Black Child, White Foster Home

Black child, White home, Black hair. I emancipated from the foster care system at 18 with both my hair and me being broken by the entire experience. Both took years to repair. Both will need lifelong maintenance. Now in my 30s, I unapologetically wear my hair in long brown locs that fall at the same spot on my back as my rebellious braids once did. My hair remains a symbol of my autonomy and individuality. With my foster care experience long behind me, both my tresses and I are well on our way to a healthy recovery.

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Pauli Murray: 'Man in the Mirror'

Rosenberg, in Jane Crow, unearths the haunting history that Pauli omitted from her autobiography.  She notes that as early as nineteen, Pauli began to experience a number of breakdowns and hospitalizations because of her struggles with gender and sexuality. She also believed her attraction to women was because of her “inner maleness". Rosenberg uses “she" pronouns for Pauli, as do I since she is not here to change her pronouns, but I honor the truth of who she saw herself as:

 “Maybe two got fused into one with parts of each sex,”….”male head and brain, female-ish body, mixed emotional characteristics”….”one of nature’s experiments; a girl who should have been a boy.”

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She/He/They?: Learning To Love the Pieces of Me

Growing up, my mother was never really strict about the clothes I wore, or the way I chose to present myself, but she always had something to say. “You’re too pretty to be dressing like a boy,” she’d comment as I’d make my way through the front door. I knew she meant no harm, and just wanted her only daughter to look like a girl, and to be honest, it didn’t bother me at all. In fact, I’ve always enjoyed being a girl, I just felt that I was doing so in the wrong body, with the wrong features and parts.

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