Blaque/OUT Magazine April 2020 Issue #007

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Essence of a Woman When I think about the essence of a

woman the word that comes to mind is “Ethereal”. A being so strong, empowering, and resilient, yet so graceful in ways many can’t understand or fear to do so. Now add a dash or two of melanin and you will see the creation of cosmic proportions - the Black Woman. Black women are the mothers of civilizations. Throughout history, told and untold, black women have been the backbone of families and societies.

I salute the woman who cries after walking into her

I am proud to have been ordained a member of a

I salute the woman who desperately battles with

group who, no matter what they’ve gone though, have walked with their heads held high, and fought

house and releases the pressures of her day.

self-confidence and dysphoria because she feels as if she is not as pretty as the girls around her.

for the rights of their family and communities to just be. Today, and everyday, I salute women of color for their perseverance over the adversities and obstacles this world have placed before them time

I salute the woman who orders pizza for dinner instead of making it...because she's tired or depressed.

after time.

I salute the exhausted woman who showers a few

I salute the woman who feels alone, even in a crowded room.

minutes for the water to hide the tears she sheds.

“You're worth it. You are important. You are enough. and you are loved!”

I salute the woman hidden in the bathroom just to get a moment of tranquility.

I salute the woman who is so tired that she feels she can't continue. Willing to give anything to feel like herself again.

Until next time, this is your girl Javannah saying, “Be good to You”

Ask ~SPEAK-OUT With Marshay Dominique~

I hope life is finding you all well as you read these words. My personal goal every month is to share a li9le something that helps to further each and every one of us in some random, yet poe<c way. This month, I’ve created an acronym exclusive to us inspired by our theme of ending the silence.


Silence Kills

yourself in this journey. Express! Don’t be

I know many of us can relate to mu<ng our true selves out of fear or concern for the responses we

afraid to learn how to control AND express your

would receive if we lived out loud. I wish I knew then

feelings in a safe and effec<ve manner. Its one of

the unpleasant truth that I know now which is,

the precious giOs we were all given and for great

whether you follow the guidance of others or not-


they will not approve! They’ll talk either way and it

3. Explain Nothing

will never be favorable to you. Why crave the

I find that the older I get, the more I fight to

acceptance of lost souls who haven’t figured their own

release this terrible, old learned behavior of

thing out? I want you to understand that keeping your

always feeling the need to provide an

truth inside is so detrimental to your own health and

explana<on for why I want what I want. If you

well-being that I believe it can actually shorten your

tell your boss you’re taking the day off, that is

life. Stress-induced traumas that we don’t face head

YOUR preroga<ve. I used to waste days deciding

on always come back to bite us, am I right?

what I would say and how I would say it just to get ONE day to myself out of 4 or 5! That same


Passionate Living

energy carried over into friendships and da<ng

We men<oned living out loud- but what does that

so fast that before I knew it, I was apologizing for

really mean? For me, it means the sa<sfac<on I feel

saying “no” to people for NO REASON AT ALL!

knowing I heard myself, healed myself and fought for

This immediately downgraded my right to opt

myself every <me it was needed. Its called living

out and made me feel less than in many

passionately! You were not put here to silence any

situa<ons and was totally unnecessary. Don’t fall

version of yourself and your emo<ons. You were

into this trap! Be good to yourself and explain

created to emit and emote on the way to discovering


Marshay 4. Ac;on- Oriented Energy

toxic. When I educated myself on this topic, I

This is perhaps my favorite sec<on of advice. In

looked forward to going out alone. I turned people

order to end any silence, you must be prepared to take

down so I could go out alone (of course with safe

ac<on at any given moment. It’s always infuria<ng to hear

protocols in place). I realized how much strength it

about something terrible happening to someone and not

takes to be alone and that can never make you

only were there several people standing around but they


had enough mind to start recording yet refused to step in.



Be prepared to make people uncomfortable and challenge

I absolutely live and die by the saying, “if you’re

outdated views, thoughts and belief systems that promote

going to come in the room, come ALL the way in

exclusion and even violence against others simply because

the room!” Don’t be afraid to set major goals for

they’re different. Be prepared to promote change by being

yourself and try new things! Its really the spice of

viewed as problema<c simply because you SPEAK OUT.

life and a great way to fight depression naturally: with

You’re not alone in making these bold choices and there

curiosity. Take whatever you’re good at and be great at

WILL be <mes that you feel like it. Trust me, you will find

it! We s<ll have so much <me to experiment/prac<ce

people on your wave eventually because we’re certainly

as we’re all mostly s<ll at home wai<ng out the

out here!

coronavirus pandemic. When you reach that new goal


Knowledge Is Very Literally Power

or those new goals, celebrate them OUT LOUD!

Fear is natural. Fear of the unknown is even

Post to social media, text everyone you know and brag

more natural. The only way to combat this fear is to

on yourself because you’re doing it. Be your own biggest

educate yourself. What are you afraid of? That party


coming up this weekend that none of your friends will


Up & Coming

be at? Are you afraid of going alone and being seen

Think of your life as a permanent roller

as a weak, ineffectual loner because you don’t have

coaster ride. Just as there have been downs, there

the vapid support of familiar faces surrounding you? If

will be ups again. There HAS to be! Its physics,

you’re laughing, this was me at one point in <me. I was

science… its been realis<cally proven that this is

so afraid to go out and be seen alone. Then I started to

how life works. Never ever allow yourself to

study the behaviors of these so-called friends of mine

become stuck in a low or lull. I know it can be hard

and saw real jealousy and disrespect right in front of

to shake yourself out of so never close your heart

me the en<re <me. There’s nothing wrong with

to the idea of reaching out to someone to help

wan<ng the genuine support of your tribe but to crave

break this mental pa9ern if you should find

it more than you crave self-growth and reliance can be

yourself in it. It can actually mean life or death to

keep these thoughts and feelings to yourself as selfharm can usually stem from these dark moments of

available. Know that you have op<ons and most of them ARE within your reach. Please con<nue to love

nega<ve thinking. I am with you! We’re all with you and

and respect yourselves and others, as I’ll be doing

your life is always being wri9en by YOU. You decide what

the same!

comes next!


~Eternally & Truly Yours, Marshay

A final thought: as you may have no<ced, my

strongest theme has been how important it is to take your journey and mental health seriously. This will likely never change in any forms of advice I give because its the key to self-improvement. Self-reflec<on! You must be able to take a healthy look at yourself and introspec<on of your life to see what can be corrected to improve your quality of living/being. We may not be able to do that all on our own


Need Advice? Email your questions about love, life & entanglements to: & you might see it answered in an upcoming issue of Blaque/Out Mag!!

so on your path to ending the silence you’ve kept within, you may need to seek counseling. I advise you to contact your insurance company and also research online for affordable sessions either virtually or in-person, if




Hello, Friends! I missed you all last month when I missed the magazine’s deadline because yes, I was reading! Let me tell you. Any good habit can become a vice if you’re not careful, y’all. I have two very different books for you this month. I loved both of them; each gave me a sense of wan<ng to start the book again immediately aOer finishing. As always, be aware of your own capacity to read about the struggles of others. Drop me a line at Reviews May Vary@ with your thoughts and comments about these books as well as recommenda<ons that you think I should read. Follow along with my bookventures on Facebook, Instagram, and

more and more of herself to “the woman in the dream house.” It is a short book, but does not feel like a quick read. It is well worth the time.

Here's a book quote for you:

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado (Memoir) This book is a memoir that is rich in metaphor and lyrical language. Each chapter is short and explores the author’s experience as a young co-ed involved in one of her earliest roman<c rela<onships. The essays take you from the exci<ng beginnings through the increasing emo<onal abuse and manipula<on of their <me together. Each chapter is short and thoughnul. Interes<ngly, Machado offers references in footnote to classic literary and movie themes that are reflected in her stories. You know that Machado is eventually free of this rela<onship, she assures the reader several <mes and currently lives with her wife in Philadelphia, but you s<ll worry for her as she loses

“We can’t stop living. Which means we have to live, which means we are alive, which means we are humans and we are human: some of us are unkind and some of us are confused and some of us sleep with the wrong people and some of us make bad decisions and some of us are murderers. And it sounds terrible but it is, in fact, freeing: the idea that queer does not equal good or pure or right. It is simply a state of being one subject to politics, to its own social forces, to larger narratives, to moral complexities of every kind. So bring on the queer villains, the queer heroes, the queer sidekicks and secondary characters and protagonists and extras. They can be a complete cast unto themselves. Let them have agency, and then let them go.”

Carmen Maria Machado,

In the Dream House

heard of. The children’s caretaker, Arthur, is a mysterious cutie-pie who would do anything to make sure the kids stay safe. They’ve been living isolated from a town that fears them. Arthur helps Linus connect to joy and not be so stodgy and Linus helps Arthur consider a longer term approach to parenting and living an authentic life. You get the idea. This book was so cute and I loved every slightly- cheesy minute of it.

Here’s a book quote:

“Humanity is so weird. If we’re not laughing, The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Fantasy) This book is completely different from the other one! Linus Baker is a caseworker for an agency that oversees orphanages for magical children descended from mythical creatures. He’s a pushover, he doesn’t have any friends, and he’s oOen being mistreated by his co-workers, his boss, and his neighbor. He has no ambi<ons. However, he is very good at his job and he is proud of that. One day he gets assigned to check in on a secret facility on an island that he’s never

we’re crying or running for our lives because monsters are trying to eat us. And they don’t even have to be real monsters. They could be the ones we make up in our heads. Don’t you think that’s weird?”

T.J. Klune,

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Love your body. Get tested.


E. (she/him/they) Photographer - Writer - Sex Educator Rochester, NY Queer Women are beautiful and passionate but often overlooked. I chose to shoot them (lesbian, bisexual, coupled and not) to simply show, we’re HERE.

End The Silence AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! Whew! Sorry, we had to let that out real quick. We thought someone said (S)top (H)aving (U)nfiltered (T)houghts (U)nexpectedly (P)lease. We thought someone was telling us that we had to stop talking because our voices are too powerful, too sensible, too convincing that you can be healthy and happy in this life. We started speaking up and speaking on the real issues in raw form and they began to shake. Our voices speaking soul truth, have been diminished to a whisper for decades.

and you should never feel invisible, especially in a room full of people. We haven’t forgotten about the brothers. The endless times as a little boy you were told “shut up, boys don’t cry”, “boys don’t show emotions”, “man up”, “toughen up” , “You can’t” present as a strong masculine man with tears running down your cheeks. ”The people aren’t going to take you seriously if they can see and smell the fear you possess.” “No woman would allow a man like you to lead her.” Imagine being told at 5 years old you can’t cry after scraping your knee, because “that’s not what men do.” The pain we feel for the little boy in the store that wants the pink toy, or has found interest in hair and cosmetics and wants to explore, but will never get the opportunity to because

Thinking back to the countless times we’ve heard "as a

its not masculine enough. The parents will never allow

woman you should be seen not heard." As if you had

such girly activities to be done by their son. Despite

nothing more to contribute aside from cute looks and

this mentality tarnishing their son dreams and talents,

prancing across the room. Universe forbids you to have an

despite it being a passion, he won’t dare express how

independent thought, and it is a good one. How dare

much it means to him because it has been forbidden.

someone with a female embodiment have something more

Drowning silently because he isn’t seen in the light

to offer than a stroke of the male ego. For so long those

that shows his brightness. To that unsatisfied little boy

who identify as women have never been considered to

buried deep within, let out your scream and end your

have a valid thought, they are nothing without their man.


Oh she has a loud mouth, ain’t nobody been able to put her in her place yet. Because the ability to confidently speak up and say how you feel must mean that no one has taught you how to “respectfully address typically a man. We call bullshit from the highest mountain top. As a woman you should be seen, felt, heard, understood, communicated with, respected, valued, and everything else your heart desires, just as a man is expected to be. As a woman, no parameter should be created for you that you have not created for yourself. Your voice should never be silenced

To my non-binary people that simply want to be seen and accepted. Continue to be yourself and go against the standard. Be loud and confident in everything you do. Break and curse gender norms. Let the world know you are here and won’t be quiet for the satisfaction of anyone else. Love and appreciate yourself, be yourself unapologetically, and scream across the mountain tops that you will not be silenced. We Love and respect you all!!

I want you to take a moment and just breathe. I want you to feel how your neck expands and gently comes back inward on the exhales. I want you to truly begin to feel how light the breath lands in the body whenever you truly are connected with having a moment of stillness. Fill up your lungs for 3-5 seconds, hold the breath for the same, and then exhale on that same number you choose. Gently begin to open up your eyes and begin to exam the body. You may choose to continue the breathing exercise or just allow the breath to land naturally in the body.Take a few seconds to read this excerpt from treasured ancestor, poet and author Toni Morrison from their famous work Beloved. In this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it. They don't love your eyes; they'd just as soon pick em out. No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them. Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face 'cause they don't love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain't in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed. What you scream from it they do not hear. What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give you leavins instead. No, they don't love your mouth. You got to love it. This is flesh I'm talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I'm telling you. And O my people, out yonder,

hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it and hold it up. and all your inside parts that they'd just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver--love it, love it and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet. More than lungs that have yet to draw free air. More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize. A part of decreasing the silence and neutrality of social injustice, is first reckoning you're worth and the worth your body and breath have. I often tell myself that my breath is bigger than the bs going on around me. That soon begins to bring a true transformation that I must not only be aware of myself, but of all that is spinning in my head and in front of me. I know we often feel like this, especially when we are navigating the difficult relationships of work, friendships, family, but most importantly the relationship we have with self. The important understanding one should take away from this piece is the nature in which self love causes us to really begin to change how we engage with others. By becoming in-tune with our true realities, we often may see how we have been an active silent partner in how people interact with us. Silence amongst people who have learned do deal with daily trauma only generally leads to more daily trauma to face. I know, its hard. We are all trying to aim for a better life and sometimes that reality does not seem as clear as taking a few simple breaths does. So how are you breathing now?

We live in fear of not being nourished or validated. Often these

rapidly as a bird's wings. Your body is awakening to a new

measures to silence us deal in past generational trauma of trying

understanding of what breaking through silence can be. It

to save us. But when has silence ever saved anyone. If you do

can be an appreciated stillness of recognizing how loud life

nothing else from this space. You have learned that even your

can be. So when you return from breathing, your voice will

breath is loud. Even your food steps when you touch the ground

ring louder than any cathedral bells could. Stay hydrated y’all! -B

Created by Christopher Rivas Directed by Daniel Banks MAY 14 - MAY 29, 2021 | 585-232-4382

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