Today I was in three conversations about invisibility.
The first one took place in the formal conference room of an international development agency where three people find themselves talking about the B in LGBTQI. Whoever heard about B meetings or support for B people. Gay heteronormative men will tell you there is no such thing as B. Who wants to be a Beta when you can be an Alpha. B is for bridge that you can walk across to the other side. B for blanket under which different configurations of hands, knees and giggles coexist. Under the blanket there is no world outside. Poor invisible B. B is prey to Observer Effect and the Heisenberg Principle; no one is actively both all the time, who do you think you are, you think you can have it all?! [Goddamn fools]. Why are they equating desire with body? Erasures, everywhere.
Second, Jeremiah [name changed] pouts and says that I think he can’t see what I’m doing. He saw me bringing in a salad from the French cafe. I know you don’t want to eat my food any longer so you’re going elsewhere. Pout pout sniff. The thought bubble in my head says – Jeremiah, you aren’t my Indian husband. Jeremiah’s food is so-so. I want to introduce lentils to Jeremiah. LENTILS ARE INVISIBLE HERE.
A third this morning inside my headheart. Smart, lovely Western-born women of colour talking about claiming space and resisting otherness and all I can think is that this is not my fight. I support your rights but I’m not a WOC, really. Where I come from we are all coloured anyway. I have incredible privilege where I’m from; but it’s true I’m not there enjoying it and I’m here negotiating something else and because of what those things are, I’m just behind, not invisible. I’m not invisible – I can’t claim your histories of oppression and I don’t really have (m)any of my own (except all those terrible things Indian girls get told growing up). In fact, here, I’m so painfully visible; to the little old lady at the tram stop who stops (in her walker) to gawk at me top to bottom, and the 9 year olds who stare and giggle – I spit and say: not migrant, I’m a gentrifying expat, motherfucker. Deal with it.