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  • Shak Rollock

To be young, queer and black.

Updated: Jan 3, 2019

This world, this community, this space I'm in… feels sideways. Being too young...looking too young leads to assumption. To be black comes with a weight whether you feel it or not. Then there's this queer community... or the gay community...or preference driven gay community… not sure what to call it. To look or act young, they think you're not able to rise to the occasion. Consistently having to prove yourself to be more than what others think because your genetics don’t allow you to look past a legal age. I know I don't have all the answers but giving a chance to show you what I know with my limited time would be splendid. Being gay is more than OK though. It's celebrated even, as long as you know Shangela should have won. This community is always shifting though and getting trickier to navigate. Do you simply become a stereotype to fit in. Our spaces are determined by those subcategories that strangely look similar to those listings on porn sites. Twinks, Hunks, Bears, Daddies then the ‘othered’…Asian, Latin, Arab…Black. Why is one group separated into types while other races are simply groups based off melanin content and geographic birth location. Why is this also strongly reflected in the queer spaces I’ve seen? Then there's being black that comes with a stigma that can be simply enhanced whether my hoodie is up or not (Need I go on?).

All these titles seem to help people put me into a box but am I not more than a label. Why use labels? I must use a name to define myself so you can better understand? I love my youthful exterior paralleled with an interior full of experiences. I love the skin I’m in, the self produced sun block, The beautiful shades the sun helps it create. The history, soul and seasonings passed down through generations. And... i love boys!

To intertwine all three into one body creates a complex being that has to assess the spaces I'm in. Learning how to ‘stand up straight… I can’t… I got a pain in my *ding* side’ (bonus points for those who get that). Learning to use a smile as a white flag and the resting bitch face as full defensive lineup, and when to use each and where. To always buy a size down so nothing’s too thug.. I mean baggy. Feeling pressured to rely on that body despite the Ru Paul belief, just to be seen in their spaces. There’s too much to be aware of before opening the door. Is there a space where all can just live free? Guess I’ll just create it.


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@shakroll