I feel as if the lives of black people are only loved when convenient. I do not feel human when I walk through the doors of my school in any way. There’s an extreme lack of black solidarity and an overbearing realness of white dysconsciousness that is debilitating. As a black mentally-ill anti-capitalist queer poet and activist, I feel that I am not accepted into any community. I am not black enough for black students, I am too black for white students, I am too queer for heteronormative spaces, and I am too emotional for hyper-masculine culture.
As a queer person of color, I have found myself struggling to find any cultural representation of people like me. There’s only a handful of famous black queer writers, artists, actors, and theorists that capture how I feel on a daily basis. Queer youth, especially queer youth of color, need to see faces or hear voices similar to theirs in mainstream culture. I believe the images themselves will build confidence within those communities, and inspire more queer youth to fight the systems of oppression that dehumanize, devalue, and destroy them on a daily basis.
Seeing this, experiencing this, I realized how necessary it is for me to own my body and mind to create art that is accessible for people who feel and look exactly as I do. Although my passion for protesting and working as an organizer are equally as important, I feel it is my duty as an artist to produce content that may save the lives of queer youth of color.
I believe every poem, every piece of art, is a statement. Because of my identity, I do not have the privilege of being apolitical. My mere existence is political. So, I wrote a poem that I feel best describes my feelings as a queer black boy with a traumatic background.
This piece is titled: boy
i have felt the dark,
that blank between
the body bag and spine
that opens when i crave blood.
the rage that follows a caskets
we clap for it.
there is no mourning for
black boys, whose black
heads don’t shine with murray-steel,
whose black crowns scream of trauma
instead of bullets
thick with fire.
when i love, i cannot see,
when i am tangled
in another boy,
whose skin is whiter than mine.
i am blind here.
i do not see black underneath me.
i do not see the blood pour from crowns
i do not see my father smiling
with teeth white, like lies.
he was calloused hands,
whose cock was a nectar of
nicotine and chafing thighs.
he worked them against me
for hours. i was consumed
in his black, his rawhide fingers
and yellow nails on my mouth.
he would tell me i am not his son.
i am too white
not an image cracked in black skin
like he was.
i see him in me when i do not want to.
i see cannot see me as the black boy on tv
on black pavement being raped
with white hands in a pool of
i am afraid of this black,
to see empty when
i stare at my relfection,
at my lover,
to see a nothing that is made
of hellish love.
when will we take from the dark
what we have given it.
when will we save all black boys
whose bodies are not bodies but
carcasses strewn from the kill.
when will i cry for them?
when will i cry for me?