This is my interview with SisterReach, a reproductive justice non profit program that shares experiences and lessons learned by masculine presenting women of color. I was featured in the March newsletter. Below is the article!
1. Talk about your passion and purpose behind Boi + Mama + King:
I wanted to see more visible reflections of all my identities. I am a boi, a mom, a Cameroonian, a creative, in short a global citizen. Returning to Minneapolis after a visit to Cameroon last summer got me thinking about others like me that never get an opportunity to living up to their true selves. I felt compelled to provide a platform where our stories could be told and shared in hopes that I could make a small difference in someone’s life.
I get to explore various ways of gender with my daughter. At a young age she is already playing around with gender. She mostly calls me mommy but if the mood strikes her, she’ll call me daddy too. She has crowned me “king” to her princess, hence the title of my blog. She is very much a girly girl who LOVES wearing dresses. But she plays with her style, also, and does not shy away from skinny jeans and sneakers when she is wilding out on a jungle gym.
Navigating co-parenting with my ex-wife has made parenting take on a new dimension but we are working things out amicably. Outside of negative reactions I may receive from complete strangers, mothering from Masculine of Center has been transformative and life changing.
3. What are some lessons learned you’d offer to our BoiTalk community for other masculine presenting women who are either already parenting or considering parenting?
Never be afraid to show up as your true self. By this I mean ownership of all your identities. We need more representations of parents like us. A loving and conscious home is my number one requirement for raising kids. As a parent, I am able to provide my daughter with positive affirmations of what masculinity looks like from my point of viewpoint. As a mother I am committed to growing and cultivating a loving, caring yet exploratory atmosphere for my daughter. There are very limited boundaries in terms of learning and discovery. My identity allows me to be expansive and unconventional in my approach and thoughts towards raising a brilliant, spirited and globally aware human being. Parenting is the hardest job I have ever undertaken and it is also the most rewarding.
Photography by Michele Spaise
4. You are intentional around being your authentic self. What are some self-love and/or self-care tips you would offer to our BoiTalk audience?
It is okay to be in touch with your emotional and sensitive side. Be tender to your feelings, thoughts and general well being. It is important that we take time out to pamper and treat ourselves. Self care can be achieved in a variety of ways, for me it looks like the following:
- preparing a home cooked meal with my partner while listening to good music
- striving to be active daily whether it be running, lifting weights, cycling, or any activity that gets my heart moving
- cherishing and welcoming tender moments with my partner
- personal grooming which could look like bi-weekly hair cuts, an occasional nail polish from my partner, etc
- reading articles and books about things that matter to me such as the enhancement of queer POC and movement towards a broader visibility of queer Africans
- traveling more with my partner, connecting and immersing ourselves with nature, different cultures and sharing experiences with locals