I was raised by my parents to be visibly black and raised myself to be a visible woman. It took me years to stand firmly at the intersection of blackness and womanhood, a collage of my lived experiences, media, pop culture, and art. I had come to blackness through Clair Huxtable’s swift didactic monologues in reruns of The Cosby Show; through the anger I felt when I was prettily invisible in clubs in New York’s Meatpacking District, where guys looked through me in search of white girls; through the uh-oh dance in Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’; through the sounds of bottle-popping douches who called me ‘exotic’ and said ‘You’re really pretty for a black girl!’ and ‘I’m usually not attracted to black women’; through the revolutionary words of Audre Lorde; through the vision of Michelle Obama’s fist bump; through the consensus of the black-girl interns who said I was different because ‘You’re the right amount of black,’ the kind white woman editors aren’t intimidated to work with; through the raw brilliance of This Bridge Called My Back; through the beauty of Marsha P. Johnson’s flowers, smile, and S.T.A.R.
—Janet Mock, Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, identity, Love & So Much More (Pg. 248-249)