Where Do I Go: Finding my voice in Black Female led spaces

One thing about me that you'll note, I love feeling included. It's one of those things that you hate to admit, but once you do and realize you sometimes have problems with it, it becomes something you learn to grow from. Anyway, I love being included because I love being able to express myself, and hearing the struggles of others and finding a sense of community. I thrive off of a strong social circle, and having people to talk to about my issues as well as triumphs.

The thing that is crazy about wanting to feel included, is when you wake up one day to realize something drastically important... inclusion and intersectionality are NOT interchangeable terms. What I mean by that is, as I check more and more boxes of what makes me who I am, my pool of community gets smaller and smaller. Also, my avenues for finding community get smaller and smaller. That sucks, because I wholeheartedly just want to find a group of people I genuinely connect with for moral reasons.

In community settings, there's rarely any mention of intersectionality, especially in spaces that are gender specific. And that for me is where I find my biggest trouble. Since I was little, I've always loved women's centered topics and issues. I've struggled with my own identity issues, and realized that while I identify as a man, a lot of my values and learning have been best presented through the female lens. Granted, I try to shy away from incriminating myself by making my life seem as though I've been dragged through the mud like a lot of black women are, however, I feel as though somethings that black women specifically go through, I have dealt with as well. The women's empowerment movement is stronger now than ever, and women are really showing up for women. However, queer men are showing up for women as well, and I don't feel like we get the same gratitude and transparency with our support.

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that just like history, black women have always had to have the difficult conversations surrounding some of our most taboo subjects: race, sexuality, mental health, trauma, abuse, and so many other conversations. I think it's because black women really did help raise America, that they are the ones who use their insight and wisdom to help mold a lot of minds. I think about my mom. She's extremely spiritual and inspirational, and has really taken her life to the next level through hard work and dedication. However, even as a black, heterosexual woman, my mom still doesn't have a strong sense of community outside of her family and coworkers... and she's a part of the majority.

I need to stop and play Devil's Advocate for a second though, because I honestly don't want to sound like I'm hating on black women and women's empowerment. On the contrary, I'm a huge champion for black women, and women in general, it's just that I resonate a lot with the feelings and struggles of black women, and there isn't a space where I can feel validated and supported in that. I know it would be easier for me to just find a group of queer people to assimilate with, but what happens when the conversation is cut short.