I received a complaint recently. As though I am a business.
The complaint was with regard to my profile picture on social media, which simply says FUCK. The complaint was that it would be nicer for some people to see my "beautiful face" instead.
To this I would like to say: No. That is not my job.
It is lovely that people find my face lovely. However, in all honesty, at this point in time, I do not care. I do not care if you like my face or don't like my face. I do not care if looking at my face is easier for you than confronting the reality that, despite what pictures may lead you to believe, I am not happy. I am not smiling. I do not feel hopeful or safe or optimistic. I do not care if a picture of me would be nicer for you, because it is not my job to be nice for you.
If my anger is uncomfortable for you, please consider why you are in my life. Please consider what and who it is you were hoping to get when you signed up for me. Please consider why it is that the anger of a young black woman in the face of the atrocities of this country and the world is so bothersome to you. This may be worthy of your exploration. You may learn something valuable.
If my anger is so uncomfortable for you that you feel you must take it upon yourself to reprimand me for it, I ask you to please consider whether you would do this to someone you considered your equal. Would you feel it appropriate to castigate someone who you truly respected for their self expression, even if it made you uncomfortable? Perhaps you would. That may be worth your exploration as well.
It is not my job to delight you. I, like you, am simply trying to get myself through this. I am trying to do as little harm as possible to as few people as possible. I am trying to love everyone I love fiercely and support them as they grieve for the world in whatever ways they see fit. May I suggest you take some time to do the same?
It is not my job to be a pretty face that comforts you. It is not my job to express myself in only the ways that inspire you. It is my job, more than ever, to be exactly myself. I am exactly myself. I am hurt, and heartbroken and desperately scared and sad, and doing my best despite it.
If you are bothered, if you feel my anger is more than you can stomach, if you do not like me as exactly myself, then you are free to unsubscribe. I will not force you to deal with me. I want the most happiness possible for the most people possible. Perhaps I cannot be part of your happiness. That is okay.
But I will continue on being angry, because this is the world we're in and I intend to fight.
That is my job.