How The Heteronormative Narrative Keeps 'Black Love' From Reaching Its Full Potential
Love is genderless and has no preference.
June 06, 2018 at 4:43 pm
Yesterday, I made a comment about how I wasn't too keen on the show Black Love because of it's hetero and cis-normative-ness. I also added that I want to see genderqueer/non-binary persons, trans folx and people involved in polygamous relationships.
I think maybe 15 people all responded to my Instagram telling me that they have had a gay couple on there, at least twice. As if it were enough and that they were "trying."
While everyone's heart was in a good place, I still became frustrated, at no fault of theirs. All of them sent me this to feel better about the show, but it still fell short. People don't under the difference between sexuality and gender, and I think that it gets under my skin more than it should.
When I say that I want to see genderqueer and trans folx, I am not asking for gays and lesbians. I am asking for PEOPLE WHO DO NOT FIT GENDER EXPECTATIONS (I'm emphasizing, not yelling). I am asking for masc persons who wear the fashions, like skirts and heels, but don't see themselves as trans. I am asking for Transmen whom are still attracted to MEN because you can go from female to male and still have love for the male anatomy.I am looking for a triad of people who are all in one committed relationship because they are not succumbing to westernized ideology. I am looking for the VERSATILITY in BLACK LOVE.
I think that we so often forget about the various forms and ways that black love takes place. Black love is not always traditional, yet we try so hard to keep it in a place where it's exclusive to traditional ideology.
Do we not love our families? Grandmas who held it down as the matriarch in non-traditional families? Whose scent of perfume and fumes of freshly battered chicken you remember fondly? Is that not love? How about those friends? The ones that will never leave you anywhere without waiting? The ones raised on the same "come together, leave together" sentiments you were raised on? Do we not find love in our hearts for those people? Or black teachers, doctors, nurses and other service workers, whom help us in both day-to-day and dire need? Do we not find love for these people? Or even the the notion of SELF love. The idea of giving all of yourself to you before giving yourself to anybody else? People's self-love journeys take years, sometimes decades, to be fulfilled. Are these not stories that count as black love?
I want to see a clear balance of the versatility of black love. Not just two gay couples that cis-straight people seem to view as radical, but also not to the point where it just seems commercialized and exploitative. I want to see the narratives of love that do not fit our expectation. I want to see how two guys may have met on Grindr or Jack'd, became friends with benefits, and somehow forged a relationship. I want to see love breaking the boundaries and binaries of gender. I want to see stories of growth and I want to see stories of healing, because that's what love is. I want to see different layers of ME.
I do not write this because I hate the cis and hetero communities. I believe that black love is a beautiful thing, regardless of its dimensions. Instead, I argue that we are only seeing these dimensions from one viewpoint. The same viewpoint that has been shared for generations.
I write this because we need to not only love, but also respect black love in all of its versatility. I write this because I'm a black queer lover, and I'm sensitive about this shit (word to Badu).