I Am Your Sister: An Open Letter to Black Queer Men Who Are Masculine of Center

I’m writing you in the hopes of speaking some truth to power. I write to bring us into each other’s worlds. Worlds that are so familiar, yet alien to each other. We rarely visit each other’s world for fear. I hope this letter is a mental framework to build a bridge we need for survival for “without community there is no liberation.”

It would be a lie to say that you have not caused me pain. It would be a lie to say that you have not inflicted violence on me. It would be the biggest lie to say that you have not aided in my oppression to gain favor with the master. I am often reminded by you that you do not “see yourself in me,” erasing our historical-revolutionary ties. Does my femme-ness blind you to our shared humanity? But, brother I see you, I love you, and I fight for you. Is asking for you to see me too much?

It is also false if I do not name that I am the embodiment of everything you fear about Queer-ness. From the swing of my God-like hips, to my heels that crack the runway with every step, to my bold unapologetic mannerisms that call gender itself into question. Is it my very existence: blacken skin and rainbow lite soul?

I understand that gender is the nexus from which you think homophobia is born. Because I am everything the master hates so you too must hate me without pause. But I am brother, sister, mother, father, and friend. Femme-ness nor I is the enemy. It would also be a lie to say that I do not fear you: your words, your rejection, your work with the master himself. It would be a lie to say that I do not fear masculinity and ,by extension, you. It would be a lie if I said that I didn’t see my toxic father in you. I see rage, anger, and pain. You are also everything I fear. And, yet, you are my brother and I, your sister.

How can we heal? How can we learn that I am you and you are me? How can we stand together unbossed and unbothered? How can we reject white supremacy, cis-hetronormtive frameworks? How can we love across difference? How can you really be my mother sister friend?

In Black Queer Femme Power,

Romeo Jackson