Written by Leesh.
Art by Tess Young.
There’s a certain kind of white man that gets angry when he sees me. As my sister says, “He’s mad because he wants to fuck us.” He sees my brown skin and my curly hair and he feels loss. When he sees me, the anger that always exists inside of him that comes from trying, and failing, to keep what was never his, gets renamed. “Anger” is no longer “fear” or “insecurity,” or “the lover who left.” Now it’s “That Bitch Over There.”
I can feel him leering at me, and I stare back to say, “I am not afraid of you; you will not intimidate me.” No, you will not intimidate me. But I am so afraid. I can tell he doesn’t want to want me, that his appetite for me disgusts him, and my refusal of him disgusts him even more. This man is both hyper visible and invisible. He is openly racist, so he has no problem taunting me, making me uncomfortable, forcing his presence on me. But because he is trained to hate me, he cloaks his libido. Instead of drinks at the bar or hellos in the street, I get glares, grumbles and grabs.
Then there is the white boy who may not be steeped in theory, but “gets people” and believes that we all just need to let each other “be.” While he didn’t vote for Trump (which he reminds you regularly), he stresses that his family and other supporters aren’t bad people, they’re hard working and just want a good life like everyone else. He’s shocked when you tell him about the men who yell at you in the streets or the woman who’s been following you around the store. One time you told him a story about himself — about a man who drained you of all your resources, all the emotional labor you could give — just to see if he would notice. He didn’t. “That guy,” he says, “seems like a self-absorbed ass.” He said it, not you.
“I can tell he doesn’t want to want me, that his appetite for me disgusts him, and my refusal of him disgusts him even more.”
He doesn’t want you for your body. He wants you for your heart and your mind. He doesn’t even realize you have a body. He’s never been interested in you, not even a little. And that hurts, just a little, because although you’re happy he’s not hypersexualizing you, you wish he wouldn’t strip you of your sexuality all together. But the idea of you being sexual has never even crossed his mind. As if the only people worth fucking were negative-five-pound white woodland nymph hipster fairies. You know the ones.
There’s another guy who fucks the hipster fairy, but unlike I-Didn’t-Vote-For-Trump-Drew, he’ll fuck you, too. The difference is that he’ll take her out in public after, instead of holding her hostage in his shitty studio apartment with the 700-dollar mattress on the floor and old movie posters on the wall, which don’t count as decorations, Jack, especially if you don’t frame them. At least frame them, jackass. You’re rich.
He doesn’t call it holding you hostage. He asks for you to stay a while, so he can “pick your brain” about the midterm elections or the shifting “majority minority,” or the new blasé indie film that’s playing at the Angelika, before he gets drinks with a “friend,” who’s probably that fairy hipster bitch. When you guys talk, he doesn’t see it as just a learning opportunity but as an “intellectual exchange.” This guy differs from the one before because, while he wants your mind and your body, he doesn’t want your heart. You’re just a good fuck, and someone to supply him with anecdotes about “today’s racism” for his next party, which, by the way, you’re not invited to. But you can stop by after.
Then there is the semi-recent liberal arts graduate — the one who stays in his lane, even when you ask him to come out. He won’t ask you to talk about politics. When you try, he is always in agreement. You find this annoying, for it seems like it can’t be true and, you’ll admit it, it makes things slightly less fun. I like to debate. Sue me. Every once in a while, you will be urged to say something outrageous to see if he will do the same head nod and utter the same “Totally” that he has throughout every other hot-topic conversation. He will be boring and safe.
“You’re just a good fuck, and someone to supply him with anecdotes about ‘today’s racism’ for his next party, which, by the way, you’re not invited to.”
One day, at the appropriate boring and safe time, he will be the ultimate husband for a boring and safe, and white, chesty, flat-ass brunette that gets blonde highlights in the summer but says it’s from the sun. He fucked you to prove to himself he wasn’t racist and you fucked him to prove that you could pick “the nice guy.”
Finally, do not underestimate white queer men. With their vogues, their sashays, their “Yas queen!”s, they will rob you of your culture, put it on a platter, and offer to share. You cannot share what isn’t yours. Your gay friend sees how straight men want your body and he is dis-gust-ted. He is repulsed not only because of the chauvinism, the entitlement, or the toxicity of it all, but because they want your body in the first place. Your body, equipped with breasts and a vagina, disgusts him. Gee, thanks. On behalf of all vagina-havers — men, too, in case you forgot — we salute you.
He says things like this so often that you begin to question if he can even hear himself. How does he not recognize that this is just as bad? That he, too, wants to dispose of your body like the other men, but that he won’t even try to make you cum first. He fails to see, and would be surprised to learn, that he treats you just like the others. You, as something that can be picked apart, the desired pieces consumed, and the rest abandoned; like you exist just for him, in whatever way he wants you.
About the Author
Leesh is an NYC based bean who enjoys writing about the men who’ve wrong them and the queer and trans folx who inspire them. When not writing, Leesh spends their time focusing on the four R’s: Running, Rugby, Research, and their Rabbit, Oscar (@OscarTheHollandLop).
Follow on IG: @YeeshLeesh