My passion is always mistaken for anger. Always.
I have been doing activism online for a couple of years now and even before this happened, the first thing I would constantly hear from people is “Mickey why are you so angry?” when talking about a topic.
But here’s the thing, I wasn’t angry. I know what my particular anger looks like. It looks like something that is different than the passion I have for activism. Constantly, I catch myself having to explain that.
Recently, I have been recently thinking about folks who have said I’m “too angry” when I haven’t been angry for weeks. I’ve been thinking about folks who will gladly tell me that my lack of chill is what makes me wonderful and then tell me to go to anger management the next day. The constant question of “What do you want from me?” becomes a broken record.
And guess what? I’m tired of it.
There are a few things I want people to know. This is for the people that constantly dismiss my anger. This is for the people who mistake my passion for anger and never try to talk to me about it. This is for the people that constantly make assumptions.
Read these statements. Because this is one way of understanding me a bit more.
Just because I am a dark skinned Black person, doesn’t mean folks have the right to assume that my passion is anger. Because of my borderline personality disorder and just my personality overall, I do feel ways in extremes. This ranges from joy to sadness to anger. However, being the person I am (as well as being autistic), I am extremely passionate about so much things. Very much so that folks assume that it might actually be anger, when it actually just stems from wanting to help so much in so little time. People are scared. But here is the thing, people will constantly assume the passion of a Black person, especially of a dark skinned one stems from anger. Whenever this discussion comes up, I notice that my light skinned peers and white folks are less likely to be told that they’re too angry and more likely told that their anger is valid. What makes me different? Is it because I’m too dark? Is it because I’m too loud? Is it because I get really passionate over seeing people I love hurt or seeing the destruction of society? We’re all expressing the same things in a passionate manner but people get intimidated by me.
Even if I have anger, I still have the right to be angry. This ~positivity~ culture that we live in try to make it seem like people have to be void of all the negative emotions that are part of who we are. I am a survivor of various forms of trauma, I live in a world that doesn’t want me to survive and thrive, you best believe I get angry. But my anger is expressed through writing articles, it’s expressed through yelling into my pillow, it’s expressed through crying. I will say that not all of the anger I have is completely healthy, but neither is the anger of people who constantly belittle it. When I choose to be passive for my survival, it is not good enough. When I express the anger I do have, I am horrible for it. I will say that I can be angry, but I am not naturally like that. I will never deny my right to be angry.
No matter my emotion, it is never useless. This goes for both my passion and my anger. There is this particular trope of having Black femmes consistently be jolly, strong, and be able to lift the entire world into their hands with a big smile but that’s never the case. We experience shit happen to us that we should never have to experience. We have seen bodies of Black folks posted all over Facebook without trigger warnings. Often, we sometimes have the constant urge to give the fuck up and who can blame us? Many times when we do experience justifiable anger, we are dismissed as bitter. Bonus points if you’re a dark skinned femme, in which you get more heat. I am not “bitter”, but I am passionate or angry. I have every right to be when everyone is giving you shit for expressing your feelings in ways they assume is too ~assertive~. Our emotions are valid. My emotions are valid. Stop dismissing them because I don’t act or look a certain way.
I have given up on explaining this to people. Instead, I wrote this as a way to compile the thoughts I have had for a while. In life, there will always be people that don’t understand you. That doesn’t make you a bad person, that just means like everyone else on this earth, you are a complex individual.
Then there is the issue of people not trying to understand your feelings and why you feel them in a certain way. I have BPD, so sometimes I do go into severe rage. But does that mean I didn’t have a right to be angry? Does this automatically mean my passionate moments are now angry moments?
Stop mistaking my passion for anger. And if I am angry, affirm it and help me. I deserve to not be happy all the time.