Archives for June 2021

Thank you, Lord.

I love you.
I get scared sometimes.
I worry I’m not good enough for you.
I feel inadequate mostly.

You birthed me a Black Woman.
I’m created in your image.
And as far as I am concerned, you are beautiful.

So if I am created in your image and likeness…

…then I must be beautiful too, right Lord?

I must be as perfect as all of your creations.
The birds.

You made them perfect.

Distinct in every way.

I know your word cannot come back void.
You are not a man.
You can not lie.

My God could never lie.
Not to me.
Not about me.

You told me I am the head and not the tail.
You told me I am your righteousness.
You told me I am loved, for eternity.

You told me I am your hands and feet, Lord.
You told me to tell the truth.
To never back down.
To stand my ground.

You said you would never leave me.
And you have not.
You order my steps instinctively.

I trust you, Lord.

I may not be pretty.
Or smart.
Or anything worth loving.

But I am yours.
I may never fulfill the Call you have kept me alive for.
And perhaps, if it be thy will, my life will prove useful.
But if I never birth 100 billionaire black women
disrupt tech
know what it feels like to be loved by another soul…
… I don’t mind.

I have been loved by you, Lord.
I have been accepted by you, God.
I have been trained by you, Messiah.

Very few humans will ever know what it feels like to walk with God.
Thank you for walking with me all the days of my life.
Thank you for calling me beautiful and wondrous in your eyes.
Thank you for loving a wretch like me.

I don’t deserve you, Lord.
I’m completely unworthy of your love.

I hope you like my new hairstyle Lord.
I hope know how much I value what you think of me.

I hope you know how much you mean to me.

I love you God.
I love you so very much.
Thank you for being my only measure.

Thank you for birthing me Black Woman.
Thank you for training me on the streets.
Thanks for educating me at Stanford.

Thank you for using me like you use so many of the Old Testament hot messes as messengers.

We are about to start marketing my tech start-up.

I have done my best.
May it be pleasing in your sight Lord.
Let it heal us and set us free.

Let your will be done.

In Jesus name,
So be it.
So it is.

Happy Father’s Day <3

Not all of us know, met or have a relationship with our biological father.

But I would dare to say that most of us have had some Black Man stand in the gap for us at some point in our lives, even if only for a season.

Happy Father’s Day to all the teachers, stepdads, foster fathers, play dads, brothers, cousins, friends, neighbors, best friends, pastors, and deacons who stood in the gap for those of us who didn’t know our fathers.

As for me, Happy Fathers Day, Uncle Jesse.

You have and continue to be the best father figure I could ever have.

Happy Father’s Day!!

Juneteenth Is A Joke

Dr. King NEVER asked for integration.

He gave his life to “freedom and justice for all.” Civil Rights don’t equal integration. An institution can become integrated without EVER being “civil” or affording historically marginalized communities any rights that are substantive and immediate.

Here is what I mean when I say “substantive and immediate.”
Did you notice how quickly the Asian Hate Bill was passed? In just over ONE MONTH the bill was introduced, approved, and signed into law.

The Anti-Lynching Bill (if you don’t know what it is, look it up) was introduced in 2018 and again in 2020 but has yet to be passed.
The House approved the George Floyd Police Reform Bill–but has not been passed by both the House and the Senate. It was introduced on 6/8/20.

Juneteenth was first celebrated in 1980 when the state of Texas became the first state to recognize June 19th as a holiday.
In 2020, In the wake of the public execution of George Floyd, it was given new life as a national holiday.

It was passed by both the House and the Senate, then signed into law by President Biden on June 17, 2021.

I, we, have been protesting for the police to stop killing us since George. Yet, the bill that gets passed is for a national holiday to “celebrate” the official end of slavery TWO YEARS after Lincoln freed the slaves????

Why does that sound crazy to me?

Just as integration was positioned as “equality and justice for all,” passing a law for a national holiday looks like progress. Except it is NOT what we have been protesting for. We didn’t ask for integration any more than we asked for Juneteenth to become a federal holiday.
What “substantive and immediate” difference does a federal holiday makes for keeping police from killing Black people?

Some of my “Truth Tellers” feel like this holiday is a victory. They say it’s progress; a step in the right direction.

I don’t think so.

As far as I am concerned, Juneteenth is a joke.
A political ruse.
A social change pacifier.

It is positioned to LOOK like progress, but it doesn’t keep Black people protected or alive.

I am not going to talk long about this. Everyone has a right to celebrate what feels right for them.

But me?

I have my eyes open. And just as I am waiting to see the sentencing of George Floyd’s executioner, I reserve my celebration for the passing of the George Floyd Police Reform Bill. When THAT bill becomes a law, I will celebrate with all that I am. And I will stop my using my platforms for social change.

Until then, I wait.
I watch.
And I pray…

…for equality and justice for all.

Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Sexuality/Sexual Trauma: Choice Or Survival?

WARNING: This is a long, explicit, and possibly triggering post addressing sexual trauma and sexuality. Reader discretion is advised.


Well, that was hurtful…

I love being Black.
I mean I REALLY do.
I think Black People are amazing.
Considering our history, the triumph of BEING ALIVE is enough to move me to tears.

So I forget about the divisions WITHIN our community–until I am painfully reminded.
Let me explain.

The month of June is celebrated for both Juneteenth and LBGTQ Pride. I love and am a proud card-carrying/flag-waving member of both communities. To honor both, I featured Black Queer Activists who, historically, made significant contributions to Black Liberation.


The level of righteous indignation from Cis/Straight Black Women and Men for equating the two communities was staggering.

I won’t expose you to the ugly, but let it suffice to say Black Respectability Politics runs a close second to White Supremacy Entitlement.

Some comments first hurt my heart then I became livid.

So much so, I went in on it in this video.

Real talk: I have NO idea how a broadcast about celebrating “Black PRIDE” gets interpreted into “piggy-backing off of Black History.”

As if LBGTQ Black people are not part of or major contributors to our history.

But what pushed me over the edge were comments asserting sexuality is a choice–like smoking cigarettes.


Of all the asinine things I have heard or read, this assertion is in my top five.

Sexual Identity is completely separate from celebrating Black Queer Freedom Fighters who deserve the same honor and celebration for making sure ALL Black People can vote, ride in the front of the bus, and are respected for our intellectual genius.

Civil and Human Rights for Black People is not reserved only for Cis/Straight Christian, middle/upper-class light skin, educated, law-abiding American citizens who speak good English.

White Supremacist standards and ingested Racism/Classism/Gender-bias/Sexism REQUIRES a cult-like fervor for those Black People who can’t NOT oppose that which threatens THEIR identity as “good” and “right.”

In these cases, Black Respectability Police become a version of the KKK toward non-conforming Black Identity and Black Sexuality.

Black Sexuality is complicated, specifically for Black Women, because our bodies have been raped and our wombs have been pimped since we were brought to this country 400 years ago.

And not just by slave owners.

One out of every four Black Women experiences some sort of devastating sexual trauma according to 2020 stats.

That’s 25% of the Black Women YOU know and love have experienced unwanted:
gang rape
pimped out
and/or sex trafficking.

This sort of trauma damages our sense of self, breeds distrust, as well as inflects emotional and mental scars that shape our behavior.

Let me say it differently. Black girls and women are not protected.
We are not believed.
We are blamed.
We are positioned as sluts who like it rough.

Look at all the mainstream media on White AND Black networks to verify my claims.

When one combines the historical representation of the hyper-sexualized Black Female Body to justify Chattel Slavery with laws and systems that provide NO LEGAL PROTECTION, and the endless circulation of videos of Black girls twerking, it’s ease to see why…
… husbands can rape their wives.
… Black women don’t tell the police.
… Black girl bodies become their ATM. #justlikemassa
Sexual practices are an expression of identity not simply desire or procreation. Those of us who have survived sexual trauma didn’t have a “clear and free choice” regarding our identity.

Once a person has experienced sexual trauma, something on the inside changes at a core level.

That trauma whispers bad things to you about you–that you believe.

It shapes what you do and who you trust.

And if you tell and are BLAMED or not BELIEVED, the survivor, in many cases, turns inward against ourselves.
We punish ourselves with…
… drug addiction(s.)
… cutting ourselves.
… abusive relationships.

We think who else would want something so damaged?

When one is unprotected, choice disappears.

I’m not talking about recovery.
I’m not talking about healing.
I’m not talking about faith.
I’m talking about identity.

One can only choose when one is protected.

(Stay with me.)

Protection is a function of safe spaces. Black women, actually all women worldwide, have very precious few safe spaces.

This is why I’m creating my tech startup.

We need a digital place to gather and share our stories, our truths, without being attacked. My platform is a safe and inclusive space for ALL TYPES of Black Women to “see” ourselves and “be” ourselves unafraid and unapologetically.

It’s a protected space so few of us have ever had.

No protection from sexual trauma and no protection from emotional predators for spiritual recovery after the violation.

Not church.
Not the police.
Not family.

Most of us don’t have safe spaces to even talk about what happened without being…
… questioned.
… blamed.
… diminished.

So we survive the trauma by hurting ourselves in various ways.
Or we hide ourselves to not be seen as sexual.
Weight gain.
Living at church.
Pouring into our children.
Or we find comfort and safety in communities that accept us.

Some of us can’t stand to be touched; others of us keep relieving the trauma with promiscuity.
And then there or some of us survivors, me being one of them, who have conflated sex, love, and violence in such a way, sex is not sex. Nor is it love.

It’s power.

I am queer-identified. Meaning I don’t fit into ANY of the boxes that are easily recognizable. My body has been trained by both sexes but that doesn’t make me bi or lesbian or straight.
(I know… Stay with me.)

Each term: straight, gay, lesbian, etc. is an identity replete with its own lexicon, rules, and standards.

I have been queer since I was a child. My sexual appetites were cultivated in violence under the auspices of love. Had I been protected, I will never know if I would have married a woman for ten years or if I would have perfected the art of sex as a way to objectify men.

So because of being a child of the streets, I didn’t have a “choice” in my sexuality.

Other people’s violence chose it for me.
As long as others can act out their violence on our bodies, there is no “choice.”

There is only survival.

By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese
Date: 06.09.21

Wisdom Arises

It hurts my pride to admit this…
Here’s the truth…

I’m getting older.


No warning. Just there.

I hadn’t accounted for the toll staying alive would have on my body.
My mind.
My spirit.

I am so incredibly tired.

I don’t mean just physically.

I mean spiritually fatigued and mentally depleted at the level of conscious care REQUIRED to stay well in a world where being “Black” & “Woman” = WRONG.
Less than.
Not enough.

Has it ALWAYS been this way?

Was I ignorant or just innocent?

The more I take care of me.
The more care I require.

When I eat sweets, my thighs explode.
When I exercise, I need tubs overflowing with lavender-infused Epsom salt…
… weekly massages…
… biweekly chiropractic appointments…
… AND acupuncture sessions.

I remember these activities were “luxuries.”

Now they are requirements.
To fulfill the Call.

When I speak my truth
broken people
toss verbal hand-grenades
in my psyche to…
… question me…
… shame me…
… shut me up.

I have had to disable each bomb with a talk with my therapist
… clearing calls…
… deep prayer.

It’s AMAZING to me how many KINDS of people are vested in keeping Black Women silent and afraid.

It is a revolutionary act to remember I am more than enough in the face of vicious attacks from…
…broken Black Men…
… malicious White hate…
… entitled Black Women.

I am not their wounds.
I owe them nothing.
They are not my God.

I know their hate is not personal.
I’m just the unwitting reminder of all they wish they could be.

So the hate they project is how much they hate themselves.
It’s not personal to me.

No more personal than my cracking knee joints from doing three sets of squats.

So I stay the course.
I hire experts.
I humble myself before God.

I take one step at a time and let go of all expectations, timelines, and targets.

I no longer measure my accomplishments or progress made.
I now measure…
… how many people I DON’T curse out…
… Pimp slap…
… or mentally annihilate.

I measure grace and mercy.
I measure speaking up without talking down.
I measure humility instead of pride.

I used to think God was preparing the blessings for me.

I now realize God has been preparing me for the blessings.

Growing me up emotionally.

So I am able to handle the blessings that are my divine birthright as well as the inheritance of my paternal lineage.

As I surrender more and more my attachments…
… agendas…
… expectations…
… the more I am truly able to let go and let God.
Wisdom arises.

By: Dr. Venus Opal Reese