Black and Bisexual: A Surprisingly Unique Quest

Black and Bisexual: A Surprisingly Unique Quest
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Hello, fellow adventurers! It’s RaeRae here, and today, I want to talk about something deeply personal and profoundly important – my experience as a Black bisexual woman. This journey is not just about my sexuality; it’s about my race, my gender, and the intersection of these identities. It’s about navigating a world that often tries to erase or invalidate my existence. But it’s also about resilience, resistance, and reclaiming my narrative. (Even though, we ought to have a different discussion on resilience and how I’ve grown tired of it – but that’s for another day).

Being queer is a complex, multifaceted experience. It’s about more than just who we love or are attracted to; it’s about challenging norms (whether I want to or not), resisting oppression, and carving out spaces for ourselves in a society that often tries to box us in. But being queer and Black adds another layer of complexity to this experience.

The term ‘queer’ has a long and contentious history. Once used as a derogatory term to marginalize and stigmatize the LGBTQ+ community, it has been reclaimed by many within the community as a term of empowerment and resistance. Today, ‘queer’ is often used as an umbrella term to encompass a wide range of identities and experiences that deviate from heteronormative and cisnormative norms. Let’s also not forget that many of these norms can be found inside of our LGBTQI+ communities. We all exist under capitalism, white supremacy and the patriarchy.

How to be queer… or whatever that means

However, it’s important to note that the queer experience is not monolithic. It’s shaped by a multitude of factors, including race, gender, class, and ability. And for me, as a Black bisexual woman, my queerness is inextricably linked to my Blackness (especially as a darkskin Black woman) and my womanhood.

Being Black and being queer cannot and should not be compared. They are not the same, nor are they interchangeable. They are distinct yet interconnected parts of my identity that shape my experiences and perceptions of the world. And while they both involve experiences of marginalization and resistance, they are not equivalent. Racism is not the same as homophobia or biphobia, and it’s essential to recognize and respect these differences.

Being hypervisible and invisible

As a Black queer woman, I navigate a world that is often hostile to my existence. I face racism that seeks to devalue and dehumanize me because of my Blackness. I face sexism that seeks to oppress and silence me because of my womanhood. The particular type of oppression that Black women face because of their gender and race is called misogynoir. I face ableism that seeks to exclude and marginalize me because of my physical abilities. And I face biphobia and erasure within and outside the LGBTQ+ community that seeks to invalidate my bisexuality.

Bisexual erasure, or the tendency to ignore, deny, or minimize the existence or legitimacy of bisexuality, is a pervasive problem. It’s present in the media. Unfortunately, bisexual characters are often misrepresented or absent altogether. It’s present in society, where bisexuality is often dismissed as a phase or a form of indecisiveness. And it’s even present within the LGBTQ+ community, where bisexual individuals often face discrimination and exclusion. I face a certain type of hypervisibility and invisibility which is hard to express and pinpoint but is nonetheless at the yielding will of society.

But despite these challenges, I find strength and resilience in my identities. My Blackness is a source of pride and power. It is a testament to the resilience and resistance of generations of Black people who have fought against racism and injustice. My queerness is a source of liberation and self-expression, a rejection of heteronormative and cisnormative norms that seek to confine and control. My womanhood is a source of strength and solidarity, a connection to a global community of women who resist sexism in all its forms.

It’s not either/or, it’s both simultaneously

Being queer and Black means navigating these intersections, acknowledging the challenges, and celebrating the joys. It means recognizing that my experience as a queer person is shaped by my Blackness, and vice versa. It means understanding that my fight for queer rights is also a fight for racial justice, gender equality, and disability rights.

But most importantly, being queer and Black means embracing the complexity and diversity of my identities. It means rejecting the notion that I have to choose between my Blackness and my queerness, or that I have to conform to a single, narrow definition of what it means to be queer or Black. It means defining my identity for myself, on my own terms.

So, what does it mean to be queer and Black? It’s a deeply personal and profoundly political question, and the answer will look different for each Black queer individual. But for me, it means embracing all parts of my identity. It means fighting for a world where all Black queer individuals can live openly, authentically, and freely. And it means using my voice to challenge oppression, celebrate diversity, and advocate for change.

BlackQueerExperience #BisexualVisibility #Intersectionality #BlackLivesMatter #QueerLivesMatter #Queer #BELGIUM #BRUSSELS

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