I did not know how much I needed to read this. Everything you said was something I could relate to. It’s so hard in the Western world, because like you said whiteness is the norm. And when something is the norm, it has the sole lock on neutrality—hence the constant gaslighting!
One of the reasons I was so excited about WEOC is because I don’t have a supportive Black community of writers. I started freelancing after writing an article about race and church that was published in an anthology. Most of the professional writers I had direct access to were white women and without realizing it my pitches and ideas were constantly being tone policed (or poached).
Thank you for sharing how you started to break free from the need for white validation.