I don't want no pen name
Since I have started writing my blogs I have gotten into some trouble. Some people find my blogs to be offensive. Some people don't like my click-bait titles. Some people are angry at my blogs because they make assumptions about my click-bait titles without reading my work. My parents and loved one's think my blogs will get me fired. They say that I am a black woman in America. I can't just say what I want. A few close to me have suggested I either stop writing my blogs, write about something else, or use a pen name so that I don't get in trouble.
But I don't wanna do that.
I don't wanna use no pen name.
Sad thing (or maybe good thing is that) every time I click Publish Post, I think over my work. . My eyes hover over my name before I post. My loved one's have scared me into habitually wondering if I should post what I do every time I post a blog.
My work is a presentation of me that I want others to consume. They are my thoughts that I want people to play with. I don't want to deny myself ownership of one of the best parts of me. Saying that my blogs are the best parts of me does not mean that I think that they are noteworthy or "good" (whatever good is). It just means that I try my best to be honest in my blogs. I try my best to write reality as I see it. I don't want a pen name because I want to own reality as I see it. My thoughts are me (in a moment in time). I want to own them.
I also want to be accountable. If I say something fucked up, I want people to let me know. I want people condemn my false statements or bigotry. I will do the same for others. This practice is apart of bell hook's esteemed love ethic. Loving people requires nurturing their psyche. I can't nurture others and they can't do the same for me, if there is nothing to nurture. To help people grow, you have to understand the state they are in. And you can't know the thoughts that people have if they don't express them. Through publishing my blogs, I have found a way where other people can help me grow. They can read my work, comment, and through their words I can see things in a different light. In the vein, I can read my work weeks or months after I have written it and see where I was when I was reading it, how I have evolved, how I have regressed.
But also, if I say something helpful, I want it to be known that it is I, Taylor Tate, through God that made that happen.. I'm not trying to offend anyone, convert anyone, or make anyone uncomfortable in saying this. I am also not saying that my writings are a representation of God. All I am saying is that
a. I give thanks to God for all good things.
b. writing is one of the best things that I have.
c. My blogs are a piece of my writings. d. I have God to thank for my writings.
And also, I do hope to live my life as an advocate with God. If my writings are a way that I advocate with God about God's people, then I think it makes sense to give glory to God that my writings are helpful to personas in any way.
So.. because I see myself as a product of God, an advocate with God- I want people to point out anything that I say that is not of God. I don't want to half-ass being an advocate with God. I want to do it right. I want to be a good representation of God. One way that I see if I am "doing it right" is if people let me know.
There are too many black people who have had to use a pen name. There are too many women who have had to use a pen name. They do it because they know that you can't be black or be a woman in our society and say what you want. There will be repercussions. Of course no one can say what they want. But things get complicated when minorities do it (especially when they talk about their minority experience.)
The thought that I would, or anyone would become just one in a million of minority writers who are forced to use a pen name for fear of financial or social fall back, enrages me. This is not to say that I have an issue or don't respect minority writer's who continue to do so. In my experience, every minority has felt that they had to make some sort of sacrifice to live in our oppressed society. Some academics deal with the trauma that it takes with people an academic in western civilization. They don't speak up about things so that they can get tenure (with the idea that they will eventually be able to change things.) Some deny themselves pieces of who they are to abide by protocol. The list goes on and on. I realize that I may have to make sacrifices. My point is that not using my name won't be one of them. Maybe I will do something else psychologically damaging to exist as a person in a white supremacist world. Maybe I will do something else that is harmful to further the movement in this imperialist patriarchy.
I may change my mind though. I am afraid of the fall back. I will likely continue to get in trouble for my blogs. I don't know if there will be a time in which I say that the trouble is worth too much. For the first time in my life I have financial security. I have an actual adult job that I LOVE. My dreams are coming true. If my blogs get in the way of that I may have to stop or I may have to use a pen name. The thought of some situation forcing me to do that makes me feel ashamed. As I said, I want to be accountable for my thoughts. I also want to brave it out. I want to be brave and write about my experiences, the experiences, of others, oppression, and really just reality as I see it.
I pray that I will always be brave. I hope that maybe you can do the same for me. If you ever pray for me that would be something you could pray for. Pray that I am always honest, just, and that if writing is a revolutionary act that I practice, pray that my writing is honest and just. Pray that I am brave in writing.