I’ve been out of the closet for almost 2 years and I’m still pretty lost. The queer spaces that I frequented when I was in the closet and now that I’m out —things have been interesting— have mostly centered Black gay and bisexual men. When queer spaces that I have found have centered Black women, they were largely along the lines of rigid gender roles (i.e. butch/femme or stud/femme). I have even started my own organizations but still haven’t found what I’m looking for in terms of friendships and romantic relationships from other queer Black women.
My experiences have overall been pretty terrible. This has left me feeling like I don’t fit in within the Black LGBT community because I don’t adhere to these strict roles and because I’m a feminine Black woman attracted to other feminine Black women. My question is, do you or your readers know of any events, organizations, or spaces where upwardly mobile, feminine queer Black women can meet each other for friendship and dating? I feel very isolated and lonely and would really appreciate your advice.
Thanks for your help,
—Coming Out and Confused
Dear Coming Out and Confused,
It’s true, it’s a man’s world. Men typically dominate queer spaces. Maybe that’s just the way it is. Or perhaps, that’s because it’s a man’s world and women can be sexually fluid in it. Back in the day, men couldn’t meet up because there weren’t any safe spaces. Many fell to their knees in parks well after dark. Could you imagine? Sometimes you have to go the distance or aim lower.
Sounds like you have great expectations. Since coming out, suddenly you have everything figure out. And now the places you used to frequent don’t do it anymore now that you’re “woke” and out of the closet. Communities are created and centered around the people in them. You’re approaching dating like an advertising agency. What doesn’t fit in your target demographic doesn’t matter?
What we seek is not what we always need. Women are more flexible than they seem. One woman’s “stud” could be another woman’s “femme.”
And if you’re attracted to feminine queer Black women why can’t you make them your friends? Birds of a feather do flock together. Could the same logic be applied to lesbians? You should pull potential dates from that pool. Cultivate and connect with them. Your information could be a hidden power. And if you have a hard time making friends. The secret is show up and be friendly. There are people just like you waiting to connect with someone new.
I have no idea what city, county, coast, or country you live in. Thus, it’s impossible to guide you on that front. Normally pride events unite same gender loving people and of course a few straights. And if your area doesn’t, you can always move.
But first, try online. Social media and dating apps have a way of connecting people in unexpected ways. Try Her or Plenty of Fish, Tinder or Twitter. There are Meet Up groups too.
Maybe it’s time to go interracial. Why do we as blacks limit ourselves to dating exclusively within our race? Maybe it’s time to mix it up. We are a small segment of the population. The one’s you’re pining for are even smaller. Branch out. Think beyond race. Love doesn’t have a color.
Don’t try too hard or protest too much. When I don’t fit in social circles, I stop caring and just focus on being myself. You could be the very best version of yourself. And that confidence, joy, and happiness will radiate across any city, county, coast, or country.
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Got a question? Email your letters at [email protected] His advice column will appear on Wednesday.