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Deconstructing Race: On Being A Queer Of Color In Small Town Midwest

Asha Brogan

It's hard enough being the token. Being the ignored token is even worse.

Being a Black Queer Dude is interesting. Growing up, I'd hear "Gay!? Black people aren't gay, that's a white thing." I don't think I ever understood that.

I'm in an interracial relationship with a white dude who’s progressive—and there have been times when our interracial coupling didn't cause for much concern. Then we moved to small town Ohio in 2013. The Midwest is a bear on its own for a person of color. The Midwest is a bear on its own for a gay or queer person. Being a queer of color in small town Midwest is a true challenge.

I have friends who are people of color and I have young friends and I have queer dude friends but not many who are all three. Even those who do have those identities rarely share my values around intersectional analysis of the world, particularly around gender.

When I think about a hope I have for my identity, it is that I could be seen as a whole person in all of my uniqueness and valued as a person. I want my identity to be acknowledged and visible in my relationships as I grow and become a part of this and many more communities.

Nick Daily is an educator and activist who lives in Yellow Springs.

Deconstructing Race is a series of commentaries about racial identity by Miami Valley residents. It's co-curated by Dr. Kimberly Barrett, vice president of multicultural affairs and community engagement at Wright State University. The series features ten people of varying ages and racial identities responding to one or more of the following questions:What is your experience with racial identity? Are there pieces of your identity that are frequently misunderstood, invisible, or visible in complicated ways? If you could make one wish about race and identity, what would it be?  

Submissions are still open. Send your answer to one or more of the questions above, in 200 words or less, to lwallace@wyso.org. If your submission is accepted, it will be edited by WYSO and you’ll be asked to come in and record.