Part 6: Love Letters to All the Black Girls I Knew Growing Up

A Dedication

Black girl factory: no two the same.

Fat black girls with strong thighs and thick heels. Mixed, black girls with uncertain smiles and kinky hair. Green-haired black girls with glittery overalls and artistic souls. Athletic black girls with Adidas slides and a smirk. Dark, shining, dark skinned girls, glasses-clad bookworm girls, hand on hip, “look at me” girls, “i don’t like to be touched- get over it” girls. Blackity black black black black girls in every shape, size and curl pattern under the sun. Black girl, we love you.Black girl, I love you. This is my love letter to all the black girls I knew growing up, and it’s already too short.

For Queer Girls Who Considered Giving Up When (LITERALLY) The Rainbow Was Enuf//What’s BLACK FRIENDSHIP Got to Do With It?

One day a friend told me that “queer” is a verb.

Though I didn’t know what they meant at the time,

I pursued that understanding in my life and work-

Reading queer literature,

Consuming queer media,

Attending queer events,

Surrounding myself with queer friends,

And then one day I understood

That my queer identity is a lifestyle

That I DO everyday.

Yes-

I was born this way

But, also, yes-

queerness is a continuous choice-

one that manifests itself in the ways I perform queerness-

the ways that I show affection to the people I love

the things I center my work on

the outfits I choose to wear

the characteristics I choose to embody.

Like everything having to do with identity-

It is a paradox

It is complex

It is ever shifting

It is me.

 

Queer as a concept-

Liberated from the sole, flat definition of sexual orientation-

Sums up how I feel about my relationships with black women

And women of color.

 

Hand holding as we walk down the street

(it can’t be romantic OR sexual OR emotional because it is all and none at the same time)

Grinding close together on Saturday nights,

Strobe lights in the club flashing across our arms and faces,

Giggles behind hands as we discuss our latest sexual escapades way after midnight

Gassing each other up before a night out on the town- “girl you look cute- when can I borrow that?”

Sharing a pillow, cuddling in bed, dancing fast and slow, cradling when broken…

 

The system wants our relationships to end

Yet we keep on holding each other

No matter how hard the wind blows

And all of it is deeply queer

(sexual orientation aside).

 

**

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