Diamond Dumas (she/her/hers) is a ray of sunshine from Key West Florida. She is majoring in international studies at Flagler College with a anthropology concentration where she spends her free time making connections with anything and everything, celebrating and supporting her friends, and writing amaze ball slam poetry. She is still learning about life and love, but then again who isn't! This is her story:
Tell me what you’re passionate about.
My ultimate goal is make connections to everything and everyone. Everyone has a story- a purpose.
Talk to me about writing.
In that moment, when I’m writing, I feel and live into that moment. I realize that I’ll never have that moment again. When I relive my work years later, I can only guess about how I felt in that moment. So I never go back and edit my words or work. Some of my poems are unfinished. One doesn’t have a name yet. Only a few lines. Right now it’s a seed. Sometimes I need to grow in my experiences before I can finish it.
What inspires you?
What else inspires you?
To be honest, you. I wasn’t being cute or flirting. When I said I meant you, I meant it. People who are making it inspire me. When you make it through whatever life hands you, that inspires me. Life is a fight. A struggle. People surviving inspire me. They’re why I get out of bed each day and try to do something different. We all need to change to adopt to whatever life hands us. It’s like before and after photos. To survive life we have to make something different out of our norms.
Tell me about 10 seconds of courage?
Well, its my mantra this year. I saw the idea in a movie. A man falls for a woman and tells himself to have 10 seconds of courage- he tells her, they fall in love, and everything works out. You know. The idea is really attractive. 10 seconds of vulnerability. Well, there’s a show that talks about living your life 10 seconds at a time. When you combine the two together, 10 seconds of courage and living life 10 seconds at a time you live life to the maxim without fear or guessing holding you back.
What makes your heart sing?
What does love feel like?
If I were in love it would be so much easier to tell you. Right now I have to go back and think abut it. When you’re living it, it’s right there before you. Well, love feels expansive and explosive. Safe and warm. It feels flirtatious.
Has love ever scared you? *laughs,* "yes."
I was afraid of love until I was 17. I didn’t know what love was, but I learned not only love but heart break. That’s why I was scared of it, the heart break, the not knowing. But not it’s not like that. Now I know what heart break feels like. Now when I break up, I need space to teach myself to feel something different for that person.
What do you think love requires?
True love requires the ability, want, and determination to grow and share that experience. I have to grow with someone or I’ll out grow them. Love is growing alongside someone and learning with them. It’s intentional.
What does a soulmate mean to you?
It’s a feeling. A connection. To me a soulmate is someone your soul deeply loves and connects with.
What was it like to come out in Middle School?
I realized about myself through a dream. It was a confusing time. One of my teacher’s asked me how I felt one day and I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel about myself or who I am.” I was talking about the situation but she knew I was gay and she invited me to attend a GSA meeting. So I did. It didn’t change my life or help me realize about myself, but it was an instant family to me. Well, later I was passing notes in class to a friend and I wrote, “Hey, I’m by.” She wrote back, “I know, btw you spelled that wrong, its bi.” The funny thing was that I knew. I was just scared of the note falling into someone else’s hand. Eventually I came all the way. It took me a few years.
Do you have any coming out advice?
You can catch that in my new poem. It’s called 10 seconds of advice for my new found lesbian friend.
"I wish I had all the answers All the dos and do nots of being gay I wish I could keep you from all the people that will break your heart And give you armory for when they attack you for being you I wish I could hold your hand and that would be enough But out of all the times I’ve wished I’ve never once seen a shooting star And this isn’t a Disney movie And that’s okay Because I’ve lived and experienced Now I know Being Gay is like Sparring in Martial Arts you are never prepared for when they kick you below the belt Just know that it’s ok to be hurt, its ok to fall to your knees Just know the point doesn’t count against you The victory is still possible and feels beyond amazing when you realize that getting back up again is the biggest fuck you"
What advice would you offer someone who was scared of love?
It’s ok. We all have our reasons. But that’s the thing about love, you don’t necessarily get the choice when it comes down to it. You’re going to fall for who you’re going to fall for. Being afraid just means you don’t think your ready for that and that’s ok. But, when love is ready, you’ll know.
What advice would you give to younger you?
It gets better
Do you believe that everyone is doing the best they can?
Definitely. I think everyone is doing the best they can even if it doesn’t even feel like it. Even if you are privileged, middle class, never question your faith, and have your college paid for, even then you will struggle against life. Maybe your family doesn’t listen to you, despite all your privilege, that is something you are struggling with. Its something your facing and you’re doing the best you can with what you’ve experienced
Check out more of Diamond's poetry on her tumblr! http://misused-diction.tumblr.com/