Voice and visibility: the importance of being visible and being heard as QWOC.
Being queer women of color in a society that deems us unworthy or ignores us all together is frustrating and at times damn near dizzying from the duality.
“Imagine how it feels being told every single day that because of the amount of melanin your skin, the world instantly assumes you are hood, ghetto, uneducated, immoral, lazy, or violent. Imagine knowing that these ideas are lies and regardless of who you are and what you do, you can’t change that lie because you don’t control the image.”
This is just about the melanin in our skin, now let’s pile another set of complexities on top of that by being queer. You’re welcome!
A lot to digest right? The lack of visibility in today’s media, the ongoing hatred from dogmatic clinging waywards (especially in the black community) and absurd bills and laws passed in our country that prohibit my wife and I from basic human rights , is utterly sickening and yet a very vivid reality.
Being strong queer women of color, most days we take it in stride. Living life, defying expectations and redefining the “NORM”. But some days it’s exhausting, the fight to simply be who we are.
As we get older, we become more aware and really take stock in the society in which we live.
As married QWOC (Queer Women of Color), we’re pressed to see accurate depictions of ourselves. Where are the the people like us? Where are our role models? Married, lesbians of color and looking to start a family? Anyone?
And if I hear one more straight black person say, “What about She Hate Me?”, I’ll back hand them and slice them with my Black card.
Let’s take a minute to discuss the dichotomy of being a queer woman of color in the black community. As black women, we constantly rally around the causes of our community, especially our male counterparts but when it comes to the LGBTQIA issues, our community condemns us with dogmatic rhetoric and says our “lifestyle” is a sin! By the way, sexuality isn’t a “lifestyle” and neither is being born the way you are and living in that truth but I digress. That’s for another post.
My black community, you didn’t have a problem with us standing up for the injustice #blacklivesmatter. Let me step down from my soapbox for a minute, #allblacklivesmatter not just the straight ones. But as QPOC, no one fights for us but us!
And this is just within our demographic, let’s not even talk about the sea of complexity that the QWOC must swim through, in the world at large, just to keep from drowning in a society which sees her as a radical and angry!
As result of being the ultimate others…black, queer, and women, we must then, as if by default, be ever-present spokespeople and activists.
Soooo to those of you out there who are under represented , ignored or even condemned by mainstream, keep telling your stories! Give your lives and experiences a voice. Your visibility and voices matter.