The Feminist Closet
April 17, 2016. I’m a prefrosh at Visitas, still unsure about where I’ll be in the coming fall. And while that decision has occupied most of my thoughts since I received my acceptance letter, at this particular moment I am much more concerned about where I’ll be in the next hour.
A student asked me this a few weeks ago during a question and answer session about Crimson columnists. Now, I am a queer woman of color, and my column shows it. Logically (dear God, hopefully), queer friends would have no problem with a column like mine. Straight ones, however, might.
The first time I saw the trailer in an actual movie theater, I was pleasantly surprised to see a mainstream movie with a queer protagonist. I remember wishing that this film had come out when I was in high school; young Becina could have used this.
One of my classmates asked this during our sexual education unit in eighth grade. Our health teacher replied that most couples might kiss or talk. By that point in my life, I’d seen enough rom-coms (read: averted my eyes through enough PG-13 almost-sex scenes) to understand that sex could be fun for certain people. But, looking back, I can see how my classmate missed that and interpreted it as a boring activity solely for reproduction. Not once in our entire unit were we told that sex could be pleasurable or why anyone would want to have sex outside of baby-making.
It’s been nearly two weeks, and I’m still disappointed and hurt by the hateful rhetoric that “ex-gay” speaker Jackie Hill-Perry spewed at Harvard College Faith and Action’s Doxa meeting. While I’ve heard plenty of pastors, church-goers, and even non-Christian people say that homosexuality is sinful, hearing that message from a black woman who looks like me made it hit a little closer to home. It hurt even more to know that we have similar interests: I was intrigued to learn that she’s also an advocate for racial justice, a cause that I’m extremely passionate about. Initially, I had the smallest glimmer of hope that she might talk about racism within the church instead of how I and the rest of my community are inherently broken. But alas, it was not to be. During her speech, I heard nothing about racial reconciliation and far too much about “loving,” “Biblical” ways to ostracize BGLTQ people.