"Nandani Devi (they/dem) Indo-Caribbean American"
Julian Xeer (he/xe/xeer) Afro-Panamanian + Jamaican American"
I (Nandani) was born in the Bronx and raised in Bushwick. Julian was born in Manhattan and grew up partly in Queens and then Long Island. We met through his partner at the time.
I was raised Hindu and in my 20s felt drawn to learning about the African diaspora and Afro-Latinx spiritualities like Ifa, Santeria, Voodoo, and Hoodoo. I always felt like an outsider of my Indo-Caribbean cultural community and grew up in the hood around Botanicas and with Black and Latinx kids, thats where I found community.
Julian was raised Christian and started exploring Eastern spiritualities and creating community with South Asian and Indo-Caribbean people.
One night, I was out drinking, and I heard someone call out my name. It was the New Moon in Virgo in early September 2016, and it was the most magical and random experience. Someone in the distance called my name and, thinking it was someone else — I ran off. I didn't recognize it was Julian, but everything about that moment was a symbol. Later, I realized that I couldn't recognize Julian until I understood myself. We both needed to honor our intersections. Embody our true genders and sexualities. And appreciate our multi-cultural, first-generation identities as twice removed diasporas.
Julian was the first sober partner I've ever had. I am currently a recovering alcoholic and addict, and without meeting him, I don't know if I would have started this journey.
When we met, we were both at a crossroads in our lives. Our relationship has brought so many layers of armor to the surface that blocks our truths. We were forced to face our true selves with each other, and remove binary thinking, white supremacism, intergenerational programming, and trauma.
We seemed to be perfect together until we weren't.
We experienced a miscarriage together.
We harmed each other.
There were people involved in our relationship, gossip, racism, anti-Blackness, misogyny, classism, and addiction between and all around us.
Each time we faced something, it seemed to tear us apart. But in retrospect, it was tearing down that armor. It was bringing us closer to Spirit, to God, and our ancestors.
Through everything, our love and commitment is not a devotion to each other but some higher mission and purpose- dharma. Our relationship has shed so many skins and continues to do so.
Today our union is filled with healing, not just for us but I believe for the racial tensions in the Caribbean between Afro and Indo diaspora. I believe our union is healing and solidarity for our South Asian and African ancestors and future generations. I believe that we are sacred souls meeting to affirm and unconditionally love each other, remind each other of our missions on earth, and walk as vessels of Ascended Masters and Bodhisattvas, Dakinis, and astral warriors.
Whether we continue to walk on this earth together or not, our souls are always bound with the Great Spirit. Sometimes, like in this moment, I am grateful for that, and in other moments I still mourn the cis-heteronormative "traditional" life I was told I should have by society - but all of it is sacred, our joy and grief. Ashé Jai Mata Di!