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The Library Is Open: A Few Final Reads On RPDR All Stars 3

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Already in shock that Shangela was barricaded from the top two, I was preparing myself for a Kennedy Davenport win. Kennedy utterly slayed the final lip-sync to an unimpressive song that mostly favored the other queen. Kennedy performed better than her competitor throughout the season, which was not hard seeing that the other half of the top two did not win a single challenge. Because I like to be naive at times, as it can be cute and endearing, I hoped Kennedy would be the choice. However, my ancestors and the spirits who hold my past traumas spoke to me and said, “Sis, you know better than that- we’ve already prepared you for this moment.” So, as RuPaul announced the country queen as the winner, this complicated feeling swept over me. It was a mixture between surprise and this intense calm.

via GIPHY

Because I at times commit to poor decisions, I decided to watch the finale at a local bar- one that is queer friendly. Well, white queer friendly. The crowning was accompanied by the whitest and loudest applause I’ve heard in a bar setting- applause and noise that rivaled any sporting event I’ve ever watched in a public space. This reminds me that I am never safe in this Black fat body, no matter if the setting is queer and well-intentioned.

Yes, I know RPDR is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. Click To Tweet

I feel guilty for being angry, because I know this show remains problematic in many ways. However, I am legit sadden by this expected surprise. Yes, I know this show is riddled with every ism and phobia, but still I thought better of these people. And of course someone will soon hop on my timeline telling me that I shouldn’t care so much- and honestly I will probably cuss them the phuck out. I would hope I’d respond differently, but I know my brand. Smh.

This season, this episode, triggered some bad memories and emotions for me. Once again, it told me that I will never be enough in this fat, Black, queer body. Whiteness and white mediocrity will often be the victor, will often be praised, and will do their best to gaslight you when it’s all said and done.

Cast of Paris is Burning

Here are a few insights I must get off my heart. In the tradition of Paris is Burning, I honor the Black and brown queens who made drag what it is today…

The library is open, hunty.

Kennedy Davenport doesn’t deserve your pity. She deserves no one’s pity because she is a boss. She is a champion with or without the crown. She deserved to be in the Top four, and deserved to beat that other gurl in the final two. Not a read, just true.

Shangela was the clear winner. CLEARLY. And her face showed me that she knew she was morally better than most queens in that room, in that moment. Halleloo.

RuPaul once said that drag pokes fun at the rules (a loose interpretation of something he actually said), but in practice has successfully helped white cis-heteropatriarchy thrive in drag. RuPaul is committed to uplifting whiteness, as it is attached to capitalism. Sis wants another Emmy and a much larger check- the internalized anti-Blackness has runneth over, all over those pretty suits and pretty gowns. RuPaul must have sincerely been flattered by the winner’s impersonation of him in the Snatch Game.
…And he is a legend and a trailblazer.

Beware of white people who think this chick with the ethnic puff on the top of her head deserved to win. They are the same people who whisper #AllLivesMatter to one another in Black and brown spaces. They are the same people who love having Black friends, but are absent when violent shyt goes down. They are the same people who are hypercritical of Black queens, but then show up to their shows and events to steal dance moves and drag techniques. They are the Toros of life, a la the white cheerleaders in Bring it On.

The white queen whose name rhymes with silk, and makes me proud to be lactose intolerant is…spolied.

Bebe Zahara Benet is me if I ever do drag. Muva is unshakable. It was clear that she didn’t define her worth by what these other queens thought. She doesn’t have to be crowned the queen because she already knows she is one.

The white queen who dons dreadlocks showed her anti-Black and classist ass in her original season by how she treated both Bob The Drag Queen and Chi Chi DeVayne. <sigh> Some things never change. However, she was the only queen who voted for Shangela to be in the top two.

I was waiting for Aja to conjure Crystal LaBeija once Ru announced the top two. However, Aja chose the Milwaukee queen over Shangela to be in the top two, so perhaps LaBeija was out to lunch with Monique.

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. Click To Tweet

I’m noticing on social media that a lot of the Black and brown queens are on this condragulations tour- celebrating a queen that had no business winning, and avoiding any of the racialized critiques. To them, I say be careful. There are young Black and brown queens who are looking up to you, and learning how to address racism and anti-Blackness in this industry by carefully observing your every move. However, I understand that your speaking up puts your booking fee at risk, your livelihood at risk. This is how white supremacy traps Black and brown bodies.

White queens who talk about white supremacy, misogyny, and queer and transantagonism on their platforms, I await your voice in this conversation. It is your responsibility to challenge your fellow white queens, and your problematic followers. Get to it.

I also want to be clear. I believe the winner of the third cycle of All Stars identifies as biracial/multiracial with roots to the Ojibwe people, and that matters in their journey to the crown. And, in this industry, this human still benefits from white privilege in some truly complex ways. Trixie, you have a responsibility in this conversation as well.

The Library is closed, officially.

via GIPHY

In closing.

All (Monique) heart, we love you, Shangela. We love you, Bebe. And we love you, Kennedy. Please continue to shine for usHere is my love letter to you all.

 


Cody Charles is the author of Mudbound: Uncovering The Parts Of Ourselves We Sacrifice In Order To SurviveA Dream Undeterred: 10 Dreams I Want To Live Out In My Black Fat Queer Body In 2018Our Favorite Blackity Black Quotes In Black CinemaEngaging My Black Fat Body, Re-Imagining Black LoveYou Can’t Outdo Black PeopleBlack Joy, We Deserve ItThe Night The Moonlight Caught My Eye: Not a Review but a Testimony on the Film Moonlight5 Tips For White Folks, As They Engage Jordan Peele’s Get Out. (No Spoilers), and What Growing Up Black And Poor Taught Me About Resiliency. Join him for more conversation on Twitter (@_codykeith_) and Facebook (Follow Cody Charles). Please visit his blog, Reclaiming Anger, to learn more about him.

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Nicki’s Barbs versus Bardi Gang: Motorsport Receipts

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There’s a trail of failed mainstream rap careers and they all end with some level of disrespect that tarnished an up-and-comer’s reputation, resulting in an industry blackball. That could have easily been Cardi if Nicki was really *that* girl. Everyone thought Nicki was bluffing when she spoke out about being forced to rewrite her verse for Motorsport, but it has now been proven to be true.

The importance of being earnest in the entertainment industry is imperative for newcomers, especially for someone whose career has skyrocketed as quickly as Cardi B’s. While many gather to celebrate her success, there are some who believe that she has not given credit where it is due, something many once believed Nicki was notorious for. In an almost karmic twist, now it is Nicki who has been snubbed in favor of a new flavor, adding prudence to the proverb “The same people you see going up, you’ll see coming down.”

Feeling Attacked

Allegations of jealousy and relationship tension surrounding the collaboration and release of Motorsport in October 2017 have resurfaced, but now with receipts. Just as Nicki Minaj has returned from her social media hiatus with two new singles on #NickiDay, Cardi B’s phone has suffered a data breach and screenshots of texts between Offset and Cardi have corroborated Nicki’s claim that it was Cardi that forced her to change her verse. Knowing there isn’t a complete sentence between the two of them, those text messages were a messy read! Here’s a play by play of what was *allegedly* said between Cardi and Offset. In light of recent social media account deletions, I will not be posting screenshots. However, you can view them on Twitter and Insta.

He Said, She Said

Stating not so eloquently that she felt targeted by Nicki’s original lyrics, Cardi confided in her now fiancé that she spoke with her label, Atlantic, and they convinced her The Migos set her up for failure by adding Nicki to the track, setting her up to be the weaker female lyrically on the song. She didn’t understand why the verse was not immediately sent back for a rewrite, implying Offset thought there was no offense. Cardi was offended enough to ask for a rewrite but her management didn’t fully see eye to eye on the matter. They probably insisted she was taking things too personally.

To be perfectly honest, this entire situation wreaks of insecurity and is a whole hot mess, but I digress. Cardi went on to say her management understood she felt disrespected but complimented how well her verse was performed. Unamused, Cardi felt no one would care how good she sounded if she was being insulted on the track and hinted this was the type of instance that could end relationships. It was unclear if she was referring to Offset or her label. She even went so far as to say she didn’t want anyone to think her man was a traitor. Fearing she would really leave him over the issue, Offset asked Cardi to go back to her label and demand they “make that hoe take your name out of her mouth and clean that bitch up or it’s a dub”. Cardi expected financial restitution for the offense as well as a rewrite. I’m not sure if they cut an additional check, but we all know Nicki did end up changing her verse.

Do you all think it was fair of Cardi to demand Nicki rewrite her verse now that the original cut has made its way to YouTube?

 

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Mariah Carey Opens Up About Mental Health Struggle

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Mariah Carey holding mic
Mariah Carey holding mic

Photo Credit pixabay

In the Black community there are several things that we refuse to discuss, one of which is mental health. The stigma surrounding mental concerns as being a “White problem” frequently keeps people within the Black community from coming forward and when they do, their concerns are met with criticism. We say things like “You’re just having a bad day,” or “Man up” while simultaneously encouraging one another to check on our strong friend. So which is it? We owe it to ourselves to talk about the dark cloud of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and more or we’re doing our community and ourselves disservice.

I lived in denial

Mental health can encompass many things and for Mariah Carey, it’s tackling her Bipolar II disorder. For those of us old enough to have witnessed the unedited moment firsthand on MTV’s TRL, Mariah Carey had a breakdown in front of adolescents in July of 2001. She entered the set dressed in an oversized T-shirt and pushing an ice cream cart, only to shed her clothes and pass out treats while eating a popsicle seductively. Carson Daly stood in awe, uncertain why she arrived as she rambled “You’re my therapy session right now, Carson. Every now and then somebody needs a little therapy, and today is that moment for me.” She would soon be treated for “exhaustion” shortly after the ordeal, all while being ridiculed during her absence. I empathized.

I thought it was a severe sleep disorder

In an interview with People magazine, Mariah laments, “I didn’t want to believe it.” She believed her mental disorder was career-ending and lived in fear of someone exposing her. Speaking from experience, it can be an unmanageable burden to suffer in silence with a mental disorder, diagnosed or not. It can ruin job opportunities, relationships, friendships, and cause irreparable rifts in families. I mean, no offense, but look at Azealia Banks. The girl is fully capable of writing a bop but her outbursts and history of controversy keep her career in the shadows instead of the spotlight. Even in the midst of recognizing she needs help, her fan base and detractors alike withhold empathy because of her mouth. While this article isn’t intended to critique the shift of empathy based on one’s status as legendary, I will say this. It is *mighty* strange how Azealia has been open about the need for discussion and acceptance of those struggling with mental health issues for a while, but people are collectively deciding that empathy ends where problematic begins and I think that’s counterproductive.

It can be incredibly isolating

Like many Black artists who have struggled publicly and privately with depression, Mariah Carey hopes we can reach a point where the stigma surrounding mental health issues in America is lifted. She’s reached a point of comfort allowing herself a moment of clarity to express she’s in a good place and encourages others to seek treatment. “It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.” I wholeheartedly agree.
For anyone who is suffering in silence and needs help, you can reach out to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at dbsalliance.org. If you would like support via text message, you can text HOME to 741741 and a Crisis Counselor will respond. If you need to talk, call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Hotlin

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Tristan “Third-Trimester” Thompson & Khloé Kardashian Cheating Timeline

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TMZ

Tristan Thompson & Khloé Kardashian are having the most interesting week ever. News broke earlier this week of Tristan allegedly cheating on Khloé weeks before her due date. The first video of Tristan kissing up on a woman at an NYC nightclub leaked and now TMZ obtained video of him and the unidentified woman making their way into the Four Seasons.

 

TSR STAFF: Myeisha E.! @myeisha.essex ________________________________________ #Roommates, there’s more!!!! ________________________________________ So earlier today, video of Tristan at a NYC club leaked and you can see a girl all up in his grill. Well, #Roomies THE TEA RUNNETH OVER!!! We have exclusive footage of the two of them leaving the DAY party (where you saw her all up in his face) together and arriving back to his team HOTEL around 8:30pm on April 7th. He got there wearing a black Supreme jacket, and FOUR hours later, the pair reemerge from the hotel with Tristan changing his outfit for the next event. _______________________________________ Then they hopped into the same SUV and headed to Soho House (for the night party) in the Meatpacking district, which is a member’s only club with strict cellphone policy. Then at 5am, they returned to his hotel together AGAIN and he even held the door open for her like a gentleman. _______________________________________ The next day (April 8th), she was seen again leaving the hotel (while Tristan stayed behind in the hotel) around 8pm still wearing her exact same outfit as the night before. Sis even had an overnight bag in hand! 📷: Splash News #TSRExclusive

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Now reported surveillance video also obtained by TMZ shows Tristan kissing two women from back in October.

TMZ obtained this surveillance video recorded October 7, 2017 at a hookah lounge outside Washington D.C. You see Tristan with 3 women, 2 of whom are fully engaged with Khloe’s baby daddy.

Tristan makes out with one of the women, tongue and all. The other grabs his head, brings it to her chest and he motorboats her. And the same woman grabs his junk.

The video was recorded the night before the Cleveland Cavaliers played the Washington Wizards. via TMZ

The video doesn’t make it any better.

Amongst all of the mess, the mystery woman who accompanied Tristan to his hotel has allegedly been found. A screenshot of her on SnapChat throwing some massive shade has surfaced. Chile, this is too much.

NOT IMAN SIS!!!!

She wasn’t the only throwing subliminal shots. It seems Khloé’s bestie found a way to throw a jab at Tristan.

 

Page Six is reporting that Khloé went ballistic after finding out. The streets are saying you lose them how you found them. Apparently, Tristan Thompson has a thing for cheating on women during their third-trimester.

Should we believe all of the hype? Tristan had to be either bold or stupid or a mixture of the two. Where is Kris Jenner? Is this one of her schemes to come to us with a new spinoff show? I have questions when it comes to the Kardashian’s.

Khloé seems to have a thing for black basketball players and Tristan seems to have a thing for cheating on pregnant women. YIKES.

What do you think, is this a little Kardashian Karma? Are you caught up?

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