Me Too founder Tarana Burke tells Rihanna her biggest failure was not supporting her non-binary child
Tarana Burke has told Rihanna that her biggest failure in life was not supporting her non-binary child when they came out to her.
Burke, a civil rights activist, community organiser and founder of the #MeToo movement, made the confession in an interview for a special issue of Dazed magazine co-curated by Rihanna.
Asked what her biggest failure in life is, Burke said that it was when she “did not respond well” to her daughter coming out to her as a young teenager.
“My daughter is queer and non-binary, and when they first came out to me at 12 or 13, I did not respond well,” Burke, who is the executive director of the Me Too Organisation, said.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, and I’ve apologised, but when I think about it now I still cringe. I was struggling at the time in my relationship with religion, and I let outside people influence my attitude to my child.
“I don’t have any shame in that – a lot of us come to understand things better, and fight for them and defend them, when we have a personal connection. So I’m grateful.
“All lives really do matter! All Black lives, all queer lives, all trans lives. How could I stand up and advocate for people’s survival if I couldn’t stand up for every kind of survivor? I told y’all, I love my baby!”
Tarana Burke, who helped kickstart a global conversation about sexual assault, also credited her child as being her biggest “personal or professional success”.
When she got pregnant at 23, a lot of people told her “you’re too young to have a child”. One person, Burke said, gave her an incredible piece of advice.
“They said: ‘The best thing you can do for the future of the Black community is to raise a Black child in the way that you would like to see the world look. That’s the best thing you can do for the world.’ And I’ve done that!”