There’s a plurality in Black Queer Women’s identities that is flattened on social media. I know this because at times I’m a part of the problem. #QWOC. It’s weird: in the same way I’ve been able to find community at the intersections of my multiple identities, I’ve found myself feeling like an outsider. This might be because if I’m not careful, I’ll forget that I’m not a part of a monolith. Yes, I am a Black-Queer-Femme-Womanist (all caps because these identities are also honorifics), but where I’m from, how I lived growing up, and the cultural values I eschew often differ greatly from a lot of my peoples. But the body often tricks the mind. Implicit bias is subtle in that way. It pisses me off. These biases do not serve me, but I’ve inherited them anyway.
I am living in the midst of a blurry class “ascension,” clouty visibility (because of a sort of proximity to well-known and loved people), the fetishization of my dark skin, the oscillation of my dress size, and I am aging. At times, I am unsure when to celebrate or lament these struggles. Some days, when my outfit fits right, my hair is flowing in the wind, and I’m surrounded by those who celebrate me, it all feels right and dandy—but on other days (most days)—it all feels fucking wrong. And I’m not talking about imposter syndrome. I’m talking about all of the ways my body is judged and how I just might at times put myself into those crosshairs.
I’m a simple woman who is riddled with complications—why not list out what I’m experiencing? This is a coping strategy that I’ve been using for years to help me look squarely at what’s bothering me (at least that’s what I tell myself). Why not write through the ruptures, frictions, abuses and maybe even the victories I’ve experienced in this Fat Black Queer life I’m living? Perhaps some folks share these same experiences and also don’t know what to do with them, other than to write them down and think about them. Perhaps you can also share some of yours with me.
Giving things a name can alleviate their pressure and reduce their false omnipotence. I’ve learned the more specific I am when talking about the realities of my identities—and sometimes pairing that specificity with levity—the closer I get to feelings of belonging. This column will be about identity politics, style, beauty culture, Black visibility, Queer desire, shadiness, literature, and self-reflection but framed through the little violences I experience on the day-to-day.
This space is for everyone. But it is especially for those of us who have obsessions, jump to the worst conclusions, and those of us who spend time turning over scenarios in our minds, hoping to make sense of our silences or, moreover, our performances. For now, I’ll send out my missives on Wednesday nights. I love this difficult-to-spell day because it’s in the middle of the week, not belonging to the weekend many of us desire nor to the Monday so many of us lament. It belongs right in the middle. It also used to be the night I would go out to girl parties back in the day here in my hometown of NYC. I’m sentimental about my Wednesdays and now they will be a time for thinking, for writing, and for sharing my thoughts with you.
Thanks for showing up.
Thanks for sharing! This is the content we as a society need more of!! 🤎
Jet, i loved reading this. I’ve always felt your ig captions/thoughts should be a book or newsletter lol. Looking forward to your weekly content and thank you for sharing🤎