You are not Beyoncé, and you do not get to claim either Beyness or H-Town. There is a clear line between appreciation and appropriation.
I need some of you to cut it the hell out. Maybe, for some of you, it’s a presumed mutual appreciation for Beyoncé and lace-fronts that has you thinking that I’m going to be amused by you approaching me in your best “Sasha Fierce” voice. But, I’m gonna need you to stop and bow down, bitches.
Let me explain.
Black people can’t have everything. Neither can gays. Everything already belongs to Beyoncé. All of these things include, but aren’t limited to, fierceness, sass, sophistication, Kelly Rowland, the House of Deréon, and 63.27% of all future royalties from Michelle Williams should Beyoncé ever decide to let her record a pop album again.
Some of you think you are Beyoncé at the club, but you are not. You attempt to sing like her at karaoke. You appropriate her lyrics into everyday, casual conversation as if they were you own. You constantly claim you are drunk in love when you’re really just drunk (and a mess). And, you break out into a choreographed dance with your friends anytime “your song” drops. Bitch, that is not your song. That song belongs to Beyoncé. We all belong to Beyoncé. You need to stop. I’m talking to both of you – White gays and Black women. Beyoncé has stolen from both your cultures. Do not try to steal that culture back.
And then, when you thought this pillaging couldn’t get any worse, extracurricular Beyoncé activities get snatched up, too: her music, her dances, her slang, her clothing, her hairstyles. Do you even know how much just one of Beyoncé’s full-set weaves cost? $145,000. So, stop. You can’t. You cannot be Beyoncé.
But here’s the shade — the non-Beyoncé people who get to enjoy all of the fun things about Beyoncé will never have to experience the ugliness of the Beyoncé experience: systemic stalking, publicity demands, sleeping with Jay-Z, keeping your entire album (with videos!) a secret until you drop it at 2:00am on Instagram. Oh, and the constant requests from former bandmates pressuring you for a Destiny’s Child reunion tour.
Ask yourself this: as a human who has transitioned from single lady to married woman, is it right for Beyoncé to continue to appropriate single culture in the lyrics of her hit songs? Yes…because she is Beyoncé.
Now, tell yourself this. Repeat it twice:
You are not Beyoncé.
You are not Beyoncé.
It’s not entirely the fault of White gay men or Black women. It’s not as if you can help being born basic in America, any more than Beyoncé can help being born Beyoncé in America.
But, to claim that you’re Beyoncé just for the sake of popularity, and to say that the things allowed her or the things enjoyed by her are done better by you…well, that isn’t cute or funny. First of all, it’s aggravating as hell. Second, it’s damaging and perpetuating of the stereotype of how basic you are.
So, you aren’t Beyoncé, or Sasha Fierce, or even out that H-Town. Bitch, you ain’t even Hannah Montana. It’s okay. You don’t have to be. No one asked you to be. You weren’t ever meant to be. What you can be, however, is part of the solution.
Check your privilege. Know that your personal privilege allows you to live in the shadow of Beyoncé. Appreciate that, and try to strengthen the appreciation of Beyoncé by people around you.
This is (clearly) a parody of a flurry of back-and-forth posts this past week in multiple publications on privilege and community. The original article in the series was a student OpEd by Sierra Mannie republished last week by ‘Time’. That publications sparked at least a dozen more. The Brightest Young Gays are collective of BYT contributors composing a multi-ethnic, multi-gendered team. They are many things, but they do not pretend to be Beyoncé, and neither should you. You can also follow the @BYGays on Twitter.