It's January 29th, 2019. 9:30pm when I started writing this blog for Jeremy. I've been digesting all of the information of what happened to Jussie Smollett. A black gay man was attacked in Chicago. Had slurs yelled at him. Bleach thrown on him. While the perpetrators shouted words to let him know that they are part of the MAGA group. It's January of 2019, to remind you.
Honestly, I am tired. My best friend sent me a text earlier today asking how I am. The truth is, I'm not well. I am tired. Better yet, sick and tired. I am fuckin' tired. I am over this shit.
10 years ago, I was walking to my friends' dorm room at UT when Damian James, Justin Mason, and Gary Johnson of UT's basketball team surrounded me and threatened to beat my ass. They were ready to attack me. What followed for the remainder of the semester, were threats from other members of the basketball team, a case with UTPD that went nowhere, a professor who told me to drop the class I had with them, and an administrator who told me I should look at it from their point of view.
Last year, I stood on a corner at ACC-Riverside and was attacked by a stranger. I was standing on the sidewalk. Alone. When a man walked up to me and started punching me. The officers have yet to catch the perpetrator, and honestly, they were more interested in arguing about who would handle the case than actually looking for the person.
It's January 29th, 2019. And the news of Jussie has been plastered all over the news and social media, but the memories of past experiences have haunted and taken over my mind. For me, justice in both of the cases was as elusive as finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I do the work I do so that no one will ever have to deal with the trauma that's associated with being attacked, both physically and emotionally. The scars I wear are hidden underneath the clothes I wear, but today I was reminded that unfortunately, I to am a survivor.
I write this, after dealing with not only these incidents, but others as well. Walking down the street in Austin with my boyfriend after dancing at Rain only to run into a group of guys that called us faggots. A customer at HEB that told me I should just go and get fucked in the ass while I was a cashier there. (The company did nothing when I provided my statement.) Having slurs yelled at me as I walked down South Congress Avenue. (I still don't know who did this). As an out effeminate black queer man, I am constantly a target. Me speaking out about our issues and struggles comes at the expense of my own safety.
It's January 29th, 2019. And I am sitting in a coffee shop, writing this blog for Jeremy, after hearing a day worth of media coverage on Jussie. I am Jussie. My friends are Jussie. Even before 45 took office, we were Jussie. And until people in positions of power hold their friends accountable, check the shit out of them, and we have honest conversations about power and privilege….there will always be a Jussie.