How do you see healthy boundaries between the experiences you do and don’t share with the public and within your work?
It’s always based on my personal comfort level. One thing I don’t talk about as much as I used to is my romantic relationships. I won’t do this again. I won’t hide my love life, but I just won’t explain it. This is a limit I have, and it helps to know that some things are for me and not all parts of me are open for public consumption. I’m never going to be the kind of person who goes on social media and does this brave job of being super vulnerable on IG Live. It will never be how I treat. I treat differently and go through a long process to feel what I need to feel and then I end up writing. I have a writing that I throw myself into, and that writing may never see the light of day, but it can end up as a monologue for one of my characters. It can end up as a theme for a new novel or a new series. As Nora Ephron says, “everything is copied,” in a sense, but not everything can be shared in an obvious way. I’m not like that.
How do you deal with the pressure of presenting yourself to other people and strangers as a public figure? And how do you balance that pressure with yourself?
Oh, wow, so when you asked that question the first thing that came to my mind because it’s the most urgent was what happened last week [in August] in Los Angeles. Three trans women of color were attacked on Hollywood Boulevard. And you know, LA is now my new home. The same way I was talking about how I deal with emotions, this is how I deal with headlines and news. I’m still thinking let me handle this on my own. “Let me get the information. Let me enter the information and figure out how I can present myself. “With this title it is essential that I present myself in one way or another. And so, in order to introduce myself to other people, I must first introduce myself and acknowledge the feelings that are going on before be able to create content to inspire others to care, share or present for these women.
But in my personal life, I only surround myself with people who expect nothing from me, except that I am exactly where I am right now. So if at that point it means I’m everything and doing way too much, that’s what they are there for. And also for the times when I have absolutely nothing to give, they are there to help me recharge my batteries, knowing that it is mutual and that I would do the same for them.
I think we have to expect that whatever we give to other people in our relationships will get back to us in that same relationship or else those relationships don’t work. And specifically, when I went public and started creating what family and community looked like to me, and knowing that it’s not because I’m black and trans and every woman is black. my people or worth being in my intimate space. And that intimate space needs to be protected, because if I don’t have a sacred space to go to and relationships that fill me and give me, then I can’t give anything to my communities as a whole outside of my own. intimate space.
Self-care has become so watered down. Why is it more important than ever to redefine our relationship with her? And are there any new things you adopted during quarantine?
It’s been a transformative time and an enlightening time for people who are not of color, queer or trans, or all of those things. We’ve seen these videos, we’ve seen the footage before, we’ve seen uprisings. But for non-marginalized people, uprisings are different now because people are not busy with their daily lives. So all the organization that has happened over the decades of work has come to fruition, and people’s attention is there. So for me, at the moment, one thing that I’ve been clear about is that we have to make sure that we take care of ourselves and that we don’t stick out the neck for movements that don’t take out the neck for. we.
I also found that community care was something new to me during this time. When I lead with vulnerability in my relationships, I find that I take more care of myself, and then I nurture that relationship because I create new bonds that allow us to show off for each other.
Another thing I learned in quarantine is that everything I write or do doesn’t have to be something. It doesn’t have to be sold, it doesn’t have to be a TV show, it doesn’t have to be featured, it doesn’t have to be a book. It could just be something that I write for myself and put away and maybe I will be inspired to create a character later. But the pressure to be productive during those downtime, for me, is one thing that has helped.
From your career to your midlife hobbies, it’s clear you’ve had so many creative outlets, so where is that creative energy going?
This next chapter of my life is about standing alone as a writer and director with my plans that don’t allow me to help other people’s visions. It’s about finding out what it means for me to focus primarily on my voice and my vision, for the kind of worlds I want to see for my people and for the women I care about.