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The Intersection of African American and LGBTQ+ Identities

Apr 12, 2023 02:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian
Image: The Progess Pride Flag, which includes the rainbow of LGBTQ, the blue, pink and white stripes of the trans flag, and black and brown stripes to represent marginalized LGBTIQ+ people of color. Source: Lisett Kruusimäe

Race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity are just a few components of identity, a diverse aspect of human existence. Those who belong to many marginalized communities may encounter particular difficulties due to the intersectionality of their various identities. The convergence of Black American and LGBTQ+ identities is one such junction that frequently experiences specific problems and victories. The difficulties experienced by those who identify with both the African American and LGBTQ+ groups will be discussed, as well as the value of accepting diversity within both communities, in this blog. We will also examine the historical background of this junction.

The African American community has a rich history of battling against racism, segregation, and unfairness since slavery and the civil rights era. Similarly, the LGBTQ+ community has fought for recognition, fairness, and liberties, dealing with discrimination, negative perceptions, and violence. These struggles have much in common, and many belong to both groups. African American LGBTQ+ folks have always played a significant role in advancing civil rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and other social justice causes, striving for the acknowledgment and respect of both groups. Despite all their hard work, the overlapping challenges faced by African American and LGBTQ+ individuals are still complicated and pose unique hurdles.

Black Americans who identify as LGBTQ+ have long been active in social justice organizations, fighting for the rights and visibility of both populations. African American LGBTQ+ people have contributed to the development and growth of the civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights movements, from activists like Marsha P. Johnson and Bayard Rustin to authors like Audre Lorde. They have paved the road for constructive change and the appreciation of diversity through their tenacity, bravery, and intersectional activism.

Here's a list of African American LGBTQ+ support groups that individuals at the intersection of these identities can turn to for community, resources, and support:

1. National Black Justice Coalition (N.B.J.C.)


The N.B.J.C. is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering and advocating for Black LGBTQ+ individuals, addressing issues such as healthcare disparities, discrimination, and social justice.

2. Black Transmen Inc


This organization provides resources and support specifically for Black transgender men, including mentorship programs, healthcare resources, and advocacy efforts.

3. The Audre Lorde Project


This organization advocates for the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ people of color, including African Americans. They offer resources, support groups, and advocacy efforts for individuals at this intersection.

Promoting inclusion and allyship is necessary to celebrate unity among these groups. It entails speaking up against the prejudice, discrimination, and injustices that affect those who identify with the African American and LGBTQ+ communities. It involves supporting laws and procedures that deal with the overlapping difficulties experienced by African American LGBTQ+ people, such as combating prejudice based on both race and sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The perspectives and stories of those who identify with both the African American and LGBTQ+ communities must also be amplified as part of the celebration of diversity within those groups. It entails appreciating and acknowledging their distinct experiences, setbacks, and victories. It involves providing areas where people can fully express themselves and have their intersecting identities honored.

The intersection of African American and LGBTQ+ identities is a complex, diverse, and resilient tapestry that deserves recognition, celebration, and embracing. The beautiful intersection brings unique perspectives, talents, and stories to African American and LGBTQ+ communities. 

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 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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