Black Lesbians Look Just Like You: A Personal Response to Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

17 Jul

Due to recent accusations of sexual misconduct by former staff member Carletha Cole, Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll is on the defensive regarding her sexuality. Cole claims that she caught Carroll in a sexual act with travel aide Beatriz Ramos in Carroll’s office. Cole says that the Lieutenant Governor fired her shortly after this incident.

Florida's Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

In her own defensive Carroll told Tampa 10 reporters that “usually black women that look like me don’t engage in relationships like that.” The “relationships like that” which Carroll is referring to are lesbian relationships. Within her statement she has assumed that feminine black women aren’t lesbian. She has also under the assumption that black lesbian women aren’t seen as being pretty, beautiful, and/or attractive. Sadly Carroll you are complete mistaken. I would like to inform you that there are many feminine black lesbian women around the world who look just like you.

While watching the awkwardly giggling clip of you making the aforementioned statement I was immediately reminded about the invisibility that so many feminine black lesbian women face. Your words have labeled any form of lesbian gender expression as being deviant. Within that moment you have both denied and revoked black lesbian femininity. As a self-identified black feminine lesbian woman, I would like to thank you for sparking a great moment of dialogue.

Your ignorance has reminded many black feminine lesbian women why being visible and remaining visible is so important. Since feminine black lesbian women don’t have a visual lesbian identifier your words are an attempt to silence us. I refuse to be silenced.

As a black feminine lesbian woman I walk through the world with a sense of invisibility since some may automatically assume that I am straight. By claiming my feminine identity and speaking about the invisibility I face, I am creating a safer and freer flowing existence for other feminine identified lesbian women. I hope that my actions, my words, and my voice outweigh the influence of your ignorance.

Black feminine lesbian women need to be comfortable within their womanhood, proud of their voice, growing within their femininity, and motivated by life. With all of the ignorance, stereotypes, and prejudice that help to fuel both internalized and societal homophobia I find it important to create spaces that serve as a testament to the power, strength, courage, and joy that it takes to live your life as an out and proud feminine lesbian woman.

This is why I co-founded Theta Epsilon Alpha Sorority, we are a sisterhood that seeks to create social awareness around feminine lesbian [in]visibility.  In an attempt to bring awareness we have launched the Femme Visibility Matters Project; which aims to show the diversity of feminine lesbian and queer women worldwide. All feminine lesbian and queer women across the world are encouraged to participate by sharing their personal photos to combat the lack of diversity of feminine lesbian and queer women in the media.

This call to action supports that Femme Visibility Matters; submit your photo: http://femmevisibilitymattersproject.tumblr.com/

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4 Responses to “Black Lesbians Look Just Like You: A Personal Response to Florida’s Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll”

  1. Flying Mermaid July 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    I love you.

  2. Lex July 17, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    Great post!

    • weddedwife July 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm #

      Thanks…I’m going to post about baby stuff soon I promise.

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