Black Bisexual Woman Shows #ThisIsLuv

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The campaign, The “This Is Luv” (#ThisIsLuv) campaign is a multi-media campaign highlighting affirming LGBT love in the black communities and their families. Crystal Fleming, who also writes for the Huffington Post, has a heart-felt post and shares her story for ThisIsLuv.

The campaign, on Tumblr, unites GLAAD along with You Belong co-founders, former NFL player Wade Davis and writer Darnell L. Moore, along with the National Black Justice Coalition, Politini Media, Feministing.com, HRC Foundation (HRCF) and EBONY.com. It mixes celebs, advocates, and regular folk and their families countering the narrative that the African-American community is generally homophobic.

 Wade Davis says: “Too many people within the Black LGBT community believe this myth and never allow themselves to be loved by their families. Our goal is make it known that love for Black LGBT people exists in our community.”

Crystal Fleming is a noted writer who told her story this week on the Huffington Post site. Become a fan of this writer and sociologist, if you like her story.

When I first realized that I found both boys and girls attractive, I didn’t have the language to describe my sexuality. On the playground, the word “gay” was thrown around as an insult — one that I also ruthlessly hurled at other kids. But “bisexual”? That was not a part of our lexicon. As a pre-teen, I remember scribbling on the pink pages of my journal an ominous question: “Am I gay?”

It didn’t matter that I fell in love with boys, too. As far as I knew, my crushes on girls were an indication that I was broken. Growing up in a conservative, black Pentecostal church, meant that I — and most of my family — had been taught for generations to believe that heaven was strictly reserved for straight people. I felt terrified of my same sex attractions, tried to suppress them and focused my attentions on the handsome boys I met at church.

I didn’t learn that bisexuality was an actual identity until well into my college years. By this time, I was in a long term relationship with a man. While I told him of my attraction to women, I was too afraid to share my secret with most of the other people in my life. I had no openly bisexual role models of any color to look up to. I didn’t know anything about June Jordan, the gorgeously talented African-American writer who also happened to be openly and proudly bisexual. And while I was a millennial growing up with the internet, there was no Web 2.0 in my youth that could instantly connect me to other queer and bisexual people of color.

I hope #ThisIsLuv can highlight acceptance of LGBT folk in black communities without glossing over significant tensions, homophobia and biphobia. Black bisexual women are often misunderstood, excluded or fetishized. Black bisexual men, on the other hand, are routinely vilified. Who expresses love and support for our black bisexual brothers? Bisexuals comprise over half of LGB-identified people in the United States, yet we are routinely rendered invisible and marginalized. The erasure of bisexual people is particularly problematic for African-Americans, who already face the strain of racism. Bi black people exist at the intersections of many forms of oppression, and this difficult positionality makes it complicated for us to find love. We not only have to deal with homophobia in our families — we also have to navigate biphobia among black gays and lesbians — while dealing with racism in the broader LGBT “community.” There is also the reality that most “LGBT” spaces are actually not for us. Very often, they are implicitly white centered and/or mostly geared toward gays and lesbians.

On top of this, bi black women have to deal with sexism and hetero-patriarchy.

Read Crystal Fleming’s entire post by clicking here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/crystal-fleming/thisisluv-a-black-bisexua_b_6752374.html

Mike Szymanski
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Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]