Last night, Amandla Stenberg came out as bisexual in a powerful message via the Teen Vogue Snapchat:
“I wanna thank Teen Vogue for giving me this opportunity, I cannot stress enough how important representation is, so the concept that I can provide for other black girls is mind-blowing. It’s a really really hard thing to be silenced, and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and just mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in. As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I’ve been through it, and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable. But then I realized: because of Solange and Ava Duvernay and Willow and all the black girls watching this right now, there’s absolutely nothing but change. We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears, to be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow. I definitely believe in the concept of rebellion through selfhood, and rebellion through embracing your true identity, no matter what you’re being told. Here I am, being myself; and it’s hard and vulnerable, and it’s definitely a process, but I’m learning and growing. Thank you for supporting me and doing this, and thank you to Teen Vogue. This is just the beginning, though; we have a lot of work to do for all women of color. We need more representation in film and television. We need our voices to be louder in the media. And not just women of color — bisexual women, gay women, transgender women, mentally ill women. I’m sick of all the misogyny and homophobia and transphobia that I see around me, and I know you are too. Thank you for listening and goodnight.”
I love our hair: the color, the texture, the kink, the wave, the way we choose to style it. This is an ode to Black hair. Thank you Afro Punk for creating a safe space for some of the most beautiful Black people i’ve ever seen to come together and be ourselves. photography x courtney harvier IG @courtney.harvier
When it comes to black girls, the U.S. Department of Education reports that we are six times more likely to be suspended than white girls. Black girls are frequently chastised for being excited or loud. We’re described as “ghetto” and “extra” when we’re emotional, while white girls who behave in similar ways are “enthusiastic” and “passionate.” These difference in labels may seem trivial but they determine who gets punished and who doesn’t. Black girls are severely penalized for displaying emotion, with little regard for what we are feeling or experiencing.
Black bisexual women are often misunderstood, excluded or fetishized. Black bisexual men, on the other hand, are routinely vilified. Who expresses love and support for our black bisexual brothers? Bisexuals comprise over half of LGB-identified people in the United States, yet we are routinely rendered invisible and marginalized. The erasure of bisexual people is particularly problematic for African-Americans, who already face the strain of racism. Bi black people exist at the intersections of many forms of oppression, and this difficult positionality makes it complicated for us to find love. We not only have to deal with homophobia in our families – we also have to navigate biphobia among black gays and lesbians – while dealing with racism in the broader LGBT “community.” There is also the reality that most “LGBT” spaces are actually not for us. Very often, they are implicitly white centered and/or mostly geared toward gays and lesbians.