Raw Talk with Raw the Poet

So this time around I got a chance to talk to a New York native and dope poet. Her birth name is Radhaysa Guzman, but she goes by Raw the Poet. That is exactly what she is bringing to the table a Raw flavor that you can feel in your spirit. Whether she is speaking of break ups, women empowerment, or social injustices the connection she makes between a paper and pen is able to directly connect with your soul. I enjoyed talking to Raw; now I want you to jump into our talk, and hopefully you’re inspired by the end. 

Q: Can you please give use your name, background, business name, and business background. 

A: My given name is Radhaysa Guzman, Brooklyn born and Manhattan raised. I am a proud female, from New York, who has taken to writing as her passionate lover. I am currently working on many business ideas, while earning my business communication degree at the lovely Berkeley College.

Q: What made you choose the name Raw the Poet?

A: Raw the Poet became my alter ego, but in all reality, I saw the alter ego become an expression of my soul. Raw being what I want to manifest and Poet being who I was born to be. I chose this profile name in a mental fog and it stuck. I found it pretty cool since I chose my own name. I want to be criticized, but for, what I know everyone wants to say and feels. I am willing to be completely naked (raw) for the people or public.

Q: In Entry #197 Rare Event who was the beautiful bandit and what feeling was it supposed to evoke?

A: I spoke about my own experience. The experience of a sudden break up where I was proud of leaving. I felt free of displeasure, but angry at the same time, because of the time invested into a relationship myself conscious could not agree with. It was almost as if the universe traveled through me and knocked my head on straight. I hope a female or man feeling undervalued can read Rare Event and feel evoked to walk away from a situation tat cannot serve them. 

Q: In Entry #196 Sun Child you spoke of a woman with sun kissed skin, so beautifully and fluid, what did you want women, especially of color, to take from this?

A: I wanted women of color (tribal women) to realize their skin is a trade mark, a beautiful trade mark. In America it seems as if your skin color defines your status, I wanted women, of color, to know we are the flowers the sun is looking for. Brown to black skin, we are rich in beauty and no historical book written by prejudice people can change my perception on the beauty behind “colored skin”. Taino or African tribes. We are euphoric beauties and should accept the way we walk, talk, dress, and continue to reinvent the beauty quota.
Q: I love Entry #155 Life Comment because it leaves room for the imagination, but what is It? What does it be like to you?

A: I meant to evoke the imagination of my readers. It became a regular statement for me living in New York. When I say “it be like that” it means things cannot be changed. For example cycles and build in society ideas.

Q: When people read your words what is the overall message or feeling you want to convey?

A: I want people to feel moved from their deepest emotional mind, so they can heal. I feel the biggest help to an emotional situation, which is a situation faced by everyone, is knowing you’re not alone with your crazy thoughts or mixed emotions. I want people to get, IT IS OKAY TO FEEL AND QUESTION!!!! PLEASE QUESTION! EVERYTHING THAT COMES INTO MANIFESTATION.

Q: Through your writing your gender is ambiguous, is this intentional?

A: It very much is. I know myself to be ambiguous, even with my taste in fashion. I honestly believe I am a split soul. A combination of two souls who wanted the same exact life experience. Some people will call me crazy and that’s fine as well. (This question made me smile).

Q: How do you see your poetry evolving in time?

A: I see my poetry evolving into books and artistic work.

Q: For your fans, where can they find your work? Do you perform live?
A: My supporters can find my totally free material on Instagram @ rawthepoet were I am constantly dropping poetry and they can give a Facebook like to my Artist page @ https://www.facebook.com/rawthepoet. I am working on an Etsy idea were specific pieces can be bought. I will let your reader know and of course anyone following my poetry will be notified how I will go about special material. It might me very artistic… You guys have caught me early in my communication career.

That was our Raw Talk with Raw the Poet. If you found interest in her work, or want to explore her artistry more connect with her on social media. She is personally and professionally on Facebook. If she has interested you as a person and you want to know more about Radhaysa; you can search her at Radhaysa Guzman. If you are interested in her artistry you can find that at http://www.facebook.com/rawthepoet! Tune back in on Saturday to catch Mr.Roundtree’s interview about real hip hop. Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll leave you guys on a poetic note. 

  

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Let’s Talk About Feminism & Everything Else with the Bitter Feminist 

When people hear the word feminist sometime’s it’s comparable to hearing the word Ebola. However, when you put bitter in front of that word, you might be added to the listed of wanted terrorist. By any chance did you know that feminist bake, knit, love cartoons, and do all of the other things you do? Probably not because the word makes people defensive, but I think I can change your mind. I had the chance to chat with the Bitter Feminist herself, Alek Thoms, and it was such fun. We talked about everything from Donald Trumps comment on Hillary Clinton; to baking. So let’s get into some feminist talk with Alek.

Q: Can you please give use your name, background, business name, and business background?

A: My name is Alekzandra Thoms (Alleigh, more commonly), and I come from all over. I’ve moved eight times in my 17 years, and currently reside in a suburb of New York City! I don’t have much of any business background, technically. I just do what I love and sometimes manage to make a buck out of it!

Q: Lets talk about the name Bitter Feminist (which I love), what made you choose something that society could view as “harsh”?

A: Ha! Well, I came up with it as my tumblr URL a couple years ago so that it would be memorable, so I guess that sums me up. I want to be memorable. And I guess a name like that, being hard to forget, makes you think. I guess that’s what I wanted – people to think, ‘what are they bitter about? Why are they a feminist?’- and I didn’t care if someone thought that it was too up-front, or too “harsh.” Basically, I want people to know that I’m a feminist, and I don’t give a fuck what you think about that, or what your brother or boss or dad thinks of that. I’m a feminist, and I’m bitter. 

Q: We see baking is your bff, why is that? What is your favorite dessert to bake? Why did you choose Vegan?

A: I’ve actually just gotten back into baking! I’ve always loved it – my dad’s a great chef, and we’ve always bonded over the food network. But in the pst couple years, I’ve more or less stopped watching TV. I found a cooking channel on YouTube called How to Cook That (by Ann Reardon), and it made me extraordinarily anxious to get in the kitchen. Then, just in this past summer, whenever I’m bored I turn on the Food Network and just get inspired! So when my mom wanted to go on a vegan cleanse for a couple weeks, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bake cool things like breads, because veganism is based a lot in the kitchen. 

Q: Your picture captioned “I am a gift from God #thisonesforyouwil”, what was the inspiration for that?
A: Haha! This photo is funny because I took a great selfie with my armpit hair flowing in the wind, and you know, sort of sat on it, wanted to post it but also didn’t want to – not because of the armpit hair really, but because I was looking a little tired in it and my lipstick was a little faded. The “Wil” in the hashtag in my brother (I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know he’s making a cameo in this interview), who always jokes about how nasty my armpit hair is. During that week, I’d been saying things like if he braided it or paid me copious amounts of money I’d shave it. So, just to spite him I posted this photo on instagram and tagged him as the armpit hair! 

  
Q: We also see you are an artist, where does your artistic inspiration stem from?

A: I don’t know, really. I mean, art is huge in my family, but not visual arts. My parents are both professional opera singers and music teachers, my grandpa, dad and little brother are composers, and if you put my whole extended family together (paternal) you can literally get an entire chamber orchestra, complete with singers, composers and conductors. So, of course, I sing. But I honestly don’t know where my love of visual arts comes from! 

As for inspiration, I get it from my friends, from nature, and from a lot of movies and, of course, the internet. 

Q: Can you tell me about your patchwork and sewing? It’s great, do you plan on making it a career?

A: Thank you! I don’t know if I’ll make a career out of it, but I do enjoy doing it! It’s extremely calming and therapeutic, so after a tough day it’s easy to wind down with it, especially because I can watch a movie or a TV show while I do it. For example, I made a Robin Williams face patch while watching “The Birdcage” with my friends the moment after I found out about his death. It was, and is, really hard for me to deal with because he reminds me so much of myself and my grandpa, and sewing made it all bearable, and left me with a tangible reminder of his legacy.

Q: What is the average day for a Bitter Feminist?

A: Summer edition or real life edition? In the summer I wake up at noon, curse myself for waking up at noon, take my medicine (hopefully), try to find some food. I mainly sit around for a while doing nothing until I succumb to the fact that I’ll be sitting in my sweltering room finishing a commission and re-watching “The X-Files”, or “Twin Peaks” or “Mulan”. I do this most of the day, I usually forget to eat, I go on tumblr, and repeat until about 2am. Then I go to sleep. In real life, I wake up 20 minutes before school starts on a good day, otherwise it’s 5 minutes before, hopefully remember to take my medicine, search for food (usually to no avail), and blah blah blah (school). Then I’m interning at an after school program for little kids to sing and act, sometimes cute, most of the time tiring. Then I go home and sleep (this is usually at 9:30 pm, ironically).

Q: Being a feminist how do you feel about Donald Trump’s tweet “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes you think she can satisfy America?

A: Of course I’m disgusted, but then again everything this man says and does disgusts me. It’s disgusting that, no matter the situation or job, a woman is always watered down to a sex object. Because honestly, if you put any brain power into it, what has her ability to pleasure a man sexually got to do with being able to run a country?! She’s not running the country with her vagina! I have my own problems about why she won’t be able to “satisfy America” (Woo! Bernie 2016!!), but saying that it’s linked in anyway to her sexuality is reprehensible and plain idiotic. The fact that a qualified woman can’t run for president without it being turned sexual is disappointing. 

Q: What is your message to women?

A: This is pretty hard because there are so many women in so many varied situations and at differing levels of oppression than myself, so anything I might say may be improbable for another woman. So I won’t say go online and look up every march you can find and march them, because not everyone can do one or the other or either of those things. But I will say, that loving yourself is hard as fuck, and sometimes almost impossible, so it seems; but if you tell yourself at every turn that you are the BADDEST bitch, and the most beautiful lady with the most beautiful eyes, who is worthy of all the love in the world because you can give all the love in the world, you will end up believing it. Tell yourself that your episodes and dissociation and pain and relapsing is going to end. Tell yourself it’s okay that it happened and that you’re a good person anyway. Fake it til you make it. Because loving yourself is one of the most radical, and revolutionary acts you can commit in this world. I would also say, try to question everything you do. The best way you, personally, can try to end oppression, is knowing how and why it manifests. When you look at the cover of a magazine, and ask yourself why you only see white women, when you watch TV and ask yourself why you only see skinny women, or when you do see fat women and ask yourself why they’re the butt of the joke, you’re beginning to understand how ingrained it is, how it’s being internalized. And when you understand, only then can you really try to fight back. 

If you enjoyed this article and want to keep up with the Bitter Feminist feel free to follow her on her social media. In Alek’s words all her usernames use bitter feminist to some degree, so it is a little hard to miss her if you are looking. You can find her on tumblr (bitter-feminist), instagram (bitter_feminist), etsy (bitterfeminist), twitter (bitter_feminist) and polyvore (occassionally) (bitter-feminist). If you want to hear more of Alek in an inspirational way please follow her inspirational Instagram dedicated to her activism @bitterfeministinspo! I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed interviewing her. Please tune back in on Thursday to catch our interview with Raw the Poet!!

#10

“In a landmark opinion, a divided Supreme Court ruled on June 26th that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. The U.S. is now the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Married same-sex couples will now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples and will be recognized on official documents such as birth and death certificates.”
One day shy of an entire month, same sex marriages were legalized; yet transgender people are still being killed. So is it acceptable for women to date women, and men to date men as long as they stay their birth sex? Does America hate all gays? Or is it just transgenders? On July 21, 2015 India Clarke was the 10th transgender women to be killed in Tampa Bay Florida by blunt force trauma. India’s death was reported by detectives as followed, “We are not going to categorize him as a transgender. We can just tell you that he had women’s clothing on at the time. What his lifestyle was prior to that we don’t know­­—whether he was a cross dresser, we don’t know.”
There are two issues I have a issue with in the India Clarke case. The first is the insensitivity of Tampa Bay police officers when dealing with the trans-community. The second is hatred that is still displayed towards the trans-community when we are shifting to an area of acceptance. Although we are in a era of the system vs. the people; people still follow the lead of police officers. Showing the community transgenders are not accepted by misreporting their sex makes it evident their murders go unnoticed. Do police officers not considered their deaths worthy of investigation? Secondly, if we are shifting towards an era of acceptance, why are trans people the last on the list to be accepted? By not snitching, murder, theft, and abuse are all accepted. However, a group of people are still not accepted; where is the sense in this?

I think I’m going to call this altered genderism. The act of hating a person for changing their gender. Why can’t people choose who they want to be? If a girl is interested in science, she can choose to be a doctor. If a boy is interested in cars he can be a mechanic. So why is it that if a girl spiritually feels like a boy she can’t choose to be a boy, or vice versa? It’s time to wake up people, and realize their are bigger issues that need to be fought; ie. systematic slavery. We are reverting back to being killed for our color, but all we can pay attention to is killing people for their life choices. It’s time to wake up and ban together not fall apart. I would like to say R.I.P to Ms. India Clarke another sister lost to close mindedness before she had a chance to live.
  

Welcome Caitlyn Jenner by BreC

Caitlyn Jenner’s cover for Vanity Fair has sparked both media attention, and my attention. This monumental accomplishment gave me the inspiration to blog about it. 2-5% of the people in this world are transgender or experience some form of gender dysphoria. 1 out of every 12,000 men are living as transgenders, and 1 out of every 34,000 females are living as transgenders. 20% of these people are now dead. Not due to natural causes or disease, but due to murder. Transphobia has killed 1000s of people. Those who are not dead; however, do not have it easy. Since explicit discrimination laws only exist in 16 states and D.C, brutality against transgenders is overlooked. Since 40% of the violence is initiated by police; it’s open season for other abusers. This article is not about, why people hate transgenders, it’s about Caitlyn Jenner’s accomplishment. However, I do have one question, why do people hate other people because of their differences? Now back to this blog’s purpose.
Vanity’s Fair cover has been graced by numerous supermodels and superstars such as, Naomi Campbell, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Kerry Washington, and now Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce Jenner came on the scene as one of the greatest Olympians of all time. However, modern society is more familiar with him as the father of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Now future generations will know her as Caitlyn Jenner the silent activist for trans-rights who saved through her story. 
Religious fanatics may say his transformation was the work of the devil, and he’s going to hell. Critics may say his transformation was a publicity stunt and he’s being a media whore. Bruce would probably say, She is finally free. I would say Caitlyn is a hero. People can fix their noses, complexions, and weight, but why is it wrong for people to fix feeling trapped in the wrong body? For decades Bruce has felt trapped in a man’s body. He has finally freed himself, and introduced the world to Caitlyn Jenner. His use of Vanity Fair as an outlet has made a stand for the fallen and battered of the trans-community. In a world where people view gay as weird, this cover is a step towards equality. My personal opinion is it should have been captioned, We Are Human Too!

I wrote this article to ask, after you take your last breathe, is your body still alive? No, it’s not, which means your spirit carries life. A spirit is characterized by energy, not sex. I’m saying this to say the physical body is a costume. This means Bruce was just given the wrong one. In the land of the free, why is it only acceptable to live your life caged? Don’t be hateful, don’t criticize, but let Caitlyn be free. When people start worrying about themselves, rather than others, love can start. I will end by saying I commend Caitlyn for being a silent voice, and have hope the trans-community will one day be viewed as just people.

My sources came from http://www.transgenderlaw.org 

Social Me: Free Love & Acceptance by Bri Alexander

Hey Guys and Gals! This month on Social me, we will look at the concept of well-being from a more abstract perspective: free love and acceptance. What does it mean to love? Furthermore, what is free love and how does that relate to the concept of acceptance? In our society, we have the definition of love that is plastered on our television screens, blasting our radios and spread throughout our books- but, what about other, non-traditional types of love? Instead of recipes and exercises, today I am going to take you all inside an exclusive interview I had with two people part of the LGBT family, the new revolutionary type of love. As they attest to what it is like to experience a different type of love and how they feel, it is with the highest hopes that a new definition of love and self-acceptance can be sparked and understood.  

Interviewee 1: Damien Moody
1. How do you identify yourself and when did you realize this?

I am a gay black male who has sex change plans. If I can fully remember……I was between 6-9. I had a strange attraction to men but hid my real sexuality for many years due to judgement and also the verbal and physical abuse because people knew and thought I was gay. I also met a lot of Homophobic bullies.

2. What was/is the hardest thing about your experience with identifying yourself and how do/did you cope with it?

The hardest thing I ever went through was the abuse I endured from bullies at schools I went to as well as the drama I suffered because of my oldest brother. He used to bully and abuse me mainly calling me gay slurs and threatening me.

I just suffered the abuse for years until I was old enough to fight back and stay away

3. Are you proud of who you are and is there any person/thing in particular that currently inspires you?

I am very happy with who I became and I will be happy with my future as well. My biggest inspiration is Rupaul.

4. What is some advice that you would give to others in the process of “coming out” and accepting him/herself?

Don’t let anyone stop you from being you. Rupaul say all the time ” If u can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love someone else?” No matter what…… You cannot love or accept anyone before you love and accept yourself. I don’t care if your gay, bisexual, bi-curious, transgendered, transsexual…….you must be you and do not let anyone stop your shine. I been through abuse, bullying, suicide attempts and so much more and survived putting God first. You can do it to and prayer answers every question you have.

Interviewee 2: Keyana Smith

1. How do you identify yourself and when did you realize this?

I identify myself as a lesbian and I realized this when I didn’t like talking to boys or when they did not interest me. When I dated my current girlfriend and I felt comfortable with myself.

2. What was/is the hardest thing about your experience with identifying yourself and how do/did you cope with it?

This was when I was comfortable with myself but I knew my family wouldn’t like it, so I thought that I would take my life. I was thinking that I didn’t want to let my family down so I’d rather take my life before I do that.

3. Are you proud of who you are and is there any person/thing in particular that currently inspires you?

I am very proud of who I am and my girlfriend inspires and lets me know every day that I need to be proud of that.

4. What is some advice that you would give to others in the process of “coming out” and accepting him/herself?

That you should come out and love yourself. People are going to talk about you but the best thing you can do is be you. Never live for someone else because of how you think they will react because at the end of the day you have to make yourself happy and live for you.

 A special thanks to Damien Moody and Keyana Smith for their bravery in sharing their stories. Sometimes, it is the most difficult thing that is the most instrumental. There are a plethora of people who struggle with the choice of whether to express their real, true love for self and others. This month and all months we at Save the Charms encourage all individuals to be open-minded and defy society’s attempt to define love in the one-dimensional context that it often appears.

Here are a list of websites that offer support for acceptance and the process of identity formation:

http://lgbt-social-group.meetup.com/cities/us/pa/philadelphia/

http://www.cision.com/us/2011/06/top-10-lgbt-websites-and-blogs/

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/