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Lavern (by Frankie Dawson)

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

“Lavern, Lavern. Wait up, where you going”

“Lavern, Lavern. Wait up, where you going”

Not with fear but with terror in her eyes, she cried, ”I’m getting out, I’m

pregnant and I’m getting out.

Her lower lip was trembling. Her fine baby hair that surrounded her face was still in tact. One feature that made you one up on your fellow black sister was the baby hair and how much you had of it, and how it lay close to your head nicely brushed to one side. Kinky hair was black and not white, you had to be as close to white as you could to be beautiful. Even in her terror, I wished I had her “good hair”.

“It can’t be all that bad.” I said. “Let’s talk about it.

She drew back. Black women were not all that close in the military. Jealousy, hate, even to the point of annihilation was rampart. You’d think we’d be close like a quiver of puppies trying to keep warm and comforting each other, no we were biting, backstabbing, under cutting, just like our fellow man.

Pushing, Fighting to get to that nourishment. What nourishment? Approval, that pat on the head by whoever, just don’t kill me, invite me in to your group, let me be apart please “like me” I promise I won’t fuck your man. I promise I will bend a little lower , crouch at the right time, laugh when you laugh, just don’t isolate me. This was with women. Worse than getting raped… isolation.

“I’m out, Andy, ( We called each other by our last name),see you in another life”

Lavern was never that friend, indeed, unlike me she hung around Big Shirley and her gals, for protection, I guess. I remember standing there, thinking, ain’t no more pretty girls here at Clark. Air Force Base in the Philippines. Not even thinking I was a pretty girl.

The invisible powers (military) had labeled me a lesbian ,which back in the 60’s was a death sentence. I always wondered why the white girls, black girls, too, chose lesbianism... now I know, it was a way of survival. I spent the rest of my life trying to prove I wasn’t one.

The Air Force was doing an investigation on a white girl, I'll call her Candy. When I refused to go along with their "witch hunt" they decided to destroy me. If you don't go along with the white powers that be; they will destroy you or attempt to. I call it invisible lynching, just like their ancestors did a few decades ago. Back then, lesbianism had a look, like the physically challenged, retarded, they have a look!

I feel for my lesbian sisters. I apologize for all the suffering they endured, but I don't like it that you are so fearful of them, (who? you know). that you ostracize me, because they failed at their attempt to kill me; you avoid me.

Like a roach running from the light. You don't want me around because you know they follow me, you don't want the light shed on yourself. You would rather be in the dark, away from the limelight, use me to get civil rights, use my black ass suffering to get your's it working for ya?

You know what, lesbianism is idol worship! Say what you will, your desire to put something else—popularity, money, influence, sex, success—in place of God is idol worship, girl.

You paid a price for serving in the armed forces, and more when you get out. I wanted to tell Lavern, she will always be a veteran. She will be under the scrutiny of the American government the rest of her life. Every where she goes, every job…watched like a terrorist, why? Why? Secret organization of “brotherhood of Fear” Men and women who once took pride in their country, now fear and tremble for work and a place to stay. Go figure. There is a secret organization, like the Mafia, the Natzi Party, the Klan except now they are color blind…They don’t wear uniforms, blacks welcomed, it’s a way of thinking… I have seen black Natzi, black Klansmen, Talking about civil rights, but hating just as much. they are alive and well as good Christian brothers and sisters.

You’d better know Jesus, you’d better know him like the back of your hand because you will need Him!

The armed forces was and is tough on women, women were even tougher on each other.

I never saw Lavern again.

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