i fear for the position of Black-queers. and i grow weary in my search for an articulation of a radical Black-queer position. perhaps the question posed should no longer be what is the Black-queer position? but rather, what is a Black-queer? giving pause at the hyphen and dealing with the messy non/existence of Blackness and the uncertain, undefined and increasingly antagonistic formation of queer. increasingly it is becoming clear there is great difficulty in piecing together a frame that would truly expose the complexities lived by Black-queer people. an alteration is needed. further analysis is called for.
this Black-queer’s list of grievances:
1) I am Black. I am not saying I am Black first and then I’m queer, nor vice-versa. There are questions of structure, history, and ontology that must be reconciled first before any meaningful analysis of my lived experience can be made. Which is not to drop the question of queer, or deny the (fading) benefits of intersectional analysis. Rather it is to reckon, Blackness interrupts and complicates questions of gender and sexuality (two categories the notion of queer rest upon). Black is Black. Black is the only Black. There is no new Black. Queer does not translate to Black, for if it did, does that make me ahead of this game?
2) Black-queer does not mean Black gay men. Nor does it center around the needs and desires of effeminate, effeminized, and gender non-conforming Black men. In its most notable strides, queer introduces us to nuanced notions of the unstable categories gender and sexuality, and makes relevant questions of performance. Of course we can turn to some pages of Black feminism (particularly the radical scholarship of Hortense Spillers and Saidiya Hartman) to better get at these same points, but in theory (no pun intended) it should all lead us to the Black female position. Black-queer dealings must necessarily raise questions of gender. When Black-queer is spoken or engaged, Black women exist there; our analysis, critiques, insights, and contributions should be thinking this through.
3) There is no contestation between Black heterosexuality and Black queerness. That statement does not erase the lived experiences of Black people. Rather it opens up dialogue on the peculiar relationship between sexuality and Blackness while making relevant the history and trajectory of Black sexuality. This also calls into question representations of the Black-queer body that render it hostage exclusively, and at times mutually exclusive, to Black homophobia and/or visible homonormative culture. Because the hyphen exist, and there is still much to be learned on the position, the ultimate goal should not be inclusion into either Black or queer, but rather to reanalyze both categories and re/present questions of history, structure, and desire.
i search for an articulation of myself outside and within the overly described, preconceived, while still unrecognized and misunderstood storyline of being queer and Black.