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Black Queer Identity Matrix

Towards An Integrated Queer of Color Framework


Sheena C. Howard

This volume launches the first sustained discussion of the need for a queer of color conceptual framework around Black, lesbian female identity. Specifically, this volume addresses the necessity for a more integrated framework within queer studies, in which the variables of race/ethnicity are taken into consideration. This book is unique in that it highlights a triple-jeopardy minority group that has been historically marginalized and concludes with the proposal of a much-needed framework for researchers to begin to create a baseline of knowledge/research under the umbrella of the Black Queer Identity Matrix.
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Chapter 1: Intersectionality of Black Lesbian Female Identity



Intersectionality of Black Lesbian Female Identity

There is still a paucity of research that looks at the intersections of race, gender, and sexual orientation, specifically focusing on the Black lesbian community. There is a plethora of scholarship that examines lesbian and gay representations in the media as well as the developmental process of coming out. However, a scarcity of attention has been given to Black lesbian identity, especially in the areas of the coming-out process as well as coping mechanisms developed by the community in negotiating coming out in public discourse. One of the major reasons for this void in the literature is largely due to the lack of a queer of color theoretical framework that gives researchers the tool to examining the complexity of the Black lesbian community. Therefore, there is still a gap to be filled within queer scholarship, and specifically Black queer scholarship that takes race/ethnicity into consideration when examining the ways in which Black lesbians navigate within an oppressive society.

The goal of this chapter is twofold: (1) to draw on theoretical and conceptual frameworks within current literature, especially those that position us to move toward a more integrated queer of color framework, such as intersectionality (Audre Lorde and Lisa Bowleg) and matrix of domination (Patricia Hill Collins); and (2) to illuminate the intricacies of the Black lesbian community through making connections among race, gender, and sexual orientation, specifically as it relates to intersectionality. Throughout this chapter, the...

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