I understand a little bit how a LGBTQ person must feel during the time before they come out of the closet for being lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or queer. It took me more than a decade of living in New Zealand, confused by the reaction of white women towards me, before I clicked that I could be a black woman in a white skin. I have been to white women business networking events and came away time and time again unable to connect with anyone. My last effort at white woman friendship lasted only until the second meal we shared before the polite professional assertive responses stepped in. Black women have treated me with much openness and respect, but as soon as I think that I could belong with them, they then come out with reactions implying that, This is meant for black women only. Amongst Māori women, when I do a poor karanga (welcoming call by a woman) it is because I am white and when I do a strong karanga I am reminded that I am white. I have had three very dear Indian women friends but when our working relationship ended, so did the rest of it. With Asian women, I made a few connections through facilitating English conversation classes; nothing in particular came from that. I have all the same needs for acceptance and recognition as any other woman; however, I am not a needy woman. This is why a white South African woman friend said to me one day, You never need me! As the saying goes, A friend in need is a friend indeed, so I have helped many down trodden women; however, as it happens, my women friends are those I pay for their support through consultations. My best friend is a white professional woman in Namibia, a close relationship since we were six years old. In New Zealand, I have one very good black woman friend, and though we do not see each other enough, when we do catch up, we talk about anything from motherhood, 'wifehood' and business to politics. I also now belong to World Organics™ - a market place for women of all sorts – with a Māori woman, a single mother, as my sponsor.
|SUSANNA SUSARA KRUGER||
Author, Speaker, Educator & Entrepreneur