Witnessing and Testifying

Before my journaling, I should note that I got my first paycheck today. Lets hope that there are many more to come.

I figure since I will usually have journaling and reflecting in several of my courses, it might be useful to articulate some of my feelings on the readings to a broader audience. As well, since they’re supposed to be meaningful (both the reading and the reflection), I think it’s good to have these things articulated. It’s great starting a course on the civil rights being dedicated the a side of the civil rights movement that we barely see, that of black women. Our readings focused on Sojourner Truth and Nannie Helen Burroughs. Furthermore, they focused on the traits of the African-American woman’s experience.

I think the one thing that comes to mind is that I am privileged. I don’t have to have an invisible dignity, quiet grace, or unshouted courage. I don’t have to go through life thinking that despite homophobia and heterosexism, I still have dignity. I can use one hand to count the times that I’ve consciously experienced homophobia (although there are likely several instances where I couldn’t consciously detect it). I don’t have to experience degrading conditions because of homophobia or heterosexism. I am able to maneuver in institutional settings, but then again, I choose my settings well. I have the courage to be who I want a be, but then again, I operate in places where queer acceptance is pretty high (doesn’t mean that there is some tension though). All of this is to say that I am privileged in many ways and it makes me respect what black women did by fighting for civil rights. They had (and have) to face double, sometimes triple oppression. This is not to say that I am playing oppression olympics but it is to say that I appreciate their struggle all the more. If they weren’t such a foundation for civil rights, it’s possible that struggles for GLBT acceptance wouldn’t be as far as it is, or perhaps not even exist at all. While I do have issues with gay rights movements, especially the fact that they often marginalize the women, non-white, and transpeople who wish to participate in them, they can pave a way for something that is more inclusive. Or at least we can hope.

I think that’s all I can muster. I am fucking exhausted.


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