But if I were just to share a story about how someone cut in front of me in line or cut me off while driving, there might be no reason to explain the specifics of why I’m frustrated.
Nor does my partner ask about that person’s intentions.
However, that doesn’t change the reality that my feelings are hurt and that I’m expressing those hurt feelings to my partner.
When we bring in dimensions of race or gender to these stories, it’s like suddenly pinning the reason on racism or sexism makes us seem “unreasonable” or “playing the race card.” This shouldn’t be the case.
As a queer woman of color, talking about racism and sexism with my partner, who is a white man, is still difficult.
And of course, my partner is one of the first people I want to tell.
Mentioning specific identities of race and gender are important to me in retelling these experiences, as they tie into a dynamic of racism and sexism playing out.
I have challenging, critical, and deep conversations with other women of color across multiple perspectives – and that’s fulfilling for me.
While we all want different things out of our partnerships, for me personally, I’ve found that my partner can’t be my only space for processing.