Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sorry Michael, apparently it DOES matter if you're black or white...

First off, I’ll explain the whole “grey” thing. I am, for all intents and purposes, black. White people call me “African-American” and are always careful not to tell certain jokes around me, I would probably fail the pencil test, and I have the requisite “cousins” who live in the projects and/or are in jail. That being said, I’m not “black-black” as they say. As you can glean from my URL photo, I’m on the lighter end of the complexion spectrum, I have what Chris Rock calls “good hair,” and I, as a result of my extensive and expensive education (which was paid for in scholarships and subsidized loans), speak very proper English, complete with the bells and whistles of a considerable vocabulary.

If you’re already offended by the insinuations I have made, let me stop you for a moment. These are not my ideas, not my values, and not my beliefs. My label of myself as “grey” has come from more than two decades of black people questioning my identity, and a profound confusion over the question “what are you?” (I’m not going to go into detail about this now—I’ll get there eventually, weeks or months from now, perhaps.) In an age of pan-cultural identity, one would think that such questions would be obsolete, but as sure as Obama is to some “not really black” I too have often been denied membership to “the club.” So, I abandoned this ship of ethnic dichotomy, and set sail for more fitting lands. Rather than continue to entertain what I considered to be thoroughly insulting inquisitions into my origins, I decided to leave the black and white world behind, and hang out in the grey space, where queer minorities so often find themselves anyway. I hope you’ll join me here, and take comfort in the fact that, whatever you are, you are welcome.

When I fill out a demographic survey, which box do I check? “Other.” They don’t have a “grey” box yet; I’m working on it.

And yes, I am aware of the British spelling of "grey"--I think it's cuter; and who doesn't love a British accent anyway ;-)

Peace and love and bugs named Doug,


  1. Now you have me feeling less than brown, what is the pencil test?

  2. Hey! I didn't see this! Haha! It's a test they used to do to determine if you were white enough. You put your hair in a ponytail, and they stick a pencil in between the scrunchy and your scalp. If the pencil falls out, your hair is silky enough and you're white. If it doesn't, you're too black! Your skin, of course, would have to be light enough as well.

    Thanks for reading!