“Homo sum, humani nil a me alienum puto. I am a human being, nothing human can be alien to me.” ~ Maya Angelou
Every day I live in fear for two main reasons that are separate but not mutually exclusive. I’m gay, and I’m black in America. Some homophobic person could physically attack me for being gay. Some racist or subconsciously biased person may see my skin color as a threat on the wrong day where our paths cross.
We may live in 2016 (and how beautifully far we’ve come), but the truth is I have take precautions to ensure I mentally and physically live to another day.
I leave space for the person at night walking in front of me and speed walk past them, so that we both feel comfortable on the street close to each other.
I gauge my setting when wanting to hold my boyfriend’s hand around others.
I avoid wearing all dark clothes with a hat.
I look around the subway to see who might take offense to my boyfriend and I kissing each other goodbye.
I whisper to my coworkers of color about racial issues in the news. We whisper to acknowledge what is happening, but we can’t rock the boat.
The world can just simply feel overwhelming. I’m praised by those around me for the obstacles I’ve overcome, but many won’t internalize the issues that led to the obstacles. Other people of color and LGBTQ people are praised for blazing paths, but many of those rejoicing won’t make the world a better place for every human being.
There must come a point where we realize, “We are all more alike than we are different.”
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*all opinions are my own.*