Today I took a scheduled call with a reporter from Bay Windows, a local LGBT newspaper. I must admit I was a bit nervous; I’ve never had to deal with ‘real’ press before. But, I think it went well. I got my point across… or, did I?
When he asked me how QWOC+ was founded, I wanted to say “with a lot of anger”, but told him that the first social was co-sponsored with madfemmepride, a friendly ally. I wanted to tell him that I was sick of having to be ‘un-angry’ all the time, especially in the face of white queers, just so they can listen to me, just so I can educate ‘them’ about my experience as a black queer. Just so they can ‘see’ that I’m invisible, even for a moment. I wanted to tell him that even though QWOC+ Boston is doing extremely well – so much so that organizations and community leaders reach out to us now – that I was disappointed that I still have to fight.
Every day I have to fight with mainstream queer culture. With promoters that still don’t get that diversity and social integration isn’t something that can be commodified. With bigger non-profits that won’t give us sponsorship money but want to know how they can get “them” to come out to their events. I even have to fight with girls at the club STILL… people, they STILL ask me to teach them how to dance or worse, attempt to assert their talent “too” via a crazy dance routine a la Step Up 2:The Street, which really ends up making them look like they’re experiencing an epileptic seizure. I am SO fucking tired.
I’m tired of being a bridge person that has to field questions like “Why do you think QWOC+ Boston is an important organization?” in 2008, during what is supposed to be a very ground-breaking interview. Aren’t we passed this? Are white people still at the level where they need to ‘learn’ the answers to these questions in a classroom or race workshop? Isn’t it obvious why there’s a need for groups like mine? Why do I have to state the obvious in my interview?!
Sometimes I feel so down thinking about how much work there is still left to be done. Sigh.