The Performer

The Performer

Audre Lorde

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Coming out: Is it done when it’s done?


-To disclose, make known, to reveal, to be out of the closet.

-To state openly and publicly one’s sexuality and gender identity.

My coming out

“I did not kick my duvet one morning and decide: “What the heck, I want to be out!” It was and is still a process”.

At the moment, I am out to close family (brother and sister), a majority of my friends and colleagues.

Before then, I always thought I could make time (plan), probably rehearse a speech and then sit with the people that mattered most in my life and tell them about me. However, action rolled out faster than I had imagined because the more vocal I became on issues of sexuality, sexual orientation and gender identity, of course through art, the sooner one by one members of my family/friends/colleagues somehow got to find out about me.

Every time I walked into an office to either open a bank account or register for mandatory monthly deductions, I would always meet someone that I knew. My referral letters from my employer to those offices were all branded, The Gay and Lesbian …, which of course raised eyebrows!

My participation in events such as the World AIDS Day (WAD) and International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) where pictures of me were splashed in newspapers with articles on homosexuality amongst others were no better! They were all avenues of outing the ‘queer’ in me. But at the end of the day, it was a decision I had to make.

I was tired of having my “special little self” swinging on a hanger in the closet, living a double life to please people –– which never worked anyway! It was time to be myself, time to be me, time to live and let live. But the process is far from over because someone will always send me text or mail to ask me why I am ‘doing whatever I chose to do’…only then does it dawn on me that coming out is a continuous process –– I will continue coming out for the rest of my life!

The Coming Out Process

Coming out happens when one realizes they are gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex, accept themselves as that before sharing it with others within or without their circles.

Coming out begins with internal questioning on why we are into women, if it is right in the eyes of God and society or is it just a phase we are going through etc. Many questions shroud our thinking and we are left confused. Most women that are involved in networks seem to admit to being bisexuals than lesbians. Why? Because bisexual at least shows we still are “normal!” We get attracted to men when we know all these are lies that we will have to live up to someday. I do not blame us for that. For heaven’s sake we have to say all those things! It’s part of the coming out process!

Then the feeling of naivety is here to stay. With that the reality sets in. Several years down the line, our same gender loving tendencies seem to be getting stronger and more passionately lively!

The excitement of being around women and gorgeous ones for that matter becomes an everyday fantasy to “WE’. Many times we try to correct assumptions on who we really are. The good thing with this is that the pressure we continue to feel wears out with time but creeps back once in a while or when we are blue.

I read a “Coming Out” article from on Lesbian Life in which one of the interviewees looked at coming out as “more a matter-of-fact rather than the definitive revelation” of 10 years ago when she came out. This was an interesting read for me.

You may have very suspicious family that pops the question: “Are you gay” even before we decide to come out. This makes it rather awkward and we mostly end up denying that we actually are. It is honestly jaw-dropping especially if we never anticipated such. Sometimes, we may want to politely weave an answer that will not exactly mean ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.

Coming out is heavy for most especially those that hear it for the first time.
Self acceptance - how long it took me to accept myself as a lesbian,
Not everyone is comfortable divulging details of their personalities especially in regard to their sexuality and gender identity. Coming out is perceived by some to be an exhausting process.

Most of us want to run away from reality, we want to dance it away. One reason we have do this has something to do with self preservation. Waiting for the right time to come out? But within us we have no clarity at all, we feel like we are not being honest to our true selves. We prefer living double lives (for those in heterosexual relationships) not because we want to but we are simply staying away from the usual backlash from family, friends and colleagues who of course have a biased opinion of homosexuality.

Tips to Coming Out by K8 Kamunde

1. The Art of timing.
Some individuals are used to forcing their sexualities and gender identities down people’s throats –– wearing their sexuality on the sleeve.

More often than not, this catches the latter unawares and we cannot blame them for their reactions after coming out to them this way! Some could raise an alarm that could trigger violence and put our securities at risk.

Others give too much information most of which is not required by whoever we are coming out to. It takes time to process some of this information and it is only wise if we take one step at a time.

One problem with most of us is that we are impatient. We want people to be accepting and comfortable immediately we come out to them! Wow! Even Rome was not built in a day, you know!

Some individuals we come out to remain unaffected; some need five minutes, others, 20 years.

Then there are of course those that were just awaiting our confirmation that we are actually gay!

Expecting someone to immediately understand, process and accept the information is being very unrealistic. We should be more willing to talk about it one bit at a time. This will allow them time to digest the information without making them feel like they are under pressure to accept us as we are.

Let me end it this way: Give people time!

2. Safe space and time
This is best illustrated by a story of a friend, Lillian.
Lillian’s first coming out to her mum was after a bad argument. The mum paced to and fro as she lectured Lillian on her behavior the previous night. Lillian had accompanied her friends to a party and never sought permission from her mother only to surface three days later, drunk and disorderly, to her mother’s dismay! During the argument the mother presumably asked what was wrong with her and she burst out at her mother about being gay…

Lillian’s timing was wrong because she was immediately kicked out of home and has been on the run ever since. What am I trying to say here? There is never a “right time and place” to come out but at least we can choose some that are better than others.

For example, telling your sister in the middle of a conversation with her friends during a sleepover may not work out. Planning and telling her when you would be spending some time alone together might find her more receptive and calmer to what you are going to say.

Pick a place that allows for someone to leave if they need to. Sometimes we do not have the chance to decide when and where we come out to someone.

You could for example offer to talk more about it later at a time and place that convenient for the parties to be involved. Few people find it easier to have a mediator who could step up and help control in case you would not want things to get out of hand. They could be vocal people who understand and are willing to speak if you suddenly are not able to speak about it at that particular moment.

Again at the end of the day, you are the only one who calls the shots so if you feel uncomfortable then you could decide to hold it to another date and time when you are better off talking about it.

3. Self preparation.
You need to prepare yourself for coming out because we could either expect positive or negative outcomes.

You do not want to be very optimistic that since you brought your girl home last weekend and she was received well by her ‘in-laws’ then its most likely that your parents or siblings will welcome your acknowledging that you are gay! There are people that are ready to come out at any time while there are those that may need a much longer time to be able to tell it.

That means then that my coming out process may not necessarily apply to someone else’s in this case. Therefore it would be wrong to try and copy or even try what someone else did. You are bound to get into so much trouble while you are still at it and trust me; you do not want to have regrets with this one. Not now, not ever!

Remember that you might be comfortable with coming out to some people now but coming out to other people in your life might take some more time. There are those that prefer doing it with friends first then with family while there are those that could do the vice versa. Either way your mind should be set and prepared for whatever reaction you are likely to get after coming out.

4. Direct Or Indirect Confrontation
Avoid making this obvious mistake lovely one! Don't send people to come out on your behalf! This has proved a challenge because whenever we feel like we cannot talk to someone then we always get a friend or a close relative to do us the favor. This has worked for some but has been disastrous for most. The impact of the message received is felt differently if heard from your mouth and from someone else’s.

Your family members/colleagues/friends would prefer it if they could hear this from your mouth, not from some big mouthed neighbor next door who will rant on and on about so and so’s daughter who always dresses like a boy and has this weird look and many other exaggerated versions to the real story! They are better able to deal with it if it comes from you. It is not the same as sending your best friend to tell a colleague at work about your pre-wedding arrangements!

It would mean more if you spoke about it yourself. This is difficult but once you decide to come out then there is no tracking back. There are certain aspects about our lives that we cannot go on hiding for very long.

There is always a snoopy cousin or your sister's cousin's friend who sees you getting cozy with another woman in a club and either takes pictures for proof or goes outside to make several informative calls. You will have to decide who you would like to talk to personally and who you would want to avoid confronting directly and use someone else to do that. Either way, tread carefully on this one!

5. Have A Plan B
This is one of the most important ones. It could be under self preparation on number 3.

You are likely to get kicked out of home if you are still dependent on your parents. You could be threatened to have schooling stopped for you if you still prefer being gay.

If you are self dependent the worst case scenario would be that the rest of your family will denounce you as one of their own. They could press the delete key on you from their lives. If you have a job then you would prefer not to come out to your boss because this may mean that you could lose your job at some point, because you are gay and your boss is having a bit of a hard time trying to comprehend this.

They will frustrate you at work so much so that the quality of the work you are doing goes down and, good riddance! They now have a reason to dismiss you from work without you claiming that it was because of your sexuality.

You will lose the few friends and or colleagues who may feel that you are bouncing towards the wrong direction.

This brings us back to being psychologically prepared for outcomes and being able to continue with whatever we have going in our lives without interruption.

6. Many Questions About The Coming Out Process Pop Up!
There are those that ask too many questions after your coming out. This should not worry you one bit. It is usual and most of us have and continue going through this.

You could even get a call in the middle of the night, hours/weeks/months after coming out and someone here probably wants to know how you make love to someone of the same sex. Or it could be that they are just asking you if these are feelings you could try to change. Another one will even talk to the local priest after church, or a counselor and make an appointment for you, without your knowledge (most parents have done this with their children).

It is just a process of getting to synthesize the information they have just received and we should respect this in every way. It is entirely frustrating, I know, to have to go through the therapy and prayer sessions but with patience and being ourselves, they eventually have nothing else to do. Many have fallen into the trap and changing to heterosexuality, in the process making homosexuality look like something one could wake up to and walk away from.

We should be willing to answer the questions to better help them understand what we are actually saying.

Of course, this does not ultimately mean that you answer questions that make you feel uncomfortable. You should have a limit on what to answer to and what not to.

You could have a friend and stranger asking a very sincere question. You could for instance choose not to answer to the latter.

7. Have Referral Source
When I came out to my late friend Phyllis, she first looked confused and torn. I could tell from her conversation that she was really having a hard time figuring things out and I asked her if she needed time for that. She declined and instead said that she would have wanted to have access to materials i.e. books and literature that directly targeted the gay community because she would want to know how to treat me. This immediately put me at ease.

People may at one time or another find the need to have people they could talk to and possibly materials.

This helps them figure out what being gay is all about.

They want to seek a deeper understanding of the issues and how they will affect them.

They want to see if this concept is one they could deal with and how to begin the process.

Some may have so many questions, some of which we may not have answers to and we need to allow them to do that.

They want to be supportive in whichever way.

Anyone who comes across such individuals should count themselves very lucky because those that fall under this category are indeed few.

By K8's

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Can I go down on my girlfriend while she’s menstruating ?

The answer to this one is "Yes, you can go down on someone while they are menstruating." There are however several conditions that you need to watch out for before engaging in safe sex with your partner during your/her menses. You should only go down if:

- Your girlfriend does not have any blood borne viruses;

- Your girlfriend does not have any Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's) which would stop you going down on her when she is not bleeding;

- You do not have any blood borne viruses, or if you do, your mouth and gums are intact (remembering that you can have small cuts in your mouth from brushing your teeth or rough food which you may not be aware of);

- You do not have cold sores which could transmit the herpes simplex to your partners genitals; and

- You are both comfortable with this practice.

If you want to reduce contact with blood, you could ask her to wear a tampon. This will ensure that you are still able to go down on her. You could consider having safe sex while she still has her pantie on but this will mainly involve rubbing her right there, which gives pleasure if done well!
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Woman to woman related Q & A... for you!!

Hello Lovely people!

I'd like to first and foremost thank you for attending our "Woman to woman" health forum that was held on Sunday 18th July, 2010. It was nice having you around and discussing a several health issues that directly touched on same-sex practicing individuals and couples. Thank you for sharing your experiences and allowing 'our very own' daktari tackle some of your concerns. You are wonderful people and I miss you already!

For those that never made it, well, am sure you do not miss the next one because it will certainly be better than our first. We will be digging deeper into issues of health, relationships and sex which have taken sometime to bring to the table!

I will therefore in this regard be posting some commonly asked questions and the answers.

Let us break the silence surrounding our health as same gender loving persons, it may save lives!

I Love you and please take care of yourselves...


I am in a monogamous relationship with my girlfriend. We're both lesbians and I’ve only had sex with her,neither has she. Do I need to worry about an Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) check?

Safer sex is all about reducing the risk of infection. Your situation can be described as a very low risk one. If both you and your partner have not had any other partners previously and don't have sex with anyone outside the relationship then the risk of an STI is very low. If your partner has been sexually active with other people, then there is some risk that she may have an STI.

If your partner is diagnosed with an STI, then it is important that you get tested to see if she has passed it onto you. It is also important that you are honest with each other, so that if one of you has sex outside the relationship, you are able to discuss it together and reassess the risk. Safer sex practices can help make sex safer, even when there is no STI risk.

For instance, risk reduction practices will help reduce the chance of getting thrush or Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) – both of which can occur as a result of sexual activity without any transmission from a partner.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Womanly Women

Out in the dark
Onto the runway street
Where the heaven's whisper to the earths
The hand-picked fruits from trees smile
As if to humbly ask her to be put to lips

Life in the sunshine
Life as a gay woman
Torturous and double-edged
Too narrow to draw the lines
Yet within an accepting heart
An excited, self-inclined and energized soul
One of a human being, not a sinner's!

Sadness is immortal
Not a prank's theory of what really matters
Love in the mind of a fool
Who walks only too blindly and trips
On their two feet and never gets up again
Frustrated in their bid to experience
Low Vulva Experiences
Leave One's Variables Entertained!

Women in Love
Is chemistry, a procedure in the making!
The world around them claps
If not in agony
In the fact that, they found each other
After all!

And in death
The loss of activists of all time
Tears continue streaming in hearts
Robbed off the best in the human rights sector
The vocal instruments that preach the importance of universality of rights
Endless mourning
Of the fallen, well reputed, experienced, the missing heroes and heroines of our time
Especially now when we are in dire need!
But in peace they rest
From agony and homophobia and violence
While we're left to fight on!
Not alone….their spirits forever roam in our midst…here…

Our perceptions
Our stereotypes
Give birth to labels, to assumptions
To ignorance
Our responsibilities,
Brood insecurities, violence…
Our unity
Our vocal ability to exercise our duty to the community we serve
Sprout our responsibility, accountability
Morality and good nature
Bring good tidings, makes it worth the while

I stand, in peace
Wish us well, not splits
Encourage honesty, not empty talk
In this fight, in the struggle
For what is rightfully ours
Alluta continua!



One of us
Searching for love
Found another then WE
Met and never looked back ever since
Birds of a feather
The entwined twins that never were…now lovebirds
Whose hearts roam in the same direction
Sing the same song
Walk down the road…hands tightly clutched to each other
Laughing and constantly leaning on shoulders
Fondly looking into one another's eyes
They're inseparable

They are jeered and mocked by strangers
But they have found the joy in being the other's better half
They are comforted in the love they share
These are two women
Destined to be together…even through the hate and mockery
They would never wish to disappear…never apart
Tongues that taste and savor the same wine
They're inseparable

The women cuddle within those walls
That surround the space they call home
They're strong enough to jump into this ship
That sails them to the land of Love…it's peaceful and exciting there!
The land around it is dry and treacherous
They gasp for breath each time day gives way to night
For their fate is unknown to them
They're inseparable!

They crawl till they can walk again
Two women in love…they've found the joy of being in each other's company
Making many unsuccessful ladies jealous
“Te amo”s whispered in the dark…
They're not scared to love
They live their lives….dictated by a society they should conform to
They will pretend to
But they're inseparable!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Today's K8's Birthday...!


It's my birthday today. I have received so many birthday wishes and the excitement bubbling within me is taking me to levels I have never been to in such a long time! Thank you once again for those...

I have also amongst other things received a gift of two books by Maya Angelou (one of my past time favorites) and those that I have been trying to acquire without success for a while now. I got this from a very special someone in my life and I want to say “THANK YOU”.

Books are a treasure to me because the information contained remains long after the cakes and candies are all eaten could never be erased! So is my memory of you!

Books are memories that I hold close to my heart…Books are special gifts and not just books!

I wrote the poem below sometime last month, after taking some time alone one weekend. I was basically thinking about the person that I am, the weaknesses and strengths I possess that make me a ‘unique’ being on earth.

I realized that in as much as I'm human…there are those things about us that will never change. They could either be good or bad, they may be so annoying that one would easily fall sick.

I chose to focus on my few good traits I know about me and this is what I came up with. I had preserved this to post it to you, my ardent reader, on my blog to become part of a piece that was patched up on this special day! I hope you enjoy while you're at it!

I love you all and take care!



I was born in July
I am a Julian in my special kind of way
I bubble with enthusiasm, about anything and everything
I giggle and play and shout and sing…
The July an way!

I am of a friendly nature
With strangers, enemies and all
With a smile always on my lips
Speak politely…maintain worthwhile friends
Go that extra mile and be there for all time!

Quiet… restrained…makes meaningful noise, only when necessary
The Big Sister who's keeping watch over you!
Free but holds back one in a while
The “you never know” feeling shrouds my thinking…
Reminds to listen before I speak
But not always once in a while!

A deep thinker
A soul that always searches for clues…answers to issues
Solutions? Of course I acquire them through thinking
Keeping “mum”…by my elbow
Staring into space now….thoughtful K8

Good sense of humor
When time is ripe…exact and precise
On the line of laughter
Expression's the brain activated
Silence…eventual death of a sojourner

Loving and caring
Towards dear and near ones
Always lending a helping hand…whenever I can
An ear to always listen
A shoulder, to always lean
A heart, that's more than willing to share

A sharp mind
That responds to situations fast…unrelentingly intelligent
Always ready and willing for correction….she knows she ain't “perfect’
Though at times also makes rash decisions
A willing brain…an energy driven mind
A worthy piece of art…sketched by her Maker!

To the feelings of others before her own
A keen ear…a responsive heart
Always selfless in reaching out
Always contented in helping others
Always touch people in special ways!

Fun person
Out there…carefree spirit…a body at ease
Though careful of those that surround her, for her own security
Laughs loudest…chats earnestly, cheers joyfully
Maintains a jovial mood, has fun in her own little ways
Even if they involve being locked up in her tiny little room, jumping up and down
Like a pig that is fed on prawns.

Forgiving nature
Does not keep grudges…
Gossip is nowhere near her vicinity…
She knows whoever tells her about others will also tell others about her
Always wary about every word she utters
Careful but too honest with what hurts
That's your July Ian girl!

Unpredictable at times
Very difficult to understand…at times too complicated to even know what she's thinking
At one point very open, at another totally discreet and private
Even with those that know her only too well
Different bell rings, different reactions, some unexpected
But precisely set…
You're sure you know her, until she takes you on this one…head on!

Stylish dresser
Keeps her colors in check
And her jewelery in set
Once in a while…even surprise herself
But not stylish every day…others could be more homey and others totally blazing
Rarely style crazy…but also comes as an accompaniment anyway

Peace lover
Brings people together, unites them in communication, in resolving their issues
Encourages….instills love – even in entirely challenging situations
“It starts with me,” she says, and sets that pace

Spiritual at times
Her ‘mama’s’ Bible always within reach
Her silent whispers to the Almighty always updated
Her memory of Sunday school by her chin
A word of hope so closely held

Dedicated and hard working
‘She’ faithful servant of the people
Gives more time for work than anything
Tires but puts it aside ‘to beat deadlines
An adequate reporter…a committed soul to the matters of those she serves
Avoids conflicts whenever they are suspect to arise
The one and one…

K8y July ‘ian!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


She Used to be my enemy and never letting me be free,
catching me in places that I know I shouldn't be,
Every other day I crossed the line
I didn't mean to be so bad,
I never thought you would become a friend I never had

Back then I didn't know why,
Why you were misunderstood (mama),
So now I see through your eyes,
all that you did was love

Mama I loved you, Mama I cared,
Mama I loved you, Mama my friend,
You were my friend

I didn't want to hear it then but
I'm not ashamed to say it now,
Every little thing you said and did was right for me,
I had a lot of time to think about,
about the way I used to be,
Never had a sense of my responsibility.

Back then I didn't know why,
why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes,
all that you did was love,

Mama I loved you, Mama I cared,
Mama I loved you, Mama my friend,
You were my friend ,you were my friend

But now I'm sure I know why (I know why),
why you were misunderstood,
So now I see through your eyes,
all I can give you is love (all I could give you was love),

Mama I loved you, Mama I cared,
Mama I loved you, Mama my friend,
Mama I loved you, Mama I cared,
Mama I loved you, Mama my friend,
You were my friend, you were my friend

Ohh, my mama my love
Ohh, my mama my love

In love in you, in love in me
And love was true and guaranteed

I'm loving you,you loving me
our love that was true so true

The Spice Girls...


It may be time to say good bye
I have been thinking about this for a long time now
And I bet its time to say what I've been waiting so long to say…
This free spirit has to fly
Away from the sun…from the curious stares of my haters
Those that smile but from within those pretentious scarred eyes
Despise that's dressed to kill
Those that mama always warned me about
But those I thought would take time to grow

I have done my best
Watched the tower rest at the foot of my beliefs
Those that I was taught to look up to
The lucky stars that once shone on me
Have disappeared without notice
Left me helpless and lost
I have nothing to keep eating here…the land is withered and dry
Scarce tears is my only drink…regrets have made me so hungry to go on living

I have given up
On everything I thought mattered
Thrown in the towels to a distance I cannot stare into
My eyes are tired of seeing
Ears of hearing all you have up your sleeve for me
My short but pretty fingers which will in no time be no more
Are exhausted from typing to convince you…of what my heart really feels
While all that falls on vampires that laugh at my face
They cackle in laughter as I am dragged to hell by some of those I regarded confidants
I have lost the will to live

This becomes my final moment
Michael Jackson's “final curtain call”
Where all my mouth can mutter is goodbyes
To a hefty but interesting life
One that was full of many lessons
Full of love and hate…full of enemies than friends

I lived a good life
I kept the faith
Is that all you will say when am gone?
That she was a wonderful person
While all they caused you was pain? Will you be true to you?
Please do not bid me bye in pretense?
Stay away and let me be whisked away by strangers
Stay home and wish me well on my journey to the unknown
I will be glad to know that you will not have to
Go through the anguish of mourning me
I have caused enough traumas…save you self this one…this time

Say your prayers if you have any
I will try and feel them from wherever I'll be
But I cannot promise to be there….because am gone when am gone

Rest in peace sistah
Rest in peace black woman of color…oh you queer woman
But in your hearts…”may you go to hell” you bitch
Don't worry, I feel you…you don't have to frown
I totally am with you
In spirit….let this free roaming spirit fly away
To where it belongs
Where it is most needed…the skies above you!

Rest in peace K8’s

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Thoughts are just that..."Thoughts!"

I amuse me with
Constant cravings of
A heart gone sour
While all this while
Denounced in silence
Hurting without lifting
Spirits high but yearning
To get that final holding
Where home is best!

Intimidated but numbed fingers to the touch
That brings with it shivers of apprehension
The joys of sad tomorrows
Bewildered in a manner most delirious
I cannot engage for all I know
Souls only speak coldly
Traumatizing a once exciting past
Igniting the fires of an unsure present
And oh! What a glow this brings!

The doors bang behind my back
Sparking haunted memories of
A young girl being pinned down by a group of men
Shrouding in her virginity
The girl screaming at the top of her voice
If only help would calm her off this pain

In there somewhere, a wife is getting battered
Out of her senses…by a partner that thinks of physical correction
Of course through the violent way
A trans gendered person is faced by mob justice on the streets
Of a busy street in town, apparently, for dressing in the ¨wrong clothes”
For being what they are not
Another gay man is facing the hangman's noose
And the lesbian whose education's dropped if she does not conform
To the norm!

That brings me here
The thought corner
Where I get to hold an imaginary conversation
With none but me
And then I begin wondering
Whether life is really fair…
It was never meant to be…there was only a reassurance that it would keep getting better…
Maybe, if only…if probably…
Better…just better, if we started to work towards that
And not expect to wait for fairness
Let's fight and look for it….in that way it will surely come
If only!

By K8’s