blan!

I regret not paying more attention to Arika and Mashiro back when I first watched Mai Otome. In retrospect, their relationship progression throughout the season is a joy to see transform, from being unable to stand each other’s presence to practically promising their lives to one another. The OVAs were pretty much them needing marriage counseling.

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark that if I burden myself with a companion in my various little inquiries it is not done out of sentiment or caprice, but it is that Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own to which in his modesty he has given small attention amid his exaggerated estimates of my own performances.
—  Sherlock Holmes, “The Blanched Soldier”
a short enochian lullaby

a lviahe bvtmoni butmoni
the music from their mouths

i lucifitias od iadnamad
is brightness and divine knowledge

ol trian blans gi, merifri
i will protect you, my angel

ca gi brgda vlcinin par zamran
as you sleep happily, they will sing

(this is a very rough translation, and my enochian is really bad, but i wanted to post it anyway, so i hope you enjoy!)

At Your Mercy

The harsh winter in Mirkwood and the absence of a certain Elvenking do not leave you any other choice than hoarding all the blankets you can get.

Rating: G
Fandom: The Hobbit
Prompt: Imagine how Thranduil convicts you of late-night blanket stealing. 
Pairing: Thranduil Oropherion x Reader
Type: Reader insert, one-shot, fluff
Date: 16th February, 2015
Words: 1977
Warnings: Pure unadulterated fluff. A way too cheesy plotline. Overprotective Thranduil. Grammatically questionable Sindarin: “my love” (meleth nîn), “sweet dreams” (elei velui) and “love of my life” (meleth e-guilen).
A/N: This is the first and the only story that made it through my gigantic writer’s block. It is not more than an apprentice piece I wrote two years ago based on an imagine on @sindarinkisses, a now inactive Tolkien writing blog.
Beta’d: @jezvontesse

Originally posted by avengers-of-mirkwood

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  • me, as someone who definitely watches this show for the plot cause that's what we all totally do: wow i can't wait for the next episode so we can learn about the... murder of... jackie blan
  • also me, the real me, who watches it for not the plot: i want it to be over so that we can possibly see the gag reel because how fucking great would that be
16 Reasons Being Puerto Rican Is the Best

Did you know Puerto Ricans brought you hip-hop and freestyle? You’re welcome!

1. You undoubtedly have family in New York, Florida, and on the island. So reunions are also the best vacation getaways.

2. Speaking of family: Yours is a huge, close one. And it’s very likely that you’re meeting cool new primos annually.

3. And they support you in everything you do. From sporting events and weddings to graduations and baptisms, you know your family, taking up an entire row (or two), will cheer the loudest — with or without those dollar store noisemakers.

4. You know the phrase “life isn’t always a party” wasn’t created by a fellow Boricua. Because we’ll turn any moment, from births to funerals, into a dance-fueled get-together featuring salseros Frankie Ruiz and Lalo Rodriguez.

5. Your mom has a cure for everything. And most times it’s just a mix of Vicks VapoRub y una oración, but it always seems to work. Reason no. 4,356 why moms are simply the best.

6. The diversity just within your family is beautiful. You find joy in looking at astonished faces every time you explain that your black/brown/white siblings are 100 percent related to you even though your skin and hair texture are completely different from theirs.

7. Puerto Rican food is the best food there is. See: Arroz con gandules, arroz con pollo, mofongo, bistec encebollado, bacalao, asopao, cuchifrito, batatas, sancocho, chicharrón, amarillos, pasteles, empanadillas, flan, limber, piragua, and coquito, just to name a few.

8. When it comes to fashion, you’re always ahead of the curve. You’ve been rocking long nails, big-hooped earrings, form-fitting dresses, and side-split buns long before the Kardashians or Miley Cyrus made them “trendy,” and you always look on point.

9. As a child, your abuelita always kept you looking fresh with her homemade (and love-filled) diademas. And you still rock those today and look ~*flawless*~ while doing so.

10. You probably grew up around at least four languages. Spanish, English, Spanglish, and Jeringonza (basically the Spanish equivalent of Pig Latin). Chi-u-chi-sted chi-sa-chi-be chi-lo chi-que chi-e-chi-stoy chi-ha-chi-blan-chi-do.

11. You know somebody who knows somebody who … can fix your AC, can help you raise funds by cooking pastelitos, or is selling a car on the cheap. Doesn’t matter what you need — you know someone who knows someone who can help you.

12. You’re a member of one of the proudest communities ever. The Puerto Rican flags on your car accessories, jewelry, sneakers, cellphones, onesies, and just about anywhere else prove this.

13. And you know that this pride is totally justifiable. After 400 years of colonialism under Spain and remaining a U.S. territory even today, it’s pretty legit that your people have managed to keep the customs, traditions, and culture alive, even scattered off the island.

14. That culture has introduced some of the best music to the world. Like bomba y plena, salsa, hip-hop, and freestyle, which we can bump to all day, errrday. (Yes, it’s true!)

15. Our island, the smallest one in the Antilles, is also a world leader in boxing and beauty pageants. And if you’re Latina, you know to take those very seriously.

16. And you can’t forget: J.Lo, Roberto Clemente, Rosie Perez, Walter Mercado, Joan Smalls, Rita Moreno, Rosario Dawson, Marc Anthony, Big Pun, Gina Rodriguez, Benicio Del Toro, Chita Rivera, Carmelo Anthony, Maxwell, Ricky Martin, Swizz Beatz, Victor Cruz, Meagan Good, Lauren Velez, Carlos Beltran, Bruno Mars, Freddie Prinze (*gasps for air*) are all Puerto Rican. (This list could go for days, but you get the idea.)

Author: Raquel Reichard

Source: cosmopolitan.com

Poēsis: SHINee Taemin-centric OT5

Length: 3.2K

Rated: pg-13

AO3//AFF

Dedicated to @taketaemtoyourleader for encouraging me when I doubt myself and @thenamesiggykirkland because deMIBOY TAEMIN THIS ONE’S FOR YOU

crop tops and cuddles, ft autistic demiboy Taemin and the proudest boyfriends in all the land! based off this post

— 

“Shut up!” Taemin screeches sharply, and they stop whooping and cheering and laughing abruptly.

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9

Saturday Naka-kon photos!
I cosplayed Lillet Blan, and Swag cosplayed Advocat, both from the game Grim Grimoire.
 Swag and I won best Intermediate in Craftsmanship! :3
I can’t say how happy I am with the way things went.
Seriously, the competition was handled better than any other I’ve ever been in.  It was organized, well-done, and they even gave us snacks (I had been craving fruit all day so thank you to whomever decided that omg).
I’d also like to shout out to our friends for being supportive, and Hope and Alana for getting us emergency last-minute-button-fell-off help.  

I can’t wait for next year!

anonymous asked:

Здравствуите😁 Hope you're doing great!! I'd like to ask you some things that I just can't figure it out online... My dream is to go study literature in Russia but I really don't know any good universities so I'll really appreciate your opinion. And could you please recommend me some movies/songs/books?? Спасибо🙌

Hey! If you are a foreigner and you want to study in Russia, I would recommend you study in the biggest cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg.

In these two cities are more foreigners than in other Russian cities and there are also the best universities (both the State University of Saint Petersburg and from Moscow are very good). But I recommend you more Saint Petersburg

(I love that city)

Originally posted by russian-and-soviet-cinema

If you want to study literature, almost all famous Russian writers lived there and a lot of their best novels are set in that beautiful city. Moscow is great though….

Also going to other cities is a possibility… idk (sorry)

Recommendations… 

Lately I am reading Cancer Ward from Solzenitsyn: it is a bit depressing (I am only in the begining) but intersting (if you feel curious about Stalin’s regime)

But the last book I read was The Triumph of Music, by Tim Blanning and I like it a lot.

From music, I am enjoying a lot the Firebird Suite from Stravinsky. Also I am hearing George Gershwin and some Bossa Nova (lately I am very busy and Bossa Nova kind of calms me down)

Sorry about my English (it’s a bit poor)

I hope I helped you :)

anonymous asked:

ByaHisa for the askmeme?

Who worries about what they will look like when they are older?

Neither. I mean, it’s canon that the entire Kuchiki clan is like…unfairly good looking, so Byakuya doesn’t have anything to worry about. Hisana doesn’t give a shit what she’ll look like as an old lady as long as she lives long enough to become an old lady. 

Who hogs the blankets?

Hisana. Definitely Hisana. 

(“…you know, this is rather unfair of you, Hisana. I mean, if we’re going by body size, I should be the one to get the majority of the blan–”

“Shut up.”)

Who eats the others uneaten pizza crusts?

Hisana. Apparently nobles are ‘too good for pizza crust’ or some shit.

(“Weak.” 

“I am not–

“First sandwich crusts and now pizza crust too? I don’t know how anyone finds you intimidating.”)

Who is more likely to cry over a sad book or movie?

Realistically? Hisana. But I have to admit the mental image of Kuchiki Byakuya crying over a sad movie is rather amusing to me. 

(“…are you crying?

“Certainly not. What is there to be sad about? Just because the dog died–” *sniffs* “–after serving the family so…so faithfully and–”

“Byakuya, would you like a hug?”

“…yes, please.”)

Who talks smack while playing video games?

Both. 

(“Muahahaha prepare to choke on that blue shell, Byakuya–”

“You think that is enough to prevent my victory? Your optimism is endearing but ultimately futile. My success is inevitable, love; it is only a matter of time.”

“Sorry, what did you say? I couldn’t hear you over the sound of your impending defeat–”)

Who sings along with the radio?

Byakuya. He likes to quietly hum along to his favorite songs; during those moments, Hisana usually just closes her eyes and listens to the sound of his voice.

Who would enter them both into a talent show?

Byakuya. 

(“I can’t believe you entered us into a talent show. Really, Byakuya?”

“Do not worry, Hisana. With my artistic talent and skill in stand-up comedy, our performance will be unforgettable.”

“…that’s what I’m worried about.”)

Who would accidentally set the kitchen on fire while cooking?

Byakuya. 

(“For the last time Byakuya, no, you cannot use kido to ‘speed things up’!”)

Who would throw the other into a pool?

Hisana. 

(“You’re not nearly as funny as you think you are, you know.” 

“On the contrary, I am hilarious. Now hold still; the WSA is doing a calendar on ‘dripping-wet captains of the Gotei 13′ and I need to do my part.”)

Who shops for groceries?

Hisana. She sent Byakuya once. She never did again.

(“Byakuya, dearest, when I told you to go grocery shopping I didn’t mean buy the entire store.”)

Who kills the spiders?

Neither. Hisana makes sure every spider found inside the house is carefully and gently set outside.

(“That’s it, go on. Make sure to catch lots of mosquitoes for me, yeah? There’s a ton by the pond, more than enough to keep you happy and well-fed. Don’t disappoint me now; I expect you to do your part in making this world a less buggy place.”

“Hisana, are you giving that spider a pep talk again?”)

Who is the morning/night person?

Tbh both of them are the type who go to bed super late but also get up at like 6 in the morning. 

Who proposes?

Byakuya, although it was a close thing. And by ‘close’, I mean that Byakuya spent so long planning the perfect proposal that Hisana got fed up and decided to take things into her own hands. By which I mean that she got down on one knee and got as far as “Byakuya, will you mar–” before Byakuya panicked and flash-stepped out of the room. 

(He returned with the ring, btw)

How to get over someone who you love but who doesn’t love you:

1.) Cry. cry each day until you don’t have any tears left. Go to the restaurants he took you too. Sit in the parking lot of the coffee shop you used to drink chai teas and white chocolate mochas and let your cries start a rainstorm.

2.) Talk about him. Write everything about him down. Tell your little black journal how it felt when his skin first touched yours. Describe his kiss in detail. Let the little white lines hear about how his arms would wrap around you when he was sleepy. Let him consume the pages of your little black book.

3.) Ask your mom how she felt when she first fell in love. Listen as she explains the first boy whoever broke her. Then when she’s done talking ask her how she got over him.

4.) Love yourself before you love anyone else. Yes he was beautiful and yes he made the stars shine a little brighter. But he is a tiny speck and you are the universe. And maybe one day later on in life when you are happy with who you are you can try again, but right now all loving him is doing is hurting your heart.

5.) Be with your friends. They were there before him, and they will be there after him. Drive to see the sunset with them. Go out to eat. Have sleepovers. Laugh until your stomach hurts. Don’t stop and think about him. He didn’t really love you anyways, and that’s gonna hurt you in the back of your mind. But he’s gone and you are here, and you are real. He isn’t.

Blue Tweets

Description: At Dan and Phil’s high school, Dan is a talkative, popular teen actor, and Phil is a quiet daydreamer. Dan thinks Phil’s cute and constantly talks about him on his Twitter, danisnotonfire (no duh). What he doesn’t know is that Phil follows him, and starts to connect the dots. (High school au.)


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Vodou and Race

Race and how it ties into Haitian vodou is a very important and incredibly complex topic to write about, and it’s one I’ve been wanting to write about for awhile. I’ve been really reticent to do so for one big glaring reason: I am white. I do not want my privilege and background to take center stage when I talk about vodou, but it is an inevitable topic that is bigger than I am and that white and/or European practitioners routinely do not talk about. I understand why, at least from my perspective and experiences–for me, I do not want to engage Haitain vodouisants and people of color in conversations that are really not desired. One of my goals in my vodou community that is largely made of Haitian practitioners is to be as unobtrusive as possible to other people’s experience and practice of vodou, be it social or religious, and so I do a lot of listening and not a lot of talking, particularly when the topic of race and the participation of white folks comes up.

But, it is vitally important to talk about race and how it is tied with vodou, especially for white and/or European practitioners and for outsiders, and it is important for white folks to do the talking about whiteness in vodou, instead of leaving the burden on Haitians. Vodou has consistently been taken advantage of by white folks who exploit the practices for personal gain and the participation of white folks is routinely waved about [by white folks] as this sort of ‘going native’ trope, wherein the white person is participating in this exotic practice and lending credibility to it, even if said white person completely goes far afield from what vodou actually is.

When you boil it down to bare bones, vodou is two things; a framework for healing in a world where suffering is the norm, and the living history of Haiti and the Haitian people. I’ve written a bit about how vodou heals, so I’m going to leave that by the side for right now. The living history of Haiti, though, is another matter and it’s one that is hard to explain in a way that makes sense if you haven’t seen vodou in person, but it is what vodou is–it traces the history of Haitians from Africa through enslavement to independence.

You can’t separate the history of Haiti from race and therefore cannot separate race from vodou. Vodou’s foundation was built upon the backs of enslaved Africans who dreamed of something better and then reached out and took it. From the very beginning, white Europeans have been the oppressors–first the Spanish, then the French, then the French again post-revolution when France demanded reparations for the loss of the colony, then the US using the Monroe Doctrine, then the US again when Aristide was deposed [accounts say it was US Special Forces that ‘escorted’ Aristide out of the country during the coup d’etat], and, most currently, the US-populated UN ‘peace-keeping’ forces that have trafficked Haitian women and children. Haiti is a popular cause for white folks to rally behind in an effort to make themselves feel good, but almost nothing is actually done–see the Red Cross financial debacle post-earthquake.

Post-revolution, almost every single white European was either ejected from the country or executed. A few were allowed to stay, and they were doctors and medical professionals, a group of soldiers who had deserted from the French forces, and a small group of Germans who had been allowed to live in the north prior to the revolution and who had aided Africans escaping enslavement.

One of the lasting effects of the French occupation after the revolution has been the social stratification based on skin color. Very light-skinned or white folks are often still referred to as gwo blan/big whites and light skin and ‘good hair’ [hair that mimics European characteristics of being non-textured] is a highly valued trait. White folks in general and especially those in positions of power are often distrusted, and with good reason.

So, how does that all play out in vodou?

The biggest example that I like to talk about is Ezili Freda*. Freda is considered the Lwa who most often concerns Herself with perfection [versus love]. She is the one who helps create the best possible life in the most pleasing manner.  She IS perfection embodied, and that’s where the reflection of the history of race comes in. Freda is almost always portrayed as very light-skinned or white with straight or slightly wavy hair, as She reflects the desire and embodiment of what is considered perfection among many Haitians. That’s not to say that Haitians don’t find all shades of skin attractive, but the underlying message is that lighter-skinned and/or white folks hold the power and are able to achieve more, and that’s not necessarily wrong in the context of colonial power structures and the matrix of white supremacy abroad.

Another piece of how Freda moves in the world also reflects the reality of skin color in Haiti. She is often unhappy because nothing is as good as She would like it to be–nothing is actually perfect. When She comes down into possession, She often cries or sobs. This is not necessarily because She is displeased with anyone, but more because nothing is ever good enough in Her mind. It is never, ever perfect and She is never, ever treated how She envisions to be the perfect manner.

This diverges in two ways. First, it reflects the idea and reality that white folks have this insatiable appetite for the finer things in life, which is also not inaccurate. Haiti sees a lot of white tourism and I can’t imagine what it must be like for a Haitian who makes an average of $100/year to see white folks with designer handbags and expensive sneakers staying in gated, fenced resorts and touring their neighborhoods to gawk at the relative poverty.

Second, it reflects the reality that even a light-skinned mixed race person will not be treated the same as a white person. Part of Freda’s story is that She is always the mistress and never the wife–She is what men seek out for comfort and entertainment, but She is often not valued as much as the white woman they may seek to marry. There’s a lot about gender and sexual politics in there, too, but it’s also a comment on the perpetuation of the ‘one drop’ rule that was and is alive and well in Haiti and beyond.

Ezili Freda is not the only light-skinned Lwa–Met Agwe is considered light-skinned with light eyes–and there are a few white Lwa, including Ogou Sen Jak, who, depending on lineage, is white and French, and there is a Lwa who I am not sure is part of my lineage or who comes separate from Freda who is often white or exceptionally light-skinned.

White is also held up as a ‘clean’ color in vodou. We wear white for a lot of Lwa, take white baths, cover our heads with white during certain things, and generally hold white up as a bastion of purity. The color white is assigned a lot of power, and indeed holds a lot of power. Damballah, the Lwa who often takes the form of a huge white snake, is the epitome of this. He is considered to be one of the strongest, oldest Lwa, and His primary form is the white serpent [If He chooses to take the form of a man, He does not come as a white man]. Anything given to Him must largely be white, from the libation He takes to His food and His gifts. In possession, He is covered by a white sheet so He is protected from anything impure.

In contrast, the Lwa that are considered to largely be Haitian in origin [sometimes this is accurate and sometimes not] are mostly dark-skinned and They are often considered much more volatile in temperament than Lwa who are often conceived of as originating in Africa. Sometimes it is [inaccurately] held that the darker-skinned a Lwa appears in a dream, the more malevolent They are. In addition to holding subtle and not-so-subtle comments about race within Their appearances, They also reflect Haitian people directly–the majority of Haitians are not what would be considered light-skinned. Light-skinned and white people are definitively the minority in Haiti, yet they are believed to, and do, hold an incredible amount of power and social status thanks to the underlying racism that took hold during the occupation of the island by Europeans.

Haitians, however, have a loud and definitive history of not accepting colonial rule. Vodou reflects this beyond the remembrance Bwa Kayiman and resultant independence and ejection of the imperialist French. I’ve mentioned it before, but the beginning of the priye/opening prayer of every ceremony is always in French and specifically the Old French that the colonizers would have spoken. This is a covert-to-the-outsider way of remembering the rasin/roots of revolution and a clear message of ‘this held us back, now we take it and use it for own purposes’. Vodou keeps history fresh–slavery and the overthrown of the French is not distant, but lives as a clear part of current Haitian reality and memory. Vodou is a means of constant revolution as it empowers those who practice it to mitigate the effects of oppressive factors in day-to-day life.

After it was made it clear that vodou was not just something I was going to witness and have no part of, my very first conversation with my Manmi–who is Haitian–began with me very hesitantly asking if it was even appropriate for me to be there because I am white. I didn’t get to finish my SUPER AWKWARD delivery of my question before Manmi cut me off and told me the Lwa are for everyone regardless of skin color. It seemed like the question exhausted her and I’ve never brought it up with her again. She’s pretty open about the fact that she gets a lot of shit from other Haitian manbos and houngans because she has white people in her house, and not an insignificant number, either. The way she tells it, other Haitians get jealous because they assume she is very financially well-off due to having many white children and, while this is not true, it speaks to a larger issue in Haiti and the Diaspora–whites hold a significant amount of wealth while being a minority in Haiti and Haitian vodou.

Not all lineage heads feel the same way about white folks as my Manmi does. In the city where Manmi’s US residence is, there are close to twenty other active sosyetes and very few will entertain a white person attending services, nevermind initiating into their lineage. I get questions a lot from other white people about this that boil down to ‘it’s not fair that they exclude people based on skin color’, and it makes my head hurt. Like, are you listening to the words that come out of your mouth? I can’t speak for anyone else, but I find it COMPLETELY LOGICAL that many Haitians want nothing to do with white people and won’t have white people in their sosyete. Beyond the blatant history of terrible treatment at the hands of white people, there is a huge trend of white people showing up to vodou and then departing and staging ‘voodoo rituals’ or declaring themselves a priest/ess and doing and selling things as authentic vodou that is anything but. Lots of white folks can’t seem to get out of their own way and realize that not everything is up for grabs, no one is bound to teach us anything, and we do not and should not have access to every space no matter how interested or sincere we may be. We do not get points for being polite or being ‘good’.

The trend for white folks to pick up vodou is kind of scary–and I say this being a white person who has picked up vodou. There’s a lot of bullshit, and a significant amount of it is perpetuated by white folks who want to appear exotic or like they have picked up special mystical powers from being in proximity to people of color who do things that look strange and unusual if your only exposure to religion has been the inside of a church. White people often complain that vodou costs money and requires a lot of work, and that is both an expression of privilege and an absolute blindness to the fact that white people have contributed to a lot of that. Vodou is insular not just because there are ritual secrets to be kept, but because white people show up to play tourist and by ‘voodoo dolls’ and otherwise be gross. Keeping the religion insular and a lot of information bound by initiation ensures that it is easy for a legitimate practitioner to spot a fraud and keeps information that could be dangerous in the hands of the stupid and unsupervised away from public consumption.

Most recently, there has been this growing practice to take Haitian culture out of vodou with the goal of making it accessible to white folks, which is gross, or only utilize the aspects of vodou that are palatable to white people, which is also gross. Most often, it is removing the liturgical language of Kreyol–which removes a LOT of meaning and information that someone who doesn’t speak Kreyol doesn’t realize they are missing–or doing away with animal sacrifice, which is a key component of initiation, agreements with Lwa, and baptizing a temple. Not including these things leaves you with something, but it’s not vodou.and it will result in ceremonies that are missing the pieces that make them work as religious ritual. Vodou is plenty accessible if you are white, the Lwa want you, and you are willing to do the work.

The key bit is being willing to do the work. The Lwa can shout in your ear all day that They want you to be a priest or want you to do <insert vodou thing>, but if you aren’t willing to put in some sweat equity and deal with being uncomfortable in a space that is not oriented to white folks, none of it matters. Being a part of Haitian vodou requires Haitian community endorsement–if you don’t have a community behind you, the gate will not open for you. Part of vodou is this living contract between the Lwa and Haitians. If you cannot get out of your own way as a white person, deal with your own stuff, and refrain from offending the Haitian folks you are working with to the point where they don’t want to deal with you, then no amount of intervention from the Lwa can help you.

I also get asked a lot if I, as a white person, am ever uncomfortable at services and the cold hard truth is that sometimes I am. Much of my discomfort is amplified by the fact that I am visibly queer and gender-non-normative, but sometimes it’s because I’m white and visitors at Manmi’s services are not happy to see me there. When I started with vodou, there was a HUGE amount of culture shock for me because I had never spent extensive time in a cultural space that didn’t have white folks as a big part. I missed out on a lot of cultural cues and didn’t understand others, like how the concept of personal space is often different for many Haitians, and it left me really out of sorts for a bit. I had to do a lot of work–and will always have a lot of work to do–to get out of my own way because there was no way I could have remained a part of vodou if I wasn’t willing to shift my worldview, dig at my own ingrained white supremacy, and orient myself to the idea that I was not going to be the default center of everything and not everyone is going to be okay that I am present. I think it’s easy for white people to take that–people not being happy to see us–as a personal insult, but that’s the effect of privilege on world view.

Of course, I can only talk about race in vodou as a white person, so my view is skewed by that. I have no idea what it is like to be Haitian, or Haitian in the United States where white supremacy is so cemented into everything. I think it’s important, though, that white practitioners take the opportunity to talk about how race and colorism relate to vodou because it is too often delegated to people of color to teach and educate about race and how white people have and continue to perpetuate white supremacy. Being trans is not a comparable experience to being a person of color, but the best way I can relate to it is that I fucking H-A-T-E teaching people about gender identity and trying to explain how and why I and other trans people should be granted the same dignity and respect as cisgender people. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to do that about your skin color or country of origin.

The Lwa didn’t have to pick me up and the lineage I’m a part of didn’t have to welcome me, so I feel pretty indebted to the Lwa and the Haitian community. Part of how I try to express that is writing as much as I can about my experience and understanding of vodou, and that includes writing about race and colorism. I don’t want to be the center of that sort of writing, because it’s not about me as an individual, and I hope that any errors or unintentionally privileged statements only reflect on me and not on vodou at large.

*It should be noted that my discussing Ezili Freda should not be taken as criticism of Her, but merely illustration of Her backstory. I adore Her and owe Her quite a bit, and find Her equal parts gorgeous and terrifying.