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Casira Copes

Thanks for stopping by. In case you didn’t read my little tagline, I’m a bisexual Black feminist who writes about things mostly related to that. I write for a couple of publications and am the Editor-in-Chief of BLK INK.
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I’ve been included in the Black Femme Collective’s Summer ’21 WILD Collection! Check out my story “Cemetery Saddles” here:

The Complete Story List

🌈 = queer stuff | ✊🏾 = race and/or social justice | 👑 = women and/or femme stuff | 💫 = misc.

4 Things That Aren’t Actually “Toxic” 💫

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

My mother is going to die, and she’s not going to want me to save her.

That’s my fear, anyway.

As a kid, my mother seemed immortal. She was a genius and a doctor and a guardian angel all at once. She had the solution for every scraped knee, sore throat, and twisted ankle. The feeling of being protected by someone who knew far more than I ever could about everything kept me moving through the world without worry or fear.

That feeling died when I entered my twenties and realized the truth — my mother is fallible. She believes…

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

“So, are you going to date?”

I blinked. Date? The tiny research assistant inside my brain began shuffling through the dusty note-cards of my unused vocabulary. “Date.” What is that? The shriveled fruit? The carbon-based archaeology technique?

“No pressure. It’s just that you came out a month ago and haven’t really done anything…”

Haven’t done anything? I came out. That was the thing. What else was there to do? I had jumped the big hurdle. Worked up all the courage and vulnerability and expressed myself honestly. …

Photo by Andy Barbour from Pexels

The first job training I ever had took place in my great-grandmother’s living room. I was 8-years-old.

Crocheting blankets for newborn babies has been a tradition in my family long before I came along. I was brought home from the hospital swaddled in pastel stitchwork of Grannie’s own creation. Soft pinks and greens and yellows, tightly woven together in a latticework that has held up for over twenty years.

I still have the blanket with me. (At least, for as long as it takes my mother to realize I swiped it from her.)

When I first saw Grannie with her…

Photo by Lycheeart on Unsplash

It’s funny how familiar spaces can change around us. A place that feels like home can become threatening with nothing more than a change in lighting.

It just depends on the hour.

2 p.m.

I live near a lovely park. A wide expanse of green dotted with benches and well-maintained rows of flowers along the walkways. It’s the only thing separating my home from a picturesque stone bridge overlooking the river.

On warm days, I often like to sit and read. There’s enough coverage from the branches hanging overhead to stave off the full heat of the summer sun for a few…

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

The myth of respectability politics is that there is a “right” way to be Black and queer in society, and particularly within American culture. “Proper” representations of Blackness will afford you safety and respect, and deviations from that can be blamed for the discrimination that Black people face. Similar rhetoric is used when people talk about queerness and gender non-conformity.

Growing up, I dressed and spoke and acted a certain way for the express purpose of garnering peer approval. I didn’t use AAVE (African-American Vernacular English). I didn’t deviate from traditional gender presentations. I didn’t do anything that would create…

Photo by Camille Richert from Pexels

We’re in the last stages of summer, and I want nothing more than to submerge myself in a body of water. I want to swim laps in a pool. I want to feel ocean waves pass over me.

I do not care about my hair getting wet.

This new aquaphilic attitude is a far cry from where I used to be. As a child, I was told I couldn’t swim. …

Photo by Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition on Unsplash

Most of my knowledge on reproductive health has come from my own independent research and self-education. My public school health classes were far from comprehensive, and my family always seemed to assume that I had most things figured out. It wasn’t until I was well into college that my mother remembered to mention: “You know the pill doesn’t protect against STDs, right?”

I did, thankfully.

But there was plenty I didn’t, and still don’t, know.

When I started taking birth control, I began with the traditional pill and my primary concerns were whether or not I’d be able to stick…

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

I’m currently reading a book in which a woman struggling with infertility in her thirties has approximately six months to conceive a child before she loses the ability to get pregnant. Her boyfriend just dumped her. Freezing her eggs is prohibitively expensive. And her career is about to take off with no time to accommodate a pregnancy.

All in all, she’s not ready for a kid.

Yet she feels like her only chance at motherhood is about to slip through her fingers like sand in an hourglass. The book talks non-stop about the “ticking” of her biological clock, the rush…

Photo by Meghan Schiereck on Unsplash

I learned the phrase “feminist fatigue” today. Apparently, many women in recent years have experienced a type of mental exhaustion that comes with being a feminist in this day-and-age. A 2019 article from The Guardian by Mariella Frostrup responds to a reader who, seemingly new to feminism, is “tired of being so furious all the time”:

Ever since I made the conscious decision to live my life fully as a feminist, it has been fraught with conflict and stress. I’m determined to make a mental note of any discrimination against my gender, to open my eyes and stop editing out…

Casira Copes

Bisexual Black Feminist | BLK INK Editor-in-Chief |

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