the more i walk in this world- the more i am present in the act of living- the more i understand a lot about other Black men. i see our commonalities in experience and understand what can only be called, “our common pain”.
earlier in life, i thought that being queer would somehow shape me different. that this extrat identity would cast my life in a direction radically different from other Black men- that i would see the world differently. and i do- i hold the magic and the horror of queer life in my chest always. I talk to flowers, wanna wear dresses, fear walking down the street in front of large crowds of brothers, speak softly with sass, and like sit in my hips. these things aren’t “queer” in essence- but they are differences that have developed with the encouragement of my queerness and solitude.
i still share skin with my people. i share histor, ancestors, walk, dance, and spirit. my queerness does not remove me from a sat at the table of diaspora. and so i also share our saddness.
the more i attempt to stand in this world- the more i can understand my father’s anger and the sad tones in my brother’s speech too. they- like most Black men in this country, have lived lives that have filled with the joys and pains of our race and sex. i understand their silence more than anything. i am noticing the development of a quiet rage that, if not healed or held, could consume me and any other relations i have.
in Babylon Black folks (like other oppressed folk- but we are speaking specifically of Black oppression here) are robbed of power. we are either expendable labor for this beast or we are fodder. self determination, the right and power to guide your life as you see fit, is stripped of us in large.
for Black men- power is taken out of our muscles and speech and replaced with a numbing silence. Patriarchy gives us no tools or language to process the infinite hurt of racism. and i can see this in how little i can speak to other men about my hurt, in how much we hurt, in how much hurt we create through anger, and in how much i hurt.
i have to remind myself to find calm places inside of myself instead of other outlets when i feel rage. i felt rage yesterday- pure.
i work/ have to deal with alot of white womyn socialized to treate me like i am not a grown ass man. this behavior is a racist attitude held in this country for centuries. while the Black womyn is often times mammied and turned into a docilce servant or hyper sexualized- the Black male is feared and his intelligence is treated like a thing of amusement.
at the clinic, that i go to. (which i am leaving soon) there is a white counselor. i had an appointment with her to renew my health coverage. after waiting about 40 minutes to be seen, i finally came into contact with her. she immediately began violating my space and trying to touch me (with hugs) and my things (grabbing at my books- asking what i was reading) she takes up my time talking about things i don’t care about and which are not health coverage related and several times i had to redirect our conversation back o the matter at hand because i am homeless and looking for work so i do not have unlimited time to sit and talk to this white womyn who was already late to our appointment. at the end of our appointment she closes the door and says “i’ve heard from others that you’re battling a substance abuse problem. . . here are our resources at the clinic.” inside of me rage built. I wanted to say “BITCH IF I WANTED TO TALK TO YOU I WOULD BE LOOKING AT YOU! IF I WANTED THESE SERVICES I WOULD BE IN HERE LOOKING FOR THEM! SIGN MY DAMN PAPERS AND LET ME BE!” I wanted to say that but I didn’t. I cooly looked at her and said “im good. i got some healing going on.” and she looked at me and once again reached to hug me. this time instead of telling her that “i didn’t do hugs” i moved out of the doorway and told her “goodbye”.
at work- i sat through more of the same. my boss laghed at my inability to solve a problem and when i asked if she could fix the issue she came over and was just as stomped as i was. She made me restart a project because the order that i was working in was not the one of her choosing- despite getting the same result and my process not disturbing any of the work.
i left work and walked around the lake. white folks playing African drums, dancing, police, white folks vending things. . this is Lake Merritt and this is Oakland. I thought to myself “the colonizers are here. . .” they’ve been here. they’ve moved in and settled. They taken our space.
At the end of the day. i feel grateful because i am still privileged. i am homeless but i have a job, i am a recovering addict but i have community,
im getting a free haircut and learning how to love myself and understand myself. i feel grateful. and i am more privileged than a lot of folk- other brothers but i am also walking in Babylon as a Black man. I am working and moving through their system as a Black and Queer man and that means things still . . . it means that these people do not have the resources, worldview, or love that i share and that they are opperating from places of false knowledge, incompetence, socialization, and stupidity that trigger me.
i have to write this and remind myself of the positive things in order to not sit in that anger that had my father in the bottle or my cousins screaming.
and this is not meant to be liberal. or condescending. i am just processing.
the next step is taking up arms with brothers. speaking with brothers and buildig with brothers around our hurt. we have to address our hurt and bring that to the larger family so that we all might heal and plant seeds out of Babylon together.
right now, for me, that may look like this writing being completed and them folk being called. i am committed to starting or being apart of an organization that might save our lives- in bringing Black queer male bodies together in something other than sex and anger in clinics. thats something that can and must happen.
if you are like me (a queer of color, a black male queer, a black male, etc. . .) then how do you see our healing happening on the daily? what will push our lives towards thriving?