VOICES: We face racism in queer spaces and homophobia in Black spaces

Navigating life as a Black queer woman means facing unique challenges due to our race and sexual orientation. We balance on the tightrope of dual marginalization — racism from society and homophobia within our communities. These intersecting identities complicate our struggles but also enhance our strength and resilience. That’s why Pride Month is so significant for us.

Being Black and queer means embracing both identities fully. Yet, our experiences are often overlooked, even within the LGBTQ+ community, which has historically centered white, cisgender narratives. This erasure diminishes our struggles and triumphs. We face racism in queer spaces and homophobia in Black spaces, often feeling we belong nowhere.

Health disparities are alarming. We are more susceptible to HIV/AIDS due to systemic barriers to quality healthcare. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are prevalent as we navigate a hostile world. Economic inequality adds another layer of challenge, with higher unemployment rates and increased poverty. Discrimination follows us into the workplace, with harassment and unequal opportunities for advancement. Black trans sisters face even harsher economic injustices, including unemployment and homelessness.

Violence is a constant threat, especially for Black trans women who are targeted at alarming rates. Hate crimes, police brutality, and domestic violence are daily realities. The intersection of racism and transphobia makes Black trans women particularly vulnerable, often with fatal consequences. Society has to stop ignoring this crisis.

Pride Month is more than a celebration; it’s a lifeline. It allows us to honor Black queer pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Bayard Rustin, who laid the groundwork for civil rights and LGBTQ+ movements. Remembering their contributions fights the erasure of Black queer narratives.

Pride Month also provides visibility and connection, amplifying our voices and advocating for our rights. Visibility challenges misconceptions and fosters understanding, showing the world we are here to stay.

Supporting spaces and events highlighting the Black LGBTQ+ community is crucial. Spaces like the Dayton Black Pride festival is vital. They offer a sanctuary where we can be unapologetically ourselves, foster connections, and advocate for our rights, celebrating our strength, resilience, and multifaceted identities. Sometimes, we just want to let our hair down and do ratchet things with our people.

Dayton Black Pride allows us to escape daily marginalization, honoring both our Blackness and queerness. This sense of belonging is essential for our mental and emotional well-being. It’s a space to exhale, among people who understand our experiences.

These events ensure our stories are seen, combating the erasure within broader LGBTQ+ and societal contexts. Seeing other Black queer people thriving affirms our existence and our right to occupy space proudly.

Community is the backbone of resilience. Dayton Black Pride fosters solidarity and mutual support, essential for our empowerment. It’s a place to network, share resources, eat good food, and build lifelong connections, extending beyond Pride Month for ongoing support.

Spaces like Dayton Black Pride are indispensable for the Black queer community. They nurture us and fuel our fight for equality and recognition. Supporting and celebrating these spaces is not just about survival; it’s about thriving, finding joy, and asserting our rightful place in the world. Dayton Black Pride embodies our resilience, unity, and unwavering commitment to living fully and authentically.

Dr. Chrisondra Goodwine is the founder of Dayton Black Pride and a Dayton Public School Board Member.


WHAT: Black Pride Dayton

WHERE: McIntosh Park, Dayton, Ohio

WHEN: Saturday, Aug. 4

Learn more: www.daytonblackpride.org

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