Creating "No Love For Fuckboys" has been nothing short of a journey.
Moving back to Chicago meant one thing: Resurgence.
Living 8 months in Maryland catapulted me through a multitude of experiences that have kicked me into high-gear with growing up and moving forward. When I was in Maryland I dealt with a lot of racism and bigotry, more than I ever had living in Illinois. This taught me composure, patience, and most of all: how to stand up for myself. I made a few friends and managed to finish the rest of my Oh, Bouy collective, make a dance film, and make a short-narrative film. Being states apart I was still able to recruit people for my personal projects, and learning this was exhilarating and inspiring. I've always doubted myself and my abilities, more so when I lived in Chicago, but after the things I had been through in Maryland and the art I made with the people I met, I knew nothing could stop me. With this in mind, I set my eyes to Chicago.
The minute I landed off the plane and walked through Midway Airpot's terminal, I felt like I was home again. I believe that everything happens for a reason and it's no coincidence that I just happened to find a room to rent two weeks after landing that happened to be a couple blocks away from the apartment where I was raped. Learning this, realizing that I am back at square one shook me. I understood that this was now my chance to truly reclaim myself in the city that maimed me back in 2014. I've talked about my experience with rape before, but this time I wanted to talk about it differently. I wanted to talk about how I exacted my revenge in the last three years by using other men to pacify my turbulent mind.
In Volume 4 of "Oh, Bouy" I wrote a poem with the same title and it was very clearly about how I tried fucking my way out of my pain by using other men. I wanted to turn the poem into a film and expand on it, be more inclusive about the love/sex experience. Everyone has their traumas, it's what they bring to the table. So the project became very much about not just re-introducing myself to Chicago as a filmmaker, but, about discussing a sexual assault survivor's perspective on love and dating. Many times sexual assault survivor stories are diluted to being just about the drama of the rape and the initial shock that comes after; I wanted to make a story that's about the survivor's point of view after the fact. How does one's perspective of life shift when trauma strikes? Does it even shift or does it get heightened?
As a child, I always believed that I would never find love. I always felt that I was too much of a monster, too much of an emotional storm, too much to deal with. When I was raped I was even more convinced that I wasn't deserving of love. Years later, 20 or so art projects later, I no longer believe that to be true, but in relation to the original poem I did find it interesting that I kept looking for love in empty promises. It was a sort of fail-safe, I knew they couldn't love me because they didn't want to and I could tease them with the idea of sex and not actually follow through; power and control. I can be sexy, I can be desirable, but I can never be lovable. I'm not a stranger to being a sexual object, but I am most certainly a stranger to love.
So I wrote seven chapters to a new poem for the film that explores the highs and lows of dating, sex, and love. I think it's interesting how we all have those ghosts we think about at 4 in the morning. People we slept with or dated that we wish we had back. My ghosts at 4 in the morning turned from being my ex, to the hookups with the guys after him, to the guys I dated who didn't quite pan out, to three years of waking up in cold sweat because I had a nightmare of my assault. It's all cyclical, the names and the faces change, but it's always the same dance.
I partnered with Steve Matthew Carter and he wrote such a beautiful score for the film that I think best encapsulates this journey. Michael LaVallee contributed an original song that I'm excited for everyone to hear. Honestly, creating the project was a humbling experience, working with Steve and Michael was a blessing, and I'm excited to share this new story with everyone.