Saturday, January 24, 2015


Bodies. That's all. Hearts. Not at all. Minds. Yes. Maybe. Bodies, minds in bodies. Mine in body. 

You, visual. Exotic, enticing, supreme in all dreams, supreme in all of my dreams. Desensitize, por protección, mi amor, I adore. 

Temporarily because it's all temporary anyway. Any day, everyday, is that day. Bodies, lipstick, eyelashes, cheekbones, Chins, mouths, gates to the soul. 

Consent is confusing. Agency is too. As bodies grapple with one another. Yours. Mines. Property? Ownership? No. But hearts belong. And that's the problem. They don't want to give them away. So, we don't want to give it away. But, in the meantime, bodies and minds intertwine, while hearts are left behind. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Back in the Day, You Cost 300 Dollars, But Now Your Giving It To Him For Free" - Tamera Mowry

Please watch this video in which actor Tamera Mowry discusses her struggles with receiving criticism due to her interracial marriage. This video moved me, because I've experienced a lot of hate, and will experience more. It disgusts me, racism, some of the shit haters say is atrocious. But Tamera knows that her love is real. I wish we all could realize that half of the things that divide us really don't matter. DO YOU! If you are gay, transgender, Black, White, Chicano, Asian, Purple, pink.....just live your life.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Healing - A 5:43am Cry That I had with God

"I am no longer apologizing for who I am, your gonna deal with me regardless of how you feel." Kaleef Starks

So, let's talk spirituality and religion a little bit. First off, I'm not pushing my views or perspectives on anyone because I feel like all God wants is a RELATIONSHIP with us. We can choose whichever form we want that to be in. It is 5:43am, and I just got done crying on my room floor. I am sitting physically naked, in my rawness, praying. And a wave of love and calmness just came over me. And I began to have instant flashbacks to the painful parts of my life. The pain I experienced in Fresno, and the pain I experienced in Altadena/Pasadena, CA. I OWN all of it, it is mines. I'm taking my power back.

I am Kaleef Starks a young, college educated, working class, African American, Transgender woman, and WOMAN of Color.

My intersecting identities brought a hard childhood upon me because no one understood why a young child was so HYPER FEMININE. He didn't understand the girl that I was, he couldn't fathom nor see it. My father, a physically abusive alcoholic, beat my ass quite often because he wanted to Kill the gift that I womanhood.

My mother was never there for me and wasn't quite fit for me and my brother. She was selfish, a woman who DOES NOT need children, but I come from here I am.

Both of my parents, hurt me deeply as a child. But, I am forgiving both of them because I can't hold that weight forever. I want to be released from that negativity. I understand that I was meant to have them as parents for a reason, although they are not in my life.

This prayer that I had, I cried. I cried hard! And it wasn't because of sadness, it was because of a genuine happiness FOR WHERE I AM NOW! I have done nothing but stayed humble the entire time. In my prayer, I gave in and just thanked the universe and the spirit for guiding me. I appreciate my education, my friends, my family, and everyone who genuinely see's what I'm trying to do with my life. I want to inspire young homeless, foster, LGBT youth of color all around the world. I want to show them that YOUR GIFT is not a bad thing, and that they need to TAKE THEIR LIVES. It's a cold world out here....fight or flight all day. I'm not afraid of dying, I'm not afraid of anything. I'm here, and what is meant to be will be. I'm not a mistake. This is real!

So I thank you God for literally every fiber in my being, and for me remaining Kaleef. In my prayer, I found my answers. Instead of viewing my transition to womanhood as a world disaster, I view it as a gift. I feel 100% liberated. I haven't even began the medical process yet. I just want to share my message.

I am doing this for the young TRANS WOMAN OF COLOR who are in the streets, doing shit they don't want to do to get by. I want to show you all and the world that it's ok to live in your truth, and do my best to try to rep for you all. Now it all makes perfect sense.

So, I don't know where I'm going yet, but I'm going somewhere.


Thank you for reading. Please like, comment, share on your social media sites. #MYOWNINTERNSHIP

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How T-Camp Helped Me Discover My Value

"I am giving myself to me" - Kaleef Lauren

As one of the few trans women of color along side Lexi, Bea, Miss 21, Bamby Salcedo, and Dan to attend the third round of T-Camp 2014, I am proud to say that I went! 

T-Camp is a retreat designed to help gender queer, transgender, and gender questioning college students find solidarity by discussing various aspects of our identities such as race, class, sexuality, society, and life. Through this trip learned to how live. By living, I learned how to be open and just live in myself, not caring about anyone who opposes it. 

I learned that, despite all of the difficult discussions on how we can live our lives...our lives do mean something. Especially trans people of color.

I constantly remained open to learning from other people who are similar to me. It felt good to be around people who also did not fit in and were sort of the outcasts of society. A weight was lifted off of me as soon as we got off the bus and went to our cabins. Unfortunately, I had a really bad bug bite accident that caused me to go to urgent care and miss some important sessions during the retreat. None of the less, I persevered and continued to milk all of the discussions I could attend with my eye swollen shut and 15 bite marks all over my body. 

This trip gave me the strength to be myself, living full time as the woman I have always been. I have been committed to the new me since December 18th, 2013. It is freeing, a rush in my gut, a fire has awakened that I've always known was there. The rush of living my life for me, it's exciting despite the difficulties.

I also learned that I cannot rely on anyone to validate my womanhood but me. I'm the woman who is in the four walls with herself at night. I'm the power, the wonder woman I've always envisioned myself to be as a child. Bamby Salcedo, the largest transgender advocate in Los Angeles, gave me some great advice. She told me to stay focused and view myself as a warrior, because I was chosen to do this. To have someone of her stature give me a "nod" sent chills down my spine but I was excited! She also did an exercise with the trans feminine group called the power stand. She urged all of us to stand up and place our hands on our hips, hold our heads up, and bask in our strength. I've never felt so empowered as a trans women in my life. I actually felt my strength and realized the power I hold. 

I also did my best to discuss how my identity as an African American, working class, trans women affects my life in various ways to other students who were not people of color and privileged. There are certain things I deal with due to my identity because the world  that we live in is not that friendly towards people like me.The point was to learn form others and also educate others. What matters is that I am here, we are here, and we are LIVING. We hold so much value and are necessary. We matter to the world but we must remain strong and live for us regardless of how anyone feels. I've learned to be very unapologetic, because life is way to short to live it for someone else. So, I'd rather take this risk and pray that I stay strong against the adversity that is ahead of me. 

The change has arrived, the work is being done. I feel damn good for embracing me, no longer denying the woman that I've been for the past 20 years of my life. Thank you so much T-camp, the staff and faculty who created it, the new friends I've met, and the students who wrote me affirmation cards (I didn't get to write much of any cards due to me being sick and so forth but I send you ALLL LOVE!). It means a lot to me to exist, to live right now. 

Xoxo - Kaleef Lauren

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ramblings of the Internal Voice

"The difference between her and I is that she has visibility, I don't. The difference between he and I is that he has visibility, I don't. The difference between us and them is they have visibility, we don't. Are we all one in the same? Are we all truly the same? You told us that we were equal, if so, then why are they dying everyday? Why are they forced into selling their bodies, why don't they have access? Why aren't their lives valued? Why don't our parents love us for embracing our truth? Why does society set up all of these structures, as if we are mice in an experiment, in a maze of ceiling dreams, of sky-high dreams, only to laugh in our faces and bite us viciously with rejection? Do you feel the sting? Because I feel the sting." - Kaleef Lauren

Friday, November 29, 2013

I Do Take

Yes it is 6:26am. And I am laying down listening to Amel Larrieux's new album Ice Cream Everyday Amel's music, her voice, energy, purity just does something to me. This particular song on the album, I Do Take, just pulls me. It hits home for me. I think its because the song is about accepting someone in their totality, accepting their flaws and all until the end.

It makes me think of love, marriage comes into play but I'm speaking of commitment, but pure unconditional love is what it makes me think about. Last night a friend a I had a conversation about love. She feels like she will never be married because she has never seen a real, long lasting, healthy relationship n her family. Like her, I've never seen love in my family, never saw an example of two people unifying in existence and the turnout being something beautiful except my older sister's relationship (which gives me hope!).

We then had a conversation about transgender people falling in love with each other. She asked me, "Kaleef, will you ever be with a transgender man? What if you fell in love with a man and he was perfect, your everything, then he told you he was a transgender male?" I thought about it, and I told her that I would accept him since he obviously accepts me and my flaws. Love is so rare in this world. When you think about it, many of us are lucky to find partners that love us for simply being us. In my eyes, love is when you have access to someone's complete self. You see the real them, their spirit. You embrace them in their highest moments and lowest falls. And how many of us actually find that? The world has all these damn barriers of race, gender, sexuality, religion, all these complexities that guard us and at times holds us back.

Anyways, take a listen to this beautiful song below. It's everything! :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Brandy Receives Homage - 20 Years in the Game!

Hey hey hey! Woah! haven't posted in a while! Anyways I must say that  ran across this 'Thank You' video that was created by True Exclusives to pay homage to the one and only Brandy! I was so excited to see other artists give brandy her props because she DESERVES IT! I hate when people totally dissuade her work and contribution to the industry and often compare her to Beyonce (No Shade at all, I love both!). It is not fair! Brandy opened doors for the artists that we see today! I just don't want her to get overlooked like so many other fantastic artists such as Toni Braxton and Monica. Her runs, vocal range, creativity, and dedication... = priceless!

What's your favorite Brandy album? I love me some Full Moon and Afrodisiac! All of her albums give me life! 

Check out the video and tell me what you think!