“I was unstable and grieving and more suited for a patient friendship than the dramas of new love. But I loved her and in thirst, I acted unlovingly by climbing into a lap in which I wasn’t welcome. My behavior is the definition of obscene.”
“Was it a bad one?” My boss’s face read of pity and sympathy as he asked me this seemingly innocent question. He was referring to my rape.
We now live in a world where it is totally possible to claim the same word as someone else and completely disagree on what the word means.
Rainbow stickers on one car does not make the NYPD and the areas it patrols safe for all queer people, especially those of us who are the most vulnerable members of the community.
It felt important for us to have a voice somewhere, so we’ve gathered a few of the Black queer voices and put them together here. We want to offer this as a place of healing for QTPOC in this time of tragedy.
“I like being disabled because I like being myself (which is radical enough for any woman to say). Pride, though, requires an even bigger risk.”
Like the time we got kicked out of a restaurant mid-meal by the owner because of a kiss.
“The morning after the horrific shooting, and the days that followed, I understood part of my father’s fear. Animosity towards LGBTQ people has not gone the way of black and white T.V. sets, phone booths, or travel by horse and carriage. It was and is very much alive.”
A road trip which happens to coincide with the occasion of Prince’s death and the release of “Lemonade.”
Often, when I’m having sex, a very specific thought runs through my head on a loop: “don’t touch me.” What gives? If I get so much out of being close to other people, shouldn’t sex be the ultimate way to prove it?
“Instead, I jump back into the mind of the girlish woman I was at 28, the one who didn’t know enough about the consequences for unacceptable motherhood to plunge headfirst into the fire. It has taken me much longer than my mother to see the gift of my own naiveté.”
“Keeping abreast of the passersby, the evidence of our intimacy was in the way we carried our hands. They were strategically placed so when they touched, it could be disguised as a perpetual accident. In honor of our silent dance, those near us were careful to walk around us instead of in-between.”
Because the world sure as hell isn’t telling me my body matters. And having nondisabled friends who do, who affirm me precisely for standing out, means I don’t have to accept pity masked as kindness.
“Why some people mean? One income that isn’t a livable wage plus racism will do that to you, and you can’t imagine the rage until you’ve lived it.”
“I made a choice about how I would look, and didn’t realize until I’d done it how unprecedented that was.”
“I missed my father’s last years staying true to my promise to myself and here I was, here I am, home again. Begging favors. Needing help. Leaning on a momma who long ago put down her belt.”
“Sidetrack is a show largely about my life and my experiences, because after years of watching so much television that erased me, I just wanted to write myself in.”
“I decide I’ll test the durability of a BB cream by Tarte at thousands of feet in the air, then feel ashamed at worrying so much about how I look, then feel the dread again, that all this might go completely wrong, not because I’ll fall to my death, but because I’ll be reduced to my past.”
“There’s an annoying song that’s only playing all the way through all day long on some days. Others, I can barely hear the chorus, and others I can’t hear it all. But every day, I know that that song will be there again one day, maybe even tomorrow, maybe even later that same day. And I hate this song.”
I remember the day I found out that Ilana from Broad City wasn’t biracial. I Googled around until I found evidence that there were others like me: biracial girls who felt a little bit incredulous; just a hair shy of betrayed. To this day I haven’t been able to convince whatever part of my brain that initially projected that identity onto her to unclench.