Maurice looks back on three years of his life where he was used and treated badly, and pledges to value himself more in the future.
Not long ago I wrote a blog post called 20 Tacos, in which I described the moment I felt I reached an emotional breakthrough regarding a three-year long on-and-off “relationship” that I can only describe as total emotional masochism. I allowed myself to be in a situation where my love was treated as not good enough, and I therefore felt not good enough for the boy I loved. How did I, a graduate student, a boy from a family filled with love, get to that place?
But I was wrong about that being my breakthrough. That moment was simply me knocking on my own door. The truth is, there are no emotional breakthroughs; what we get are moments of self-awareness from which we can grow. You see, where I went wrong in the way I was thinking about my breakthrough was that it was mostly about him, and not about how I allowed myself to get to a space where I could make a fool of myself—and yes, we must be honest with ourselves, I made a fool of myself—for a boy who couldn’t and wouldn’t accept what I had to offer: my love.
My name is Maurice and I am a fat black queer femme boy. I have said this, or something similar, before in other posts, but it bears repeating. These four words sum me up; they tell you about what space I do not have in society. I can never, casually, defiantly say, “I am not just my skin color,” or “I am not just my sexuality,” or even “I am more than just my x”. I have always been these things, and consequently America has responded to me in the ways they respond to fatness, blackness, queerness, and effeminacy—separately and collectively.
And when attached to my position as “male”, hints of failure, repulsion, and disappoint have permeated the air. The result was that before I could form an opinion about myself, the world told me its opinion of me. By the time I became an adult, despite all my progressive attitudes and the performative way in which I walk and move and operate in this world, I believed that certain types of people were worthy of love, and that certain loves, between objectionably beautiful people or from an objectionably beautiful person, were better than other loves. Various incidents in my life, some of which ripped pieces of me away from myself, had indoctrinated me into feeling that all I was worthy of was either a casual one night stand or to be receptacle of all of one’s pain and disgust. And, all of this happened before I ever met him.
But I did meet him, and I was where I was emotionally. I took my damaged and emotionally abused self and offered it to him because deep inside I felt that if he would confess that he loved me and claim me in the open then I would be a worthy person, a beautiful person. They say every smart person wants to be beautiful and every beautiful person wants to be smart, but they never tell you how plenty of us are both. More importantly, few tell us that we are worthy just because we are here and we strive.
I have moved beyond the three-year sting and the dusty tears and into a quiet space. One can accomplish much in the quiet, in the dark, alone. I ended “20 tacos” claiming, vaguely, that I am worth more than twenty tacos and fleeting consideration, but now I feel prepared to actually describe what that means:
1) I am worth my attention.
2) I am worth effort, from myself and others.
3) I am worthy of hugs.
4) I am worthy of kisses.
5) I am worthy of being taken out into public.
6) I am worthy of being “claimed.”
7) I am worth your time.
8) I am worth your attention.
9) I am worth a reply to a text, and not a day later, but soon, right away.
10) I am worthy of you knowing my name before we have sex, and before you leave.
11) I am worthy of being asked to spend the night after I make you cum. I may not want to, but I am worthy of the offer.
12) I am worthy of having you pay attention to me during sex and my pleasure.
13) I am worthy of you respecting me when I say “no.”
14) I am worthy of laughter.
15) I am more than worthy of care, consideration, and respect.
I am worthy of love. Not just yours, but my own.
Read 20 Tacos on Maurice’s BlaQueer blog