Note To Self
My name is Rami Alkadi,
I am a 31 year old first generation American of Lebanese origin. Despite being born in Louisiana, I spent 15 years of my formative life in Kuwait being exposed to a wide array of different cultures and way-of-living. I never felt like I belonged though, because I was the Arab with an American nationality, always being called out for being different. Then, to come back home and get treated as if I was "Cady Heron", with no true knowledge of how anyone lived in the US besides what I have gathered from watching Hollywood movies and world literature. After having my homosexuality exposed to my parents and losing almost everyone in my life, I dove into a dark place of seclusion. The gay community wasn't forgiving either, I was made fun of and was chastised for my origin and my looks, leaving me with hardly anyone to turn to. "Note to Self" started out as being a suicide note. As I wrote the note, I began to reflect on why I was going to end my life, and I couldn't find a resolution for this negativity. Having realized this, I could take what I had learned and create a better way of coping with my doubts, rather than ending my life before it ever truly began.
Soon after I discovered that my dream of becoming a female impersonator was in fact turning into a reality and everything changed. People didn't see me as the Arab "terrorist" or the weird nerdy one, but as an artist with quality and an opportunity to showcase it differently. It gave me life ( literally ) and the dark place went into evanescence! Then one day I came across "Note to Self", which was untitled at the time, and I remembered that dark time, seeing how I overcame it and moved on into the better person I am today, but then I noticed it seemed unfinished. I then began to write out my journey of overcoming the darkness and how I came to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It all made sense! Coming full circle, I realized that this needed to be shared for anyone that has been or going through a similar situation. For anyone who needs to see that they are not alone and that one day everything will be ok. For anyone to be unceasingly persistent in never giving up on their dreams and the passions they love because everything comes in time. To you I say "Just hang in there and to let life give you the lessons you need to achieve whatever dreams you may have."
The film not only changed my life, but the others involved in the project. I could not have done it without my newly found family. I am honored to showcase this with everyone! I hope you enjoy and just know that we are all in this together. Love conquers all, loving one another and more importantly...loving yourself.
NOTE TO SELF
written by Rami Alkadi
I am not a terrorist!
Born on this land we all call free.
Labelled a sand nigger, a bomber, a towelhead... shall I keep going?
This so-called minority is accompanied by another, also supposedly tolerated by thee, A faggot, homo, and an abomination, really?
Using God as your excuse to hate me, while you hide behind your insecurities, no matter what religion, no need for verbal castration, all day, every day. It is just another confrontation.
By hiding behind my suffering for a better place tomorrow, I continue to smile although my hope fades from never finding it today.
I am not like you. Knowing this, I can never change my life for you. I am an individual capable of learning and living with my own experiences, thoughts, mistakes, and truths.
You continuously drag me and hurt me with battery and strife.
Torn down to my bare minimal, even my insides gripe.
Searching for air from the suffocation... gasping, enduring...endlessly.
I feel alone?
Do you feel alone?...
No one to turn to. No one who truly understands.
Burnt, and left alone for being me,
A human being who only wants to love and be loved for just being me.
We search for that perfection, knowing all too well that what we will find is more rejection. A world of guards and masks is what we live in. Some maintain and some restrain.
Once my war paint came on, did the sight of how I'm seen become altered, the duality I possess is but a mask. A mask painted on, that carries art in it's face, without words ever uttered. Just the pure illusion, of something you would prefer to see. Beautiful. Regardless of how I am seen... All that matters is what lies within.
I will never give up...
Director Anthony Pierre, Jr. takes you through the work of poet Rami Alkadi in this stunning film of equality, courage, and hope.
Poem by: Rami Alkadi
Directed & Narrated by: Anthony Pierre Jr.
Screenplay by: Anthony Pierre Jr.