top of page
  • Dylan

Being Black and Queer

Throughout the course of American History, race has played a significant role in

relationships and interactions within all communities. The queer community is not exempt.

Often times, the role that race plays within the queer community is overlooked, due to a lack of an intersectional analysis of the various struggles that different members of the queer community may experience.

Three students from North Carolina A&T, which is a Historically Black University in

Greensboro, North Carolina have graciously shared their stories and experiences that have been the result of being both Black and Queer.

Nina Jay is a sophomore political science student, and her story revolves around her experiences with being black, gay, and religious, and the community that she has found while attending an HBCU:

“I probably realized that I might like girls around 7th or 8th grade. I grew up in a

religious household, so I didn’t really even know gay people existed like at all until I went to

school and had a phone. In the seventh grade I sat next to this girl and she was really sweet and pretty and she was really nice to me. I just felt like I had to be her friend and be around her and I realized that was the first time I was attracted to another girl. In ninth grade I had knew that I liked girls for sure, but I wasn’t sure if I actually liked guys or not. I felt like I forced myself to be attracted to guys because of the guilt I had for being gay and religious. I thought if I was bisexual and could like guys then my family would be less likely to disown me or anything like that. But I realized that I had no attraction to guys at all and I was a lesbian. I have come to be secure in my identity, but the strong religious beliefs my entire family holds makes me doubt and have a lot of doubt sometimes. I never knew many black and gay people in high school, so I felt ostracized from many of my peers. I always felt out of place. The gay community in high school was definitely not for me because it was extremely white and I had no interest in it. I felt as if I couldn’t be both black and gay at the same time. I had to pick one. Regardless, I had no problem identifying as a lesbian, but I felt like no one, except my closest friends, actually knew me. I always felt like a half baked version of myself. I think being at an HBCU has helped a lot because of the black and gay community that I have come to find here. I didn’t have to choose which identity I wanted to present. I could choose both and be happy with my decision”.

Christian Polk is a sophomore Education student who has shared how his sexual identity has

impacted his life and some of his familial experiences.

“Being black and queer is very hard, especially growing up in a Christian household! I

realized I was queer when I was very young (age 4) but I tried to rub it off but that didn’t work! Still to this day I haven’t come out yet, but one thing I know is that a mother knows! And there have been many encounters and conversations that we have had about being queer. One thing about growing up Christian is that it’s very hard to express yourself, I’m still trying to understand it fully but it’s hard when you're trying to be yourself and also feeling familial pressure””.

Jada Sheppard is a student at North Carolina A&T that is double majoring in both Computer

Graphics Technology and Information Technology. The experience that she has shared speaks to how queer culture is not always necessarily catered to people who are black and queer.

“I came out when I was 12, and I told my dad first, even though I knew my parents would

probably be the least accepting in my family. It eventually took me three more years to tell my siblings, and they were really hurt that I didn’t tell them first. Being black and queer is a really unique experience because a lot of mainstream queer culture is geared towards white people. So there was kind of an insecurity in blackness for a while because a lot of queer media was also considered ‘white interests’”.

5 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page