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Manifestations of black love are becoming increasingly popular.
Movies, TV shows, songs, and other media have brought black couples to the forefront, highlighting the trials and tribulations of successful relationships. However, black LGBT + are constantly left out of the story. Excluding stories of passion, acceptance and perseverance, romantic stories of same-sex couples avoid not only the media but also the inside.
As an openly bisexual woman, Deidre Smith felt the burden of living her truth. Now she is helping others find the light and courage to be able to live out loud. Seeing love from different perspectives, the amount of black love is constantly growing.
“For me, as a bisexual woman, the scope is wide. I see different shades, different sexual identities, gender identities, different statures, different classes. I see such an array, and I think mine, which could be considered a flaw for me, actually gave me an advantage in how I see the world, how it relates to love, ”Smith said.
As an advocate for community and crisis intervention, and a program coordinator for women to women for LGBT Detroit, a nonprofit organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, Smith acts as a social worker, helping to orient and identify resources for LBT. and helps amplify the voices of black and brown faces of the female experience. In each position, Smith witnessed the success and pitfalls of how Black LBGT + love is reflected.
“Unfortunately, this is still a very taboo topic when we raise the issue of individuals identified with LGBTQIA, and how they perceive life and how they perceive it. Especially in love, when we think about love, unfortunately, we tend to think about sex the most, ”Smith said. “Even in heteronormative situations, the topic of sex is taboo. So then, to take an LGBT identity and put it on top of an already taboo topic, and then combine that with the black experience, which in itself is very nuanced, you can understand why people tend to shy away from that topic. the love of blacks, especially the black love of LGBTQ ”.
Although the world is evolving, the LBGTQIA + community seems to have been not only excluded from society, but in particular from the black community. Only by finding recognition in their community do those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or queer constantly believe that their stories are non-existent or overly sexualized. However, this does not prevent them from expressing love and defining it in their own way.
“I learned very early to express my truth, and I learned that it can rip off some feathers. As for sexuality, I couldn’t hide those parts of myself that made me happiest, ”Smith said.
Historically, African Americans are tied to faith and religion. The Christian church has clearly stated its position; there is virtually no place to express love other than the love of man and woman. The main catalyst for the belief system for African Americans in general was homosexuality, which was almost banned in the church. The persistent eradication for some has forced members of the LGBT + community to seek answers from higher powers more directly and intimately. Faced with decisions and awareness of religion, love and sexuality, black LGBT + are at a crossroads.
“I think in many ways it can be restrictive, and that’s only because there’s a fear that has been instilled in us that said you go to hell if you’re signed to this particular religion. Even outside, people who don’t subscribe to it, they believe there are some consequences or curses for those who identify this path, ”Smith said.
The concept of black love is sacred, but if it does not include, how can it be representative of all forms? Clamped in the closet, despite the exit, LGBT + relationships are less noticeable for some. Although many express and spread the same love and worship as heterosexual relationships, it leaves little room for black gays, bi, trans or lesbians.
To create a new narrative, Smith believes that celebrating all forms of black love is necessary to put an end to stigma.
“Take a picture, take a picture when you see the CCP. Put us on TV, put us on the radio. We were there anyway. We’re still there. Let’s go ahead and sing words of praise and worship because God still had us. Why can’t we say “amen” and “thank you, Jesus,” Smith said.