Usually, we lose power along the T-shaped
intersection where I live in Walnut Hills when somebody spits on the
sidewalk or a moderate wind blows through. So when the lights flickered
the first time in TJ Maxx, I knew what was up.
I write this to the slurred black icky thump of D’Angelo’s “Devil’s Pie” (I know I/was born to die/searching to find/peace of mind), pausing
occasionally in my writing cockpit to look up at the grainy,
overdeveloped black and white Polaroid of my parents on the Hamilton
porch of my girlhood home. There is no phantasmagorical narrative. Their body language tells a sweet story.
Cincinnati is a city that's often struggled with tolerance, though things have been improving over the past decade. Still, it can be a struggle to be both black and gay — a minority within a minority — in a socially conservative city. "I know people look down upon it," says Isaiah Powell, a criminal justice student at UC. "You're supposed to be a man and support your family."