Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sex race and some thoughts.

Awhile back I had another sexuality/musings post and in the comments (I don't recall who said it now) someone said that it's thought that kink is not a Black people activity.

This is something I've heard my entire life. Not about kink specifically all the time but, that there are certain things that Black people just don't really do.

In pretty much every instance I've seen that adage proven wrong.

Now what's unfortunate is that these invisible parameters have come from the Black community and often there has been a hint or outright shame attached when one of us does something deemed "White".

Over the years I've heard lectures from elders, peers and family members about everything from my manner of speech, mode of dress, piercings, reading habits, musical tastes, my nail color, how I've worn my hair, what I read, the fact that I am an avaricious reader, my lack of interest in practicing any form of Christianity, my generally pagan leanings, my love of Ireland, my love of Mesopotamia and early cultures...yes it goes on but you more than get my point that is deemed just too White.

Generally speaking, I can be calm enough these days to respond with disappointment when Black folks do me (and the rest of us)that kind of disservice. There was a time when these things would cause instant nuclear anger because I was deeply hurt but now, though the hurt remains I can be calmer about it.

This pertains to sex in that, Black people with whom I've discussed sex have on more than on occasion labeled my proclivities to be "White" things. Or gone so far as blaming my bisexuality on my being around a lot of White people in my life.

Absorb that for a minute.

Smart, thinking people have told me point blank that bisexuality and homosexuality are constructs of White people.

Not one person has ever been able to justify that type of statement to me in a manner than doesn't sound like pure horseshit.

I wonder quite often to other races do this to each other? Most of the people I consider close to me wouldn't think to speak to me or anyone else this way.

Further I wonder why more of us aren't talking to each other about how some of the stereotypes that pervade our community are hurtful and harmful.

For all the talk of things like sisterhood and solidarity, where is this? Or is it only if you fit into a narrow view?

So I will say it okay?

My brothers and sister, my people.

Being a person of color in these United States is a difficult enough thing, we all know that by now. Why do we make this harder on each other routinely?

How can we expect others to treat us with the respect we want if we can't treat each other with that same respect?

How can we expect that our children (especially our GLBT children) will survive if we hold onto ideas that are harmful? Read this, and tell me what the blue fuck are we doing?

And if you stand behind your religion of choice, how is it within the parameters of that religion to cast out our sons and daughters? Where is the love inherent in many religious mandates?

How can we expect our men to respect our women if women don't respect each other?

Many of us come from backgrounds and cultures that have issues with sexuality, many of us try so hard to walk that line between autonomy and avoiding stereotypes we forget that things must change to grow, that fear is no way to live a lifetime.

We have to talk to each other and teach each other. We have to look at our elders and tell them that yes, we respect what they have to say but their lives are not our lives. We have to look at our peers and say the same, we have to remember it for the sake of our children.

We have to learn that the things that make us different from each other are not things to quash or be ashamed of.

We have to remember that part of the struggle is being honest.

We have to love each other before anyone else can love us.

So when someone does something that you don't identify with, that you would never do, that bothers you, that makes you uncomfortable, that goes against your faith, take a breath.

Remember that person is outside of you.

Remember that it's far easier to disrespect someone you have issues with than it is to really examine those issues and either move past them or agree to disagree without shaming others.

With all that said what am I going to do?

I am not going to be ashamed.

I am going to be mindful of what I say and try my damndest to be who I am.

I am going to try very hard, to not be so hurt and disappointed with my brothers and sisters and instead, talk to them when I can.

I am going to try and be a resource.

I am going to be that person someone can point to and say, "wow me too".

I am going to be open. I am going to answer whatever questions I get not with anger but with love, maybe not love for the asker but love for the idea that somebody might need to hear what I have to say.

So all that said here are some links.

OutProud's resources for GLBT youth mainly. Some excellent links for everyone. I highly recommend checking out the faith section.

Kinky people of color have a gander at this.

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom.

You can do some of your own googling.


Homo Out.


Raven Nightshade said...

On the subject of whether other races have this sort of reaction to non-heterosexuals:

In Japan, homosexuality is considered "a phase". No matter what you think you feel, you're still expected to grow the hell up, get married, and reproduce.

This mentality has really only arisen as their population ages. It was accompanied by a sudden increase in "Schoolgirl Lesbians", both in real life and anime. Whether one feeds into the other is probably subjective, but the whole mess really just marginalizes the entire queer spectrum as "a phase".

Of course, since the Western world tends to treat Japan like our "wacky sitcom neighbor", I doubt this attitude will catch on elsewhere.

Townie Gray said...

Nudemuse: Sister, where have you BEEN all this time? I mean, I stumble across this post and think to myself, "So there ARE other Black people who have these interests? Surely, mine eyes deceive me? You jest."
Glad to know I'm not an ET, you know? Keep it up and be strong, Sister. Know that I gotcha, if no one else does.

Haddayr said...

Okay, this was another brilliant clarion call of a post. And I realize it was a letter to other Black folks.

And it's beautiful and true and moving.

But I boggled when I got to the "Mesopotamia and early cultures" part.

Your detractors were not aware that Mesopotamians weren't white? Or they think that an interest in history and pre-history isn't Black?

Either way I'm disturbed and saddened.

I had a friend who enjoyed classical music who was told all the time that she shouldn't listen to it because of her race and it just made her BOIL. I wish we were still in touch so I could send her your post!

Regina said...

You don't know me, but damn, Shannon, you are totally in my head so much lately. If I was where you are I'd want to take you out for coffee. : )

Subscribe To My Podcast