Okay, so I need to address the elephant in the room. On my personal blog and on my social media, I’ve been sharing the hell out of posts calling for social equality for people of colour, and calling out those that dare to tell me racism doesn’t exist and even more infuriating, that institutional racism doesn’t exist. The fight is constant and relentless, when you write that first comment, telling Troy from Yorkshire that his argument is badly researched, wrong and insensitive, you are in this for the long haul.
But, verbal battle to change public perception for the good of my race, and all other minorities, is fraught with pain. Occasionally I’ll feel the slow burn of anger creep up on as something niggles at my brain with increasing urgency. And then, finally, realization.
I have had more physical and verbal altercations with people of my own race, than any other.
Let me make something clear, I’ve experienced a lot of racism in my short but significant life, some of it more detrimental than other instances, all of it became intrinsic to my very being, and do not let my words deter you from that fact.
However as a Black gay man living through the 20th, and the 21st century I have experienced more physical adversity from my own race.
Unbelievable right? Especially as right now some of you are judging me for calling out my own race in a time filled with such turmoil and divisiveness. What a joke.
Solidarity. What happened to solidarity when you were calling me a disgrace to my black skin? Or when you beat me up while asking me if it turned me on? Complaining to the P.E teacher that I should get dressed in the girls changing rooms while the entire male side of our year leered at me? Hearing my voice and deciding you were going to steal from me?
My sense of style is very obviously inspired by queer culture, I’m not afraid to wear what I want, how I want, and as this attitude has slowly permeated the mainstream, social acceptance shortly followed. For white people. I remember being laughed at every day for a year by black men in particular, every time I walked past in a pair of skinny jeans. Which are now staples in every black mans wardrobe for a night out.
These are the same people that are standing proud and loud, screaming no peace, no justice for the cause of Black Lives Matter. The irony is excruciating. Every altercation over a series of 8 long years, slowly changing me into a bitter homosexual, filled with self loathing and resenting the skin I wore?
Over 55 different physical attacks, and over 200 verbal attacks that altered my life negatively. AND I AM NOT ALONE.
So you explain to me, why it’s so hard for you to accept homosexuality and queer identity, yet you’re appalled by the way that black people are treated as lesser beings.
Think on it, cause I’d really like an answer.
In the mean time, please, continue to raise your voice, scream, no justice no peace, organize creative ways to protest and organize in disgust with support for black lives matter, for the lives lost.
But also know that you could have caused a loss of life. Know that ignorance kills.
As for me? After a three year battle with psychosis, hearing voices in my head saying derogatory things constantly, I’m finally feeling like myself again, but I feel like I’ve taken a ten year hiatus from the issues that should be important6 to me, trying to deal with the backpack of baggage that has accumulated during my younger years, I’ve ignored my black skin and been the kind of guy that actually says ‘I don’t see skin colour’ and a few years ago I would have been the type of person who shouted ‘All Lives Matter’ when I heard Black Lives Matter’ a large part due to the fact that I detested my own heritage and some parts because I actually became subconsciously racist against black people because of the many separate ordeals I’d been put through due to black people.
Oddly enough, I think what helped me resolve and reconcile these issues is the racial bias against me that I’ve experienced while trying to gain work in the media, and the racial bias I’ve experienced over social media whenever I post something particularly ‘Afroccentric’ and have about 10 people trying to discredit my opinion because it doesn’t align with their own and realizing that I don’t have time to be angry at myself and my pwn race when so many others, hidden behind office doors, and speaking in hushed interviews or after work drinks still see me as a lesser person because of the colour of my skin. Despite what I’ve been through because of my homosexuality, My people, My black people and my black gay people, need my help. Because if EVERY black person out their does not let there voice be heard, regardless of the narrative, the rich tapestry of opinion, circumstance and culture cannot be woven, and the black narrative will be ignored.