Queer Black Feminist: That's Who I Am and I Make No Apologizes About It
I remember when I was in high school and I was at a best friend’s house. We were both about fourteen at the time and we both had recently come out to our family and friends. We were in her living room eating a traditional Ghana meal her mom had prepared. While eating her dad came in with a stern look on his face and says” I want to talk to you guys.” He then looked at both of us and said “I want you to know how difficult life will be as you get older.” He paused and then said “you two will face a lot of discrimination as you get older. Not only are you women but you are Black and gay.”
This did not mean much to my fourteen year old self. It wouldn’t be until I attended an all women's liberal arts college that I began to understand. It was there I found my identity and my voice. It was there that I took a class on Black Feminism and first heard the term “Queer Black Feminist.” It was in that class that I learned that intersectionality is not simply several layers of oppression. To understand misogynoir, one cannot simply combine a list of oppressions faced by Blacks and then a list of oppressions faced by woman. Intersectionality means that as a queer Black woman I face oppression that is a result of a white supremacist, capitalist, heteronormative and patriarchal society.
These mechanisms combined tend to make society a very hostile environment for a queer black woman. I am hyper-sexualized by society and simultaneously demonized by society. White men seek to slept us because they never been with a Black woman and heard we were “freaky” and “down for anything”. We are called thots, sluts, and hoes. As a queer Black woman, I am stereotyped to always want threesomes. I am expected to want sex. The media perpetuates this. Google the term “lesbian” you will be flooded with images and links to white women. Then google “black lesbian.” The results are much more explicitly sexual. I mean the only reason Black women are queer is for the pleasure of men, right?
This extends to all men. As a queer Black woman, I am often challenged with the notion that “I just haven’t found the right guy yet” or that “their dick will magically make me straight”.
As a queer Black woman, I am not as valued as a White woman. This is why I cannot identify with mainstream feminism. I am a Queer Black Feminist and makes no apologies about it.