By: Thehtxppeopleproject (Bria Lauren & Morganne Nikole)
Before a person can attempt to justify why a woman identifies as a lesbian, it is important to understand that victimization, abuse, rape, and molestation, are not the ONLY determinants of sexuality. As lesbian women, we recognize that traumatic life experiences can, indeed, contribute to how a person chooses to survive within her sexuality, but lesbianism is also a VICTIM-FREE consciousness where love between two women is open, possible, and pure beyond the physical in every way.
Our gayness is not defined by victimization. Our gayness is not defined by the failure of the Black man. Our gayness is not defined by the clothes we choose to wear. Our gayness is not defined by the perverse acts of strange men. And our gayness will not be defined by the tainted perspective of the “straight black male” who believes that our freedom within our sexuality is the result of a “deteriorating social fabric that will do away with itself if the black man takes his rightful place in our communities.”
The straight Black male cannot speak on behalf of us. The Black gay woman can speak on behalf of herself.
We, as gay Black women, write for those voices that have been taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We write against the men who believe that lesbianism is an alarming “condition” that needs to be placed at the forefront of our community in an effort to condemn the very thing that freedom has taught us to articulate. We are often placed as outliers in our community that challenges harmony and togetherness because our identity falls outside of the status quo. Religion is often used as a weapon to condition us into believing that loving freely will result in condemnation. Yet, we stand for all Black lives- men, women, and children- while hoping that the entire Black Lives Matter movement does not forget that LGBT lives matter, too. We advocate for unity, unconditional love, empowerment, support and acceptance while constantly having to fight against the alienation against our own people that act as enemies rather than allies.
We do not need the Black straight man to dissect our forms of femininity and elect themselves to save us. We are not asking for your salvation. We are not asking that you understand. But when you stand in support of movements that rebel against the oppression of ALL people, please remember that we too deserve to be a part of that ALL.
We will never live in harmony as long as you keep your contradictions awake and eager to destroy us. Don’t you know that we have bigger oppressive issues to fight against? Don’t you understand that brown girls and brown boys are constantly being killed because their melanin is a burden to those that carry White hues? Why must you insist on focusing on the differences within our sameness? Does the Black lesbian face deserve to distract us from the true face of racism/sexism that our culture as a whole will have to fight against until the day we die? We will no longer be the people that have to underline one part of ourselves for the sake of your approval and “protection.” Protecting Black women starts by respecting our bodies. Respecting our voices. Respecting our sexuality. Lesbian or not, please do not forget that the Black woman carries the weight of the world as well.
We are present.
We are not silent.
We are not cursed.
We are not broken.
We are human.
We are proud.
Stop trying to define us. Stop trying to wipe us out. Your fears and homophobia will not dismiss our right to be love and do love….freely.
Bria Lauren and Morganne Nikole are the htxpeopleproject collective that aims to document the day-to-day reality of everyday people regardless of race, gender, sexuality, and class. For more enlightenment, visit www.thepplproject.com