Miss Candy always showed up and showed out in her own way. Always authentic to who she was and the epitome of “by any means necessary’ , as she never let anyone dim her light, and never took no for an answer. This episode shed light on the many different ways that we grieve, that does not have to be monolithic. The anger and wanting to do more than just continuously grieve the life of trans black womxn that Angel shared, mimics my own feelings of wanting to do more, wanting to do something radical, but also feeling hopeless as I think about the amount of womxn we have lost and the injustice surrounding their murders.
Grief opens the space for vulnerability and reflection, and we see this happen with a number of folks at the funeral as they are able to have one last conversation with Candy’s spirit before she is laid to rest. Pray Tell actively and openly acknowledges his insecurities of self that he had continually projected onto Candy. Unpacking the toxic masculinity within the gay community that suggests that you are not allowed to be “loud, black and femme,” so when you see such behaviors you have to police them. The ways in which we police one another in the queer community is dangerous and embedded in hetronormativity that fools us into believing that we have to adhere to the binary. Pray Tell is forgiven for his harsh treatment to Candy, but also leaves me questioning why is cruelty and belittling a part of the community. We have all faced the experience of being othered, but we find it ok to do to one another and is seen as a pillar within the community. We are constantly seeing the ways in which everyone comes together when shit hits the fan, but it seems that after the dust settles folks revert back to the same harsh treatment of one another.
During Angel’s moment with Candy, she asks “why wasn’t it me?” referring to her trips to the piers and other sex work that she has engaged in. Angel is able to reflect on her past action and Candy tells her to stop using sex work as a crutch that showcases her lack of belief in herself. Angel’s fear is not allowing her to truly invest in herself because it is difficult for sure to see oneself outside of what you have often been told you are capable of. Finally, Lulu shows her face and I was honestly surprised because I 100% understood why she did not want to come, but I am happy that she did. Though her response to viewing Candy’s body was unexpected, as we see her lash out in a way that suggest that their relationship was not as copasetic as we may have thought. Though Lulu’s response it not what I expected I find it to be a true testament to the ways that one can grieve. Her use of anger to me suggests how much she actually cares for Candy and to reflect on this happy times creates a level of vulnerability that Lulu was not ready to fully engage with, and I have had those same sentiments for sure.
I find the most vital conversation that Candy had at her funeral was with her parents, as she speaks to them both individually. We see Candy’s parents finally let go of the preconceived notions of who they wanted her to be. Her parents are able to reflect on the ways in which Candy was always showing them who she was and though they saw her, they often ignored her and finally ostracized her from the family. This is so reflective to the many parents who disown their children for being authentic and because parents do not understand their children, they cast them out into the world that dehumanizes and threatens their identity. It was beautiful and hopeful to see Candy and her parents make amends, and I hope that parents of trans kids will see their kids when they show them who they are and provide unconditional love, whilst unlearning their problematic and toxic beliefs.
The episode just reminded me of the need to appreciate people in the now. Tell people how great they are and what you admire about them while you still have the chance because we honestly just never know when their time will come, particularly if they live at the margins were death is a constant reality and reminder of disposability.