OUR PORTABLE LIFE: WHEN PERSONAL PREFERENCE BECOMES DISCRIMINATORY IN HOUSING (IN THE BAY AREA & POSSIBLY BEYOND)

A couple of weeks ago, I was denied a room, AGAIN, in a POC, Queer home in Oakland by a lease holding, white, sex positive, feminist, who has no idea of the impact of her decision on me, nor my daughter, or the countless families that resemble my hue-story. I am out here navigating all types of shit with an 8 year old. My job aside from being pissed off is to soften the blow on us. To not be upset to the point where I feel like giving up. If you know me, you know I have talked about leaving Oakland bc sometimes it just gets to feel like too much, but my daughter is like, “Nah, I like it here.”

I like it too… but there are definitely some drawbacks. This post isn’t for everyone though. I have met some down folks who have offered their space with no to little qualms. & I appreciate their generosity... But at the end, the beginning, & in the middle of the day, I just wish people weren’t so insensitive to parents. 

I had different expectations for Oakland. I didn’t think it would be so hard to find housing; I didn’t think that people would be so oppose to living with ONE child; I also thought that this was a community oriented place where people understood the importance of living in multigenerational, multicultural homes. I understand the importance of living in spaces that are POC identified, or specifically for Queer folks. I don’t understand the need to push good people out because they are younger or older. At best, it’s selfish & it doesn’t help to make the world a better place. 

With folks who are looking for housemates, I have seen them be sooooo particular on how they want their space to be & it has been a sad journey to witness this lack of personal freedom for others. I have the right to exist as a mother & so does my child. Folks shying away from housing me & my child, & witnessing other parents face the same sort of thing, is counterintuitive to the revolutions the pro-black, conscious, community seems to want.

When you deny a child, you deny your inner child, which means you deny the divine, ancestry, & community. I thought that living here amongst African & First Nation people, we would understand that. I thought with white people appropriating our culture, they would understand that. But, folks are more theoretical, than committed. 

One day you will be old & you will need someone who is a child right now to take care of you. 

The energy of individualism has made people who cannot afford your insincerity a real struggle. All acts of discrimination stem from personal preference. I am not saying that all accounts of personal preference is bad, but I am saying that personal preference usually has a lack of vision of expansion. Personal preference often leaves people alone, in their own self-made cults, & it leaves other good people out. Me having a child shouldn’t be a thing. I am grown. I am supposed to have a child. If you are building a home, a community home at that, there should be children. It is natural. It is radical. Me, being a single mom shouldn't still be a thing. I thought we understood that the black community is under attack. Zi's sperm donor is in prison. I didn't create that, nor am I fighting this alone... 

My mood when folks are like, sorry we don't want kids in our home. They cute, but nah... 

My mood when folks are like, sorry we don't want kids in our home. They cute, but nah... 

Let’s teach the babies acceptance, love, appreciation, family through actual application. Sometimes I feel like I don’t get it. We are all buying into individualism now through personal preference & calling it self-love, or I know what I want bullshit. Recognize your non parental privilege before you say no to a mama & her child. I don’t want to call you a selfish bastard, but… The excuses I have heard are ridiculous. I appreciate the honesty, though. Y’all have a lot of internal work to do, for sure. If you cannot show up for the children. You cannot show up for the betterment of this society. It’s simple. We need the children. We need the elders. We need everyone in between to understand this.

My focus is vibrating higher, communing with folks who get it, & voicing it to those who don't. I am not gonna take it lying down.

-Mama Juju