Amazon’s 'A League Of Their Own' Brings Queer Black People To The Forefront
I wasn’t prepared for just how beautifully queer the new Prime Video series A League of Their Own would be. Based off of the 1992 film of the same name, the show is a true reboot with completely new characters and storylines being brought to life.
One of those new additions includes Maxine Chapman, a Black queer pitcher who aspires to play professional baseball, played by actress Chanté Adams of Journal for Jordan fame. Throughout the first season, viewers watch Maxine’s journey to playing professionally all while exploring her sexuality through a secret affair with her pastor’s wife and a passionless flirtation with a man who could help her get on the baseball team.
It’s difficult to figure out your sexuality as a Black woman at any point in time. Add living in 1940s America, when homosexuality and all other forms of queerness were still criminalized, and an overbearing mother who wants to control your life, Maxine coming into her sexual identity becomes just as difficult of a process as being a Black woman trying to launch her professional baseball career.
Max's overbearing mother
Dealing with professional disappointment and trying to break free from her mother’s expectations, only makes grappling with her sexuality even more difficult. Maxine briefly entertains a gentleman suitor that she’s had a slight flirtation with in the beginning of the series, but is immediately disillusioned after a lackluster sexual encounter between the two.
Things reach a climax for Max in regards to coming to terms with her sexuality when she meets her Uncle Bertie (Lea Robinson) — her mother’s estranged transgender brother. Meeting him and his wife opens up a possible future Max didn’t know existed. But she’s too afraid to share these new revelations about herself even with her closest friend Clance.
Despite the serious subject matters the show touches on – from racism and sexism to queerphobia – A League of Their Own is a delightful, lighthearted watch in no small part because of the talent that Adams possesses to deftly handle the material with charm, wit, and grace.
Lea Robinson as Uncle Bertie
Adams shows the full range of the character when Max begins to embrace her sexuality. She cuts her hair and wears a tailored suit that her Uncle Bertie had made for her. That’s when Max begins to experience the splendors that life has to offer her. There’s a particularly tender moment in episode six titled “Stealing Home,” when Max is at a party at Uncle Bertie’s house surrounded by other queer Black folks. She is joyful and relaxed in a way she hasn’t been throughout the entire series, even in her fun and loving friendship with Clance.
In her newfound liberation and joy, Max becomes confident in who she is, as a star baseball player and a queer person. She then meets a woman who would change the trajectory of her life both personally and professionally, setting up an enticing cliffhanger for season two.
The new A League of Their Own provides audiences with a brief glimpse into the joy and fears that came with being a queer Black person living in WWII America, so much of which was hidden or erased from history. While the professional aspect of Maxine’s character is based on Toni Stone, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, and Connie Morgan — three history-making Black female baseball players — the personal aspect of her life is a tribute to all the queer Black women that existed during that time who were determined to carve a life out for themselves in a world that gave them so little room to do so.
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Masturdating & Why You Need More Of It In Your Life
“Just date yourself” could easily be crowned as the worst advice you could impart to a single woman. The all-too-common expression has become blanket advice for us dating folks and is typically met with eye-rolls and dismissal. In most cases, it’s coupled with the dash of “just work on yourself” and a sprinkle of “let love find you,” leaving some to believe that love enters our lives when we’re on the offense.
But in recent times, the conversation surrounding dating yourself has been reclaimed to mean something that’s less about turning ourselves into a DIY project and more about making time to give ourselves the love, attention, and quality time that we desire.
Masturdating & What Exactly Is Solo Dating
Solo dating, otherwise known as masturdating — as Urban Dictionary defines it, is the act of “going out alone” and enjoying one's own company without the presence of a romantic partner. The method is all about taking the time to explore your interests and passions while discovering acts of self-love that truly make your heart flutter.
While popular culture has made singleness out to be a sort of loveless life sentence, solo dating takes the focus from outward expectations to an inward commitment. It can be a liberating and empowering experience for women to go on solo dates, especially if they’re used to putting their own needs and desires aside for the sake of others.
When you participate in going on solo dates, you in turn, learn to appreciate and enjoy your own company, build self-confidence, and develop a stronger sense of self-awareness.
How Do You Go on a Solo Date?
Solo dates can take many different forms, depending on one's interests and preferences. For example, some women may enjoy going to a museum or art gallery on their own, while others may prefer taking a solo hike in nature or trying out a new restaurant.
Whatever your speed is, the key to a successful solo date is to approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. Sans the lonely girl energy. Why? Because there’s no shame in being single and exercising the muscles of treating yourself.
Many single women understand that there’s no real substitute for romantic love when your desire is to be in a loving relationship. However, solo dates help you to stay in the practice of hopeful anticipation and set the standard for when you begin to get courted by potential suitors.
It’s not always about overindulgence and buying your way to the contentment of singlehood; but more so about taking the focus away from finding “the one” and creating moments with yourself that remind you that regardless of your relationship status, you are always the number one priority in your life.
So if you're feeling hesitant or unsure about solo dating and where to start, we’ve put together a list of four steps you can take to connect to master your dating needs through masturdating.
1. Start with some personal foreplay.
There’s nothing like getting yourself in the mood and the right headspace to take yourself out on the town. To prepare your mind for your solo date, start by taking a relaxing shower and follow up with your favorite body care and makeup routine. Light a candle. Play your favorite playlist and speak affirmations and compliments to yourself. Tell yourself how beautiful you look in that dress you’re wearing and how you single-handedly beat your soft-glam look to the gods.
The moments you have with yourself before your date are just as important as the date itself, so be your perfect hype woman.
2. Make plans in advance.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a spontaneous date night, but if you’re a girl who loves an itinerary or is new to the solo dating world, you’ll want to plan in advance. Setting a date on the calendar for when you want to take yourself out not only gets you excited for the night but sets the standard that if you or any man wants to get the most out of your time, they’ll have to make the time. Set a reservation 24-48 hours in advance. Plan out your itinerary. Know the showtime for the movie you’re headed to. You’ll thank yourself for it later.
3. Be open to something new.
If you’re taking yourself out on a solo date, congratulations! You’re already taking the first step to breaking out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new. The first few times you take yourself out, it will feel awkward and unfamiliar, but you’re getting the experience of dating yourself while gaining the experience of a new restaurant, cooking class, concert, or museum too. And once you’ve gotten over the discomfort and conquered your fears, all those nervous butterflies that come with a first date will be a little easier to manage.
4. Come home and reflect.
What feelings were brought up while you were out? Was the night a success? Did you strike up a conversation with someone at the bar? Journaling is an essential tool to use while solo dating to discover new layers of yourself. When you take the time to reflect on the personal time and dating experience that you had, you’re able to get a visual of what your core values are, what new things you learned about yourself, and even script what the perfect date night would look like when love enters your life.
Not to mention, it gives you the space to show gratitude for your single season because it deserves to be celebrated too.
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