For East Asians who practice anti-racist activism, we need to be honest about our relationship to whiteness and how this affects our racialisation. By Shelley Cheng As East Asian migrants, our narratives often strategically ignore colonialism by failing to grapple with the
As fat, Black femmes: how can we navigate and decolonize the politics of desirability?By Tina Colleen Black queer women and femmes and female identify people (FIP), we are celebrating our natural melanin and manes more today than ever before. We demand equality, but have we truly broken free from European influences when we choose a partner? Dating in the queer world feels pretty hopeless on a lot of levels. Especially for me as a black, queer, plus-size femme. In the last year, I have been going to 'Meetups'. I first went to speed dating events that were queer-inclusive, yet they were not racially diverse. It wasn’t a fit, and I didn’t feel comfortable. I began attending meetups and events for Black and non-white Latina women and femmes. At these events, there were always three extremes: queer women who were cliquey and had no desire to include you; women who had a partner and just wanted to be your friend; and/or couples. Again, I felt like I didn’t fit in, so I stopped going to these events. I started dating online in July. I connected with this lovely androgynous black woman quite quickly. Despite my fear she would not accept my size, our dates went well and things seemed to be looking up. After our second date, she called it off. She was stuck between liking me and another woman at the same time. I came in second place. Following this blow, I was lucky to have received tickets to the Afropolitan Insights: Self-Care Festival. At the festival, I attended a panel discussion. The topic of decolonization came up. One of the panelists mentioned that she was unsure if she was genuinely attracted to a specific type of man, or if she was experiencing undue European influence from decolonization.
Welcome to #AskCam, a column where sex and intersectionality are not divided but welcomed together.Dear Cam, I'm not quite sure how to navigate this. I have a white partner (we're polyam) and I feel like he gives his white partners more space, patience, and consideration to feel insecure or needing validation to feel safe in a polyamorous relationship than he gives me. Am I imagining how big of a problem this is? Why is empathy something that's used so often against Black folks in relationships? How do I talk about this? -Deserving of Empathy
Deserving, Whew, this question has been on my mind for a while and I'm glad that you brought it up. By no means is this a unique problem to your relationship. In fact, I've heard this question raised over and over by the BIPOC in my life, no matter what kind of romantic relationship they have. I believe that in every relationship — romantic or not — everyone involved has to commit to performing labor for the betterment of the relationship. But when it's done evenly (i.e., both parties commit to doing labor for each other and themselves), the relationship itself is healthy and balanced. It's when this labor falls unfairly on one party that this balance is thrown out of whack. And because nothing exists in a vacuum, we can't separate the fact that this imbalance of labor almost always falls on the shoulders of marginalized people. There's a rising interest in non-monogamy, which is great, but I think a lot of people who are first learning about or are new to non-monogamy often forget that there's work that goes into these relationship structures as well. We're still interacting with other people, and that means that we still have to take care in treating them with respect, love, and understanding and not just project our own assertions and demand they fulfill our needs without considering what effect that will have on them. So much of this creates violence and unnecessary hardship — especially when we take identities like race into account. There's also an assumption here, it seems, that your partner thinks that there is an equal dividing of care he gives to you and his other partners. Care and work that goes into a relationship doesn't come with an on/off switch; it isn't neatly divided between "yes" or "no", "all" or "nothing". It's highly unfair of him to assume — not even ask — that you would need "less" support in the relationship with no evidence other than the assumptions he's making on your identity as a POC.