A dear friend of mine once asked me why I do this work. It's intense and self-exposing, he argued, why not do something that isn't so emotionally depleting? Why not do something more financially rewarding like stripping or accounting? First of all, stripping and accounting are both herculean jobs that require skills that I simply do not possess. My pole game is nil, so that's a moot point. Strippers work hard for their coin and I respect and honour their hustle. As for accounting, that's also a no-go area for me as my understanding of even fifth grade maths is the source of much embarrassment and shame. In high school, my maths teacher, who actively disliked my dithering ass, dissed me nicely once by blessing me with a U minus grade for one of my assignments. It's fair to say that my dad, a chemical engineer who worshipped at the altar of the sciences, was stressed-and-vexed to no end. Baby, let's just say when my end of term report cards were handed to me, my second home became the photocopy shop that used to be based around the corner from my ends. To grossly misquote Morrison, forgery, ye are a friend of my mind. So the question remains: why do I do this work? Why do I invest so much of myself into this wonky website?
I do this work because its purposive and fun. I do this work as an act of self-honouring and service. Believe it or not, this wonky likkle website is a resource for a number of people who can't access my books due to distribution issues or steep price points. I have made most of my work available on here because I believe that there should be no financial barriers to knowledge — no matter how bedlamite it is. This is an egalitarian space which, although steeped in my very particular stories of diasporic queerness, doesn't exclude anyone from enjoying the cookout. This space belongs to all of us, regardless of our respective cultural locations. Let us continue to celebrate each other and ourselves. May we all be loved in the way that we wish to be loved. May we all experience boundless, blissed-out love at least once in this lifetime. May we laugh and laugh in the face of foolishness. May we have the grace to always give thanks. With love and appreciation. Diriye
Image by DIRIYE OSMAN
Song of the moment: 'Bale Washintu' by GIGI