Diary of a Mad Black Lesbian: The Company You Keep

imageThe headline in my local newspaper caught my attention, but what saddened me were the circumstances: a Florida A&M University female basketball player was murdered by her lover over Labor Day weekend. The couple, who had been in a three-year relationship, had been fighting all day, and eventually tempers escalated to the point where Shannon Washington found herself stabbed in the neck by Starquineshia Palmer. She later succumbed to her injuries. 

Both women were only 20 years old. Shannon, an an All-American honors player from Illinois Valley Community College, had just transferred to FAMU when the fall semester began only two weeks before. Starquineshia was visiting for the weekend with plans to eventually be with Shannon.

It hurts my heart that this deadly incident occurred, more so in my hometown. The fact that this was a young woman in her prime, poised to be shooting guard at her new school, has been taken away…and at the hands of the woman who loved her. Why this had to happen is what I want to know?
From the newspaper articles I’ve read, the pair had more than a tumultuous relationship. If Shannon could have foreseen the night she died, would she have ended the relationship earlier? Or would she have stayed with Starquineshia, never believing that her girlfriend would put her life at risk? 
Shannon Washington

Maybe. Maybe not. According to what Starquineshia told police Washington choked her several times and antagonized her by saying, “If you’re going to do it, just do it. Both of us are going to die tonight.”

And Starquineshia knew what she was going to do, allegedly calling her mother to ask if she would take care of her two children prior to killing her girlfriend. 

This violence has to stop. About 25-33 percent of same-sex relationships experience domestic abuse. Being in an affair where there’s frequent violence can only lead to heartbreak and tragedy. Now a mother has to travel 283 miles from Sarasota to say goodbye – not to see her daughter win her first game. 

If you’re in a similar situation, please get out.

No one, whether in a gay or straight relationship, should have to endure abuse – whether physical, verbal or emotional. 

Easier said than done, I know. 

Gay and lesbian  couples sometimes often find themselves between a rock and a hard place when the abuse begins, not wanting to speak out because of their family’s rejection of the relationship or, worse, if their families don’t even know they’re together. Along with the breakdown of one’s psyche and self-esteem, it also creates a dependency that makes her cling to a partner more than she would normally. 

But again, if you’re in a similar situation, make a plan and find a safe way to leave.

Shannon’s murder should teach us that life is precious and should be surrounded by a partner who loves and nurtures us. I just wished Shannon – and Starquineshia – had figured that out sooner.

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Yep! Wanda's Gay!

Not that it comes as any surprise to me, but Wanda Sykes has recently come out. She says because of the recent passing of Proposition 8, she had to speak out by proclaiming herself as a lesbian.

“Now, I gotta get in their face,” she said. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

She was at a gay rights rally in Las Vegas on Saturday, where she told the crowd, “You know, I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation. I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life. Everybody that knows me personally they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

I am proud of Wanda. My gaydar was way high on this one, coupled with the fact you never saw her in dating men. I’m also glad that she opened herself up to her fans. Maybe that will inspire other black gay celebrities to come out. Hmm…Queen Latifah, anyone.

Diary of a Mad Black Lesbian: Perception is Everything

I’ve been told I don’t look gay, whatever that means. As a matter of fact, one woman’s exact words — and mind you this is from a girl I was crushing on at the time were, “I just can’t see you being gay.”

Maybe it’s because I dress a tad bit on the conservative side. Maybe it’s because of my petite stature, standing at around five feet tall. Or maybe it’s because I look young for age, as I’ve been told many a time (I was carded for lottery tickets a couple weeks ago; I’m 30.

But the gist is that, apparently, I’m straight-looking. To some, I don’t look like I have girlfriends or could kiss a woman, among other things. It used to bother me back in the day, especially when I was single and looking. Whereas my former roommate could simply walk on campus and meet several new female friends at the drop of a hat, I was stuck with the perception that I just needed “a good man in my life.”

It also made it harder for my mother when I came out to her. In her head, she had seen me wear dresses and makeup (unlike my older sister) and have boyfriends. In her view of me, my mother could never imagine me as a lesbian. To this day, she still utters, “I just can’t believe it.”

It’s that age old debate lesbians have about which role has an easier time coming out – femmes or studs/butches. Lebron would argue that it’s better to come out as a femme because afterward, a feminine women can blend bend in society  and at least your parents hold on to the dream of you having kids. This is where I disagree, because as a stud there are no misconceptions about (usually) your role. Growing up tomboyish or even flamboyantly can almost always be detected at an earlier age. Haven’t you ever seen a boy who seems a little bit too interested in dolls, instead of Tonka trucks at age 5? Let me just say that it doesn’t guarantee he’s gay, but chances are likely. And in growing up stud, the idea of being gay is always in the back of someone’s mind. Nobody blinks when they say, “Hey, Mom and Dad. I’m gay.”

“Okay, pass the peas.”

Like I said, perception is everything.

I can’t say that being straight looking is a bad thing. Most people at work don’t know about me, and I’d prefer to keep it that way. Because the things they say to me about gay folks would make them feel like assholes if they knew about my sexuality. Like the co-worker who once said to me, “If I had a friend who was gay, I would drop them.” She was serious, yet this is the same one who will tell me all her business — about how many men she’s currently juggling — but can’t understand how being gay isn’t a perversity.

And I hear these lovely tidbits only because I don’t look gay. Cause like I said, perception is everything.

Diary of a Mad Black Lesbian: Bisexuals Need (Not) Apply

diaryofmadblacknew.PNGI don’t know if you’ve been watching the newest reality dating show, A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, but it’s a hot ass mess.

If you haven’t been watching, this is the show that features Tila Tequila, a bisexual woman trying to find “true love” within a house full of men and women. Or should I say, straight men and lesbians. Of course, to make things more interesting, she doesn’t tell the 16 participants up front; they find out once they’ve been chosen to live in her house for the duration of the show.

So now you have men and women sleeping in the same bed (literally: it’s one big bed) and trying to vie for the attentions of a girl, who, if you ask me, looks like she’s more in it for the jollies instead of finding the one she wants to settle down with.

First of all, who is Tila Tequila? According to Wikipedia, she’s a “model, entertainer, and singer,” although before this show, I had never heard of her. I must admit that she is quite a looker and the body’s not bad. Tila’s personality is fun and playful, although you can tell she has a depth to her. As with most reality shows, like I Love New York 2 and America’s Most Smartest Model, I find it hard to turn away from this crap. It’s addictive.

The thing that gets me about her show is how she has the men and lesbians competing for her love. Why not other bisexual women? As you might have guessed, tensions are high among the contestants and so far, it’s lead to fights, backstabbing and undercover intermingling. Yes, it goes there — but Tila brings it on herself.

Here’s the thing you need to know about lesbians: some of us don’t go for the bisexual stila2.jpghit.

Bisexuals are a no-no. Ask most lesbian women, especially studs, and they’ll tell you they don’t do bisexuals. It’s that way for a couple of several reasons, two of the biggest being:

Confusion: To most lesbians (and the world for that matter), it seems bisexuals are confused. And with the lesbian lifestyle being complicated enough, from coming out to dealing with society at large, who needs someone who appears to be indecisive about which sex they want to sleep with?

Going behind a man: How can I put this without being too graphic? Lesbians don’t want to partake of a meal that’s been tainted by some dude.

I can’t say that I fully agree with bisexuality, but to each her (or his) own. As long as you’re being sexually safe and not hurting anyone, it’s all good. All I know is Tila’s house is just a big ball of sexual disaster waiting to happen. People are getting their emotions involved. The men are getting rowdy, the women are becoming more attached. And all because they want their shot @ love.

But like shots, they may look smooth, but they don’t go down easy. On this show, maybe they do.

Diary of Mad Black Lesbian: It’s Nunya Business

diary21.jpgAs I said in my last post, I’ve been dating someone new. It’s still fresh, in the “getting to know all about each other” stage, that fragile, fun time where learning everything about her is exciting.

In my exuberance, I’ve been telling one of my friends, “Fancy,” all about my new crush. Gushing at certain points, but telling her how I like this woman. I preface this by saying I’ve only recently come out to her.

Like only a month ago.

Granted, Fancy’s known about my preference for years. Although most discussions about it have been behind my back and not to my face.

At 19, when I first decided I would pursue dating women (after a few years of self-denial), it wasn’t something I shared with anyone. My dating life was my own, mainly because I was still coming to terms with it myself. I began talking to women online, meeting them only when I was truly comfortable with doing so. It was when I first kissed one of these women that I knew I couldn’t deny that I loved women. That first sweet kiss told me everything that I needed to know.

Telling my friends, however, was another issue entirely. Even though I knew being gay was something I couldn’t get out of my system, I was still struggling internally. I knew my friends would understand (or some of them would), but I still had to figure out some things for myself.

Which lead to the talk about my romantic life.

To them, I guess, it looked suspicious how I never seemed to have a boyfriend all four of my undergrad years. But I was dating…just not telling them about it. I wasn’t alone. Now this was college and everybody experimented, and I wasn’t the only one who wasn’t spilling his cup of tea. Several of my other friends were right along in that closet with me, us splitting the rent in that tight space for years.

It lead to many gossip sessions amongst each other, one of us cracking jokes about how Charlie sure spent a lot of time with his “cousin,” who then later became his “friend,” then eventually his “partner.” The gay jokes were flying fast and furious, and I’ll even admit I participated.

Eventually after college, I fell in love. With a woman. “Malibu” was the first woman I truly felt love for, a person I almost considered spending the rest of my life with. It was my first serious relationship, and I kept it very guarded. My friends knew I was seeing someone, but I just hadn’t told them who. At least not yet.

That’s when the gossip about me began. I found out, years later, after coming out to several people close to me. Fancy wasn’t the last one on my list to be told, but to me, it was simply an understanding. She knew, so what did I really need to confess?

The time it takes for person to come out varies. For some, they come out of the womb screaming, “I’m here, and I’m queer!” (One friend immediately comes to mind). For others, it’s a long process. I can’t comment on any else’s experience, but it was something I always knew but tried to regress. I knew being a lesbian wasn’t readily accepted by society, and tried to put thoughts of loving a woman out of my mind. It never worked, though. This is who I am.

But I wasn’t about to be put on anyone’s timetable with my sexuality. It was too important for me. Certain friends got told when it was right for me to do so. Not like some others. Because of our blabbing, a couple of people’s tea got spilled before it was even poured.

I’m of the belief that you shouldn’t have to drag anyone from the closet, it’s whenever they feel it’s time for them to open the door.

Until then, don’t try to come in. It’s dark in there.

Diary of a Mad Black Lesbian: Dispelling the Myths

In an effort to dispel misconceptions about the Black Lesbian, Deepdiva has created this public service announcement for heterosexual women and men. These myth-breakers are meant to enlighten and brighten your day as well as answer any questions you may have about the enigma and three-time minority known as a black lesbian.

We don’t recruit straight women. It’s the first misconception straight women have about us. That because we’re lesbian, we must want them. As if we aren’t discriminating. As if anything that has a pussy, we’re on it. Well, I must admit that some gay women do get a thrill turning straight girls out, most of us want someone who understands us (and somebody’s who’s not still having sex with men). Like a co-worker of mine wanted to know why lesbians don’t approach her. Gee, probably because you look straight–and you’re with your husband.

We’re not waiting for “the right man.” As hard as it is to believe, we’re not all wishing for some dude to come sweep us off our feet. (Unless she’s got a low-cut fade and wifebeater). Men aren’t our enemy, but your penis is definitely not going to turn us straight. We love women just like you do, perhaps even more so because we are one. Sorry, fellas. And no, we don’t want to have a threesome with you and a girlfriend. *Ewww* And no, you can’t just taste it (you’d be surprised how many men I’ve gotten than line from). Bottom line, you’re a man and we know the difference.

We haven’t all been molested or are posessed by evil spirits. Now this was a funny thing I overheard. Apparently some believe that a trauma had to occur for us to be gay. I also talked to someone who said it was an evil spirit pervading and perverting our bodies. I say, *sings* “Nigga, Please.” Most gay and lesbian people I know aren’t crazy and happen to be some of the sweetest people I know.

We’re called “studs” and “femmes,” not dykes. To break down the black lesbian terminology, “studs” are the more masculine gay women, and femmes, of course, are more feminine. It’s just a way of classifying ourselves. You can usually tell the difference. But like Teairra Marí sings, “Don’t let my cute face fool ya.”

We’re in your family. Depsite what you may think, we’re in your family tree. Yeah, that aunt you had that never married…probably gay. The female cousin who always dressed like a boy and always had an attractive “friend” with her…probably gay. Think about it.

We’re born this way. While there maybe be some lesbians who became that way because of society or environment, most of us feel like we’re born that way. I have a friend who knew he was gay before he even began kindergarten. It’s just something we knew, like you knew you were straight; nobody had to tell you. But unlike you, some of us spent years denying it.

So that’s it for now. Don’t forget to add your comments. Straight ladies, give me feedback about this. And gay women, I know you have your own misconceptions to add.