What about Black LGBTQ lives? The importance of intersectionality within the Black community

 

Lgbtq

(not sure who this artist is but I love this painting)

So last semester I took an online class called the Psychology of LGBTQ Issues with Dr. Matthew Robinson; a professor at Harvard University. There was a few take aways I got from this class that I wanted to share. All quotations below are a combination of old post from weekly write ups written by yours truly.

Overall when you hear the word intersectionality it is often used when talking about feminism. This class made me aware that  intersectionality also includes POC (People Of Color) LBGTQ individuals.

  1. Realizing my privilege as an Heterosexual African American woman

“I never thought in detail about how minorities as a whole share common struggles until now. I never realized that being Heterosexual means that I am a part of a group that may contribute to homophobia (Matthews 2007). Such as white Americans may unintentionally benefit from white privilege. Ethic minorities and the LGBTQ population share similar issues of being labeled “minority”, yet LGBTQ ethnic minorities have to also endure heterocentrism within their own ethnic group. (Greene, 1994). An example of Hetrocentrism is the perpetuation of a romanticized heterosexual family structure seen in the media; painting a picture of how a family is supposed to be according to society. ”

2. Bisexuality do exist in the Black Community….

“Sexual Orientation is often viewed as being dichromatic in nature such as being either homosexual or heterosexual; this type of view often does not give others who do not fit into these categories of sexuality much visibility or thought. Bisexuals are often seen as being confused, promiscuous or not certain with their identity.

I personally thought about the depression and anxiety an individual must go through when having to endure being double a minority, such as African Americans who identify as being bisexual. Ethnic minorities such as African Americans are subject to higher rates of harassment while being apart of the LGBTQ community (Mays & Cochran, 2001). Racial related stress and being apart of LGBTQ community makes this population vulnerable to mental health disorders (Fisher, Wallace, & Fenton, 2000).  When compared to the Lesbian and Gay population, bisexual individuals report lower levels of perceived social support, with higher levels of depression, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation, or actual attempts (Balsam & Mohr, 2007). experience poverty, increased workplace discrimination, and endure violence at higher rates (Tweedy & Yescavage, 2015)”

3. Get rid of the DL phenomena 

“Oprah did segments in the 1980s on African American men who are “down low” i.e. having a wife and kids but also have a boyfriends on the side. These segments are seen as the driving force behind perpetrating the stereotype that African American men are  on the “down low” and carrying HIV. Even in the movie For Colored Girls a character is married to a man who has sexual relations with men without her knowing it…“next time you should admit you’re mean, down low and low down; trifling and no count straight out. Instead of being sorry all the time, enjoy being yourself. When I get back I want you gone and take your HIV with you” giving him a paper displaying that she has been diagnosed with HIV positive (Shange, N., Scott, O., Law, L., Venza, J., Carroll, 2000.) Unconsciously internalizing media stories such as this could effect how the African American community (especially black women) I believe that black men should be able to identify as bisexual without feeling the need to pick one or be placed in a box. Sexual freedom should be able to exist within the African American community as it do in White communities.”

4. Spirituality can be used in Psychotherapy for African Americans who identify with LGBTQ…

“Religion and spirituality is often seen as being a major part of someone’s identity and/ or culture (especially with African American patients). Many heterosexual individuals are able to say their religion vocally without feeling a sensibility towards their affiliation. According to Boswell (1980) institutionalize religions have been a driving force of oppression towards Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual men and women since the middle ages. I personally appreciated Davidson (2000) article on ways of incorporating spirituality into psychotherapy and counseling. I have never thought about the spiritual side to the coming out process until reading this article. Religion played a role in the results of Dahl & Galliher (2012) LGBT youth study that showed participants made efforts to deny their attraction to the same sex and felt a disconnection to their religion. In therapy patients may also disclose to therapist that their families have attempted to “pray the gay” away.”

As future therapist it is important to know a patients sexual and religious development, in order to build on their spiritual side, without feeling the need to suppress them.”

 

P.S. Check out Moonlight its really good. 🙂

Moonlight-Poster-3-e1477340338463