Lets start this off by saying that I love every aspect of my identity. I love being Black. I love being queer. Both aspects of my identity make me who I am today.
In regards to being Black and Queer in Black spaces, I tend to feel excluded and uncomfortable. For instance, being a client at a black barbershop, I often overhear the other clients and the barbers engaging in homophobic conversations. That makes me feel utterly uncomfortable. Being amongst hyper-masculine Black men whom often spew homophobic rhetoric has forced me to mask vital parts of my personality. To avoid being confronted with questions pertaining to my sexual orientation and to avoid being called homophobic slurs by total strangers, I always suppress the femme aspects of my personality. I shouldn’t have to suppress my personality traits and mask who I truly am in Black spaces to avoid being taunted. I should feel comfortable in Black spaces. I should feel safe in Black spaces. No queer person should be taunted or assaulted for living their truth. Our truth.
Being Black and Queer in non-Black queer spaces, I always have to battle with racism and anti-Blackness. I love all my LGBTQIA brothers and sisters dearly however, many non-Black queer folks are immensely anti-Black and racist. From the “back jokes” to the fetishization of Black bodies to the subtle racist comments. These are things I often endure being amongst non-Black queer folks.
Do I endure being taunted for being queer in Black spaces or do I endure feeling excluded due to being Black in non-Black queer spaces? I am weary.