Her Own Words: Niki Massey, 1980-2016

Finally—I’m going to let Niki speak in her own words.

Audio sources are an interview on Trav Mamone’s Bi Any Means podcast and her talk at Skepticon 8.

Transcript below the fold.

When I write down bios, I tend to start with ‘I was born a strange black child.’ Because I was the introverted kid. I was the quiet child that just wanted to stay inside and read and have everybody leave me alone. I would go to the library and I would have all these questions. How old is the earth actually? What happened to the dinosaurs?

I became a closeted atheist at about twelve, thirteen years old. Oh God, they tried their very best to raise me religious. I was in the children’s choir. I ushered. My grandmother played the piano for our home church. My dad ushered. My aunt probably is a deaconess right about now. They tried, they tried, they tried. But it never stuck.

I was diagnosed with mental illness when I was in my teens. I graduated, left home, and only now, fifteen years later, am I having contact with family members, ’cause it took me that long to just figure out—who the crap am I?

I firmly believe that just being a minority in America is a traumatising experience. They should be offering mental health screening to all of us. We have this thing that if you’re depressed, you’re just not praying hard enough—or you’re faking it, or just, you know, shut up, stuff it down and get back to work—that is really harmful.

I’ve been writing dirty stories since I was very young. The writing came before I came out as ace. And given how society has treated black sexuality, especially the sexuality of black women, the concept of being a black woman who is saying no, I’m actually not interested in you or anything sexually, blows society’s mind. And I guess that’s where the erasure actually comes from.

Abortion is a humanist cause. As far as I’m concerned there is no debate. What I don’t understand is, how do people justify it not being a humanist issue? People who are capable of pregnancy are humans, and they have the right to decide when and if they want to have children.

I have time thanks to not being able to work. If a protester is all up in their face and they’re getting upset, it’s our job to step in. It’s exhausting work sometimes, even on slow days. You’re gonna be out in all kinds of weather—rain, snow, really hot days. The funniest myth to me is that this is a moneymaking scheme. I’m a volunteer. If I’m getting paid for sitting out there when it’s eight degrees and snowing, where’s my check?

I’ve heard stories of people actually getting coffee on a protester. Nothing that extreme has ever happened on my watch. That beat the one time that a lady took all of the pamphlets out of some dude’s hands, from her car, and threw them on the ground—and then drove off.

For me it’s a very fulfilling experience knowing that I’m helping people. People say thank you, they say hey, you’re super brave for doing this, but to me it doesn’t feel that way. It just feels like something a decent person does.

I don’t particularly care for your rando opinion. I don’t care about this YouTuber or that YouTuber. If they disagree with me, they’re welcome to disagree with me. I’m not gonna watch their crap. I’m sorry I’m disabled, but I have better things to do with my life.

I could rant on my blog forever and still be satisfied, but getting involved is the only way that I feel I can effect any kind of change.

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Her Own Words: Niki Massey, 1980-2016