We want to start this journey off right, with some healing! In today’s episode, Erica Woodland shares how “staying ready so you don’t gotta get ready” led him to start the National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network; Oludaré Is literally ‘dances his pains away’ and Daddy Jinx wants to talk to you about 👀....
Guest Instagrams: Erica Woodland @ebmore1 | Baba Oludaré @oludarespirit | Daddy Jinx
Part 1 - Erica Woodland: 2:00
Part 2 - Baba Oludaré: 11:16
Part 3 - Daddy Jinx: 25:00
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Mentioned During Show:
“Hyperarousal is a result of PTSD, which if we’re being real, many Black folk are born with.” - source
“cultural paranoia - where we develop hyper-vigilance as a protective mechanism against subtle but demeaning incidents that erode our self-esteem and sense of safety.” - Source
“Which is still a taboo topic despite websites like Pornhub getting more traffic than Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon combined.” - Source
Erica Woodland is a black queer/genderqueer facilitator, consultant and healing justice practitioner born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker committed to working at the intersections of movements for racial, gender, economic, trans and queer justice and liberation. For the past 16 years, Erica has worked as a community organizer, case manager, therapist, life coach, facilitator, trainer, social worker, program director, researcher and clinical supervisor with youth, people of color and LGBTQ people from Baltimore to Oakland, CA where he currently resides.
He is the Founder of the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network, an organization committed to advancing healing justice for queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) by increasing access to mental health resources for QTPoC by QTPoC. Erica has a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area where he provides psychotherapy and clinical supervision. In 2017, he was awarded the Ford Public Voices Fellowship and had his work featured in Role Reboot, Yoga International, and Truthout. Also in 2017, Erica was awarded the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Leaders Fellowship.
Oludaré is a Balogun (Priest of Ogun), Aponni (Music Healing Ceremonial Leader), Omo Anya (Sacred Healing Drummer), Dancer and Author of Breathing With Orisha. He is a #RespiratoryActivist and believes in #RESPARATIONS- a spin off of reparations that includes the freedom and time for African Descendants to practice intentional healing through the breath, song and movements of their own ancestral lineages. Through Kìire Wellness, Oludaré brings this message to the world in a tangible, online, family friendly format. He teaches private and public chair breathing, dance, song, and music workshops that help to culturally restore African descendants while strengthening their physical and spiritual health. He is dedicated to promoting wellness in African Descendant communities one Breath at a time.
Daddy Jinx is a Dominatrix, Phone Sex Operator and Sex Educator teaching clients to accept Queerness and Gender one
session and phone call at a time.
"BREATHE. DANCE. FVCK." TRANSCRIPT
Brandon: I hope that in every alternate universe or timeline, lifetime or whatever, that I’m still a faggot. And Black, no shade. Its fab. Anyway, let’s get back to queer.
[Let’s Get Back To Queer Intro Music by Byrell the Great]
Brandon: Welcome to Let’s Get Back To Queer. I’m Brandon Nick, the Vice President of the Vice Presidents Associations of the National Butch Queens Society, and your host for today’s episode.
Brandon Nick: Before we get into the episode, I need y’all do me a favor. Unclench that jaw, relax those shoulders, and breathe. Get that tension up out your body. So often we hold on to pain and stress when we know we shouldn’t. We get bullied by the negative thoughts in our mind, which disconnects us from our body. So do me favor real quick, take a pause... when was a time you felt peace, felt free in your body? What’s the first moment that comes to mind? Got one? Now do me another favor, hold on to that feeling. Keep it close to you. If you didn’t think of one, don’t worry. Times might be hard for some of us which can make it hard to hold on to joy. But when that moment comes to you, carry it with you as you navigate this fucked up world.
This episode is centered in and around the body. We got three stories from some dope healing practitioners to help guide you through, so make sure you stick around til the end. Also, early warning, some of the language in today’s episode may not be suitable for innocent ears.
Brandon: Part one… One thing that I LOVE about the protests that have been going on in New York, and around the world, honestly, is that Black people are holding onto joy while fighting for our liberation. Black joy is an act of resistance, and Black joy is liberation. We know this. It’s really beautiful to see how those on the front lines are holding space for the rage they feel with the endless amounts of injustice we face, but also are holding on to the beauty and magic of our existence. I also really love how trans issues and trans rights are coming to the forefront more and more, because we understand that in order for Black people to be liberated, we ALL need safety and rights and equity. So shoutout to all my Black queer and trans siblings out there doing the work and centering themselves and our communities in the process!
Erica: My practice and all of my work is hella Black and hella queer. And one of my main motto is, I don't want to be, I do not want to be a raggedy healer.
Brandon: That’s Erica Woodland, a trans nonbinary therapist and licensed social worker. He’s the founder of the National Queer and Trans Therapist of Color Network. Or NQTTCN for short. Erica understands that our individual and collective traumas are intertwined. His consulting practice is rooted in the deep belief that we must restore trust and connection in our relationships, in order to do the work of liberation together. I spoke with him about his approach to mental health and how it can shift our understanding around healing.
Erica Hart: Unfortunately in our society, when you say the words mental health, people often think about mental illness. I understand that that's the framework that we're operating in. Um, and I much more prefer to use a framework around healing justice because it's really a belief that we all have a right to heal.
Brandon Nick: Healing justice is not self care. It is looking at our healing from a political lens. As Audre Lorde puts it, caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
Erica started NQTTCN in 2016. It was born from the movement work he was doing in the Bay-area where he was connecting activists on the frontlines, to local mental health workers. Activists who had significant mental health challenges, and high levels of suicidal ideations.
Erica: It's nice to know locally, I'm part of the community. But nationally I know there's more of like out here. So for five years was like, somebody should do this. Like it's not rocket science. And a certain point, spirit was like, so that somebody is you, so you need to do that. And NQTTCN was born like in direct response to me being brave enough to put my vision out in the world.
Brandon Nick: And Erica’s vision paid off, NQTTCN removed one of the challenging barriers Black people have about going to therapy. Finding a practitioner that looks like you. I remember it took a year… more than that honestly, to find a therapist in my network. I wanted someone with a similar walk as me. He wasn’t Black, but he was a queer person of color. At NQTTCN, they specialize in having therapists that are a reflection of the communities they serve. So if I had just went to them instead of going through my insurance, I could have found an older butchqueen to talk to.
Erica: You can say I want to work with a black non-, non-binary fat fem practitioner. Like you can actually ask for that. And like I can think of two or three people that fit that description. So I love that I get to have a psychotherapy practice that's rooted in healing justice. Um, so I think the most fulfilling thing is that it calls me to be a better version of myself.
Brandon Nick: But this better version of himself took some unpacking to get to. I imagine for some of us, that his story is a familiar one. Over-achieving, overlooked, and deeply misunderstood.
Erica: Most of - probably the majority of my adolescence, could have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. So I was, um, a young person, extremely high functioning, straight A's, honor roll, class president, did all the activities. And so a lot of people did not notice how much I was suffering.
And because of the way that mental health is viewed, um, and it's generally people aren't looking at the ways that some of those symptoms play out for Black folks who, you know, we have to grind and be in a particular kind of survival mode.
Brandon Nick: And because of the way mental health is often viewed, folks don’t see how the symptoms of our mental health challenges play out because we’re in a constant grind to survive. But that survival mode, or as I call it, stay ready so you don’t got get ready, is not uncommon. But staying ready, I discovered, can actually do more harm than good.
Erica: Black folks in this country are everyday navigating some of the most complex historical and intergenerational trauma, um, that is not only negated and denied, um, but is also very much still happening.
It's really hard on our bodies, which is why, you know, a lot of our health issues come from living in a state of like hyper-arousal.
Brandon Nick: Hyperarousal is a result of PTSD, which if we’re being real, many Black folk are born with. And the stress is causes on our body... high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease. There are plenty of studies and articles on PTSD and its effect on Black people, so it’s really not hard to understand the consequences of hyperarousal.
It makes me think of when Unlce Jimmy said to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.
This rage has created what two Black psychiatrists, William H. Grier and Price M. Cobbs, called cultural paranoia - where we develop hyper-vigilance as a protective mechanism against subtle but demeaning incidents that erode our self-esteem and sense of safety. Or like I called it earlier, staying ready so you don’t gotta get ready.
Erica: I think hypervigilance is like a real clear one that a lot of black folks can relate to. I'm not saying don't be hypervigilant cause they're trying to kill us out here in these streets. What I am saying is that know that that's a strategy to take care of yourself versus your personality. You know, we start to get over identified with our trauma. And so we will think that our trauma responses are who we are.
Well let me use myself as an example. A lot of black folks I know including myself, have walked through the world with a sense of hypervigilance, right? So we're kind of always looking out for danger, right? So I, you know, I, as I moved to the West coast, I'm like, Oh, that's just part of my personality. You know, I'm from Baltimore, this and that. And it's like, no, that's because I lived in an environment where there was a lack of safety. Right? So is it that my personality, I always have to be on guard and kind of ready to fight... is that part of my personality or is that the way that I've been conditioned by generations of not having access to safety?
Brandon Nick: You’ve all seen it before. Folks who use their hurt as personality traits, wearing “this just the way I am” like a badge of honor. Those responses will often disconnect us from the love we deserve.
So then what is there to do for those wanting to unpack our hurts and shame? Also considering some folks may not want to go the traditional route of therapy. How do we get back to center?
Erica: My biggest piece of advice would be to find some kind of practice that helps you connect with yourself. Whatever your practice is and it's going to be something that you just do without thinking. It's just gonna be something you feel pulled to do and that you do regularly. Um, you can, you can bring a question to your practice. So when I'm struggling with something, I will put it into a form of a question and I will bring that to my meditation practice. I will bring that question to my dreams. I will bring that question on a walk in the redwoods and just really start to listen.
And there's expertise and wisdom that is trying to come through and we have to learn how to reconnect to that. Um, and especially if you're going to be working with a practitioner, you need to have that deep connection to your own inner wisdom and inner knowing because otherwise you might end up working with someone who guides you away from yourself instead of back to yourself.
Brandon Nick: In the words of our prophet Beyonce Giselle Knowles-Carter: Find your way back, don't let this life drive you crazy…
Brandon Nick: Part Two… For those that don’t know, I’m from Maryland. When I was younger, my favorite Baltimore club song was Rod Lee’s Dance My Pain Away. Anyway… As someone who struggled with his sexuality, was constantly bullied and felt invisible for much of his adolescence, but also knew he’d one day dance for Janet, that song was monumental to me. I mean I wore that song OUT. Though, I never understood the deep connection between dancing and healing, literally dancing the pain away, until I got older. How dance as a healing modality is deeply embedded in our culture; rooted in traditions that have been passed down for generations. No one knows that more than our next guest.
Why do I lie to myself in the first place? When does the lie become the truth in the first place, to me is the question. Right? Where does the mask begin? That is the work, the spiritual work, to understand...]
Brandon Nick: Oludare was born into Yoruba tradition; his parents would travel the country performing as Orisha dancers so as he got older he naturally took to it. Oludare practices Regla de Ocha. Which is a unification of different tribes including Yoruba, different Congo Nations and Native American nations. I spoke to him about the importance of his upbringing and how dance plays such a part in his healing journey.
Oludare: It was important for me to have another set of schooling, which happened in the houses of black folks who were maintaining, right? Because of the disparities that exist for Black folks in this county and around the world. They are shamans in the ghetto. So for me, knowing that, growing up where I grew up, dance is healing because when I dance to Orisha, it reminds me of where I come from. It reminds me of the ancestors that still walk with me. It reminds me of the culture that I have within my blood as an African descendant before colonization.
Brandon: It’s not uncommon for American born Black folk to have practices based in Africa to connect with home. In a world that’s constantly trying to erase us, tradition and understanding where we come from is important. I won’t go all hotep, but so much of our collective existence is rooted in African culture, the ways we dance, the ways we heal, even the ways we worship. I’ll let him tell it.
Oludare: There's no idea that exists in this world that hasn't come out of Africa. Even the way we do Black church is not European. It's not European, it's purely African. There is no possession happening in European church at all. When people catch the Holy Ghost and they get possessed with the spirit that's African, right? The fact that there was a drum driving the energy, creating an entire energy in the room. The fact that there's clapping, the fact that there is singing and that the people are using their bodies and their feet to create the energy to connect with the higher power is purely African. We understand that to bring God into the room, we have to activate the god within ourselves. And that is through music. So when you begin to see what happens in Black church and you really start to see what happens in traditional African ceremonies, there really is no difference between somebody catching the Holy Ghost in church and somebody possessing a Loa in Vodoun ceremonies or possessing in Orisha in Yoruba ceremonies or possessing an ancestor in a Mesa Blanca ceremony from Cuba or Puerto Rico.
Brandon Nick: Okay. So let me backup a bit. Oludare is a friend of mine. I met Olu in 2018 in Brooklyn at this weird, wild club in Bushwick with painted, bedazzled and painted gender neutral bathrooms. It was my first night at House of Vogue, a ballroom dance party hosted by Ballroom Djs and Commentators. I was there with a friend and as we were cutting up I remember seeing Olu, he was wearing rainbow sweatbands and getting his life. The more I went to House of Vogue the more we connected. I wanted to know, as an Orisha dancer, what he loved about voguing as another cultural form of movement.
Oludare: Voguing was the avenue that was important for me to, to express myself in a free manner, to express myself as feminine as I want to, or as masculine as I want to and know that that is still me.
Brandon Nick: I definitely feel that. Ballroom has informed much of how I identify and navigate in the world. Me leaving it all on the floor really is a healing practice. And I know that’s probably the case for others as well. Watching my favorites pour all of themselves into their performance, like Sinai, Ricky, Marquise, and DaShaun.
Oludare: I like watching DaShaun. Um, I like Prince Miyake Mugler, legendary Prince. Um, these are folks that really, really inspire me in terms of vogue femme because of the time that they take because of the fluidity that they have. Your entire body has to be involved to get that wave, to go from your hips all the way through your chest, through your neck, into your arms, into your fingertips. Like that's life energy. You can literally see the energy flowing through their bodies.
Brandon Nick: When you think about it, ballroom isn’t far removed from traditional African practices. They both incorporate a ceremony of clapping and chanting, in ballroom we have chants to get everyone to feel it, and in Yoruba religion people chant ancient prayers as songs to honor the Orishas. In many ways, the commentators at the ball are similar to the interlocutors, basically the facilitators, in African diasporic traditions. The role of the commentator is crucial to the flow of balls and the legacy of ballroom. Anyone that has been to a ball and seen Jack, Selvin, or Leggoh on the mic will know that they are the sages of the community, keeping the traditions alive, they are the ones who command the space.
[Clip: LSS Clip from OTA Mini-Ball. Commentating by Leggoh Johvera]
Oludare: You have the drummers in the ceremony, at the ballroom you have the DJ who's hitting all the beats, right? You have the Ewuro in the ceremony, which is the people, right? Then you have all the audience members, right? And you even have the dancers that really embody this divine feminine energy in the ballroom. And in the Orisha ceremony you have the dancers called the Elegun. Okay. That embody the Orisha, whether masculine or feminine, right? And in ballroom we have the masculine and feminine as well. So, but somebody who's walking the ball, their goal, their job is to embody, right? To feel it, to feel the feminine flow through them, to feel that masculine flow through them, to be real, to manifest real. And in the ceremony it is also the job of the Elegun to manifest and to feel and to embody that Orisha, to bring healing.
Brandon Nick: Voguing is kin to Orisha movement because they both require an understanding of the energies being channeled. To be fierce and dramatic like the Orisha Shango or like Dashaun Lanvin. Or more graceful and fluid like the Orisha Oshun or Prince Miyake-Mugler. And Olu understands the balance between them and uses them when performing. And like many Black and African Diasporic traditions, there’s a sacred practice and a more commercialized version.
Oludare: So when you are an Orisha practitioner who knows the music, who knows the dance, who knows the drum, who knows the songs, more than likely you exist within the realm of performance and the realm of ceremony. So the folklore and the performance is educational and it helps for folks to understand the culture from an outside perspective, right? Cuz that fourth wall exists. And on the other side of this ceremony is really where the healing is happening, right? The heavy healing is happening, when people are truly releasing trauma bonds. Where they're, um, are truly letting go of really heavy burdens in their life. And, um, that's an entirely different experience, right? The dances don't even look the same. The singing doesn't even sound the same. The room, and the energy in the room isn't even the same because it really is sacred and there's a true intention of healing that's in the space.
Brandon Nick: No shade, we’re kinda seeing the same thing happen with Ballroom. Shows like Pose and Legendary offer up a diluted version of the ballroom experience for broader audiences, and there are even specialized events that feature ballroom performers, like when Anna Wintour judged a “vogue competition” in 2019 hosted by the Met museum. But nothing, NOTHING compares to actually being at a ball and experiencing that sacred energy. But because ballroom is becoming more visible, folks in the scene are able to flip it into opportunities, teaching ballroom across the world and getting a bag.
Even for Olu, he took what he knew about Orisha movement and formed his own practice, Kiire Wellness, taking his love of dance and Yoruba traditions to bring healing.
Oludare: It's a movement process. That was to take what I know from the ceremony and use it in a way that can be spread to folks who aren't even in the tradition, but use the movement as a healing modality as we do in ceremony, and as I do every day in my life.
Oludare: So what kiire does is we physically move the body and we use the breath to bring energy, to bring electricity, to bring ashé, to get to those blockages and begin to work through those blockages. Because many people when they are suffering from certain pains, they don't do anything to bring life to the area. They rest the area, they stay away from the area. They say, you know what? It hurts. I'm not going to touch it. Versus actually working through the pain. And if you realize we're talking about something physical, but many times this also pertains to things spiritual, emotional, right? When things are heavy, we don't want to just face it, we run away from it. But Kiire is saying, no, we're going to work through this. It's going to take some time. It's going to hurt sometimes. But we're going to work through it.
Brandon Nick: The important principles of Kiire is fluidity and breath work. Breath is important in so many of our rituals. Deep breaths to relax. Some of us use the 4-7-8 method to help us sleep. Some people use the Iceman breathing method to increase their energy. Olu uses what he calls intentional breathing to heal the body. Here he explains.
Oludare: A lot of us have what are called anxious breath, right? Um, where we breathe in and we lift our shoulders. Exactly right? Or we breathe in and we raise our chest, we puff our chest out, right? And it seems like it's doing something for us, but what we end up doing is cutting off almost 65% of the breath that we have below. We do have the ability to breathe without thinking. But if we're on a path to healing and we're on a path to bringing our bodies to a place of homeostasis, and in a state of balance, breath, intentional breath is very important.
Brandon Nick: Right now, are you paying attention to your breath? Seeing if it’s deep, or shallow... Does your chest rise up when you inhale, go down when you breathe out? Feeling the oxygen going in and out of your nose? Intentional breathing is more than just watching how we breathe. Olu says it’s about filling your diaphragm and your body to get that blood circulating, and giving your body the time and respect it deserves. How about we show you. It’s worth mentioning here that this is meant to be done standing, for those who can.
Oludare: So I always ask people to start with an exhale. And the exhale, the point of the exhale is so that we start from scratch. And so that when we inhale, everything is fresh and able to truly expand as far as possible. So when we open up, we exhale everything, right? And I like to use the F sound because the F sound when breathing out is really efficient at getting everything. So we start with the exhale.
And then we inhale.
Brandon Nick: Ashe. Heal the Africa in you and no matter what, keep breathing.
Brandon Nick: Part three… *psst* hey, so the secret code, you ready?! The secret code is pride was a riot. Now go DM us the code @letsgetbacktoqueer for your chance to win a Let’s Get Back To Queer swag bag. Now let’s get back to the show. I know as Black queer and trans folks we can often be the subject of stares. You walk into a room, and you feel the energy shift. Do you pay attention to who’s paying attention to you? Do you wonder what they’re wondering? Try to figure out who’s figuring you out?
Daddy Jinx: I think people are normally really curious, not even confused, they're very curious. People stare at me all the time. Well, when I come into a room, I think people, their first thought is the fuck?! Who dat? Um, the fuck is going on? You're a girl but you're not a girl, but you kinda like a girl. But you're kinda like my guys. You're kinda like a trans woman-man. Not sure. But I like it!
And then they try out different things - bro, sis, girl, bruh. And that's the thing, I fuck your head up. Fuck your whole head up. Right. It's like I could be a girlfriend, but you want to call me daddy though, and you liked that I'm daddy. So... I can just be daddy.
Brandon Nick: That’s Daddy Jinx. Daddy Jinx is a reiki practitioner and healer from Brooklyn. He identifies as trans non-binary, so I get why he says his presence can mess peoples heads up. He walked into the studio rocking a mini mohawk. A rose quartz necklace, for clarity. A beautiful sparkling jumpsuit.
Daddy Jinx: Breast fully out and back fully out in straps.
Brandon Nick: And a pair of red velvet sneakers with a thick sole for added height.
Daddy Jinx: You know, I'm trying to give five, six energy, um, look. Okay. Really I was trying to give big Dick Energy, but I give that anyway, so I figured my height should match this cock.
Brandon Nick: So, this episode is about Black queer healers, but me and Daddy Jinx aren’t gonna talk about reiki. We’re gonna talk about sex.
Daddy Jinx: I feel like whenever I have sex with somebody or even talk about sex with somebody, that's a healing experience. And so I like talking about sex quite a bit. Pleasure is a thing I like.
Brandon Nick: In addition to being a reiki healer, Daddy Jinx is also a sexual wellness educator. And phone sex operator. And a dominatrix. So as you imagine, he talks about sex… a lot. Which is still a taboo topic despite websites like pornhub getting more traffic than Netflix, Twitter, and Amazon combined.
As a phone sex operator, I assumed most ofhis calls was was him giving the stereotypical porn moans or talking about how wet he is. I was wrong. I mean for Daddy Jinx, sometimes it is those things. Sometimes it's roleplay. Sometimes the callers just want insight, perspective.
Daddy Jinx: Cause a lot of people call me in like I can't talk about this with my partner. I can't talk about this with my friends. And so that's kinda what I've noticed is a lot of lot of them are, are cis men and, um, have conversations around, uh, what does this mean if I do like penis, but maybe the penis is attached to a woman, maybe it's not attached to a woman, maybe it's attached to a woman and is not hers. Like, a lot of it has to do with sexuality and how the world might see them if they knew. Other people are coming out, people come out on the phone. Um, a lot of, uh, folks in divorce calling and talking about that experience and uh, being lonely.
Brandon Nick: He tells me how all these calls are a relief for the caller. Filling a need or getting something off their chest, or shooting something on it. So I needed another thing cleared up. I wanted to know if I was wrong in assuming that being a Dominatrix is all about the chains and whips? I’m really interested in how the dominatrix work came to be.
Daddy Jinx: Femme Dom's are a real thing and they get paid to take their money. People only thinking, like, when they think BDSM or Dominatrix, they thinking like hard, like leather and pleather and all the whips and chains. I mean, and it can be that. It literally, like if you, if my sub was right here, um, it literally could be like the boyfriend who I tell what to do and it's like sit down and shut the fuck up. You sit there and you watch me eat and I know you're hungry, but you know, you'll just watch and you can just imagine if you were like the food in my mouth being chewed up and swallowed. And then they just sit there feeling sad and getting hard or not. And that could be the thing that turns them on. And I could look exactly how I look now or I could wear something else. I can be in my pajamas and they can be on their knees. You stay there, behave. Simple.
Brandon Nick: I’m not gonna lie, I could listen to him talk all day. His energy is just… Mmm.
Brandon Nick: How did you get into sex work?
Daddy Jinx: Someone had reached out to me on Facebook, a friend of a friend who I had no idea who he was.
Brandon Nick: And this friend of a friend persistently messaged him for two years. Then one day Daddy Jinx finally wrote back. The guy’s response...
Daddy Jinx: Hey, I want you to, I want to meet up and uh, get coffee.
Brandon Nick: So they met up for coffee. Had some small talk.
Daddy Jinx: And then finally he was like, I'd like for you to dominate me. And I was like, oh, okay. Well are you paying? Uh, and then, um, it kind of went from there. Um, I met up with him and dominated him and it was a really liberating experience. And it was kinda like wow, like people pay for things like this and it's something that I naturally do is something I enjoy. It gives me pleasure and it gives me pleasure to give that person pleasure in that way.
Brandon Nick: As a sexual health and wellness educator, Daddy Jinx teaches beyond what many of us were taught in high school: penis, vagina, anatomy, pregnancy, abstinence. Blah blah blah. Daddy Jinx’s teachings are rooted in sexual liberation. Which took him some time to understand for himself. Being othered in a world that's constantly pushing out the same tired images of beauty, Daddy Jinx questioned his own desirability.
Daddy Jinx: I think when I first started having sex, and like, I tried to compare myself often to the, to the women in porns and I was like, oh, I was like, I want to be like the girls in the pornos. But I was like, how do I feel sexy? My skin don't look like that and my stuff don't look like that. Like my pussy does not look like that!
Cause even if I tried, like if I tried to wear whatever was the latest thing or have my boobs, I just felt so uncomfortable. I felt like an impostor.
Cuz I know at points I didn't feel desirable because I didn't make sense to the world. I, like to see myself was not a thing. Even even as more trans women started becoming a more visible on television, I was in love with, I was like, oh my God, that's closer to me.
My first experience with that was, um, orange is the new black. Right. Ms. Cox, oww. And I was like, it took them that long. Right? I'm already an adult and this is, now I get to see this. Right. Um, and someone kinda like me. Right? Even just a little bit.
Brandon Nick: Porn and the general media landscape can definitely have us feeling less than, being shown so many images of the same types of people. Fit. Curvy. Men in porn are typically rugged and macho with huge… you know. And the women in porn are no different. And when you don’t look like that, it can create shame. But part of what sexual liberation is, is about knowing that no matter what that you’re desirable.
Daddy Jinx: Your body changes, are you still desirable? Right? You lose weight, you gain weight. Are you still desirable? Right, you might have had surgery or something else has happened. Are you still desirable? And the answer is yes.
And I think that it's important that we see ourselves as desirable cause we don't get to see that. And I think that's healing. Like, to just to see and be seen, to be felt, to be, to be honored, to be loved on.
Brandon Nick: To be loved on. Another part of sexual liberation, which is deeply connected to our healing, is removing the shame from our pleasures. If you like cruising, then go cruising and don’t feel bad about it. If you like being bit, don’t be afraid to tell your partner, or partners, to bite the shit outta you.
Daddy Jinx: Look, if you like big women, you like. If you like big people, you like the fuck out of them people. Why? Cause they’re sexy as fuck. Cause there’s no rule, there’s no rule book. We might have a type generally, but there’s no rule book to attraction.
Brandon Nick: Aight, but what about when those attractions become too much. Because we’ve seen time and time again how we become fetishized.
Daddy Jinx: You can fetishize me in the way that I like to be fetishized. Cause we all also liked to be fetishized. We like to be desired. Right? And I think that that's important to understand. If you like my big breasts, I like that you like them. Come, let me show you.
Brandon Nick: Good point. The probability of being fetishezed by someone for being black, or trans, or both, is pretty high. So in Daddy Jinx’s mind, you might as well get paid for it. But if you’re not a sex-worker, how do you move past the fetishes, past the shame, what does that look like?
Daddy Jinx: Um, I think it looks like more people having better sex. Having better sex, owning their sexuality, owning their, pleasure. Honestly, even owning their healing process. Like owning that they are in fact on a journey and that they're going to continue to discover themselves.
It's really important that people understand how their, how sex is super a part of their experience, towards healing. And I'm not saying like only the people who are having multiple partners, only the people who have the quote unquote wild BDSM, kinky sex. Um, just like if you are having very vanilla like cis man, cis woman, like there's nothing really wild about your sex life. Like that's good. Right? As long as it's an experience that you're enjoying and you receive pleasure and you feel good after, right? And you continue to go back because you feel good going there. So that’s sexual liberation to me.
Brandon Nick: Do what feels good to your heart, not just your body. But having better sex isn’t as simple as having better sex, especially when we recognize our individual and collective sexual traumas. And, it may not always be trauma, it could be that you don’t orgasm when you’re having sex or you orgasm too fast. Maybe you’re having boring sex, or no sex, with your partner. How do we heal through sex if we’re having traumas or insecurities around having it?
Daddy Jinx: Well shit, if we could talk about it more, maybe maybe people would have better experiences with other people. That's really it. Right? And that's that conversation ultimately has to start with you. And then without the judgment of it, like, what's wrong with me? What is it about this thing that turns you on? However you want it. It is how you want it. But I think it's important to think about why you like it like that. Right. And delve deeper into that. Why do I like this? Why does this feel good? Um, am I moving from my trauma or am I moving towards my pleasure? That is always my question, is what is liberating in this experience for me? And if I'm not really getting anything, then, more than likely we're not doing it.
Brandon Nick: No Shade. If it ain’t feeding, pleasing you or paying you, if it’s not liberating you then do you really need it?
Brandon Nick: I hope you enjoyed this, and I hope that you heard something that will bring joy and healing back to you. There’s a quote I found that I like… if you listen to your body when it whispers, you won’t have to hear it scream. So embrace, love, and cherish your body - it’s the best thing you own. To help close us out, I offer you this song by Olu who I asked to sing at the end of our interview.
Oludare: So I'm going to sing for, OYA. Because, Oya, the Orisha of rapid change OYA is the Orisha of gender changes OYA, OYA is the Orisha of war, but she's a warrior queen. Okay. OYA, the Orisha who wears masks through the world. And so many of us have to wear masks just to be able to feed our kids, just to be able to keep the lights on. And this song is dedicated to all of the folks who have to wear masks to get through their day. And my prayer is that the mask does not become who you are, that you always have this space to take off that mask, to give that mask a break and be yourself, that you always have the community and the cushion to be yourself throughout your day, that you are always giving yourself grace throughout the day because whatever you're going through is a fucking lie. Ashe, ashe. ashe.
[Oya Song sung by Baba Oludaré]
Brandon Nick: And that’s our show….. Thanks for checking out episode one of Let’s Get Back To Queer! Shoutout to my guests Erica Woodland, Baba Oludaré, and Daddie Jinx. And a special shoutout to all the sex-workers and Black mental wellness workers out there making this world a better fucking place!
Let’s Get Back To Queer is produced by myself, Brandon Nick, as well as my sun and the moon - Shannon Shird and Glenn Quentin George. This episode was edited by myself and Jackson Alexander, who also did sound design. Mixing done by Evan Joseph. I also want to thank Marlon Bailey for sending me his book Butch Queen Up in Pumps. It definitely helped me with this episode.
And a huge thank you to you, the listeners for tuning in to Let’s Get Back To Queer. Yay! Seriously, y’all don’t know how long I’ve been waiting to say that! If y’all are picking up what we’re putting down then I ask that you please share this podcast with all of your homie-friends and if you could, visit our website at letsgetbacktoqueer.com to find out ways to support us as we continue on this journey! See you in the next episode where we unmask the masks of masculinity while keeping six feet apart.