LGBT+ history is black history. Whether you’re speaking of trailblazers such as Marsha P. Johnson, James Baldwin, or Gladys Bentley, to current black and out luminaries such as Lavern Cox, Robin Roberts, or Alphonso David, it is impossible to deny the inextricable link between LGBT+ and black culture. Whether it’s through social justice, language, fashion, or the music you enjoy, there is no doubt that your life, whether as a part of the community or as an ally, has been influenced by this intersection.
The fight for equality is one that, as black people, we are extremely familiar with, which is why you’ll find so many of us at the forefront of the movement. However, we should also recognize that our community can be among some of the most disenfranchised within the LGBT+ community. Black LGBT+ people are disproportionately affected by joblessness, homelessness, and violence. An example of this is how Black trans women specifically are the victims of violence at rates that dwarf what the rest of the community experiences.
It is important that we remember all members of the community and make sure when we are doing this important work, we make room for everyone to reap the benefits of advancement and progress.
As the needle moves forward we are seeing more LGBT+ black people in positions of power, not just in the forefronts of entertainment and activism, but also government and business. Whether it’s Lori Lightfoot and Ron Oden, the mayors of Chicago and Palm Springs respectively, or Allyn Shaw the President & CTO of RTS.
As we continue to push for equality we are starting to see the real change and impact this work has within the LGBT+ black community, which will be sure to impact both communities separately and together for years to come.