Those of us who end up carrying tiny humans, whether it was our choice or not, have so much to offer the world, yet we are some of the most isolated people on the planet.
Being born female, raised poor, out as queer, Black, and now pregnant is one of the most challenging experiences I have ever been through. It’s been 7 months. I have experienced morning sickness, constant travel, heartbreak and newfound love. This pregnancy has definitely not been how I imagined it would be, yet it has provided the groundwork necessary to raise this Black child.
I’ve always given up parts of myself for this movement. The work has been my primary partner often at the sacrifice of my emotional, physical, and spiritual safety. I’ve compromised my health and sometimes my morals and ethics for the work.
The moment I became pregnant all that changed. Almost immediately I was forced into creating boundaries with friends, lovers, family and colleagues. This tiny human was pushing me to face the most hurt and wounded parts of myself. The issues I thought were healed resurfaced and the rage of this lifetime and past lives flowed through.
Unfortunately, I didn’t always do the best job at reaching out for support. In my isolation, my current partner bore the brunt of my depression and rage. After a much-needed intervention during my 1st trimester, I reached out for help. I called friends, called a therapist, and started to talk to people who had experienced pregnancy.
I have been scared, hurt, confused and painstakingly lonely during this pregnancy. Some folks have shown up for me in ways I really needed while others have truly disappointed me. I am happy I have an amazing partner who is queer and trans and Black and brilliant. They have been my rock these past six months allowing for my tantrums and my joys to exist and intrude into our relationship.
One of my greatest challenges has been dealing with the outside world’s heteronormativity and obsession with the nuclear family. It jabs at our relationship constantly. The straight gaze has the ability to destroy queer and trans couples, developing a narrative that questions our worthiness. Every blog we have read speaks to cis men and cis women.
There hasn’t been a single article that we can find that articulates the role of Black queer parenting. But, we are making a road, building it piece by piece. We are choosing our love to build Black family. Our individual life experiences and our determination to love one another has equipped us to be strong and healthy parents.
The reality is we live in a culture that not only leaves no room for pregnant people and their children, it devalues us. If you are Black and pregnant or a Black parent you are seen as worthless. Our worth and value is wrapped up in what we produce for others, not what we produce for ourselves. Historically, capitalism has only allowed for Black parenting so that Black children could continue producing goods for a system that is in direct contradiction to our own livelihood. I grew up watching my Black mother live to survive, instead of living to thrive. This is not a judgement of Black people it’s a judgement and deep criticism towards anti-black racism.
This reality feels so backwards and so cruel. But it’s the reason why I have seen some Black parents feel resentment towards their children. We live in a world where we are fighting to protect our children as the only option for survival. When the world turns everything against us, it is rather difficult to practice loving our children. Yet, it is our love that allows for our resilience and potentially a new world for our Black children.
I am interested in developing a culture that values Black life. That values our pregnant Black people. That values our Black children. I’d like to be able to be a part of a Black community that celebrates a pregnant person without it being a part of a Christian, pro-life, anti-queer agenda.
I’d like to be a part of a Black community that gives Black pregnant people options for our healthcare. A place we can deliver our tiny humans with protection and safety. I want to celebrate our bodies’ miracles.
I honor the work of people like Racha Lawler and Debbie Allen, Black women who have decided to build sanctuary for Black people and their family. I believe we can’t wait on the State to take care of our Black lives. We have to show up now to build the world we want to see.