Back in October Vanessa Haye, founder of Femelanin, emailed me the following message “I haven’t been able to get you out of my mind since I saw you perform at the fertility fest… I would love you to do the same for a fertility event I am hosting for black women on Friday 1st November. There is a panel of black women also talking about their own experiences within different aspects of fertility is surrogacy , endo, baby loss etc… and I would love for you to touch on childlessness….” Well how could I say No??? It was the first event that Vanessa had organised/ hosted where she wanted to create this space for black women to share their fertility journey’s. As you all know I am exploring/ talking about why black women/ women of colour do not talk about our problems so the opportunity to be part of a forum dedicated to black women was one that I did not want to miss.
Not only did I get to present the piece I had performed for Fertility Fight club back in April during Fertility Fest at the Barbican but I got to be the other black woman in the room and talk from a place of a common experience and understanding. An aspect of sharing our experiences as black women is that we usually find ourselves having to explain, defend or even water down (if we are able to talk at all) who we are so that white people are comfortable around us. I have been very fortunate in the sense that I have been having some really open conversations with white women who are willing to explore them own ‘stuff’ to hear mine but am painfully aware that we are not all this lucky. In fact there are times that I wonder if I am going too far with what I plan to say (in those white forums) so The F Word was a very different experience for me. On this occasion I got to be with women who already knew where I was coming from, our cultural backgrounds forming a common understanding with no apology needed – a place I never imaged I would ever be in.
All I can say is a big thank you to Vanessa for thinking of me and inviting me to be a part of this wonderful event.