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Hey Girl Hey! 

I'm Javonne Crumby, creator of Lesbionyx-- A space for queer women of color. As a Black woman who loves women, I grew tired of the lack of representation and resources for women like me. So I created a platform for us and by us, because no one tells our stories like us! 

Daily Dose of Failure: Accepting Your Shortcomings

I spend most of my days trying to increase positivity by telling myself that I am amazing. Seriously.

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But this act of self-praise is mostly done with the hope that I can believe my own words. It takes a lot of work to genuinely believe that I am as wonderful as I say I am. Saying these words doesn't exactly help my confidence. More than anything, I hope that I can at least fool some people into thinking that I feel as confident as I say I am. Part of believing my self praise involves having to accept my shortcomings. So, I’d like to share a list of the things I've failed at:

  • High school level reading comprehension
  • English translations of complicated Spanish words
  • Knowing the definition of "sabbatical" during a presentation
  • Academia
  • Completing an apartment lease  
  • Avoiding eviction
  • Getting home before 3 AM on the bus
  • Catching my bus to the airport on time
  • Meeting people's parents in a sober state
  • A sober lifestyle
  • Taking a sick day without getting fired
  • Keeping a "professional" job for at least a year
  • A zine on raunch culture I started in high school 
  • A blog I started a few years ago 
  • A playwrights' collective 
  • A theatre company
  • Every short film idea (...so far)
  • Film school applications 
  • Acting school auditions
  • Most auditions
  • A creative writing group...and other creative project ideas 
  • My monogamous relationships 
  • My heteronormative relationships 
  • My half-bleached hair look 
  • Short hair looks
  • Anything make-up related
  • Library access without fines
  • Using Tumblr (I'm still confused)
  • Being on time to meet friends 
  • Home-made lattes
  • Home-baked vegan cake 
  • Home-baked non-vegan cake
  • Travel scholarships 
  • Saving money 
  • Avoiding student debt 
  • Self-love after coming out to my parents 
  • Pop culture references 
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With each item here, I can guarantee that I tried. With some, I tried a bit more than others. Earlier this month, I attended an event in Glasgow, Scotland for the Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF). The event called “SQIFF Presents: We Are Failing” is based on Jack Halberstam's book "The Queer Art of Failure" (which is currently on my reading list). During the event a woman shared her experience as a gay woman who often feels left out of the queer community; she is not an artist, does not have an edgy haircut, and is not in academia. She did, however, mention her pet cat. A beautiful and supportive dialogue followed that encouraged people to open up and allow themselves to share their own "queer failures". 

What is a queer failure?

I am going to interpret this as the way the heteronormative society we live in sets us up for failure. I'm sure we all have examples. Maybe we tried to make a zine about our queer life experiences and the rewards were lacking. Maybe we didn't make money off of our work. Maybe our work did not gain the visibility that we hoped for. It happens all the time. On a local level, it can come off as a queer failure - is there no interest in queer content? This is not true, but our heteronormative society makes it easy for us to fall into this belief. 

When I was in high school, I had to create a mission statement (in a capitalist society, why not let school kids think like businesses? *eyeroll*). One of my statements was "Don't go against gravity. Make it work with you, instead." Not bad, younger me. I guess I was protecting myself from failure. If I know that challenging circumstances are designed for me to fail, why try and fight them? Ideally, we all want to set ourselves up for success. But come on, failure is everywhere! I don't have the solution, but I think if we can begin to acknowledge our failures and accept them, it becomes easier to take chances and see what happens. 

So here's to our failures, especially the queer failures - whatever that may mean to you.

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