From the very day I realized I was transgender years ago I never had any doubts about who I was. I always felt I was put in the correct body and correct space and the journey to who I would become was an intentional part of my narrative.
As we neared the end of February I wondered what I would write about this month trying to find some theme around the intersections of my blackness or transness or love but I never found one that inspired me. I never found something to write about because I couldn’t channel the direction of what I wanted say what I needed to say. I desperately wanting to avoid the black trans woman narrative rant I occasionally find myself partaking in.
The work of bell hooks has always been so inspiring to me. There’s a great power in the ability for me as a black woman to read learn and grow from the non fiction written works of another black woman.She often refers to the solitude and loneliness that comes with being a black woman, self identified feminist and she also references the pain of that loneliness and solitude. A whole new level of consciousness that is isolating and cold.
I feel as if people don’t get it. I feel as if people do not truly understand liberalism and feminism. What does it take to truly be non problematic and to constantly and consistently be moving toward something great to the highest purest and truest form of liberation. The white girls and boys and gnc’s seem to love liberalism and feminism as a sport a badge of honor that can be worn when bored. We seem to celebrate our allies more than the people they are allies to (take for example Adele and Beyonce at the 2017 Grammys this month). They feel it is a promotion of their humanity and once they’ve worked to get there it’s not necessary to maintain it. It takes work to maintain your title of a feminist or liberal and trust feminists understand the work never ends no matter how much education or train or feminist friends you have.
And after moving to New York I’ve encountered so many black gay men who possess such a tunnel vision of view creating a black gay men’s community which contributes to the idea of the black patriarchy cis and straight black men strive to create. The true irony about black gay men is the theft and appropriation of our ideas and bodies as women the borrowing of femininity at their convenience. Referring to themselves as “the girls”, “ms.” Donning a pair of 6 inch stilettos or Reffering to their asses as “pussy”. My identity became fun accessories you choose to dispose of at your convenience. BUT they reject the idea of queer women, they exclude us from their spaces, and police our womanhood. How dare you steal the most ideal parts of us and dispose of us, how does that separate you from our other oppressors? I’m still trying to unpack and understand the violence incited against me by men especially black men and men of color. A gay man told me “I was called faggot by people who looked like me before I was ever called nigger by other people”
Everyday I think to myself is this all there is for me? Pain? Loneliness? Solitude? If so then what is the purpose in life? Why should suicide/death not be an option? Is it selfish of me to want more from my life than to be some unappreciated struggling educator whose identities often fit into the tragic narrative of forced sex workers, victims of violence and murder, struggles for jobs and housing. How much is enough for us to bear? What must we endure to be seen as worthy of life, of a livable existence?
It raises the question; can I live authentically as a black trans woman, as a feminist and liberated in its greatest and purest sense of the meaning and still be capable of harnessing the necessities needed for survival? I don’t think that’s possible. But if it’s not possible then what is the compromise? Where do I draw the line. The more oppressed identities the harder
Continuing to be mindful and knowing there are women cis and trans who struggle more than I do the thought of this reality is humbling and continuing to practice gratefulness to God and the unvierse for my fortune for the wisdom I have collected in my 24 years which seemed like decades. I have experienced and learned things in two decades that people before and after me will live and died without even thinking about let alone experience. My heart resonates with lil Wayne’s Album title I am not human. On any given day I feel anything but human. My life and existence as a black person and a woman and a transgender person in America has been turned political. My life and livelihood is up for casual (but crucial) debate. My life in its artistic and freest form has been reduced to scrutiny for reasons I remain unaware of.
Where is my justice? Where is my happiness?
Somewhere along the way I was told who I am is okay, living unapologetically and being authentic is okay that I would be okay. I am anything but okay. I think I was seriously misled. How foolish and naive of me to think this was a team effort. And those girls (trans women) “who made it” who “fight” for justice but lay down every night wrapped tightly in their security blanket called capitalism.
This is black history month and the month of love but what is black? what is love? Does it exist simultaneously and is love possible for a woman like I?