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National Black Justice Coalition Commemorates Lesbian and Same Gender Loving Week of Visibility

CONTACT: Brett Abrams | 

Victoria Kirby York, deputy director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), issued the following statement commemorating the Lesbian and Same Gender Loving Woman Week of Visibility:

“Being a visible Black lesbian is powerful – it makes me feel connected deeply to the spirit without boundaries. Living my life in this authentic way makes me feel freer, bolder, audacious, and limitless. 

“Every day, my wife and I strive to show our daughter what it means to be an embodied woman who knows herself and her worth. Black lesbian visibility means moving past barriers, exclusions, and attempts to marginalize or negate who we are and succeed anyway. These are the lessons I want our girls to carry: never let the limits of exclusion or the external and sometimes internal “but not you” narrative stop you from achieving your dreams. 

“To the Black lesbian legends and icons that came before me, I say ‘thank you!’ I am here because you are. Thank you, Lucy Diggs Slower, Saint Pauli Murray, Audre Lourde,  Barbara Smith, Bishop Flunder, Ann Allen Shockley, Mandy Carter, Lorraine Hansberry, Rev. Candy Holmes and her wife, Rev. Darlene Garner, Lisa C. Moore, Bishop Rawls, and Bishop Allyson Abrams for your ministry of presence and achievement. Thank you to those who personally paved the way for me: Donna Payne-Hardy, Stacey Long Simmons, Darlene Nipper, Nadine Smith, Kierra Johnson, Imani Rupert-Gordon, and the many other Black lesbians and same gender loving women who paved the way at tremendous cost to themselves for Black lesbian activists, artists and figures to be visible and impactful today. I look forward to honoring you each year at our annual Wisdom Awards.”

Black same-gender loving women and lesbians face significant health disparities compared to their heterosexual and male peers. Black lesbians have lower self-disclosure rates with their physicians than white counterparts, are at greater risk of heart disease, substance abuse, domestic violence, polycystic ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and are more likely to miscarry when pregnant. 

NBJC supports the passage of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act to address these health inequities and urges its supporters to call their members of Congress to ensure it becomes law.

Last year, Ms. Magazine published Kirby York’s opinion essay on Lesbian Day of Visibility and how Black lesbian visibility in popular culture has impacted her personal experience.


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.