OpEd-Corona 2020: Being Black, LGBTQ, While Battling HIV, Anxiety, and Depression

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Submitted by Marathon on Sat, 06/27/2020 - 01:27

Whew! 2020 has been rough.  Rough! Being in one of those groups listed above is enough but all of em? We’re tired ya’ll. 

Being “Colored” during Coronavirus:

The police, the Karens and the Confederacy enthusiasts have proven that, even in the midst of a global pandemic, there’s still room for racism. Never mind this highly contagious virus that is indiscriminately killing people.  Black folk is scary! Mexicans and “Indians” too. Being from the south we’re used to racism and dealing with it on a molecular level.  However, we just don’t feel like driving past a confederate flag to get to our parent’s house or risking getting pulled over for being black is worth the hassle.  No one chooses to be a hashtag. And Lawd help you if you happen to be a Hispanic, Asian, Native American or any other ethnicity other than White.  You’re automatically an angry job stealing terrorist, that carries the virus, doesn’t love the flag, and wants to take everyone’s guns away.

Being Black, LGBTQ and (gasp) a woman during coronavirus:

But wait, there’s more!  Being a minority in the US and the world is bad enough.  Adding gender, sexuality, or both to the equation is a nightmare. Women, Black women, trans persons, and black trans women are out here dodging bullets, knives, stigmas, misogyny and good ole transphobia just to make it through the day.  Add being a person a color to that and you’re wondering if you’ll get that small business loan , additonal credit or loan forgiveness.  Will our landlord still allow us to live here after finding out we’re trans or gay? Who knows? Will we still be able to keep our job if our boss’s religion calls us an abomination? Will we receive proper medical treatment even though the medical professional looking after us doesn’t believe in our “lifestyle choices”?  We’ll find out today!  But first…

Oh You Have HIV or any other pre-existing condition?

We don’t want to be around ANYBODY! On top of racism, homophobia, transphobia and misogyny, now we have to deal with everything that comes along with having a pre existing condition?  Having a compromised immune system, we don’t even like going to the mail box.  It’s worse when you’re dating someone. Yes we love you and yes we want to see you, but who have you been around in the last two weeks?  Who have the people you’ve been around hung out with for the past two weeks?  Has everyone been social distancing?  Have you all been wearing masks? Has everyone in your network of people tested negative for coronavirus? Our partner is an extrovert so of course they want to be at everybody’s everything.  All we can think of is “We’d love to go, but we don’t want to die”.

Oh So You’re Suffering From Anxiety Too?

Yes!!!!  We’re constantly thinking about all the ways we might contract covid. Why are so many people out?! We’re we out at the store too long?  Did we spend too much time at the gas station?  Should we eat at the restaurant?  Should we eat indoors? Should we eat outdoors?   Where’s my hand sanitizer?  This doesn’t seem like 6 feet?  Why don’t they have on masks? How many days before we show symptoms?  Should we quarantine now?  Should we go get tested now?  Again?

Oh So You’re Depressed Too?

Well after dealing with all of the stuff listed above who wouldn’t be? You're a minority?  Apart of the LGBTQ community? You have HIV? You suffer from anxiety?  Yes we’re depressed.  Even on medication we’re trying hard just to keep on keeping on.  No we are not ok. Even when we say we're ok.  We're carrying the weight of the world.  Yes, we will try and fake like we are to keep everyone off our trail.  This sucks.

As a person who is suffering from all of the above, no we are not ok.  We want to be normal.  We want to dine out care free.  We want to hold house parties without worry.  We want to live without homophobia, transphobia, transphobia and all the rest.  We want to explore the world and live free as white, straight, cis men have.   We want to, but will you let us?