Jonesing to Be Seen

Love Jones was recently added to Netflix 90’s cinema and I’ve watched it at least four times already. It’s my wife’s favorite movie, and now, one of mine.

I’ve missed 90’s black cinema, and Love Jones gave me the fix I needed. I wanted to continue to ride the nostalgic wave that gave me a high while journeying down that 90’s road.

We watched The Best Man and The Best Man Holiday. Eventually, we’ll get to Love & Basketball, Waiting to Exhale, and so many more. I don’t care which order they’re in, as long as we save my favorite for last; Brown Sugar.

Black love stories and rom-coms have been a staple to my life. I often imagined myself in those films.

I always thought I would meet my forever love in a record store or an art gallery. We would both be artist and love the same music no matter the genre.

I inserted myself in those movies because the women looked like me. They were desired and loved, not fetishized. I wanted that so badly growing up, along with a beautiful Brooklyn brownstone and a writing career.

Now I get to relive those moments. Issa Rae’s Insecure has been filling me up with the girlfriends I wish I had, picking up where the show Girlfriends left off. Issa Rae will also bless us on February 14th with a love story, The Photograph.

We will also be blessed with Lena Waithe and Melina Matsoukas’ Queen & Slim November 27th. Though Queen & Slim is considered a drama/thriller, I can’t wait to see black folks loving on each other for the world to see. I stan for that type of sh*t.

I’m going to love these films because I get to see women who look like me again, however they don’t represent me or my love story.

What I’m really Jonesing for is to be seen for who I am on the big screen.

Black folks collectively gather in celebration to finally see ourselves in TV and film without the other’s interpretation and misconception of us. My blackness allows me to celebrate be proud but my gayness is silenced.

As much as I want to be Sid Shaw (Sanaa Lathan) in Brown Sugar, my boo ain’t no Dré (Taye Diggs). My boo is a black woman who is also giddy at the thought of black love stories. But, we’re not as giddy as we would be if the black intellectuals who met at poetry night or in the park watching Slick Rick, Doug E Fresh and Dana Dana rap battle, were two women.

The fight to be seen, heard and understood is a collective fight for black folks, but as a black woman, I’ve recognized how we show up for black men, gay and straight, and black trans women while black lesbians wait in the wings for our cue that feels nonexistent.

I’m jonesing to be seen. See me.