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page #02

content

Content Features 20

Unecc & HIT M Ent.

12

Tasha C. Miller

4

Amber Marie

Life & Culture 30

Jazz & Capone

26

Being a lesbian in Kenya

50

The Paranormal with Traci

34

Inked Girls: Tattoo Obsession

Little Bit of Everything 56

Singles

52

Self-Harm

page #20

Author Tash a C. Miller Pre sents “She Wants Her”

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iller Presents Author Tasha C. M “She Wants Her”

Every Issue 08

News

10

Topic of the Month

44

TRULYFE

page #04

Amber Mari e takes us d eep within a she balance s s life & her c areer.


welcome

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Messege from the Editor Mala Vibez When is the last time that you found a magazine fully centered around strong, motivated, determined and beautiful lesbians? Lez Underground is here to bring attention and awareness to the many “starving” artists in our community. We won’t share anything with you that we wouldn’t enjoy reading

ourselves. What makes Lez Underground different? Maybe it’s the bright colors, the attractive women, or the having you on the edge-of-your seats articles that we feature. We would like to believe that we’re different because of our approach in promoting the hidden talents of the LGBT community. We believe we’re different because we care about each and every indivdual found within this magazine and any others that we have or will publish in the future. If we had our way, everyone that we write about would be successful and on the top. We can’t promise to be perfect, or to make you rich overnight, but we can promise to be here assisting you during each step of your journey. We hope that you’ll take that journey with us!

Contact Mala Vibez President Editor-In-Chief Creative Director Art Director Thea Sterling Vice President Executive Editor Editorial Projects Director Associate Art Director


page #04

feature: Amber Marie

Amber Marie Aspiring to Greatness

“I’ve had a very hard childhood, suffering different traumas even as an infant, all the way until I was 18…which made for an extremely hard life for me. A coping mechanism for me was finding an outlet for all of the built up negative energy by finding something I loved to do, which was through acting.”

their angles and to get great poses, but modeling came easy to Amber. Maybe it was because of the fact that she was such a deep thinker, hard worker, and an attention craver, whatever the case, when it came to performing and striking the perfect pose, it came easy to her. Modeling was fun for Amber, but it was also the perfect outlet for all of her energy and emotions. “I thought if I could be doing what I love, have fun and make money doing it, why not?”

Behind the camera, she fell in love Life is not always a cake walk and with the concept of capturing success is not always easy; this someone through a photograph. is something that Amber Marie She loved being able to express knows very well. Having started her emotions and being able to modeling at the young age of 14, tell a story through her photos. just for fun, Amber had no clue Although she began modeling at that it would turn into one of her To name a few, Jenney life-long passions. “I Smith Hirsch with Glass always looked up to ac“I always looked up to actors/actresses Onion Images, Kyle Rhortors/actresses growing growing up. I always thought as a little er, and Alexander Dupree up. I always thought kid, that’s going to be me one day!” as a little kid, that’s gowith AJD Photography ing to be me one day!” are some of the photog14, she first picked up the camera She aspired to become like many raphers that she has worked with. at 8 years of age and understood A-list celebrities and wanted it all, “They took chances with me and exactly what it took to capture that the fame, the fortune, and the pahelped me become who I am toperfect shot. “To be a part of makparazzi. Just as she had looked up day.” This was a pretty big deal giving a picture beautiful is an amazto popular and successful actors as en the cards that Amber was dealt ing feeling.” a child, Amber hoped that one day in life. she’d be the person that children Many aspiring models have to fight idolized. Amber was raised Mormon after for and practice constantly to learn being adopted into a Mormon fam-


page #05

feature: Amber Marie

Amber, being very versatile poses during a recent photoshoot.

Trials & Tribulations “Being told that I was going to be ‘thrust into the gates of hell’ because I was an abomination in the eyes of the lord, took its toll on me emotionally and mentally.”

ily. Neither of her parents accepted the fact that she was a lesbian, and as many unaccepting parents do, they claimed it was all a phase that she was experiencing. Amber found herself fearful of accepting who she was due to the constant pressures placed on her by her family. “Being told that I was going to be ‘thrust into the gates of hell’ because I was an abomination in

the eyes of the lord, took its toll on me emotionally and mentally.” Being faced with the possibility of being disowned by her family placed even more pressure on Amber, damaging both her self-esteem and self-worth. “I’ve had a very hard childhood, suffering different traumas even as an infant, all the way until I was

Author:

Mala Vibez

18…which made for an extremely hard life for me. A coping mechanism for me was finding an outlet for all of the built up negative energy by finding something I loved to do, which was through acting.” Through all of her trials and tribulations, Amber threw herself even more into her work with a stronger sense of motivation than ever before.


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feature: Amber Marie


feature: Amber Marie Amber Marie during her shoot for the cover of Butch Sexology II: The Really Naughty Stuff

As if her parents not suppor ting her sexuality weren’t enough, they also never supported her dreams of becoming an accomplished actress and model. Growing up, she never had much of a support system which made things even harder for the young model. Sadly, her parents had their own idea of what they wanted their daughter to grow up to be which led them to attempt to direct her away from the road to fame. Although Amber wanted nothing more than to make her family proud, eventually she realized that she had to stop allowing them to mold her into their image, and

fight to create her own. For the last year, she has placed major focus on modeling and acting. When reflecting on some of her greatest accomplishments, Amber referred to modeling for the NOH8 campaign of 2012, and being featured on the cover of Butch Sexology II: The Really Naughty Stuff by the talented author, Jesse MacGregor-Jones. She also credits being cast as a main character in The Artist The Series, as a great accomplishment as it will be her first major acting role. She is also a featured model on Shelley Stephenson’s corset website: Steelbones. com. In terms of the near future Amber plans to further herself in acting and modeling. She sees a bright future for herself as well as her beautiful daughter. Long term, Amber sees herself with a major

page #07 primetime role in television. She plans on completing college and obtaining a cosmetology license and perhaps even owning her own hair salon. Writing is yet another huge outlet for Amber as it is something that she has always had a passion for. She is currently working on her autobiography which she hopes to have published within the next couple of years. Personally, this is something that we at Lez Underground can’t wait to get our hands on! Amber is not someone that should be slept on by any means as she continues to fight for success. You can catch her in and around Texas modeling, acting, playing pool, riding four wheelers, riding horses, being a great mother to her 2 year old daughter Aubrey, and just being her down to earth self.

Amber Marie: modelpix85@yahoo.com


Legalization of Gay Marriage It’s no surprise that Americans are still divided on same-sex marriage, but the good news is that support for same-sex marriage has increased significantly since 2003. Polls show that 58 percent of Americans now support gay marriage while 36 percent oppose gay marriage. Strangely enough, this is almost the exact opposite from 2003 when 37 percent supported gay marriage and 55 percent opposed it. Currently, over 200 state legislators have voted to legalize samesex marriage in 13 states; however, same-sex marriage is only legal in 9 states (ME, MD, MA, CT, IA, VT, NH, NY, and WA) and the District of Columbia. On March 21, 2013, civil

unions for gay couples were signed into law in Colorado which will take effect on May 1, 2013. Sadly, 31 states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and five states have laws banning gay marriage altogether. However, this article isn’t meant to drop numbers on you but to venture into the underlying reasons as to why in 2013 same-sex marriage is still illegal in most of the country. Many opponents claim that changing the “traditional” definition of marriage as between a man and a woman will continue to threaten the institution known as marriage. They also claim that legalizing gay marriage can lead to polygamous marriages.

Polygamous marriages, really? The unfounded correlation between gay marriage and polygamous marriage is yet another huge slap in the face to the LGBT community and does nothing but take away from the bottom line: there is no valid reason that the LGBT community should not have all the same rights as heterosexual couples. Our cries for equality are being heard and we have every reason to believe that in the coming years, more states will step up to the plate to do what is right: legalize same-sex marriage. The fight is far from over but there’s nothing wrong with celebrating our victories along the way.


Life & Culture

page #09

Support for Gay Marriage 2003

37%

2005

37%

2007 2009 2011 2013

39% 43% 50% 58%

Since 2003, the number of Americans that support same-sex marriage has significantly increased. On May 1, 2013 civil unions for gay couples will be legal in the state of Colorado, which is a major step in the fight for equality, considering the fact that same-sex marriage was banned in Colorado in 2006.


3 7 19 y Maryland is the first state to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. The APA removes homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.

6 9

19

y President Clinton signs a federal Defense of Marriage Act. Gallup begins tracking public opinion on legalizing same-sex marriage.

7 7 19

2 8 19

y

y

Gay activist Harvey Milk is elected to San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors (and assassinated a year later).

Wisconsin is the first state to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.

98

19

0 0 0

2

y

y

Gay teen Matthew Shepard is murdered in Wyoming.

Vermont becomes the first state to legalize same-sex civil unions.


6 8 9

93

5 9

1

19

19

y

y

y

U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Constitution does not protect the right of gay adults to engage in consensual sodomy in private. in Bowers v. Hardwick, the

The Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy takes effect.

Utah passes a law prohibiting same-sex marriage. More than 30 other states will follow with so-called Defense of Marriage laws.

11


page #12

Feature: Tasha C. Miller

Passion seeps throughout the pages as readers instantly become immersed in Miller’s writing. From the realistic characters to the situations that they find themselves in, we guarantee that you will find yourself addicted. There are many individuals that refer to themselves as artists, but we bet you have yet to come across anyone as versatile as Harvard-educated author and artist, Tasha C. Miller. While it may appear to the

book world to be an overnight sensation, this is the novel that Miller has been trying to write, in one way or another, for years. The true story behind the novel began long ago, when Miller was a New York

City real estate professional, an out lesbian in love with a beautiful coworker. It was a spectacular time in an otherwise quiet existence that forever changed the way she saw love.


Feature: Tasha C. Miller

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Author:

“Toni Morrison inspires me for several reasons. She has a quote, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I probably think of that quote every other day. “ In She Wants Her, Miller has created a web of complex characters trying

to surmount the obstacles placed in front of them, and working to

Mala Vibez

reach the heights of accomplishment, whether in their friendships, love relationships, professional, or sexual lives. But the characters in She Wants Her are caught up in secrets, and buckling under the weight of life altering lies. Passion seeps throughout the pages as readers instantly become immersed in Miller’s writing. From the


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Feature: Tasha C. Miller

Tasha C. Miller “I attempt to neither pose nor answer questions in my work, rather I strive to evoke a strong feeling. Love it or hate it, but feel it deeply.”

realistic characters to the situations that they find t h e ms e l ve s in, we guarantee that you will find yourself addicted. Not Enough, and AssOut:

Poems of an Unemployed Black Girl and short stories

such as Longing, Lust and

Love: Black Lesbian Stories. Miller’s first novel, She Wants Her is hot off the presses as you read. In what follows, Miller talks She Wants Her, life, love, and liberation.

“I wanted the sights, sounds, smells and the energy of the city to come across as another character in the story.”

Incoherent Thoughts and

published in anthologies,

Let’s begin with your location–I know that you were born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit, and spent some time in Boston but where do you currently reside? And did your location play a role in the novel, “She Wants Her?” Currently, I live in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Location definitely played a role. I lived in Brooklyn when I started writing the novel on the subway and even though I finished it while I was living in Boston NYC was always at the forefront of my mind. My body left the city but my mind never did. I wanted the sights, sounds, smells and the energy of the city to come across as another character in the story. As a writer there can be a tendency to get lazy when you set your story in a location as immediately recognizable and rich in its culture as NYC. I didn’t want to fall in to the trap of not actually setting the scene for the reader and giving them a chance to experience certain aspects of the city.

How old were you when you first put your pen to the paper? I don’t remember not writing so I must have been pretty young. But I do recall being ten years old when I realized I had a bit of talent and that other people besides my mother actually enjoyed my words. I wrote a story about my grandfather who was a moonshiner in Virginia. It won a writing contest and I had to recite an excerpt from my work in front of my entire school during an assembly. Incidentally that’s probably one of the last times


I was seen in public in a dress.

What is your motivation behind writing in general? I would say I’m more compelled to write than motivated. I have to write, I would write even if no one were to ever read my words. Writing is the only way to silence the voices in my head and sometimes it only calms them to a whisper. I’m so serious right now.

Are there any authors that inspire you to keep writing? Toni Morrison inspires me for several reasons. She has a quote, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” I probably think of that quote every other day. Outside of being a master at the craft of storytelling she just turned 82 this past February. To live that long and not only be in your right mind but to still be able to do what you love and produce masterpieces the way she does is an inspiration to me. To imagine I may potentially have another 50 years of writing and perfecting my art is incredible. My former professor, Paul Hardings’ prose is excruciatingly beautiful, he inspires me to strive to give my reader an experience that touches all the senses at every possible moment. In the genre of lesbian fiction Fiona Zedde has always been an inspiration. She was the first black lesbian author that I read and like many young black lesbians at that time I just knew she was speaking to me and for me. She was also the first black lesbian author that I knew of who was signed to a major publisher and not publishing her book out of her bathroom or from the copy room at her job. Not that I’ve ever done that. I’ve heard stories is all.

What’s your writing process? Does it stem from your life or from your imagination? It depends on what genre I’m writing. Poetry, lesbian fiction and erotica stem from my life and personal experiences. My literary fiction is purely from my imagination.

Being that you’re also an artist, does art play any role in your writing? My painting helps my mind rest a bit. It’s one of a few things that when I do it I’m 100 percent present and in the moment. Painting is my mistress. I feel guilty when I paint knowing I should be writing. Since I go back to my writing with fresh ideas and new positions writing is always glad to see me and welcomes me with open arms. I need a short break from my writing projects every once in a while to keep my passion for the craft at its peak.


Being that you’re a graduate of Harvard University’s Extension School’s literature and creative writing program, it’s obvious that you’re serious about your craft. Were there any lessons or techniques learned from Harvard that are present in your writing today, or is it just the natural skill you possess alone? I would like to think that I arrived at Harvard with a fair amount of raw talent and potential. But it was there that I learned the skills that I needed to take my stories to the next level. The program at Harvard is based solely in the tradition of literary fiction where we studied writers like Melville, Faulkner and Chopin among other masters. Literary fiction is not for everyone as it is largely based on words and the beauty of language. It is often complex, multilayered and character driven. It can be a story about nothing in particular but the author may have strung their words together so beautifully that it forces you to pause. I’ve tried to incorporate the literary fiction tradition with the genres of lesbian fiction and erotica.

How does being a lesbian impact you as a person and as a writer/artist? Or does it play no role at all? Outside of adding another label after my name, black lesbian artist, black lesbian writer? Being a lesbian has impacted people’s reaction to me and that in turn has really forced me to become well and comfortable in my own skin. If you aren’t cool with who you are the unwanted and at times unyielding attention can get to you. I was always a tomboy but my tomboy ways would eventually morph into all out masculinity. This masculinity immediately identifies me to most (sighted) people as gay. People assume a lot from my appearance alone, being a tall, masculine, dark skinned black woman with natural hair they begin to write their own story about me without knowing me. I’m like the nerdiest, most boring person so I’ve never understood why I’m such a topic of concern, discussion and analysis on sight. Over time and after delivering several thousand dirty looks I’ve come to accept that it is what it is. But the reactions I get from strangers has caused me to examine, accept and become secure in who I am as a person and that has liberated me.


Odd question I know, but have any of your books or poems ever created a problem of any type in your relationships? (For example, if there was a steamy sex scene, has your partnered ever wanted that to take place between you two, or has a partner ever had an issue with characters and any possible correlations with real life?) With my published work I wouldn’t say problems, but some discussions have taken place. I write from a place of authenticity, I would find it difficult to write those particular scenes in the detail that I do if I had never done any of those acts. The sex scenes are largely reenactments or variations so no problems with anyone wishing for something they’ve never had. Having said that there is a consensus from women who know me personally that I’m Cleopatra, the main character in the book. Cleopatra is based largely on my life and experiences but not to the extent that She Wants Her could be officially categorized as a memoir. What is true and what’s fiction in the book I will never tell. I will say that what readers think is most likely fiction probably happened. My unpublished work has caused more problems than anything else. Depending on how a relationship ended there is a high probability that at least 1,000 words were written about you and performed in front of a crowd. That’s been an issue before but it was so necessary. But of course no names were used to protect the guilty.

What is something that you would want everyone to know about you? I appreciate whenever someone pays their hard earned money and spends their time reading my work. I love when readers reenact scenes or recite dialogue verbatim or when they swear I was writing about their lives or email me asking to get hooked up with Cleopatra. Being able to touch the readers so deeply is addictive. I want everyone to know that I truly appreciate all the love I’ve gotten from them on email and Facebook and I don’t take their support lightly or for granted.


She Wants Her will appeal to readers of E. Lynn Harris, Zane, and Fiona Zedde among others. Sexy, funny, shocking and subtle, Miller has crafted a compelling story that tests the bonds of forgiveness, trust, and love, and just how fragile they can be. For Cleopatra Giovanni, star of She Wants Her, getting women into her bed is easy. Getting them out is hard. Women love Cleopatra and she loves them back – in ways they’ll never forget. Cleopatra enjoys their bodies, all the while hoping that the one who will make her believe in forever will come along. Her womanizing ways come to a halt the moment she meets the gorgeous Jacqueline. Accompanied by a captivating cast of characters ranging from loving family members around the Thanksgiving table to famous porn stars in the bedroom, from best friends and ex-lovers to Brooklyn strippers and African princesses, the struggle for love and the drama and humor that ensue will win readers’ hearts as Cleopatra and Jacqueline wrestle with the way things are in order to create the way things should be. Miller has stepped into the game with a bestseller. She has created a web of complex characters trying to surmount the obstacles and working to reach the heights of accomplishment, whether in their friendships, love relationships, professional, or sexual lives. The characters in She Wants Her are caught up in secrets, and buckling under the weight of life altering lies. She Wants Her appeals to the readers’ willingness, and desire to rediscover sex and erotic romance. The skillful and artistic handling of erotica and the love scenes (and sometimes sex scenes, without love) essential to this story of deep connection and desire between the two main characters puts Miller at the head of her class of new writers of erotica.

www.tashacmiller.com/ www.tashacmillerart.com/


page #20

Feature: Unecc

Growing up in the South Bronx, it was nothing for Unecc to walk amongst famous stars on a daily basis, her cousin even dated L.L. Cool J. Every day she’d awake to the cool sounds of music blasting from stereo speakers while watching everyday people having good times. Of course life was not always easy for this lyricist, she had her fair share of ups and downs, thankfully however there were always more ups than downs. At 8 years old, Unecc held her first job bagging groceries; incidentally it was that same year that she first saw a dead body. Not everyone could be expected to bounce back after seeing a dead body, especially having only been


Feature: Unecc

8 years old, but for Unecc, it did not slow her down one bit. She fell in love with the freedom that living in the BX offered her; however, she soon found herself living life in the fast lane. When Unecc turned 11, her world was turned upside down when her mother passed away. In that instance she went from being an only child, to a middle child, and eventually the oldest child when she came to live with her dad. After an extensive custody battle between her grandmother and father, Unecc was sent to live with her father in Columbus, Ohio, “I know moving to Ohio saved my life because at the rate I was going if I didn’t I would have been in jail or dead.” About 2 years after the loss of her mother, Unecc decided to focus on her love of music. Though her father was not a musician, he had a strong love for music and allowed Unecc to have his equipment that he no longer used. Shortly after, she had a home studio set up and began writing and recording on tape decks and a reel to reel when she was 13 years old. Wanting to express herself musically, Unecc started a group by the name of The Fella’s while in middle school. Unecc handled the writing and background vocals for the group which consisted of 5 females and instantly created local buzz. “We wanted to create a buzz and awe effect so that’s why we called

ourselves the fella’s. You wouldn’t expect to see five girls.” A couple of years later, once the group made it to high school, the group officially disbanded. Being that Unecc was not a singer, she began writing raps and found her true love in the midst of it all. From that moment on, she participated in high school talent shows and any other place that would allow her to showcase her talent. Although she was an avid basketball player, music was her first love. After high school she was offered 2 scholarships to play basketball for well-known universities, but after trying it out for a summer she came to the conclusion that she couldn’t do something that her heart was not completely in to.

page #21

pure rawness that runs through her veins, or the fact that she refuses to compare herself to others. We happen to think it just may be the fact that she does not do music for the charts or for kudos. “I do music because I was born and bred to do music.” “When I was younger I didn’t have an artist to look up to that looked like me…that was like me. Da brat was the closest thing I could relate to but unfortunately the Brat was never open about who she was and what she represented. I represent for studs worldwide every block.” At practically any moment Unecc could have flipped the script, changed up her looks and lyrics and been out in the industry,

“In doing it my way I have accomplished so much just by letting go of the fear of thinking I need the music industry. The music industry needs more artists like me.” “I chose music. I am going to be doing music until I can no longer breathe. I want my music to live on after I’m long gone.” Fast forward to 2013 and there still is nothing that this artist loves more than her music! “Music is Life. Music is the air that I breathe. Without music there would be no me.” So what makes her music stand out from other artists? Maybe it’s the

but that’s not who she is. “In doing it my way I have accomplished so much just by letting go of the fear of thinking I need the music industry. The music industry needs more artists like me.”

Author:

Mala Vibez


What makes her music different than other songs that are out right now? It’s simple really. Unecc does not speak on anything that she is not doing in her life. “I don’t pop molly’s, and I don’t deal drugs. I refuse to spit ignorance when I can spit about the truth. I’d rather educate the youth then bring them down.” Without a doubt, we all go through personal struggles; however, there isn’t a wealth of music circulating in an effort to promote positivity. She feels that it is absolutely pertinent that individuals realize that with hard work and dedication, they can be whatever it is that their hearts desire no matter how cliché it may sound.

What makes your music different from other songs that are out there currently? I remember how much release I got after writing my album “Life Is Beautiful.” The feeling I got when I handed my mother my CD to listen to. How my brother expressed his love for my lyrics and how much I grew as an artist. It’s is easy to do a mix tape off ideas that someone has already sat down and created to, switch things up and put your own twist on them. I been there done that, but an album is much harder. It takes a lot more focus dedication and creativity. With my music I strive to inspire human beings to stand up for people who can’t or won’t stand up for themselves.

Out of all your songs, which are the most important/ special to you? “Who U Are” I wrote for a friend that called me up and said he was going to stop taking his AIDS medication. I lost my mother to AIDS. I have a lot of friends that’s living with H.I.V. At the time my friend was living with it for over 20 years looking at him you would never know that he had it or was dealing with that struggle. I could not say anything to him all I could do was write. “Lost It” I wrote to release a dark secret I had held on for years. I was molested at an early age in my childhood in the Bronx. When I moved to Ohio my father molested me as well and I wrote about it. My family was going through a very hard time. I was in a corner with my feelings and it was just a lot to deal with. Writing that song was very hard, and performing it even harder. However I know that it was something that needed to be done. “Never Lie” because it explains true love and what it feels like to be in love with someone so deeply. I spent a great deal of time writing that song cause I wanted it to be special. And of course “Your Worth It.”

When did you record “You’re Worth It”? What was your motivation behind that song? Stonewall asked me to perform at the candle light vigil for Tyler Clemente. I found out a couple of weeks

before they asked me that I lost my friend Hania Novembre to suicide. She died April 5th 2010 I didn’t find out about it until six months later. That hurt deeply because I wasn’t able to attend her funeral. The fact that I wasn’t there for her period I guess killed me the most. I was already working on a song for her. So when Stonewall asked me to perform I wanted it to be something that people going through that depression could deal with. The producer Milton Thompson Jr had given me the tracks months before I chose the beat. At the time I was watching a close friend go through some serious changes in her life also. She was on drugs, hanging with the wrong people, and just seemed to have a death wish period. I would watch her go through the sweats from too much drugs being scared that she was going to die in her sleep so I would stay woke to watch her. All this on my mind I wrote on my walls in my room as I watched her. (I have dry erase walls so when I get ideas I can just get up and write). She knew I had just lost my friend and how much it affected me. But there was nothing I could do or say to make her understand just how beautiful life was… so I wrote. When I put the beat and words together I admittedly called Kelo so we could finish the song. When she heard the lyrics she was like “you trying to tell someone that they are worth it.” We recorded that song September of 2010.


HIT M ENT.


Feature: Unecc

page #25

As with any artist, with success come struggles and the greatest struggle for Unecc has been time management. She has 3 jobs and is also a full-time student. Needless to say, she stays busy and always has something going on. When we speak on Unecc, we can’t in good faith leave out her business, HIT M ENT. The members of this entertainment company are more than just artists; some are actors, make-up artists, hair stylists, song writers, etc. HIT M started in January of 2007 with Unecc and her brother. At the time they had a group called UntouchablE and because they didn’t have a camp they started HIT M, which stands for “History In The Making.” HIT M is truly history in the making because there is no other male and female sibling rap group in the game. Being that they both can hold their own as solo artists, when they are together they’re simply untouchable. “HIT M started as family based camp and it will always be a family based camp.” Over the years, the base of HIT M has grown significantly and is held down by UNECC, KELO, D Squared (Britani Sade, J’Lynn, KB aka Mikayla Denise, and Jay Vera), DUTCHS, Fantasi, Cedez, and TY aka Security. You can be sure to catch this dynamic team in and around Ohio doing big things.

Unecc has had her fair share of ups and downs but found strength in the face of adversity. We can confidentially conclude that this talented artist will continue moving up the ladder without sacrificing her morals and beliefs along the way. In 10 years, she sees herself being a business owner and full time musician. “I will still be performing around the world and producing up and coming artist from all over the world as well. I will have my masters in Music Production. I will be a world famous engineer, producer, and artist. I will have both mainstream and underground success without selling my soul.” And as for the future of HIT M? HIT M ENT will have a commercial recording studio in downtown Columbus, Ohio for international, national, and local artist to record. HIT M will be an independent record label for all genres of music. We will have branched out into videos, movies, plays, and fashion. “We are building an empire that will definitely go down in history.” We promise this will be a journey that you’ll enjoy following! Until then, you can catch Unecc & HIT M at their home studio where she engineers and produces for local artists whenever she finds free time.

Facebook: Unecc www.reverbnation.com/unecc


Cyrelle Mapenzi Lesbianism In Kenya

Cyrelle Mapenzi had a great upbringing, growing up in Kenya. Her family had strong Christian morals, which was the basis of their foundation. Virtually every Christian virtue that existed was drilled upon the children, in hopes that they would grow into adults with good morals and high standards. “I thank God for my parents because we never lacked anything. We had

to go to church until the day you land in high school, and then you had a choice and a voice.” Cyrelle sits back and reminisces on her past as a smile begins to play with the corners of her mouth; her mind is led back to her mother. “One thing mom always insisted on is being honest, and she always says hard work never kills one so do your best since you do not ex-

pect anyone to come after you doing the same thing.” The topic of homosexuality was never discussed openly in Mapenzi’s household. Often times as a child, she would overhear her older sisters speaking, but found herself unable to participate due to her age, so in turn she’d take mental notes and hold on to them. In terms of coming out, Mapenzi has


never officially taken that step with her family although, she believes that they have a clue due to a previous relationship in which it was obvious that they were not just your average friends. When asked if her parents ever confronted her on the issue, she responded, “no one had enough guts to ask.” Mapenzi is somewhat confident that when the day arrives for her to take that major step of coming out, that her family will remain supportive, “I had several incidences in high school that sort of brought my lifestyle to the limelight and my family stuck by my side.” In the country of Kenya, by way of laws and legislation, it is illegal to be gay. Any persons found to be partaking in “gay” acts could face up to 14 years in prison! Although people have now begun to actively fight and participate in the demand of gay rights with the support of non-governmental organizations, being a lesbian in Kenya is still frowned upon throughout the country as it is in many other Afri-

can countries. When we spoke to Mapenzi about the illegalities in Kenya, a small smile appeared shortly before fading away “I always wonder how the prosecutor is going to prove this in court.” There are many lesbians in and around Kenya although it has been estimated that half of those lesbians will give in to societal pressures and end up marrying men. Without a doubt, the hardest part about being a lesbian in present day Kenya is the laws and legislation. These laws restrict everything from marriage, adoptions by gay married couples, and kinship, etc. Thankfully, more and more people are beginning to ease up on some of their stringent beliefs as they relate to the gay and lesbian community. Even with the slow turnaround of these belief systems in Kenya and Africa as a whole, Mapenzi says that she does not partake in any activities anywhere she does not feel safe, or that may put her life in danger. “In South Africa for in-

stance, they have legalized gay marriages, but there is still discrimination against gay people. People are being killed for being lesbians, so it beats the purpose of the law if you cannot even be safe, let alone marry… all in all traditional society and legal framework do not leave space for people to freely be lesbians.” These issues do not only exist within Kenya, but in many African countries. As recently as 2011, there were reports that the coach of the Nigerian soccer team participating in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup said that she had excluded players thought to be lesbians from the team. In Uganda, proposed legislation would impose a death penalty

“People are being killed for

being lesbians, so it beats the purpose of the law if you cannot even be safe, let alone marry… all in all traditional society and legal framework do not leave space for people to freely be lesbians.”


for gays, not to mention that friends and family could be found guilty for not reporting them to authorities and face up to 7 years in prison. Under this same proposed legislation, landlords that lease apartments to lesbians could also be arrested and indicated in court. Needless to say these laws that have been enacted as well as proposed legislation has caused a major uproar with gay-rights activists on an international scale. In an attempt to create a welcome and inviting place for gays and lesbians, many social sites and spaces have come along, equipped with safety features that closely monitor malicious individuals who could possibly cause problems for the members. We leave you now with the final question that we asked Mapenzi: Q: What is something that you would want the world to know about you, or about your struggles in life as it relates to being a lesbian? A: Well, just to let people know that lesbianism is not a choice, I always knew I was different and I have grown in a society where coming by information about lesbianism was just through books and movies so it took time for me to even accept fully who I am. Society should not judge people harshly no matter what. I was suspended in high school for having lesbian like tendencies, but it didn’t change my DNA. I would appeal to those who can help and be the voice of the voiceless to do so, we are in this together no matter the geographical location.


page #30

Jazz

Life & Culture

&

Author:

Thea Sterling

Capone

The Metropolitan ATL area is learning it is hard to talk entrainment without talking Jazz and Capone. Whether it be comedy, rapping, dancing, or singing, this multi- faceted duo is making splashes in more ways than one. Check out what these budding talents of raw artistry had to say about their motivations, experiences, and progression thus far as underground entertainers. Jazz and Capone have great hopes and major potential of favoritism by the masses of listeners. Enjoy!

Jazz & Capone performing at Phaze 1 Nightclub Stone Mountain, GA ( Paradize Photography)


Life & Culture

Just to clear the air for everyone, who exactly is Jazz and Capone? How are you both different from each other? Capone: We’re (Jazz and Capone) best friends that both hail from Atlanta, GA. We are the ying yang to each other on hosting and emceeing. We host, guest judge and perform in the metro Atlanta LGBT community and various states. We are looking to expand our fan base to every race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Well, besides height and weight lol. In terms of the mic, we aren’t different because we balance each other and have a weird connection when making jokes. As far as our personalities, Jazz is more mild mannered and I just don’t care! What I say is what you get! And we go from there! Our fans and supporters know and are cautioned that they are just jokes and our jobs. Jazz: Jazz and Capone is a upcoming, funny BRAND! There’s nothing like creating your own legacy! We are striving to reach out to people and always place a smile on their face and tickle that big ass funny bone. We are more than just hosts/emcees/entertainers. We’re God fearing women before every and anything! We’re also college students, well Capone is the college grad in mortuary science, I’m on my way to being a graduate in pharmacy. We’re hard workers, best friends, family, there’s a lot to us. Our differences range from our personalities down to the way we

dress. Capone is the louder one of the two of us. When we first met, she used to call me Mouse...lol because of how quiet I used to be on the mic. I will rock a tie, dress shoes, jeans to a button down, fitted and sneakers or boots. Capone will be on some rock and roll s**t one day and conservative the next lol. I love old school music and other genres. She loves rap and also other genres. Sometimes we will wear the same colors without even informing each other. Just that crazy Taurus/Cancer bond.

What are the driving forces behind your inspirations? Capone: Making people come to the club, laugh, have a great time and remember their night from us cracking a joke on them or leaving with a name...example Camel Toe, for the smoking chicks: Virginia Slim, it goes on and on.

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group, we are set to entertain, get a feel from the crowd and adjust to the audience. Our artistry is like a blind artist to a canvas or music. We don’t know what’s going to be created but we know once people get a glimpse, it’ll be something to remember.

Jazz, how would you describe the effect you ladies have on your fans? Ummmm lol. In what way? As entertainers, we try to put sex appeal into full effect but in a respectful manner. So as far as that, it’s a trip at times. We seem to be the big girl’s favorite piece of meat honey! lol. As hosts, we are constantly contacted and given credit on how funny we are, asked how we can be booked to hosts parties or other events and just always shown love from both studs and fems. It’s all love and we love it

Jazz: My driving force is just being able to make people smile. You can help people in various ways. I want to be remembered for helping people in some type of way. If it’s making them laugh all night, I’ll take that!

Whether in comedy, music, acting, etc., you both are artists in every sense of the word Capone, How would you describe your artistry as a group? We dance, sing, make up songs on the spot but collectively as a

Capone: Picture courtesy of Paradize Photography


Talk to us about the CLASSIC cashing out parody, its awesomely funny and very creative. Jazz, what was the inspiration/thinking behind it? Lol, Capone and I can be riding around listening to the radio and a song comes on.... immediately one of us will say: “Let’s make a song!” The inspiration behind the “Cashing Out (Parody) Ghetto Strippers” came from the crazy shit we see while hosting. We’ve seen ashy asses, stab wounds, baby pouches... it’s just a mess at times

Comedy often times borderlines controversy. Capone, what types of controversies or stereotypes with a humorous spin can your fans expect more of? We base a lot of our jokes from hairstyles, outfits, just everyday life and everyday people. We see studs in the club with small ass ponytails that look like Rottweiler tails after they’ve been cut off and dry paintbrushes. We also see a few 27 pieces missing a few pieces. Our fans will definitely be getting more spins with the Spring/Summer time hot messes. We are also in the works of reinventing classic TV comedy spins. Our motivation: In Living Color. Stay tuned!

Capone, in terms of authenticity, how do you ladies stand out apart from other comedians/ artists? We stand out because we often come in the club unprepared. Everything we do is improv and many people don’t have that ability.

There’s a difference between hosting and emceeing, not to knock any fellow comedians or artists, but it’s not an easy job. Some people like you, some don’t, but you keep going regardless of others thoughts. We’re all about fun and change. If we have an old crowd, we will bring an old person out and tell the DJ to throw on some old school music and let them get their 30 seconds of fame. The crowd enjoys it! If there are young people, 9 times out of 10 there is some ratchet ass female that wants to shake her ass. So we’ll pull her out, let her do her thing and pick at the type of draws she has on, if any. Yes it goes down like that at times.

Jazz, can us fans expect any more parody videos? Definitely. We are looking for a good video director and crew to get that ball rolling. We really want to start making real videos to add to the content and comedy of the parodies. Thankfully, there are a lot of people that we work with who share our sense of humor. All I can say is, it’s coming!

You ladies are inspiring to any Lesbian trying to reach the masses out here, are there any messages you would like to send your fans and new fans? Capone: Please keep supporting us! We’re very thankful for your comments, love and continuous support. Stay tuned to our social sites for upcoming ventures because we’re on the move and taking everybody, well, not everybody, but those who held us down...you’re

coming with us!! Jazz: Thank you everybody for just loving us and to the Atlanta area... thank you , thank you, thank you! We are very grateful for the support you give! Thank you Mala, Thea, Team Lesbians for dealing with our delayed asses! Lol. Thank you to Angie and Mae B. of Phaze 1 Nightclub/ DollHouse Salon (check them out when you come down to Atlanta) for giving us the opportunity to entertain her patrons weekly. We LOVE you guys!! Thanks to the talented Paradize of Paradize Wardrobe Styling and Photography for our pictures! Follow her on Twitter @paradizeNATION for more info! Thanks to our families, friends, loved ones and of course that small heep of haters...where would any of us be without them? They don’t start talking bad about you until you start doing good things. Hello somebody! lol. Team Lesbians... once again...THANK YOU GUYS for having us again. We will support you in all you do. Keep up the fantastic work!!! Much love! Until next time.... the dynamic duo is signing out! -Capone and Jazz

Phaze 1 Nightclub Stone Mountain, GA ( Paradize Photography)


C0ntact: Capone: Phaze 1 Nightclub Stone Mountain, GA ( Paradize Photography)

Jazz: Phaze 1 Nightclub Stone Mountain, GA ( Paradize Photography)

@morticiancapone @Sir_J_DaVinci Facebook YouTube


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Inked girls Inked Girls

It’s no secret that Team Lesbians loves tattoos! To be honest, we’re completely addicted to them. *drools* This month we decided to go all out and feature the hottest inked girls around. We proudly introduce you to LaTay “TayDream” Harris, Cuba, and Paradize. Each of these ladies has their own stories to tell and we assure you that we covered all bases. We hope that you will enjoy our inked girls as much as we have. Okay, now the wait is over, we’re poppin’ it off with TayDream... Special thanks to TayDream, Cuba, Paradize, and Furiouz.


TayDream


mLaTay “TayDream” Harris

TayDream currently lives in Baltimore, MD and is the Jack of all trades when it comes to tattoos. Not only does she have plenty of awesome tattoos, but she’s one of the best tattoo artists that we know of. That’s a pretty big deal!

Q: What was your first tattoo and what was the motivation/inspiration behind it? A: A black panther ripping out of the back of my shoulder. I love panthers, and I wanted to express my artwork on my body. Every tattoo I have was designed/drawn by me.

TayDream’s artistry is full of passion. Every sketch, drawing, tattoo, and picture that this 31 year old tattoo artist creates tells a story, and there is nothing that anyone can do but respect her craft. Her tattoos are of the highest quality, and she puts in as much time as she has to in order to get the job done right. She received her very first tattoo at the age of 21; fast forward to 2013 and she currently has more than 50 tattoos. Pure Effin’ Hotness.

Original tattoo created by TayDream Q: Have your tattoos come from a lone tattoo parlor, or have you used many tattoo artists? A: I’ve had a few artists, including myself.

We don’t want to give all the good stuff away, so we’ll dish it to you in the words of the one and only LaTay “TayDream” Harris. Enjoy loves.


Inked Girls

page #37

Q: What is your most cherished tattoo? A: I have 3: my mother’s portrait (she passed away in 2004), my lion & lioness (for my dad and stepmom who are both Leos...she passed away last year), and my wolf which is my Native American totem.

Q Q: Out of all your tattoos which one(s) were the most painful A: I have script across my chest from collarbone to collarbone... that was the worst one so far...and it didn’t help that the artist was heavy-handed.

A Q: What are your inspirations? A: I definitely want my own shop one day...and to become a wellknown name in the tattoo industry.

Original tattoo created by TayDream


Q: What caused you to start designing and creating tattoos? A: It actually happened on a whim. I’ve been drawing all my life and I’ve always loved tattoos and started off designing them for my friends. I used to also design them for my neighbor who was a tattoo artist back in 2003. About 3 years later I walked into a tattoo shop with some friends and asked the owner about becoming a tattoo artist. He told me he needed to see a portfolio and I said “just gimme some paper and I’ll draw something for you right now”...I got an apprenticeship the same day. The rest is history...

Original tattoo created by TayDream

Q: What makes your tattoos stand out from other tattoo artists? A: I have my own style...I can’t really describe it, you’d just have to see for yourself.

Original tattoo created by TayDream


Q: What is the most difficult part of being a tattoo artist? A: I’d have to say...the fact that a lot of people think they can do tattoos now. Some of them actually have potential and if they took the time to get an apprenticeship they could get better, but most of them think they’re the best thing ever when they’re putting out work that looks like crap. And people don’t seem to care who they let touch them, nor do they want to pay that extra dollar for quality work. A cheap tattoo ain’t a good tattoo and a good tattoo ain’t cheap.

TayDream

Q: What would you say to someone that was against tattooing? A: “To each their own...” Everybody is against something in one way or another...I really don’t care if you don’t like it...as long as you accept it.

TayDream


Original tattoo created by TayDream

Q: Do your tattoos tell a story, and if so, what story do they tell? A: My tattoos tell people that I’m a lover of music, history, family, and nature...and that I’m weird and random lol.

TayDream


Q: About how many tattoos have you done? A: Wow... I have no idea lol... a LOT

TayDream doing what she does best, tattooing!

Follow TayDream @3rdEyeDreams 3rd Eye Dreams IG: @doppelganger _ dreams

Original tattoo created by TayDream


Life & Culture

page #43

yCuba Cuba was 18 years old when she got her first tattoo of dolphins with waves around her ankles. Fast forward to today and this 34 year old bombshell has a total of 96 tattoos. Born in Cuba but raised in Florida between 7 different foster homes, she felt the need to express her life through an art form. Obviously enough, that art form was tattoos. “My tattoos all tell a story. Every tatt I ever got had a meaning behind it that I felt very strongly about, or a belief, or a part of my life that was either good or bad. I find an outlet in tattoos!”

Seven Lopez

Q: What artists were great enough to bless your body with tatts? A: I have used many artists. My brother Smooth Visions did a lot of them, until he moved away. I then started going to an “in house” artist out by UCF named Barnie, and then I started going to Brothers Tattoo Company on Lee road in Orlando and fell in love with his work. His name is Andrew Johnson aka AJ. He is a true artist. He hand drew my first piece, a koi fish with tiger Lillie’s after being on the phone with him, I arrived 15 minutes later and he had drawn it up by hand and it was AMAZING. From then on I have been hooked on AJ. Q: What is your most cherished tattoo?

Cuba wanted to make a statement about something that she loved, hence her very first tattoo. Her motivation stemmed from her love of the beach and dolphins, “I thought it would be a good look with dolphins and waves swimming around my ankle.”

A: My most cherished tattoo would be my parent’s obituaries on my arms. Both my parents were drug addicts and overdosed and died right after I was born. I felt like regardless of them leaving me on a fire station step when I was born, I still represented them as a seed of theirs. And regardless of the horrible things they did to me, I am still their child. (My foster mom had the obituaries saved for me).

We leave you now with the fun Q&A session we had with our girl Cuba!

Cuba’s koi fi sh & tiger lill y tattoo on her left leg.


Q: Out of your 96 tattoos, which one was the most painful? A: The most painful was the fish on my shin by far. Some hurt more than others, but that one was extremely painful.

Q Q: They say once you get a tattoo, you become addicted. Would you consider yourself addicted to tattoos? A: Tattoos are addicting - BUT only for those of us that have an addictive personality! When I got my first, I knew I would be back for more! I believe if a person does not have an addictive personality, they could keep it to a minimum!

A Q: There are a lot of people in the world that judge people with tattoos. What would you say to them? A: What I would say to someone that is against tattooing is to me, tattooing is an expression of the arts. It is also a way that I choose to express myself. I do get judged and stereotyped everywhere I go though! If you have an artist like AJ who has a clean, sterile shop and goes by all the state laws and guidelines, tattooing is and should be a person’s own choice.


vParadize page #46

Life & Culture

(Ashley)

Q: When did you get your first tatt, what’s the story behind it? A: I got my first tattoo my senior year in high school so I was 17 years old. And that tattoo was a sneaky and rebellious tattoo of my favorite cartoon character, Winnie the Pooh. At the time I was dating a guy so he took me to get my first tatt without my parents’ permission. FYI: I AM COMPLETE LESBIAN OF 7 YEARS....just had to make it known..lol Q: What are your favorite tattoos? Tell us the story behind them. A: I have 2 favorite tattoos. # 1 - my sleeve on my arm with feathers and a colorful peacock. It symbolizes so much. At the time while I was working on my sleeve, me and my sister, V-Lyrixz aka Lennisha Johnson, were headed home and encountered being severely injured during a car accident. Therefore, this symbolizes my blessing of being able to survive and see my current age of 25 years, and the completion of my arm piece. #2 - my breast cancer tattoo on my shin. In my family breast cancer is hereditary and my tattoo shows the names of the 4 leading ladies of my life that passed away from this horrible cancer.


Q: How many tattoos do you currently have, and do you have plans for more? A: I have approximately 26 tattoos. I have plenty ideas planned for future tattoos, but I am very conscious of what I like to put on my body. All of my tattoos represent various life changing events that have happened during my gracious years of living.

Q Q: Out of your 26 tattoos, which one was the most painful? A: The tattoo that hurt the most was my humming bird tattoo on my stomach. It was my third tattoo and I got it my sophomore year in college. The quote I came up with to tag along with my humming bird was “My past mistakes prepare me for my future success.” Also this was the time when I officially came out to pretty much everyone that I know about me being a lesbian.

A Q: Which tattoo artist(s), have done your tattoos? A: I get my tattoos from the same chick of 4 years strong...she is damn near family. I call her my lil bug sister Jaime. She’s from Virginia, but stays and travels in and out of Atlanta.


page #50

Life & Culture

Traci C.

Author:

Mala Vibez

Paranormal Discovery Coming out as a lesbian at the young age of 15 was a struggle for this young photographer, “being a lesbian and growing up in a very Christian household was not an easy experience for me.” Although she was 15 years old when she officially came out, she truly realized at the age of 13 that she was attracted to women. For Traci, this is something that never went away.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and no one would know that better than Traci C. Living in Dallas, Texas and having been a truck driver, she travelled all over the United States crossing various sites, landmarks, and monuments along her journey. Forming a strong love for photography throughout her life, she decided to hone in on her passion and picked

up her camera snapping shots at virtually every place she came across or visited. This could be the story of most photographers yet Traci’s doesn’t end there. Having had quite an experience with the unexplained at a young age, she decided to get into paranormal investigating. At 12 years old, Traci would often spend time at her grandmother’s

One of the many photos taken at Williams Cemetery in Garland, Texas. ----------------An apparition appears above Traci’s head once their equipment spikes with activity.


Life & Culture

house in the woods of East Texas. The closest neighbor was a few hundred yards away and one day out of curiosity, she decided to pay the area a visit. She ran up to the house and peeked into the window and found an elderly couple sitting in chairs watching TV together. Finding nothing of interest and thinking nothing of it at the time, she headed back home. Later on in passing, she mentioned that night to her grandmother when she was informed that the house had been empty for about 10 years and that

the elderly couple she had seen had passed away around the same time. Needless to say, she became a believer that day. Traci founded The Dallas Paranormal Crew in 2011 with her girlfriend to take on cases of other individuals that have had many of the same experiences that she had as a child. Traci, now 25 enjoys studying the paranormal as well as being an avid photographer. Her most recent run-in with the paranormal was during an investigation at Williams Cemetery in Garland,

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Texas. After not having much luck that night, she and her team wandered to the back of the cemetery where older graves were located. Instantly hits began to appear on their EMF detectors and word databases. During the spike of activity, they snapped a picture and found that something appeared directly above her head. The image is pictured below. Currently, Traci can be found in and around Dallas, Texas researching the unexplained with her team, The Dallas Paranormal Crew.

“Being a lesbian and growing up in a very Christian household was not an easy experience for me.�


page #52

Self-Harm

Self-Harm * DISCLAIMER: This article contains content that some readers may find disturbing and is intended for mature audiences only. We are not doctors. This article is not meant to be used as a substitution for professional help or advice. It is meant solely for education and support. Consider any or all sections of this article a potential trigger. There are various triggers and only you know what you can read or view without becoming triggered. Please make sure that you feel reasonably safe before reading anything below this disclaimer. The opinions expressed within this article do not reflect the views of Team Lesbians and/or the staff.


This article is not meant to be an informative piece such as one you would read in order to view pure statistical data alone. Instead, this article focuses on another aspect; a personal one. In case you’re itching for numbers, it’s imperative that you realize that it is estimated that as of 2012, 1 in 5 girls, and 1 in 7 guys living in America actively engaged in self-mutilation. Among those that self-harm, 60% are females. The statistics are absolutely startling as well as alarming. So why do people cut? As no one person is the same as the next, the reasons behind self-harm vary. It doesn’t help that there are many myths that fly around in regards to why people cut or harm themselves. The most common reasons that people mutilate themselves is due to them trying to cope with inner turmoil, attempting to relieve emotional numbness, and punishing themselves. Even these “common” reasons fall short of explaining the circumstances of every cutter. We thought it best to share an actual story from an individual that self-harms. Due to the seriousness of the matter, we’ve decided to keep their identity hidden.

I began cutting when I was about 12 years old. Although my upbringing was no less than average, I always had trouble coping with my feelings as a child. Even now looking back, I cannot remember just how I learned about cutting or how or why I decided to start. I faced such hurt and pain from within my family for being a lesbian and had not the slightest idea of how to handle it. I constantly kept everything held inside hoping that the pain I felt inside would subside, but that never happened. It started small, a miniature cut here or there. Believe me; I would think to myself “why am I even doing this?” But the minute the razor found my skin, I felt better. The first time that I ever cut, I had just gotten into a fight with my mother about being a lesbian and because I had no other outlet, I ran to the bathroom in an attempt to calm down. I became restless from being so filled up that I began searching around the bathroom for nothing in particular. I found a razor and almost instantly I knew what was to come. I walked into my bedroom oblivious to anyone or anything else. I shut and locked the door and sat down at my computer chair. I cried so hard. It had to have been at least an hour that I just sat there crying. The more I thought about all that had transpired, the more upset I became and without thinking, it just happened. That was the first time that I ever cut, but I have yet to see the last. For me, it was a sense of control. If I hurt myself, no one else could hurt me any worse. I had the power to decide how much I would hurt and I no longer gave someone else the power to dictate that for me. Somehow it managed to silence all of my other pain. As time went on, I became worse and the scars ran deeper and deeper. Throughout the years, I just never stopped completely. It’s not a constant experience as I have gone years without cutting before, but I always come right back to it in the end. I’m in my late 20’s now and although my need to cut has significantly diminished, it still exists nonetheless.


The hardest part for me was the judging that came along with my scars because instantly I was viewed as suicidal, crazy, reckless, or overly emotional. For me, the most common misconception is that every person who self-harms is suicidal. It’s very untrue. People do not cut because they want to die; they cut because they want the pain to end. Very few even bothered to ask me why, or offered to lend their support. I know that there is a better life out there somewhere just waiting on me and as of now, this is the motivation for me to stop cutting. It isn’t always easy as I have several triggers, but I’ve gotten better with handling them. Everyone’s triggers are different. What may trigger me, may not trigger someone else and vice versa. I’d tell anyone to be slow to judge and be quick to forgive when it comes to someone that is, has been, or might find themselves walking in my shoes because it isn’t an easy walk. Don’t make assumptions about people like me, because it’s likely that you’re wrong. We’re not weak. We’re not all suffering from severe mental issues. We simply cope in a way that works for us when everyone and everything else continually fails us. Everyone has a vice and cutting is no difference. 0

The reasons behind self-harm are many, but there are some ways that you can help someone that selfharms:

- Remain supportive - Remain compassionate - Accept them even though you may not agree with their behavior - Avoid panicking. - Do not rely on common misconceptions/myths about self-injury. If you self-harm you may find the following sites and numbers helpful. - S.A.F.E.: (800)-366-8288 - National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. *For a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit Befrienders Worldwide.


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Singles

Heather, 31 Rushville, IN

Y

Children: 2 daughter’s What are you looking for?: I’d like to start off as friends & see where things go from there. I only date black studs. That’s just my preference. What makes you a great lover: I pay attention to detail, im a hopeless romantic, caring heart & give my all. What makes you a bad lover: Not sure that i am a bad one. You will have to let me know if i am or not. Most common thing your past loves complained about: My bad habit of telling to much about myself to soon, catching feelings to quick & insecurities. Most common thing past lovers loved about you: That i am very caring & got a loving heart. That i’m also very trusting & faithful. If i’m into you, imma dedicate myself to you. Family values: I have kids so family is an important thing to me. I’m a package deal. I want to be with someone who is willing to accept my kids as their own & i will do the same if they have kids. Relationship Values: The most important thing in a relationship is communication & trust. If you don’t have those 2 things, your relationship will not get far or last very long. I’m a very loving & caring person. I want that same thing in a partner. Do for me & imma damn sure do for you in return. I want to be a priority, not an option. Anyone that comes into my life is always seen as a priority to me. Never an option. They say NEVER judge a book by its cover. So instead of prejudging, read a few chapters. You may like what you read.


Single Ladies: April

♼

Katie, 26 Ontario Canada

Y What are you looking for?: Confidence, intelligence, maturity. Someone who’s had enough of games people play & are ready to be serious when necessary, but playful when not. A cute smile & love for animals is a plus. What are your hobbies? I listen to Yellowcard while reading Harry Potter/Game of Thrones/ Stephen King type books; take my dog to a park and chase him around with a soccer ball or lacrosse stick; creative writing is my dream.


TRULYFE

Declaration of Independence


TRU

“Surely this person we created is falling apart and I refuse to go down with it.”

Fuck the Fourth of July today is my independence day. Your love isn’t killing me softly but is in fact killing me deep. So deep it is like a venomous poison seeping into my veins, cutting off the life line that connects me to the person that I am. It has cast shadows over my spirit like it was the Wicked Witch of the West and I weep because I would give anything to go home again. It’s got my mind on some crazy shit. I’m like the James Bond of relationships running around on missions like you are a threat to national security and it’s up to me to stop you in order to save the world. I wish it were that intriguing but when it comes down to it you are just you and your love has me questioning my own abilities to use what I got to persuade you to be just that… loyal. I must be out of my fucking mind. Here I am a capable, competent human being who is totally able to hold my own and yet I find myself questioning myself so that I may feel better about your shortcomings. After all, it must be me…right? It has to be otherwise you would just be a damn fool who couldn’t even begin to understand what you have found. And I’m an even

bigger fool for not realizing what I have in myself and leaving your sorry ass before you and I ever became us. Your love is like a veil, blinding my heart from all that it desires and leaving me incomplete and unsatisfied. I work too hard to be either one. I’m tired. I’m tired of the excuses and the promises, not yours but my own. I’m tired of the promises that I make to myself to kick you, your baggage, and your shortcomings straight to the curb. I’m tired of the excuses that I make trying to see the things about you that just aren’t in you. Instead I made them up, I tried to create my happiness and I still haven’t found it in you or me and that’s the problem. I am so consumed with you that I’ve allowed your love to join us as one. So now your thoughts are my thoughts, your feelings are my feelings and slowly but surely this person we created is falling apart and I refuse to go down with it. Your love is like the sweet torture of dying a slow death while watching beauty in its rarest form. It’s not killing me softly, it’s murdering me deep and so I have to let it go. I have to declare today my independence. day.

Signed, TRU


TL

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