“Yes I said tricks. I wasn’t arrested for selling lollipops, honey,” Ceyenne Doroshow, author of Cooking in Heels, a memoir cookbook published by the Red Umbrella Diaries, said in front of an audience that I was blessed to be a part of last night in New York.
“By kicking a child out, they figure out how to sell lollipops to survive. It’s par for the course,” said Ceyenne, who worked in the sex trade and was arrested for doing so. While in jail, she came up with the idea to write a memoir-cookbook that would empower other trans women.
With the financial backing of Kickstarter and the support of her co-author Audacia Ray, the director of the Red Umbrella Project which amplifies the voices of people in the sex trade, Ceyenne’s book was celebrated at a Red Umbrella-sponsored event, where friends and family toasted the author.
It was inspiring to hear Ceyenne, a trans woman who lives so fiercely, tell her story in her own words and share it with the world. It’s even more inspiring when you take into account the fact that we rarely hear the voices of trans women of color who engage in the sex trade. Most are killed and others are devalued and told to stay in the darkness of the night. We, as a community, cannot continue to pick and choose who is worthy of being heard.
I am one who believes wholeheartedly in the revolutionary power of storytelling and for Ceyenne to share her soul, her food and her life with us through this book is empowering.
Learn more about Cooking in Heels here and be sure to get a copy!
Rebecca Skloot, bestselling author of The Immortal LIfe of Hernrietta Lacks, Tweeted to editors on behalf of my unsold memoir this morning, which she stumbled upon after reading my piece for xojane on The Huffington Post.
I thought I’d share this little gem that made my morning.
Last night I read the final page of Just Kids, Patti Smith’s coming-of-age memoir about her life in New York City with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. Their journey began as a love story, but soon evolved into one of survival and friendship and loyalty and committment — to one another and to their art.
“The only thing I promised him was that I would wear a clean shirt with no stains on it,” Smith wrote of one of the last photographs Mapplethorpe took of her. “I flung my jacket over my shoulder, Frank Sinatra style. I was full of references. He was full of light and shadow. When I look at it now, I never see me. I see us.”
Eminem’s opening line in “Love The Way You Lie” speaks volumes to me as a writer, especially one retelling my personal journey.
“I can’t tell you what it really is,” he says, “I can only tell you what it feels like.”
It’s very sound advice for memoirists.