Yazz
Written by
Jade Anouka
Story by
Yazz James
Performed by
Jade Anouka

Yazz

Yazz is black. Yazz is queer. Yazz is stuck at home with a family that don’t get what it’s like to be a QPOC. During one of the loneliest years how do we stay connected with the people that understand us? This story explores being surrounded by people but feeling alone, and how we hold on to those who mean the most to us.

Story
Audio description – performed by Kayla Meikle
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Transcript
Story transcript

QPOC
They are the ones who see me
At home you think I’m quiet
You’d call me reserved
Shy even
But I am not comfortable talking to you about all of me
That’s why I find home with those that identify as QPOC

Mum said she’s cool with it
Wants to talk about it
But I wouldn’t talk to her about it even if I was straight
I love my fam
Get on with them but on the surface only
Because skin deep
They are straight and white-passing
And I’m a different kinda hue
Unapologetic

This summer I was stuck at home
With a family that don’t understand.
Protests on the street
An uprising from the youth
But my mum and stepdad made it clear
That at home
We wouldn’t discuss the truth
Black bodies kept being murdered
By white police who were not being held accountable
My mind drooped under the weight
I couldn’t alleviate the pressure
Conversation with my family
Was so minimal
White
And straight

In the real world it seemed people were finally listening
And engaging
But still the effort to protect white people
Further isolated me
I would wander the empty streets desperate for connection
While relishing the space

A moment of respite from lockdown meant I could get out of the box I was trapped in
I made it back to Brighton
The first place I’ve felt comfortable in
The only place I’ve called home
-But even here Pride was cancelled this year-

I am drawn to Brightons laid-back attitude and swell of creativity.
At my ‘home’ I couldn’t speak so I wrote and wrote and wrote
Journals filled with thoughts I would not say
The worries I suppressed
Questions I could not ask
And desires I dare not utter.
Those writings came with me to Brighton.
Home.

If I felt this, others would too.

Tired of being in mostly white
And mostly straight environments since birth
So last summer I decided to create space
A space I felt safe in
Without the fear of being the ‘troublemaking person of colour’
I wanted to help how I had wanted to be helped
I set up the ‘Queer BAME student drop in’
Online of course
It was here that I found my people.
My queer people of colour
My mood lifted.
I could express the anger, frustration, upset and joy to people
And with people
That listened, that understood.
My previously scarce feelings of optimism bloomed
Finally I had found my people
This last summer has been hard but the joy I have found in feeling found.
In feeling connected
In feeling included has been invigorating

There’s something about this last year and all that we have dealt with alone that has made me look inside myself
At myself
Who am I?
At home, when I am truly home, I am just me.
The boxes disappear
You may look at me and refer to me as ‘Her’
But what makes me that?
Who decided my fate?
Who chooses what a women is meant to be?
And as we have had the time to isolate from society a bit
Separate from the outside world
I realise that it is all performative
I guess I knew it before but now I feel it
It’s not a binary thing
I have now found the confidence to say
That my pronouns are she/they