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National Black Justice Coalition on International Lesbian Day

Statement from Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, on International Lesbian Day:

“I am a PROUD Black Lesbian! Since I was four years old I was aware of my attraction to other girls but I didn’t have a name for it. Growing up I only knew that Celie from the Color Purple, the lesbian couple from the Women of Brewster Place, and Cleo from Set It Off were like me — and all of them experienced a lot of trauma.

“As an adult, I know there was a lot of truth to those stories. Black Lesbians experience more poverty, domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and criminalization than our cisgender and white lesbian counterparts. However, we also experience a lot of joy and are thriving despite our traumas and the multiple biases we have to manage on a daily basis. Being Black. Being a woman. Being a lesbian. Being disabled. Those identities on their own are hard, but compounded we deal with a whole lot of assumptions placed on us.

“Today is the day where lesbians around the world get to tell our own stories and write our own narratives. I hope Black lesbians across the Diaspora join in by using the hashtag #InternationalLesbianDay. Make the world see OUR truths.”

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.