Me Myself and I
By Kelechi Chioba
Derby City Life Links Volunteer
In line with the celebration of Black History Month, the theme for this year is PROUD TO BE BLACK (ME).
As a black, disabled, bisexual woman I am super proud to be me, though society wants me to think otherwise. I was born with poliomyelitis in Nigeria. Coming from a political family, it was a stain to their reputation. I endured abuse from my family, colleagues at work, and was labelled a curse and cross. I persevered with my smiles, ignoring the damage that was behind my eyes.
Escaping my perpetrators by coming to the UK was the best thing that has happened to me. You can call it crazy, stupid with my disability but I call it BRAVENESS.
Yet still I was stigmatised by society, who labelled me an outsider instead of valuing what I can accomplish. Realisation of diversities is a talent I possess, to achieve goals despite the challenges that are in front of me.
Coming to the black community, I’m judged for being fat, saying no man can find me attractive.
Judged as a bisexual stating that ‘Queer’ is a white man’s diseases.
Judged as disabled stating I’m a curse from the gods.
Our lifestyle is expected to follow a specific norm set by traditions and culture found in the community. These challenges can lead to low self-esteem, depression, social isolation, self harm and suicide attempts. Being alive and strong and believing in who I am proves society wrong. As Ru Paul said ‘No matter who or what you are, you have a place in this world’, and I can contribute to this world.
Activism has been my bedrock in creating change. Being a part of the BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) group in Derby City Life Links, has given me the platform to achieve this. My advice to others is this: In as much we cannot see a massive change, believe that little droplets of water can make an ocean. Accept who you are and what you are because you have place in this world. My advice to society is to give us one moment in time.