30/09/2022 às 15:56 LGBTQIA+plural

Meet Genie | LGBTQIA+plural

3min de leitura

TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault, abuse, violence

When you meet Genie in person and step into her home, it’s near impossible to imagine everything she’s been through. Her house is the cleanest, freshest, warmest and most beautifully decorated space someone can be at. And it doesn't look like this by accident. Genie has intentionally built a safe environment where she can feel grounded and continue to heal from all the pain that has crossed her path.

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Genie was taken into foster care when she was about 10 months old after her mother gave her away along with her siblings. She suffered physical and sexual abuse during this period, and when she was 5 years old she was brought back to her mom, where she stayed until the age of 11.

During this time, Genie’s mom was selling drugs with a partner, so they moved around a lot. Two or three of her siblings (she doesn’t have a clear memory about this time frame) were also there, but Genie never had a close relationship to them. Due to the enormous instability and confusion, she always felt like they were just people sharing a house, which could change any day. After a drug bust by the police, when Genie was 8 or 9 years old, they ran away to Louisiana and lived undercover for a long time, which caused her to miss a lot of school time. 

When Genie was 11, she moved away and came back to Boston on her own. She called an older sister and stayed at her house for a little while, but then she was sexually assaulted by her sister’s husband, which happened again when she moved to another sister’s house. At the time, Genie couldn’t process what was happening and felt a lot of guilt, shame and fear. 

All of the trauma and pain shaped the way Genie dealt with her sexuality, because for a long time she associated sex with violence and that felt repulsive to her. It took a lot of healing and self care, which came in different forms. Genie has dug into her family’s lineage and realized a lot of her passion for music comes from her Puerto Rican father, who was a musician as well. She has also found out about her indigenous ancestors and her inherited talent for witchcraft and work with plants. 

Genie currently runs an organization called Creatives of Color Boston, which is a platform that creates opportunities for local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) artists to collaborate and grow. Besides promoting events and offering creative workshops to the artists, the organization also offers healing and radical self care practices.

The goodness she shares with others is also crucial for Genie’s own restoration. Maturity has allowed her to see her body for beyond survival, and then start exploring what she likes or doesn’t like in relationships, making healthier choices, having pleasure outside the boxes and defining her own limits. She describes herself as a queer person because, for her, it feels safe and it feels like it requires less explanation. However, Genie is hopeful of a day when we’ll no longer need denominations and when pride will be actually felt and not commercialized.

Yesssss, Genie!

(This post is part of a bigger series called LGBTQIA+plural. To understand the projet, click here. To see the full photo gallery, click here).

30 Set 2022

Meet Genie | LGBTQIA+plural

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fluid fostercare fosterhome genderfluid lgbt lgbtq lgbtqia queer queerness sexualabuse survival

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