m excited. [Laughs.] I’m excited to begin my journey. So to sort of revve myself up for the collection, I’m also interviewing women who are approaching their Saturn’s return or who have been in their Saturn’s return, just to tell their stories, explain what that was like for them, how they’ve transformed. I have the most amazing conversations with people who have experienced life in ways that they didn’t know they could have and they really taught me a lot about their process, how they were a hot mess and then they grew up and realized, it’s okay, I’m a hot mess! [Laughs.] And stopped stressing out about it. So that’s really the lesson learned. Saturn, you experience it when you are turning thirty. It happens to you between 27 and 30. Then it happens again 27 years after that. So it’s where Saturn was in your horoscope when you were born, if you’re into astrology, that’s what it’s all about.
ELIXHER: What inspired you to create HerSaturnReturns.com?
SHAWN: I wanted to give people a heads up that the book is coming. Initially it was going to be a blog of poetry because that is what the book is going to be. I wanted people to be engaged in it and I wanted to include community in the blog and so it felt natural for me to profile the writers because they weren’t really going to commit to posting blogs on a weekly basis. I wanted to profile them and say hey, this is who they are. And I felt the way to do that was through an interview, but it felt really in-group and exclusionary to just interview us. I already know them and I also selfishly wanting to meet new people and learn from other people’s stories, I said well I’ll post one interview from the writer and one interview from a random person. That was to move toward the timeline of the book release.
ELIXHER: Do you have a set date for that?
SHAWN: I did. [Laughs.] I did. It’s essentially done. There’s just logistical stuff that needs to happen now. I’ve never done this before so I have no idea how long it’s going to take. And I know that if I give myself a date, I’ll get it done by that date but I also just started a new job. And the time that I put aside to work on the book, I’m working on the blog now, so I have to really consider that process. But sometime at the end of April is really the date that I had set. I’m on schedule because I knew spring would be slower moving that the winter. I also brought on a co-editor because I realized that I needed someone to help me with my deadlines and also bounce ideas off of and take it an extra pressure off of me and add some pressure onto to me in different ways. And she’s doing really great with that. She’s very organized. She’s a great poet. I met her at a creative writing group at the Audre Lorde Project like two years ago.
ELIXHER recently chatted with Genesis and Ryann from Bklyn Boihood, a collective that provides visibility and promotes the empowerment of masculine of center bois, lesbians, queers, trans-identified studs, doms, butches and AGs of color. The dynamic duo talks friendship, what we can expect this year from the Bklyn Boihood and their love for the borough.
ELIXHER: How did you guys meet?
RYANN: This is becoming like a love story.
GENESIS: It all started one summer day…
RYANN: The sun was shining bright. [Laughs.] So, it was 2006. Gen was working at a place that I got hired at as a receptionist. I was really, really bad at it. We became friends because she was, as my peer, like, “Yo, you’re about to get fired.” No one else was telling me that I was a really horrible employee. So we just hit it off ever since.
GENESIS: We’ve always had a very fun friendship. Bklyn Boihood embodies a lot of how we are as friends in that it’s very light and very fun.