I'm Black. I'm Bi. I'm Tired.
Just like the damn title.
I’m black. I’m bi. And I’m tired?
So this past week I ended up in a taxi with a man who was really into talking to me, even though I definitely wasn’t into talking on the car ride and I expressed that.
Mid car ride, he asked my opinion on the family dynamic and how it’s being destroyed. Since I’ve become good at removing myself from conversations, I decided to respond.
The conversation took many sharp lefts, and it was almost like a game for me at one point. None of problematic backwards points were new, I was used to them, and already had four or five different rebuttals.
His comments were sexist, archaic, and even homophobic at times. There’s no way for him to have known that I was bisexual ( @heteronormativity and gender based stereotypes ), which is another conversation in itself, so he felt free to tell me exactly what it was he thought about how selfish and unnatural anything other than heterosexuality is.
I left him speechless a couple times, I made him think, and I did it all while eating some nuggets in the back of the cab with my aunt stunned.
Did I change his opinion? Definitely not. Some people don’t want to admit that maybe their thinking is backwards, because that would allude to them not being the open minded, mature, nice person most people want to think they are.
Usually more people are offended by being called a racist, homophobe, transphobe, etc., than they actually are ashamed of perpetuating harmful and problematic behavior towards anyone who isn’t white, cis, straight, and able bodied and minded.
People have to understand that if they’re called out for being problematic, it’s not because marginalized folk are bored and we’re on attack dog mode on anything that moves. It’s moreso because...they’re being problematic and that’s not okay. The only way to dismantle white supremacy, or any supremacy, is by calling it out when it happens.
Contrary to that entire paragraph, sometimes it’s also not safe to call shit out depending on the environment and people you are around. If I am surrounded by KKK loving westboro baptist celebrating people, am I going to feel safe enough to condemn everything wrong with that picture? I still could, for sure, but for some and many marginalized people, it really is a matter of life or death in those environments.
Being a marginalized person, you have navigate that space of “Is it safe for me to condemn this behavior, stand my ground, and not be physically, mentally, emotionally, or verbally attacked?” daily, and the more intersections you belong to, the more difficult that becomes.
I only recently realized I was bisexual around two and a half months ago, and I’ve been in marginally supportive environments. Most people have brushed off me being bisexual and have carried on whatever conversation, so I haven’t had the chance to feel othered due to my sexuality, unlike my race.
My other marginalized intersections are the fact that I’m black and I’m a woman, and in that conversation every single intersection was attacked.
I was reduced down to my reproductive capabilities every other sentence.
Women like me with high aspirations were invalidated due to “Women are just trying to be men.”
I was told that any non-hetersexual/heteronormative relationship was selfish and unnatural.
It was insinuated as a black woman that I should always let the man be in charge, because he is the main authoritative figure and women just don’t possess that quality.
I bring this up not to comment on the horrible conversation that taxi driver provided, and sure, I could have opted out of it. I chose not to, I accept that. The reason I didn’t was almost as a reminder to not get too comfortable. I may be comfortable in my race, sexuality, gender, and every other intersection that follows, but not everyone is and I have to navigate that.
So to tie this blog post up, I just want to say this.
Forget the comments made. Just navigating my marginalized intersections can be tiring and draining. I still have privilege in different ways and that’s something while a fact, also doesn’t negate the constant bull in my ears just because I’m dark, a woman, and bi.
I’m supposed to be a stan for the black community no matter what, especially black men regardless of what they say about black women.
If I date outside my race, the first thing I have to consider is whether or not I’m being fetishized by whoever is showing me interest and sometimes those red flags don’t show just because they’re wrapped in care and concern. On top of that, I’m not even going to touch upon the gaslighting that can happen in interracial relationships.
People see my intersections before they see me, or the only want to see me and they don’t want to acknowledge my intersections at all, which is your classic “I don’t see color, gender, etc.,” bullshit.
Look, fam. I just want to live.
You can acknowledge we’re different without having it impact how you interact with me. Ja’feel?
So, I don’t know. I’m tired.
I’m black. I’m bi. I’m tired.