In those moments, I’ve wished to be sitting in front of someone who could relate.Despite knowing I can feel intimacy with white guys, right now what divides us feels like a chasm.Even more hurtful was the night he and I were standing outside a bar in Bushwick and someone we both knew started making racist comments.While I tried to explain to this man why what he was saying was offensive, my boyfriend stood there in silence.
And on those rare occasions a white boy kissed me in the copy-machine room at our high school, or when a white boy told me over the phone he had a crush on me, the acknowledgement made me feel chosen. The white boys I grew up with were cool: They rode their skateboards on private property. White men have preoccupied me my whole life, from the schoolyard to the subway, but these days I’m seeing them differently.
In the past, I’d have sought that comfort out in a white man, but that night I knew it wouldn’t be enough.
It’s not that I don’t think white people are anxious; two months into Trump’s presidency, most of the white people in my life are activated.
Whenever I’m standing on a subway platform, I play this game: I hover near a person I think is cute and try to slowly make my way over to him so we get in the same car. Like most of the girls in my class, I wanted attention from the boys.
When we do, I look his way every so often to see if he’s staring back, to see if we’ve got what my best friend and I call “the affinity,” a mutual acknowledgement that we one another. But while they chased after blondes and brunettes, I was ignored.