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20 to 31 Joy : Giftcard to Le Bustiere

My summer style profile could be described as: as close to naked as the law allows. As I have begun to feel more and more safe and my body I’ve become less and less interested in wearing clothing particularly in the summer months. The less the better (see my post on onesies for 30 onesies). I was not always that way.

Up until my last year of high school I wore a lot of layers. I wasn’t ashamed of my body. I was afraid of what could happen to it or to me. I could be adopted into sex trafficking. This is the thing I grew up in Atlanta which is unfortunately I tried a capital for sex trafficking. I had friends who disappeared to wear? In DC I’ve been mistaken for a high schooler while on the way to teach and had folks attempt to recruit me. A number of the assigned female at birth students that I had in the five years that I taught at the baby jail were in baby jail for participating in sex work or being pimped. They were all Black, all under 18. Sex work is work. I am pro hoe and pro sex worker. (They can be but are not always the same thing.) What I do not support is people being manipulated, coerced, groomed or otherwise non-consensually pulled into sex work. That is what was happening to many of my students. What’s more many of them found their way into being pimped because they were pushed out of their homes for being queer. The levels, the layers. All of these systems of oppression and abuse are interconnected. They support one another.

When Iw as younger I also wore a lot of clothes because I was afraid of molestation, abuse, and rape. All of which I had already experienced before the age of eight. Maybe one day I will be able to talk about these experiences, not today.

Today I want to talk about how happy I am, how much joy it brings me to be able to be in and enjoy my body without fear. To understand that whatever I wear or don’t wear is not an invitation for someone to violate me. My clothing is my choice, a personal expression of who I am, how I feel.

I like to feel free. Free to move. Free to feel the sun on as much of my skin as possible. The body suits and lingerie that I buy at Le Bustiere (@lebustiere) support me in the pursuit of freedom. Le Bustiere is a black woman owned lingerie boutique located just up the street from Malcolm X park on Columbia Road near the Popeyes. It It’s queer friendly, gender affirming and they carry clothing for abundantly sized bodies, for fat and big tittied folks. They regularly include plus size people, fat people,In the boudoir shoots that they use for promotional materials. I’ve been shopping there for maybe five years now. Even just the shopping experience brings me joy. They are so attentive and affirming. They respond really well to feedback. I feel safe to try new things and explore. I never catch even a hint of a shadow of shade for my body hair. I wish that I could say that all of my shopping experiences were like this. They are not.

Today I’m inviting you to support my joy by getting me a gift card to Le Bustiere so that I can buy some barely there, sheer body suits to sustain my ongoing love affair with the sun on my skin. Check the link in their bio to visit their website and get me a gift card!

*For my birthday this year I’m asking you to celebrate with me by supporting my joy, my work and my communities. Each day I’ll be sharing one simple thing that you can do to support me in each of these areas. Visit my blog at the link in my bio @adornedbyo to read past posts.

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