A social media post I came across some time ago said something close to the following…
“If you’re a horror enthusiast, please only post horror content. We follow you for that escape, not your political viewpoints.”
When I come across posts like that, what I’m reading is…
“I don’t care what’s happening to BIPOC, even within the Halloween and horror faction. I certainly don’t care what’s happening to BIPOC people in my town, state, and good ‘ol America.”
I unfollowed whomever that was because, as a Black Halloween and horror enthusiast, I don’t have the privilege of ignoring or forgetting I am a Black woman in the horror community and anywhere I roam. Yet, it seems like I have to remind my readers, followers, and the Halloween and horror community that I am a black woman who loves Halloween and horror as much as the next person.
I struggled to come up with a fresh spin on my African American Goth History X blog series and came up short by the time February first rolled around. Truthfully, I wanted to spend this month discovering even more Black horror content creators and take the opportunity to become a fan and truly take my time listening to new podcasts and doing things like joining clubhouse meetings created by Black fans. I wanted to continue discovering Black-owned businesses in my area of the PNW while simultaneously being recognized as a Black woman in the horror and Halloween community. You’ve seen my work. You’ve admired my body, but do you see me as a Black woman who is a Halloween and horror enthusiast?
This may be troublesome question that might be difficult for some of my readers to comprehend because, again, folks still wonder what do horror and Halloween have to do with race and why I speckle my social media, website, and show with subjects that may seemingly have nothing to do with horror and Halloween. To answer those questions, let me be frank… You, the Halloween and horror community, were the ones who suggested I needed to do a podcast and show based on my personality, the way I talk about things, and my excitement for Halloween, horror and tea and shit like that. My friends urged me to write what makes me happy and host shows highlighting community members. Ya’ll were right and I am still grateful for the encouragement and push that made it happen. At the same time, as I was becoming known in the Los Angeles horror and Halloween community, I took what I felt was a risky but vital move by publishing my African American Goth History X blog series in early 2020. The series was necessary because I was only beginning to discover the Black goth’s in LA and around the country. Black horror and Halloween content creators found me through that series, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself and those who shared what it’s like being Black goths. But, I have become so good at highlighting others that I forgot to emphasize my experience as a Black woman Halloween and horror content creator since that first series.
So, some fans out there want horror and Halloween content only? Being Black in America is a horror story. Being a woman in this society is a horror story. Being a Black woman in the horror community, in my everyday surroundings, and even within my own family is a horror story. I am a storyteller, so I share with you stories from what I experienced as a weird queer Black woman. I don’t express this often, but that will change because I can’t have you forgetting that I am a Black woman who constantly has to adjust and fight, seemingly alone, to be just as visible as non-melanated women are. My struggles and determination to keep sharing make me the protagonist of my own tale of terror.
Being mixed, I have to remind people that I am a Black woman even in my close circle. Though my skin color is light, and I wear colorful wigs and listen to a lot of post-punk, I’m still Black and proud of it.
Furthering the confusion about my measured blackness is that my marriage is interracial. That comes with many challenges on top of typical relationship issues. I have been a stay-at-home Heiress for thirteen years. While most of the time, I am grateful I don’t have to work, and my Husband permits me to be myself, I struggle, often, with being financially dependent on a white man. There have been times when I had to break myself out of visions where I pictured myself being his slave. There are times we have passionately argued about racism in America, and in the frustration of those moments, I portrayed my Husband as racist as the people he was raised by. There are moments in our story where I was frustrated with teaching him how to be a better ally and I wonder if any other Black woman with white partners feels like they have betrayed Black men and the chance at birthing more beautiful Black kids into the world.
But, I can’t help whom I fell in love with. When I haven’t worked, I got to be present for all four of our four mixed kids. I have just as much control of finances as my Husband does. I have become creative and use my witchcraft in my daily chores and happenings. No man can control that magic. But, I do delight when he gushes over me and brags to his racist mom how because of me, he has no high cholesterol and healthy blood pressure because his Black Witch Wife takes care of him. It has been heart-warming and gives me enough strength and hope that my white ass husband, who again was raised by racists, will check his privilege and give me the podium to speak about race matters to our children and the white people around us.
My husband invested in me. He has found me worth every struggle that comes along with being married to a Black woman. Though he will never know what it feels like to be black, he is an ally and gives me the space to be who I am. He celebrates me. He celebrates blackness.
Now imagine if the rest of the horror and Halloween community invested in Black content creators as much as they do white ones. And I don’t mean becoming inclusive for the sake of staving off being labeled as a racist investor, so you hire BIPOC to check off the “See, we’re not racist” box. I bring this up because as my naked mischief adventure comes to a close, I noticed a few months in that while I was being viewed as much as white NSFW content creators, I certainly wasn’t getting paid like them. Yet, I did all the same things to promote myself. I stayed up all night reading forums on how to safely promote my nude work and was still didn’t get anywhere near as much as my fellow white “sex workers” who to are BBW’s and alternative. This is a subject I discussed with Horror in Color on both episodes of OnlyFangs.
When I asked my following to offer monetary tips for my writing which helps me pay for the things that keep me writing, like my laptop, website hosting, outfits and make-up- just to name a few- and I even offered gifts as a thank you or be listed as a Michelle Halloween sponsor and advertise on my website – I only heard crickets. No pings to let me know my Venmo, Cash App, Patreon, or PayPal received money. Yet, I know that if a non-melanated, sexy horror enthusiast needed her followers to help to have her laptop replaced or needed help with unexpected expenses, the male fan base especially would have come right to the rescue and funded her generously before the target date.
I also know that many horror enthusiasts continue to purchase, support, and collaborate with racist goth businesses like DollsKill. Taking the time to locate Black-owned companies that offer the same if not better goth wear would be too much an effort. The typical, “they are the only ones that fit my taste and budget.” What an insult to Black goth creators and artists.
But, there are Black goths, horror, and Halloween enthusiasts that seem to be killing it. GlamGoth Beauty, Ivotres Littles, and IDK Gravity are just a few Black women in the horror community who are being seen and recognized. I celebrate every time a Black horror content creator gets the visibility and money Black women deserve. I am so proud to know some of these baddies, and they help motivate me to keep going forward blacker than ever!
I also know I am not alone in the colorism and visibility struggle. Once again, Punk Black highlighted and featured Cinnamon Babe -a new metal band with the talented Stormimaya as the front person. Stormi has been sharing the journey of Cinnamon Babe and the struggle with being a Black woman who is into metal. She has been putting ignorance on blast when she receives comments about how her music is “white people’s shit” or how she isn’t the one bringing up race when she responds to comments about hers. Stormi reminds motherfuckers that metal rock music came from Black greatness, Black musicians, and was stolen and made white. Stormi is a beautiful, sexy, talented Black person, and she’s even dealing with the double whammy of being Black and a woman in a genre that white men took over.
Being a Black woman horror and Halloween enthusiast is exhausting. I hope I’ve highlighted just a bit of my struggle for you. This struggle goes beyond the month of February. It’s every time I sit down to write. It’s every time I pull a muscle trying to take a nude and make less money on that pose than the previous. Every time I have to take days off only to spend my day researching, listening, and learning how to create more visibility for myself. Every time I visit a new place, I have to have my Husband scope it out to see if it looks safe enough for me to be there.
But I wouldn’t change my blackness for anything! Not even to appease my readers or following. I’ve been reading some of Audre Lorde’s works, and she helped me remember that what I write is not a choice. I am a Black woman with poetry embedded in my existence. The weird and unusual life that I share with you are messages that don’t just come out of my mouth but from a long line of Black women who couldn’t speak as freely as I do. So you see, it doesn’t matter about my desire for more visibility as a Black woman. I am doing what I am meant to do.
Remember to study Black history more than just once a year. Support Critical Race Theory being taught in schools. Do your research and discover the magnificence of Black women and if you enjoy my content, know that I take tips!
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