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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 3: The Emergence of the Black Queer Identity Matrix



The Emergence of the Black Queer Identity Matrix

In this chapter I analyze the multiple intersecting identities of the Black lesbian, female population through the use of photo feedback. Black lesbian females are minorities on three counts: race, gender, and sexual orientation; thus, there is limited research that focuses on the complexity of identity, identity dimensions, experiences, and perceptions of this population. This chapter serves as an exploratory research study in understanding what it means to be a Black lesbian, female in the United States through the theoretical framework of standpoint theory and intersectionality as well as the interpretive methodology of photo analysis (see Samuels, 2004), which I term “photo feedback analysis.”

Standpoint theory asserts that everyday people possess knowledge different from that of those in power (West & Turner, 2010). Standpoints come from resisting those in power and refusing to accept the way society defines their group (West & Turner). Thus, this chapter provides a baseline of knowledge around what it means to be a Black lesbian, female in the United States; through the lens of the in-group. The complexity of these multiple intersecting identities will be expounded upon through photo feedback analysis, which is the use of a thematic analysis of photos taken by participants. Finally, this chapter concludes by moving toward an integrated theory of sexuality around Black queer identity, which is the title of this book: Black Queer Identity Matrix.


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