Written by Zamara Perri
In April 2014 after an important relationship ended, I launched www.BlackLesbianLoveLab.com. When I looked around the web for support, I saw nothing black and lesbian that focused on nurturing me and telling my story. So I started a blog that is exclusively and unapologetically focused on us!
First, I want to congratulate the women who live their lives and share their love freely all over social media. Seeing your love stories fills my heart with so much joy. But I’m kind of greedy and to me, there are not enough tools, stories and resources for the black queer community and their families and this has bothered me for many years.
As a professionally trained, print journalist, I know first-hand the power that mainstream media holds in all of our lives. Media overwhelming determines what is real, normal and acceptable. If something is not in the media, it doesn’t exist.
And while there is an increasing number of black lesbians and queer people in the media, I find that black queer love, commitment and families are still for the most part invisible.
I find that strange because I know of several women who have been in committed, long-term relationships raising beautiful families together but their stories go untold. I believe that not telling our black lesbian love stories is a disservice to our community and the rest of the world.
My Unhealthy Relationship With Love
I believe there are many of us who want healthy loving relationships and family and don’t know how to go about gaining one. In my particular case, I have seen very few healthy, happy relationships.
I grew up a child of divorce and suffered emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment. As a 30-something, black queer woman, I struggled in my two major relationships. In both cases, I was emotionally unavailable at first but slowly and surely opened myself up and became vulnerable.
In both cases, we discussed marriage and family. But both cases involved anger, distrust, disrespect and violence. But it wasn’t just the other person who caused me pain. I’ve been shady, flirty, dismissive, sneaky, a martyr, unsupportive and excessively needy.
Needless to say, this did not set the stage for growing a healthy family. Neither of my exes are evil. I believe in both cases we had deep love, but because neither of us had models for healthy families, the relationships we tried to create were disastrous.
I believe that who we are as individuals prior to getting into a relationship can make or break any attempts at love.
So, I’ve been working on my own issues by myself. And with my partner. I want to continue sharing my relationship journey with you and that of other black lesbians.
My black lesbian/queer sisters, please know this space is for you, for us and our allies. Our goal is to continue building a space where we can share the entirety of our love stories in a way that main stream media and blogs cannot. We want to talk about everything from dating to mating to separating.
We are going to be the Huffington Post, Essence and Ebony magazines–basically the bible for black lesbian relationships!
Why? We are an integral part of the fabric of the American story, and without our threads, the story is incomplete.
Join Our Team
Join me in telling our stories! We are accepting content from writers, families, couples, professional counselors/therapists, photographers and educators from all over the world.
We are also seeking other community members who are willing to ask questions, participate in respectful debate on the site and honestly seek and share help for those needing it. Let’s talk! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo: An article titled “Two Female ‘Married” In Chicago — To Each Other” appeared in a 1970 issue of Jet magazine. Imagine that!