By Kate MaxwellRace wasn’t discussed at home which on the one hand seems wonderful and idyllic, on the other, I never really understood who I was, what made me different and powerful. How my lived experience would be different from that of my peers. It meant I didn’t have the fire in my belly to promote change and inclusion. Until now that is!
My identity has always been stuck in-between the ends of different spectrums. I am bisexual, femme, and mixed race. The way I present myself as a queer multiracial woman has never really been accepted in the communities I'm part of. Never queer enough, never light enough, never dark enough, never masculine enough to fit the stereotype of women who love women.
Everyone with Crohns Disease has a story to tell. For me, it had a fairly tight grip until I was 30 and was a very private illness. I’m a woman, and however wrong it may have been, it made me feel less feminine to discuss the symptoms. Everything took planning, even facing a plate of food. I was conflicted by hunger and fear. The potential for pain and embarrassment in getting it wrong was too great not to consider.
I moved away from Italy to avoid fitting in a stereotypical patriarchal box that was built around me by the Church and the fear of men losing their power. The fear of the foreigner, xenophobia towards different mindsets, fat ladies, non-binary genders and minorities empowerment.⠀
Working in a high-paid industry, I am fully aware that I will likely be the main ‘breadwinner’ of my household, even though I am not a man. And that’s fine. I think more women need to be comfortable with the fact that it is ok. We're nearly in 2020, and I feel like following traditional gender roles only puts a restraint over potential.
I am a lawyer, a corporate lawyer to be exact. One of those high heeled, tight skirted, ironed bloused, tight-lipped woman, who spends her days sipping diet coke in her glass-paned office overlooking the city. I smile at the older white men I am largely surrounded by and let them ask me if I have a boyfriend. I shave every inch of my body and dutifully apply red lipstick when we attend cocktail events. Right?