Being a Black Nonbinary Person Is Difficult. But It’s Shown Me the Radical Power of Defining Your Own Existence.
The following is an excerpt from JONATHAN P. HIGGINS | October 19, 2018 | Slate.com |
This piece is part of the Radical Issue, a special package from Outward, Slate’s home for coverage of LGBTQ life, thought, and culture. Read more here.
I can remember the first time I sat down in a chair at the nail salon. I was 16, getting ready for my high school grad-night, and a few of my friends decided that we should “pamper” ourselves before the big evening. I can recall the nail technician coming over to me with a slight giggle in her voice, asking me what color I wanted my nails. I asked her what was so funny, and she responded, “We just don’t get that many men in our salon.” I was perplexed in the moment because while I may have presented like a man to the world, I have never felt like one.
I have always known that I am different. Being that the majority of my family are men, toxic masculinity and patriarchy undergirded most of the interactions I had with each of them. We were expected to do what “boys” did: Play sports, talk about women, and consume large amounts of beer. Though I didn’t enjoy any of these things, it was irrelevant: They were what black men in my family were expected to do.
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