To be honest, today, I don’t feel like writing.
There are many things going on in the world that I could write about:
Sloane Stephens’ come-from-behind win at the US Open and how she (and other female athletes) are making much less less in sponsorship than their male counterparts.
The inequities that Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma have laid bare – not new, but more obvious. Like how several seniors can die in a seniors residence when there is a hospital across the street.
This is week 2 of school, and our daughter’s teacher sent home a questionnaire. One of the questions was “what else do you want to tell us to help with your child’s education and well-being”. I wanted to write “she is Black and has Queer parents. So please make sure your curriculum reflects her life”. I didn’t.
Being part of a marginalized group is exhausting. The level of vigilance, fortitude, courage, hope and energy required is high.
And…although I’m a person of colour, I’m light skinned. And I can often fly under the radar and not be noticed as a queer woman (especially when I have my daughter with me). Which means that I have privilege and my experiences of discrimination may not be as frequent, as obvious, or as severe. Plus I have many blessings: I’m healthy, I have a roof over my head, food to eat, people who love me… (for example).
Still, I notice, and I experience isms every day.
Plus, I make it my job to notice and speak/write/teach about it.
I love my live and my work.
And sometimes, I get tired.
So I’m passing the torch for a few hours. And I’m going to stay home, turn off the internet and my phone, and read a novel that makes me smile.
Self-care is important. Re-energizing is important. Especially so that I can do this work.
And for allies – take note, because this is where you come in:
As marginalized people, we don’t have a choice for the impact isms have on us, but we may want to make a choice of when or if to respond. Of course, it’s not really a choice, per se, because there is a cost when we choose not to respond, but sometimes self-care requires not saying anything and conserving what little energy we may have left that day.
I’ll be back.
PS – By the way, I couldn’t even find a decent photo for this blog that is in any way representative of me or my life. It’s a common problem as a queer woman of colour (or any other marginalized group!). So I’ve chosen a sleeping cat; the animal that for me is the epitome of self-care…just had to add that.