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.