Stud Struggles: We Just Out Here Trynna Function

Studs/dykes/butches/bois/masculine-presenting women and the like: Throw down your PlayStation controllers and raise your picket signs because enough is enough! How many more cookouts, conversation parties, kickbacks, baby showers, and other events must we attend where the conversation quickly and unnecessarily shifts focus to our very private business? Business that in no way involves the stranger asking and likely isn’t even relevant to the vibe? Soon as we walk in, it’s like game night to these people and I will no longer be played with. I cannot tell you the number of times I have been minding my own business enjoying very casual conversation before being asked some of the following foolishness at the function:

“How does strapping work?”

“Do you strap or do you get strapped?”

“So, why not just be with a guy?”

“YOU want to carry a baby??” 

“So. Question about strap-ons…”

“Do you like head?” (And proceeding to not offer any)

“Excuse me sir…oh my bad yo. HAHAHAHA”

Can I eat my honey BBQ wings in peace? Is the sex life you imagine I have more popping than what you should currently be doing on a handstand, sis? This is a party! There is a time and place for people to ask queer women these questions, I’m certain. However, I would appreciate the opportunity to finish my Prosecco and two-step with my friends without being interviewed by a bunch of bored, tipsy, nosey individuals. Please do not ask me about my bedroom activities in front of the potato salad! Please respect that I am uninterested in disclosing my plan to conceive children with a stranger I just met in the club. Please understand that you are NOT low when you use a tipsy game of Never Have I Ever to ask if I also enjoy dick. This is what happens when there isn’t enough food at parties. Mouths find less productive ways to keep busy.

I came here to get lit, and these recycled questions are not it y’all. Please consult YouTube for any questions you have for the community because the information is plentiful. The site is booming with women willing to explain themselves to anyone watching. I know masculine women are quite interesting and very fine, but I also know that people (women, men, etc.) can make conversation with us that does not include sexual harassment and other invasive inquiries. Especially in environments that offer free or discounted liquor! So with that said, if she didn’t volunteer this kind of information, please refrain from harassing that gay lady at the Rona cookouts I know you’re having. Find a snack and keep it pushing.

Get Your Hang Time Right: Baltimore Woman Launches Spicy New Hair Growth Product

As we trudge on through this quarantine, many of us are spending our extra time loving up on our hair. Whether you’re growing out an old haircut or deciding to start a loc journey, you’re likely in need of a product that will help grow, soften, and above all, strengthen your hair. Baltimore native Tremara McKeemer (a.k.a Black Rapunzel) recently released the truly godly Rapunzel Dreams Hair Growth Potion, and clients are already clamoring to get their hands on a bottle! It’s very clear that this potion is more than your average natural oil blend, as it provides a lasting experience that’s worth the hype.

I was fortunate enough to get my order in during the June pre-sale, and I’m just as impressed as everyone else in the reviews. As you open the bottle, you are immediately flooded with the sweet and spicy aromas of cinnamon and peppermint. I almost abandoned my commitment to my hair in favor of a bath in this stuff. You may want to lighten up on the perfume that day because this scent will attract more than enough attention on its own. The instructions say to massage the potion into your scalp for 2-3 minutes everyday and implore us to document the process over 2-4 weeks. The creator is so confident in the product’s promotion of thicker, healthier hair that she encourages you to document the journey and post a review to get 20% off your next purchase.

It is important to note that the Rapunzel Dreams Hair Growth Potion promotes healthy hair by focusing on a healthy, happy scalp. Y’all know it starts at the roots! Most of the ingredients aim to cleanse, stimulate, and moisturize the scalp so your hair may follow suit. The key word here is STIMULATION, so be sure to massage the oil in with each use. The potion is especially useful for repairing breakage, clearing dandruff, and thickening hair. Go ahead and treat yourself by treating yourself.

Check out the reviews on Instagram @Rapunzeldreamz_ and shop at rapunzel-dreamz.myshopify.com to join the Black Rapunzel gang.

Letting Go

Some things you need to learn alone

At first sight, I knew this woman would take me some place so far from home I’d never return. She was the most exciting woman in the room. She didn’t speak much at first, but her energy was too big and too loud to ignore. The room filled with a very feminine, very dominant perfume that I quickly connected to her. We were surrounded by dozens of nervous, fidgety young adults (like myself) trying their best to make a good first impression on their new managers and coworkers, but she remained still. She was sure of both herself and her intentions. She was on a mission. And by time I noticed I was staring at her, it was clear she’d been noticing too.

She wasn’t the one hiring and promoting, but it was her approval that everyone really wanted. I watched people watching her and waiting for their face-to-face moment with that big white smile and those soft brown eyes. Being my quiet and reserved self, I tried to play it cool and just watch from a distance, but she wouldn’t allow it. It seemed that the more distant I tried to be, the closer she came to me. Each time I looked at her, I thought “Is she really looking at me?” And each time, she met my eyes with a look of confirmation.

“I’m looking at you.”

This game of eye tag was making my heart race too fast to focus on the reason I was even there, meanwhile, she seemed to be doing just fine. She was all I was thinking about, so I fled the room to find a less distracting crowd. After I made it up a flight of steps, I took several deep breaths because I hadn’t been to the gym in a minute. I was truly embarrassed that this strange woman had me at work feeling like an awkward high school freshman with brand new hormones.

After a solid ten minutes of a self-inflicted mental ass whooping, I stumbled across the comforting realization that this was the first time I’d felt this way about a woman since the woman I still compared everyone else to. I was immediately overcome with gratitude. The universe had dismissed any doubt that I would experience that kind of passion again. It also allowed me to live long enough to know that, for that very reason, I didn’t need to be embarrassed. She was just a woman no different from the last or the next. And as much as I admire a woman on a mission, my spine straightened as I reminded myself that I already am that woman. And with that, I went back downstairs and worked the room like I was the only woman there.

Is This Womanhood?

When I pulled down my underwear, that dark red liquid was the last thing I expected to see. I could hardly see at all. I tried to un-see it. I was standing in the last stall in the dimly lit restroom and the only source of light came from in front of me; where the door should have been but wasn’t because Baltimore City public schools. This couldn’t be right, what the hell is this? I was half convinced that I’d shit myself, no lie. Right before I accepted that as truth, I remembered that I was thirteen and had both full control of my bowels and the ability to smell feces. And I did not. My list of conclusions was shortening, and I was forced to accept the only one that made sense: I’d gotten my very first period. Oh hell no. Was I sure it wasn’t just shit?

I was more annoyed than afraid or excited or sad, even though I was all of those things at once. My mother and fifth-grade health class had prepared me for this so, now that I was sure my colon hadn’t collapsed, I had to get on with it. I forgot that my friend was in the restroom waiting on me.

“Girl, fuck is you dying in there?” she asked in her normal, annoyed tone.

I replied “I think I just got my period.” My friend rushed over to the stall like an excited older sister.

“Oh my God, you finally got your period!” I huffed as I did not share in that excitement.

She was two years younger than I was but was far more developed. Knowing that she already had her “flower,” I asked her for a pad. To no one’s surprise, she didn’t have one. I pulled more toilet paper from the raggedy holder (BCPSS please) than I needed and did the best I could with that. I was panicking and 100% certain that I was mere minutes from bleeding all over myself. I needed to find something for my situation quick, fast, and in a hurry.

We left the school heading down the street to after school camp and I immediately called my mother. Approximately four times. I probably left her the angriest teenage attitudinal voicemail ever as I tried to explain how urgent this matter was without having to say exactly what “it” was outside in public. I was really saying “please don’t make me have to call dad about this,” but the day had already decided not to go my way. I reluctantly dialed my dad while trying to put a good ten feet between me and my nosy friend as we walked. I was probably hoping he didn’t answer either, but he did on the first try.

“Hello, dad? Yes. I think I just got my period.”

Everything stopped. It felt like I had screamed those words from the top of a mountain like a Disney princess or something. My nosy friend fake gasped like she was on an episode of RHOA. In the middle of my embarrassment, I realized this man still hadn’t said anything!

“Hello???!” I called, my annoyance growing stronger.

“Oh…so what you need some pads or something??” he responded, doing his best.

“I don’t know, Dad. I guess. Can you please call Mom?” I sighed. Then I hung up. I would have cried, but then I would have annoyed myself.

A few hours later, my parents picked me up from the camp with the necessary supplies. I climbed into the car like I was being rescued from some trenches in Iraq. Then my mom told the whole Baltimore I got my first visit from Aunt Flo.

Looking back, I it was a blessing to have both of my parents show up for me in that moment of my life. It was awkward as hell and maybe a little embarrassing, but every time a little Black girl experiences a major life event with no trauma, an angel sings.

Actual Job Hunting Tips for Dummies

Who doesn’t know someone who’s looking for a job? Hating your job or not having one can definitely wear on your patience, so let’s not waste too much time. Here’s a list of tips that have actually worked for us in the past:

  1. Pay Attention to the Posting Dates

Most jobs posted online are filled within the first 10 days, so aim to apply to newly posted positions. You may also still have a good chance with job listings that are less than 30 days old. If you see that the job was posted 45 or more days ago, don’t waste too much time.

2. Take Advantage of Student Career Centers

If your university has a career center, please go. They will help with everything from resume building to scheduling on-campus interviews with employers. It’s best to see what the career center has to offer well before you graduate, but if you’re lucky, your school will still have opportunities for alumni. Some universities have their own online job systems that cater specifically to their students. This will be way more effective than shooting in the wind on other sites because those employers are looking for prospects like you!

3. Properly Design Your Resume for the System

You have to make your resume fit each job you apply for. Employers have applicant tracking systems that filter through submitted resumes looking for keywords. Carefully examine the job description and describe your work experience using the given buzz words. We’re not saying you should lie on your resume, but be creative. I came across one guy who wanted to work in IT, but lacked the experience. To make sure his resume made it to the top of the system’s list, he wrote a bunch of technical words in tiny, white-colored font at the bottom of his resume. Some may say it was unethical, but it worked!

4. Don’t Apply for Jobs You Don’t Want

Many of us believe that a job is a job, but constantly taking jobs that don’t interest you will only lead you into a cycle of dissatisfaction. Instead of searching for new jobs every other month or year, really consider what it is that you want to do and invest time in that. Consider taking a continued education class at a local college or getting a license/certification in a field that interests you. Check out Eventtrix.com to browse some options.

5. Look Out For Scams.

In this economy, it’s no secret that people are in dire need of better paying jobs and looking to supplement income. There are organizations that intentionally falsely advertise jobs to take advantage of your desperation. Here’s tips within tips:

  • Have you ever heard of this company before now? Always research the company online. No trustworthy employers are posting jobs without having their own well-designed website. If they do have a website and it looks too vague or shady in any way, move on.
  • If the employer is trying to sell the job to you, it’s likely a scam, a waste of time, or a super low paying sales job. Watch out either way.
  • Sex traffickers sometimes use job postings to lure victims. You have to be extremely careful because these listings can even show up in your school’s career site. Unfortunately, you have to make an effort to get the job you want. If it seems too easy, be suspicious!

6. Practice Your Writing

You may not need much calculus after high school if you aren’t an engineer, but trust and believe you will need to know how to write. We cannot stress enough how many job applications are rejected because of a poorly written resume or cover letter. Many adults struggle with language composition well into their careers, and employers practically beg universities to send candidates who can write. You do not need to be *insert famous writer* to get by. Search YouTube and Purdue Owl for language tips and guidance. Or ask for help!

7. Be Yourself in the Interview

Relax and let your natural charm shine through! You are qualified for whatever job you are interviewing for, otherwise you wouldn’t have been called. This means you already know what is expected of you, so avoid putting yourself under extra pressure to be or talk like someone else. Your accent is just fine. Do not think you have to become a whole new character to be professional.

Please share with your sister’s boyfriend’s cousin and them who need a job! If you have additional tips or suggestions, help us out and comment below.