Center Black people. Black Transgender Nonconforming Queer Femmes/Non-Femmes are targeted and erased at Hampshire College. Center Black people. Center “Blackness.” This article is questioning why I can’t say anything. Why I can’t speak in the institutionally-provided spaces that exist for me without being considered a hateful voice that erases Blackness, even if I am Black, even if I fully support Black Transgender Nonconforming Queer Femmes/Non-Femmes. I am cast aside by my community and rewritten as someone who doesn’t get it, or has internalized whiteness that perpetuates anti-blackness… Why can’t I share my reality around those who supposedly exist within it? Why is only the most radical view acceptable in these overlapping circles of secrecy?
Center Black people. Black Transgender Nonconforming Queer Femmes/Non-Femmes are targeted and erased at Hampshire College. Center Black people. Where is the institutional level response? Hampshire College is doing nothing. Where is the activism of the White, older, wealthier, cisgender male faculty of this school, silent and complicit with cisheteropatriarchy? I wonder: where are the non-black non-radical non-violent responses? Why aren’t they being as loud as us? Why aren’t they taking up as much space as we are right now? Why are we the only ones speaking when we are demanding to be heard?
Maybe because in this hostile environment We’ve created, at Hampshire College, We’re the only voices that are safe. Is that wrong? No, it’s not wrong, because They deserve it.
I’m trapped. I’m scared. I feel unsafe. I keep saying we, but maybe I mean you. Who? X marks the spot. I want Hampshire College to know that even from within, I am erased.