I cried myself to sleep for the last three nights. I am a grown man, and I cried myself to sleep. There is nothing wrong with the display of emotion; in fact, I think it is healthier than holding it in, but the cause of the feeling is overwhelming. My days are filled with trying to process all that I am feeling right now. The outrage and pain, the confusion and frustration, the anger and resentment, the sadness and depression. Black people are needlessly dying in the streets due to the virulent racism that festers in America. While trying to reconcile the cruel death of George Floyd and the anger that comes with that, I am reminded of the careless death of Breonna Taylor. She was an EMT during the coronavirus pandemic. Breonna worked at 2 different hospitals giving all of herself to save lives. However, her life was taken away by an unwarranted, unannounced raid at the wrong address. It has since been discovered that the person the police were after had already been arrested. The cops fired 20+ times, and when her boyfriend, a licensed gun holder deemed to defend their home and firing shots back, he was arrested and is currently being held under attempted murder charges. I wish that there wasn’t anymore, but just weeks ago, Ahmaud Abraury was killed in broad daylight. His crime, running in a predominately white neighborhood, ended in his death by “citizens arrest.” So, I grieve, my heart aches, and I am dehydrated from crying. Yet, I still sit here and realize that I am a man caught between three worlds: the black community that disowns me because I am a gay man, the gay community that doesn’t care about me as a black man and society as a whole that hates because of the color of my skin. So how do I reconcile this? Who am I supposed to be “the most” angry with? Where do I belong?
In times like these, we look to our communities for support, but let’s take a look at my communities. I am a black gay man. The gay community doesn’t care about people of color. The gay community isn’t inclusive; it divisive and only cares about people of color to fetishize them. Where is the outrage for the trans women of color that are murdered every year? In 2019 alone, 29 trans women of color lost their lives for trying to exist. Where was the gay community then? Now the black community is protesting the murder of George Floyd, and there is a lot of silence from the gay community. However, the vocal minority tends to try and equate the Stonewall Riots to the racism and oppression of black people for the last 400 years, although they tend to forget Marsha P Johnson, a black trans woman, was at the forefront of that movement.
So, let’s take a look at the black community. An oppressed minority that fights day after day just to have a seat at the table. We are not asking for more, just an equal share. The wealth of this country was built on our backs. We are the only demographic of people that did not ask to be here. Our ancestors were stolen from their homes and enslaved. In the south, we have to look at the naval jack a confederate battle flag that racists fly to “honor their history” when the flag was never an official national flag of the confederacy. It was only used because the actual confederate flag was too similar to the northern counterpart. Also, the confederacy lost the war, so what are you celebrating really? I digress, the black community, while quick to come to the helm for its people also have conflicting morals. They tout oppression and persecution but disown their children if they are homosexual. They quote scriptures and verses but disregard to love thy neighbor if they don’t agree with their sexual orientation. So here I stand at the crossroads, hated for love, and discarded for who I am.
And now we turn to society as a whole. Every day there are people of color dying. They are dying for the simple fact that they are people of color and as harsh as it sounds black lives don’t actually matter as much as white comfort. Otherwise, they wouldn’t kill us with little to no regard. We are unable to exist because our existence is a reminder that we didn’t want to be here in the first place, and we fought to have some semblance of equality. We can’t peacefully protest because, in doing so, we are seen to disrespect the symbols of the country that we are citizens of, although the right to assembly is the First Amendment of our Constitution. We are called animals when we riot because we are “destroying our own neighborhoods,” although any other avenues that we use to vent our frustrations are disregarded. Society watches as black people are murdered, and “liberals” call the police on black bystanders for infringing on their privilege. They weaponize the one thing that we can’t control, the color of our skin. In America, the perception of criminality is a death sentence for black people. White celebrities that have made millions off of black culture remain silent as we die. Apparently, it’s beneficial to wear cornrows and grills, work with the hottest producers and gain popularity for dating black athletes and musicians, but to speak out against those causing us harm isn’t worth it. Keep your single #BLM tweet, we see you for who you are. So, here we are angry and dying, what are we to do?
I think about my two beautiful god-children, beautiful innocent twins, a boy, and a girl. And I can’t even bring myself to think about asking them what they want to be when they grow up because all I want them to be is alive. It frightens me to imagine that their lives could easily be ended because of someone else’s perception of them while they are out for a jog, or driving to work, walking in a park, or sitting in their home minding their own business. Where do we go from here? I ask because I don’t have an answer and I’m tired. Tired of crying. Tired of watching the news as another black person is killed senselessly. Tired of feeling helpless. I am just tired.