Black. Womxn. Lesbian. Queer.
Maybe you’re wondering, “How’d she come up with that name? It just seems too long or just a bunch of words used as click bait.” Well, you’d be right! And it worked, didn’t it? You’re here and you’re reading. But wait, before you go, there’s more! There’s more to why I chose those words. Importantly, they describe who I am. I am Black. I am a Womxn. I am a Lesbian. And I am Queer. Queer is a name I’ve only recently come to accept as describing who I am as a person–a human being. I used to say, “I am not a lesbian!” And I meant it. I said this because I didn’t want to be placed inside of a box and limited by what society defined as a lesbian. I was more than that, I said to myself. More importantly, I was a Black Womxn! I couldn’t walk into a room and hide that. To be perfectly honest, for a long while, I held the belief that lesbian belonged to white womxn. Was there space for me here, I wondered. In my world, I didn’t see much representation of Black lesbian womxn. Then, there was also the fact that growing up, lesbian was that no-no taboo word that you didn’t even say out loud.
Over time I’ve come to find power in the word lesbian. I’ve grown to accept the term, and even embrace it. Now, my mindset is–forget what other people think or say. “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde
So, when defining myself, I identify as lesbian, among other qualities. It’s been a journey similar to finding acceptance and comfort in calling myself a writer. It is simply who I am, regardless of what I think other people think about it. So, BAM, I am a lesbian.
Then, BOOM, the millennials are like, ‘we’re Queer!’ To me, Queer is bold and brazen. It’s in your face because there’s really no box for it. As a matter of fact, when I looked it up, I found many definitions for queer: odd, strange, unusual, peculiar, weird, eccentric, unfamiliar, atypical, untypical, different, mysterious, perplexing. It goes on from there, but, you get the picture! I loved it! I felt like it allowed for more freedom. So, for me, it’s been easier to identify as Queer than it had been to be self-describe as lesbian. But, more and more “I am defining myself for myself.” And as it goes, I am Black. I am Womxn. I am Lesbian. I am Queer. #clickbait