I can't get angry or sad enough.
My butch mentor has passed.
I can tell you how we met. I used to work P/T with LGBT Elders in Brooklyn. I was a Volunteer Coordinator. Regina was the Founder/Executive Director of Griot Circle. http://www.griotcircle.org/. [A queer black elder organization ]
I got a flyer in the mail one day and it said
I souped it up like it was for networking on behalf of my position.
but. I was so excited. I was going.
You know that feeling when you even start picking your outfit out.
You're thinking if you already own something to wear or do you need to go shopping.
Yea excited like that.
I was more curious than anything. I had already amazed myself and the Philadelphia Police by surviving past 21. I was curious to see what was behind door # 55. What did older out butch women look like, who were their women, is there really a happy ending. Can we have relationships, marriages, friends. Do we live ?
Yes we do and large. There was mad food. All I remember was fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. I think some catfish got mixed in there too. I hung out for a little bit, scoping the scene. I usually get way nervous and paranoid at explicitly gay events that aren't in clubs. This was different, I felt comfortable, like i couldn't have been in more safe and unassuming place. And as if on cue right there in the middle of it. Regina per her funding regulations demonstrated how to put a condom on and how to use a female condom.
Party and Bullshit.
but all fun and jokes. with older dyke folks.
I kept that flyer and went to check in with her off and on. We were only friends for a couple of years. She was in chemo and doing her thing. I kept her in high regard and counted her among people I wanted to be like when I grew up. It doesn't take a decade to realize that you are talking to someone important. Important enough to you for you, in your heart of hearts, to model their best behaviors.
Seeing her live so real makes me frustrated with the invisible closeted black gay celebs.
I mean, start a foundation or something.
Don't do nothing. right? right.
Thank you for your life and Rest in Peace Regina Shavers.
Want to know a little more about her life ?
An abridged biography on Regina Shavers.