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Posted under: Opinion Culture

A Letter To My Homegirls, From A Queer Black Man: Thank You, Sis

Time and time again, we’ve seen Black women lead the charge of setting standards and saving the world. Your allyship is no different.

To my homegirl,

Embracing an identity that many deem unworthy and unacceptable oftentimes means that my existence can offend folks. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the good times -- much of which includes you. 

When I think of some of my darkest moments, I realize that you were always there to cheer me on. Those mental health struggles that almost took me out? You were there fighting with me, encouraging me to persevere and get through it. How about the time when someone quipped that I was half of a man because of my sexuality? You swiftly put that jerk in his place with a tongue lashing rivaled by no other.

I haven’t been a teenager in a long time but I remember the day I turned 17, you created this colossal card for me and had most of the school sign it for me. I felt like a king and you let me know how loved I was, something angsty teenagers sometimes forget. Do you remember when I was applying to be a production assistant on Insecure and you spammed Issa Rae’s Instagram account by tagging her multiple times under my video submission? You had my back then and I know you have it now. 

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Everyone’s experience is different but in mine, you and other Black women have been the largest support system that I’ve had. Oftentimes, when we choose to live our lives freely and as boldly as possible, homophobia rears its ugly head by way of family and friends. When I first started to embrace my sexuality, you embraced me like you did when we first met. I can’t thank you enough for that. The world makes it abundantly clear that as a Black gay man, my existence is null and void so your love and support is something I hold dear to my heart. This is what being a true ally is and Black women should be at the forefront of that conversation. 

Time and time again, we’ve seen Black women lead the charge of setting standards and saving the world. Your allyship is no different. Before it became trendy or socially accepted to befriend queer people, Black women were providing spaces for us. Black women have literally saved elections. So it comes as no surprise that you are teaching the world what it means to be a great ally and an even better friend. At the end of the day, the latter is my saving grace. 

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The harsh reality is that it is no easy feat to be out and open about my sexual identity. There are some days where I fear for my life because someone may take it upon themselves to decide if I get to live or die. There are others where I feel as if I may be passed over for opportunities because of who I love and am attracted to. These situations always leave me reeling in a cloud of uncertainty but your friendship helps to keep me sane. Your willingness to advocate for me and defend my identity even when I’m unable to muster the courage to do so, means more than you know.

While I may have catapulted myself to new heights of professional and personal success, there are still fragments of insecurity traipsing around my mind but they don’t last long because of you. You constantly reassure me that I am valued and that my voice is just as important as anyone else’s. You make me feel like a champion on days where I just want to retreat into solace because the world knocked me down a few pegs. I’m not sure what I’ve done in a previous life to deserve your friendship but I’m eternally grateful. Thank you for being my homegirl, my sister, my confidante and my sunlight in the rain. 

All my love,

Your homeboy
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A Detroit native, Kenneth 'Kenny' Williams Jr. is a self-described cultural critic and visual storyteller. While at Michigan State University, Kenneth received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and went on to obtain his Master of Arts degree in Public Relations. Kenneth's passions include pop culture, writing, and using his skill sets to actively and positively promote the narratives of Black people and Black culture. Any questions? Reach out at kenny.williams@blavity.com. Follow me on Instagram @kennyonce