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Relationships

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I never saw my dad cry. Or my brother as an adult. I never saw my boyfriend shed a tear for over ten years. And I wish I could talk to them about so much – but for two out of three, it’s too late. Through bereavements, break-ups and break-downs, they didn’t ever seem to have emotions apart from joy and anger. And their anger was fierce, often leading to altercations with the police; jeopardising their relationships, their freedom and their futures. But these black men weren’t fools; they were educated, smart, successful and likeable. Over the last few months, reflecting on my relationships with the black men in my life, I started to wonder: are the restrictions of black male masculinity so narrow, that…

As I heard Hugh Hefner passed away this week, I had a horrible memory. I was a fan of Playboy once. Well, ish. Bare with me; it was 2005 and ‘The Girls Next Door’, then called ‘The Girls of the Playboy Mansion’, premiered on Channel ‘E!’. It was still the relative beginnings of the reality TV era, and unlike the over saturation of it all today, being invited into glamorous peoples’ lives, trying to guess what was real and what was scripted, was still pretty fun and appealing. I immediately found Holly, Kendra and Bridget – the three live-in girlfriends of Hugh Hefner – fascinating. At first I couldn’t work out if these girls were even real or not. The painted smiles, the high pitched…

I think we both just thought it would last forever. We never actually said ‘forever’ but the days turned into months and the months into years and it just went on. Our lives became intertwined. We became more than lovers; best friends and then, family. Although I always thought we were solid, gradually, signs emerged suggesting otherwise. Away for work a lot, his phone remained face down, on silent – but mine was too. Yet, I knew I had stopped trusting him. Then there didn’t seem to be a shared future. Let’s travel the world together? Maybe, one day. Lets buy a place together?Perhaps, in the future. It was painful. But hey, thirteen years. There had to be something strong there. I pushed those thoughts…

I got sent it in a group chat. That video circulating on Facebook. The one of teenage boys talking about the type of girls they like. It’s all seemingly harmless stuff at first glance – VanBanter, a popular young vlogger takes his camera across London, asking boys what type of girls they are into. Their eyes light up as they tell him: ‘obviously mixed race’; ‘light-skinned, big back, big tits’; ‘light-skins and Latinas’; ‘Coolie hair,  no dark skins’; ‘curly hair, ’. And it goes on. Answer after answer; boy after boy, describing their light-skinned girl fetish. There are several problems with this; several reasons why I didn’t send an obligatory ‘lol’ back.  Firstly, many of the boys talking are dark-skinned. They unapologetically dismiss, disown and…

Hungover and hungry and I sat on my Victoria Line train last Saturday afternoon, on my way to meet up with a girl from Instagram. She had messaged me to say she liked my blogs, had seen some of my acting work and wanted a little guidance on her career. She had asked would I meet for a coffee. I messaged back and disclaimered that I might not be the best person to advise as I’m still working it all out, but of course, I would be happy to meet her. It turns out arranging a meet on Saturday afternoon after a heavy Friday night at Hackney’s Oslo was not the best idea. As I came out of the station, more than slightly headachy, I…

“What’s going on?” “You know what’s going on” I looked from him to her. Her to him. I had given him a get out clause and had just thrown it back in my face. My nightmare was real. It was over. I was 17. He was 22. She was in the year below me at school. I couldn’t move. I tried to talk, I couldn’t. My friend led me out of his hostel. I was heartbroken. I was reminded of that fateful day yesterday when the hackers of controversial site AshleyMadison.com released the identities, email addresses and sexual preference details of some 37 million people, mainly men, who have signed up to the site which encourages married users to have an affair. I thought of…

Lying in bed the other day, me and my boyfriend talked enthusiastically about where we’d like to be in the future. Countries were mentioned; another trip to Dubai, New York perhaps? Southeast Asia would be exciting. He wants to travel for work, spend some time recording music in Jamaica, me visit in LA for a while. Career ambitions were discussed, then our next home. At not one point did children come into the conversation. Not because we haven’t been together very long (it’s been ten years) not because we wouldn’t make good parents (I adore children, he’s a brilliant uncle) or even because we couldn’t afford to raise a family (our combined income means sacrifices would have to made but we could probably raise a…

So today I baked a cake. As someone who can’t cook, LOVES cake and is dairy intolerant, that is a big deal. So feeling productive and positive, I also thought I’d update the blog. It’s been a while. The truth is, I’ve struggled to write as my mind keeps going back to only one thing, and didn’t want to write about that thing because, well, I feel social media posts should be inspiring and uplifting and this, well, isn’t. But if I’m going to write about anything else, I decided, I need to get this out first. And more importantly, people who are going through the same thing might read it and be able to identify or make sense of their own feelings. In the…