To be Black, Lesbian and Silenced


Sometimes people’s perception of you will show up places you weren’t invited. Being an African American lesbian with locks, college educated and married, I’ve been put in boxes I’ve had to climb out of like: dyke, stud, making assumptions about what I smoke, my attire, and the list continues. It’s frustrating to say the least.

Being Black, I’m quick to speak up when I feel something is unjust, I’m conscious and aware. White folks get tired of Black people talking about race and it’s because you fail to address it’s ongoing work in day to day life operations to the profitable system that it is today. The deconstruction of the Black family, mass incarceration, culturally appropriating (or “columbusing“), etc…

Being a Lesbian, people demean my sexual orientation by calling it a choice or lifestyle. And as a wise woman once said, don’t label my love as the weakest condom known to man. I grew up in an African Methodist Episcopal church. I can recite the Apostles Creed faster than you can say faggot. It’s ingrained in me, it’s apart of who I am. Also, it doesn’t fully accept me. Some people in my family refuse to understand why I haven’t returned to my home church. It’s not because I’m ashamed to bring my wife, the woman I love into a place I grew up it’s because of the current leadership. I refuse to sit and receive the word from the lips of a misogynist and homophobic man. Cousins, aunts and family friends think it’s funny when I say that, tell me to come on the 4th Sunday because they need me. What they fail to realize is although his behavior is amusing to you, you are ingesting the messages he preaches and your beliefs may align with his. Cognitive dissonance still works people and I intend on listening to mine.

I believe in intersectionality. These systems do not work alone but together. If you’re still sleep, hopefully this poem will wake you up. Here’s Janae Johnson- Black Butch Woman.



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