Socially loud! Can you hear us?


Inviting In: Dr. Baranda J. Fermin

I've never asked permission for how to show up in the world. From as young as I have memories I can recount how this is a fact. I have however always felt and observed how many respond to how I show up in the world. In 2002, I moved to NYC and became a member of the first church community I'd ever encountered that was #OpenAndAffirming 

In addition to my graduate studies, the school of life that is Manhattan (Harlem to be exact), as well as this faith community put me into a deeper relationship with #LGBTQ folk. I also gained the language to articulate how I had observed people reacting to how I'd shown up in the world my entire life. 

Over my years as a professional intellectual and advocate, I came to realize that what I experienced and the fight I was engaged in wasn't because I was an ally. It was because I was Queer. Because heteronormativity in our society is so deeply pervasive, I'd gotten a pass. But it was conditional. I'd be let into spaces, but how I presented when I presented authentically was never accepted. Yes my blackness had something to do with it, but honestly that was welcomed because #Tokenism #Diversity. Yet the head tilt and unasked questions, when I got the language to name it was #Queerphobia #Homophobia #Heteronormativity. 

The discussions in the justice work within the #LGBTQ community that have elevated #InvitingIn have allowed me fully live my life IN community. #ComingOut may allow us to claim an identity. Inviting in, gives me, and us, community. And that's revolutionary shit. #Womanism

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.