My name is pronounced like any ole other "Michelle," but I am NOTHING like any other Michele.
I'm Myshell. I root, ride, and run for Black people. I'm a freaky geek. I read constantly, learn quickly, and I know how to throw it back. I prefer my food pretty, my nails bright, and my kombucha ice cold.
Plant-based is preferred, but seafood is fine sometimes. Fifty percent of my diet was Top Ramen when I was a child. Ramen is comforting. Belizean food, Indian food, and Mexican food are my top three cuisines. Italian is in the top five -- because pizza. Pineapples and chocolate chip cookies are my go to snacks, but not at the same time.
I'm a planner junkie. Bullet journaling is how I conquer most things. Doodling helps me cope with mundane tasks. Writing is therapy, and dance is my release. Tap, hip-hop, West African, and dancehall are my main styles. Soca is sexy, so I like that too.
Sex is a blissful healing ritual. I'm bisexual, and my life partner is a man named Hannibal Tabu. I've been in relationships with both women and men -- sometimes at the same time. My fantasies are most often feminine and soft and very slow. I love the way women think and move. I love the sound of my partner's voice and his gentle touch.
I get paid to make things pretty -- logos, faces, websites, whatever. I've designed apartments, planned events, written grants, edited films. Someone once paid me to decorate a wedding broom.
In my "spare" time, I start youth groups, rites of passage programs, host partnership retreats, and do a lot of organizing. I majored in Africana Studies, and we were always presented with problems -- never answers. I use my knowledge of the problems to galvanize the people and put that degree into practice. I focus on the youth because they still have the fire, but I've spoken about praxis at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Cal State LA.
Don't try to memorize what I look like based on my hairstyle, because I change it all the time. I'm sick. Like really sick. My body is attacking my kidneys. It's a beautiful body, though. Really. I just have to take extra care of it, and I take about 20 pills per day to stay alive. I developed a special tea that keeps me from swelling. So far so good. It's not for sale because I don't want to be liable.
They gave me six months to live in 2016, and I'm still here. It hasn't been easy. I isolate a lot, wear masks, eat carefully, and stay away from sick people, because I'm on immunosuppressive drugs. I started a memes page about my illness on instagram, called The Nephrotic Diva. I use humor to cope. When you see the word nephrotic, it's about kidneys that leak protein. My friends have helped me through this a lot. Illness shows you who your friends are.
Oh, I have two kids. They're pretty amazing. My eldest is named Alek, and he plays drums, piano, and makes films. He is a brilliant, diplomatic, boy. He graduated high school in 2020 at age sixteen. The youngest is Ella, and she loves fashion, singing, acting, reading, and cheerleading. She's a hilarious genius, and she's eleven as of 2021.
Both of my parents are dead. Breast cancer took my mom in 2008, and my dad departed in 2015. I'm the caretaker for my sister, Rachael. She has several learning disabilities along with Cerebral Palsy and Tourette's Syndrome. It's a lot of work, but she's a hoot. That's us -- Team Tabu.