Sunday, March 6, 2016

Staying in the Hood: Black Lesbian and Transgender Women and Identity Management in North Philadelphia

The concept "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" regarding Black LGBT sexuality in Black communities has been an acceptable form of identity management for Black LGBT people. In other words, Black LGBT people are accepted as long as they are not vocal about their sexuality. However, this is changing with the issue of gay marriage, which is creating a space where Black LGBT people are more open about their gender identity/sexuality in heterosexual Black spaces. 

This new form of openness allows Black LGBT people to 'stay in' their communities, as opposed to coming out. In this article I examine how Black LGBT women in North Philadelphia stay in their communities: being politically active regarding LGBT issues, disengaging from LGBT issues, passing, and educating straight Black people about issues affecting the Black LGBT community. I conclude with implications of staying in and intersectionality among Black heterosexual and LGBT women fighting for social change.

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By:  Brooks S1.
  • 1 African American Studies, California State University at Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA. 

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