colorful studs

This open coral reef diorama in ¡Cuba! represents a string of jewel-like keys to the south of the main island of Cuba called the Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina). Here, silvery fish zip past banks of coral studded with colorful starfish, sea fans, and sponges. To protect this vital diversity, Cuba has created the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean. Coral reefs are some of the richest ecosystems on Earth, and on many Caribbean coastlines, they are in danger of disappearing. But in this protected area in Cuba, the reef is wonderfully alive. The diorama includes models of a hawksbill turtle, tiger shark, and spotted eagle ray. ©AMNH/M. Shanley

8

I Mean That Melanin Tho…
Going Hard Since ‘08.
My lovely college mate
turned girlfriend
turned fiancée turned wife.
Who would think nearly 10 years waking up to this creature of lure.
This madam of moisture.
This fcking beautiful hell bent bounty
of love
of nature.
My Muse.

-T.C. LenWorth

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confessions and cold water

“I am a boy.”
Saying those words lifts a weight off my chest
but puts rocks in my belly.
I am a boy.
I cover my breasts in the mirror
and breathe long through my nose.
My father’s name
- my name -
means ‘the new overtakes the old.’
Sweat settles along my shoulders.

I smother my face with a cold wet towel
and try to reset bone.
What does this mean?
The towel twists.
I am ready.

No.
I imagine my father gazing at me in shame,
or not looking at me at all - 
so I swallow my confession like medicine.
The rocks tumble in my belly.
Sticky summer mosquitoes gnaw at the window.

i am a boy
i am not a boy
i am a boy
i am
not
I am not strong enough, anymore.

I wrap the towel around my waist
and touch my inner thigh.
Nature has decided:
my fingers come away red.

I think the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard, was a comment about how girls shouldn’t have short hair because it makes them look manly, and how any girl who cuts her hair wants to be a man.

Why are we gendering hair? Why are sooo many people coming for my natural women of color with short styles? Why should any of us (gay, straight or otherwise), be made to feel less than because we don’t fit conventional beauty standards??? HAIR. IS. JUST. HAIR.

To all of my ladies rocking short styles:

Your hair length does not determine how much of a woman you are
You are beautiful
You are courageous
You are EXACTLY. What. The. World. Needs.