I am from here

Jun 26, 2021 | 2014 Fall - Intersection: Geography, Poetry

By Gwendolyn  

I am from the Universe; the space between the seen and unseen. Prana. Atoms. Galaxies. Solar Systems.

Invisible to the naked eye, yet we know it is there. It – we are everywhere!


Mwen soti nan Ginen (1). My ancestors are from the former African Kingdom of Dahomey which existed from 1600 to 1900. Colonized by the French starting in the late 1870’s until 1960. Benin as we presently know this West African nation was once home to my family ancestors.

Ayibobo! (2)


Je viens de Haiti. Yo soy Haitiana. (3) I am from Hispaniola, the 22nd largest island in the world. Home to our ancestor Anacaona, Taino caica (chief). I am from Haiti, the world’s first Black Republic and one of the world’s oldest republics in the Western Hemisphere. My people freed themselves from forced servitude from France, Belgium, and Spain. We currently struggle from unfair wages and work conditions from American entrepreneurs, and social justice issues both in Haiti and in the Dominican Republic.

Bi identities. Bi cultures. Bi history. Bi nations: 1 island – 2 governments.


OFD: Originally from Dot (4) . The place of my birth, Dorchester is a neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Dot was once a geographical space that was inhabited by Puritan settlers and filled with pear trees, farmlands, and a chocolate factory. Dot is also a place with a history of racial segregation. I am from the Dot of the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, the place where public school racial segregation met with challenging attempts for integration, drive-by shootings, rampant misogynist street harassment, and gangs with drug deals gone wrong.

Bi stander.


I’m from Bahston. I am also from a place where girls safely played double dutch outdoors with other first and second generation Immigrant children, Caribbean Carnivals on Blue Hill Ave gave the community a culturally safe place to “whine our waists,” and where I had the stability of the Haitian-American community to teach me about my cultural history and as a teen secretly desired to attend Boston Pride. Boston is the social geographical location where I first noticed my attraction to various genders; sadly, it’s the same place that gave me pressure to stay in the bisexual closet or face losing my life and my family of origin.

Bisexual: Attraction to same and different genders.


I’m currently a Cantabrigian; I reside in the city of Cambridge, MA, which is also known as the “Intellectual Capital of the World.”. This is the place where I have been challenged to transition from an “unlabeled” identity to a bisexual sociosexual political identity. Cambridge is the place where I first adopted the word “bisexual” publicly as my own. In 2004, Cambridge became the first municipality in the US to issue same-sex marriage licenses. I am a member of the bisexual community, a safe space where all my life’s roads intersect and my identities are embraced.

My romantic and sexual identities are political and are road maps. Borders and territories: some flexible and some rigid boundaries. Pathways and routes: curvy—winding—not straight. I am from here.


Gwendolyn is a writer, librarian, archivist, mental health advocate, and vegan personal chef. She is also the founder of Bisexual Woman of Color (BIWOC), an online and in-person support and discussion group.

  1. Haitian Kreyol saying for “I come from Africa or the spiritual place of my ancestors.”; Ginen is a Haitian name for the ancestral home of enslaved Africans by European colonists. See: http://dreamsofginen.wordpress.com/2012/05/07/fran-ginen.
  2. Haitian Kreyol translation for “Amen” typically used by practitioners of the Haitian traditional religion Vodou.
  3. I come from Haiti (in French and Spanish)
  4. Dot is the local abbreviation for Dorchester.

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