Anna & Nakiema Celebrate Their Wedding

_20140728_232853Even though it rained, Anna and Nakiema Morris felt truly blessed to celebrate their wedding day on July 29, 2014. This Cleveland couple first met 15 years ago through a mutual friend. “[Nakiema] was my first female lover ever,” Anna says. “She took my heart from the moment she touched me and she’s kept it until she found her way back to me.”

When the two met, Anna was married to a man and was raising children with him, making a relationship with Nakiema difficult. Still, the two had a special emotional connection that neither could shake. About six years ago, the two officially became a couple. Anna says, “I wanted to become her wife when I was 26, but that’s okay because I definitely became her wife at 41.”

When asked what made their rainy wedding day beautiful, Anna said, “The people that were involved. We have so much love from family and friends, it was remarkable!” She added that an entire side of her family that she didn’t think would ever accept her came to the wedding. That family support was crucial. Especially from her children, who are now 21 and 24. “[Nakiema] has helped me raise my two children for a very long time and they both respect and love her. My daughter calls her ‘Dad.’ No one asked her or suggested it to her, which signifies me that her love for Nakiema is genuinely real.”

Now that they are married, Anna happily calls Nakiema her husband. She explains, “In public I refer to her as my wife because it’s easier that way. But, in our home she is my husband and it is very comforting to me to know that I have a husband and a wife in one person.”

Click on the photos below to launch the slideshow and learn more about their wedding celebration:

 

Dating Diaries: I’m Afraid of Getting Into Another Relationship

Photo provided by Freedigitalphotos.net.

Photo provided by Freedigitalphotos.net.

I’m the kind of woman who loves love, loves relationships, loves the friendship, affection and togetherness and loves building a future with that special someone. Everyday as I work on this blog, I see happy couples and my heart can’t help but yearn for the same. I always tell the women I date, pretty much from the beginning, that I eventually want a relationship. I recently went on a couple of dates with one woman who made it clear she didn’t want the same thing, but was still trying to take up my time. I’m proud of myself that although she was pretty damn cute, I let that one go.

On the other hand, I tend to run away from the ones who stick around and try to get a relationship going with me. I say I want one thing, but make it a habit to chase off any eligible bachelorettes who make an effort to get to know me. I’m one of those people that cause women to go WTF? And that’s understandable. The truth is I’m scared. Not of relationships per se, but of relationships ending.

I know I’m not the only one with these issues. Anyway, I’m writing this post for someone I know who reads this blog. We went out once. She’s cute and laidback (a nice complement to my bossy intensity). We talk on the phone for hours and she makes me laugh. She’s sweet and thoughtful and makes girlfriend-like overtures that make me uncomfortable. When she asked me where I saw us going, I freaked out and backed away.

Now why did I do that? I’m I secretly a commitment-phobe? Maybe. It could also be because I seriously take to heart a piece that Madisyn Taylor wrote titled “The Power of Union: Entering Into Partnerships,” in it she said, “It is important to choose our partnerships consciously. Sometimes forged quickly during times of need, we may find ourselves rushing into unions with perhaps not the clearest intentions.”

When I exited my last relationship, I promised myself that I would be more conscious about how I entered my next. Gwyneth Paltrow famously called her split from Chris Martin a “conscious uncoupling;” I want to do sort of the same thing, except it would be conscious coupling. For some reason, thoughtfully entering relationships with women has been a struggle for me, and I believe it is the same for some lesbians. No matter how much I try to avoid getting caught up in a rush of emotion and fantasy, I fall in love and within the space of a month, end up in another relationship. Not long after that, the Band-Aid comes off and all the faults we ignored in each other at first become unbearable. We fight, we yell, we pull away, we break up then make up and then break up again.

At this point in my life, I’m simply tired. Tired of the drama, emotion and the brokenness that comes from building a life with someone only to have to dismantle it and start all over again.

So, yes, I’m afraid. I know nothing is promised and no relationship is perfect, but I just cannot participate in this cycle anymore. I’m halfway to 40 and it’s just not a good look for me. I honestly don’t know if our fun telephonic encounters will go anywhere as it is too early to tell. But I do know this, my heart is way too valuable for something temporary, and so is hers. So yes, I’m taking my time. My goal is to be careful and conscious. This time I want to treat love as the most precious thing in the universe, because it is and I’m tired of letting it go.

 


Z Amara Perri is the editor and founder of this blog. She loves sharing stories about black lesbians, the women they love and the families they raise together. She writes occasionally about self love and about navigating the terrifying dating terrain. 

 

Wedding Announcement: Lonnie Fowler & Toni Clark

Lonnie and Toni plan to celebrate their wedding in September.

Lonnie and Toni plan to celebrate their wedding in September.

Fifteen years after their very first kiss, Lonnie Fowler and Toni Clark are getting married this fall. This Maryland couple shared their their wedding announcement with readers at Tagg Magazine.

When asked what will make their day special, the two responded:

In five words, our wedding day is “A Celebration of Love!” What makes this wedding unique is simply there is no tradition. The fact that the wedding will be a blend of our personalities make the day, itself, unique. The Save the Dates read, “At Last” and that’s how we feel. We have come so far and our love has survived and withstood it all, continuing to grow with each day. So, our love is like certain song titles –“At Last” and “Unforgettable”. As for Toni’s favorite aspect of the wedding, it’s to be able to get married, legally, in the state they reside. Lonnie agrees with Toni, adding that they’ve waited so long for this honor.”

Congratulations ladies!

Click here to read the entire announcement.

Black Lesbian Pastor Pregnant With a Daughter

Yvonne Harris, pastor of the Pentecostal Restoration Temple Ministries in New York City, is expecting a daughter with her partner, Tiffany.

Yvonne Harrison, pastor of the Pentecostal Restoration Temple Ministries in New York City, is expecting a daughter with her partner, Tiffany.

When the story of Pastor Yvonne Harrison and her partner, Tiffany, crossed my screen yesterday, I just knew I had to share. As someone who loves reading and sharing love stories about us, I found it incredibly rare and exciting to see a story about this black woman following her calling AND building a family. Below is an excerpt from the article on Edge on the Net:

“When Yvonne Harrison started her Pentecostal Restoration Temple Ministries four years ago in New York’s Union Square area, she wanted to create a church that was progressive and affirming. Now, this lesbian pastor looks forward to adding one more to her congregation of 155: she is seven months pregnant with her first child.


“I am same-gender loving and have been married to my wife for four years now,” said Harrison. “We are very committed to our community, and being able to start our family shows that we have made tremendous segues.”

Harrison said that her congregants were “excited and elated” about her pregnancy, as their daughter would be the first baby in the new church.’

Click here to read more about this couple and their church.

 

If you know of a black lesbian pastor or minister who wants to share her story, contact us at editor@blacklesbianlovelab.com. 

The Exes and Hoes

WakingUpLovelyLogoThe bliss of being in a new relationship is wonderful. The birds chirp louder, the weather always seems to be perfect, and you know every time your phone rings the sweet, sexy voice of your new honey will be on the other end. Heart flutter city!!!!! Yaaasssssss, I love it. The smell of a new relationship is like the smell of fresh-baked cookies, everyone knows when they are ready… even your exes. I love the way people get all in their feelings when you get into a new relationship because when you were single your ex wasn’t even thinking about you. But, now when you’re in a good committed relationship, all these exes and hoes want to come out the woods.

Engagement ringWhy is it when you see a ring on my finger you want to say, “I would have gotten you a ring too”? Well mother curse word you didn’t. It seems like women can see a ring from miles away. My honey’s ex saw mine. I feel like as soon as she put it on my finger, her ex started sending “I miss you” texts, started to accidently send texts like “Let’s get married” and then send one back saying “Oops that wasn’t meant for you.” Really? These chicks know exactly the moment the person they have done wrong or kept on the side has officially moved on.

I cannot take it! Why now? Why try to make me question my relationship and my choices because you decided you want me now? Nope honey, you lose. People fail to realize that you can’t keep a good girl down. You cheat on her and you lose her. You date her and keep her simmering on that back burner too long and you lose her. You keep her on the side just in case and you lose her. You cannot keep a good girl down. And so why are you popping up now? Do you think you can treat her better now than before? You should have thought of that when you had her and was treating her like crap. I know from firsthand experience that, “you never know a good thing until it’s gone.”

It was best said in the film “Why did I get Married?” directed by Tyler Perry: “Good luck with your 20.” I love that line. For those who have never seen the movie and don’t know what it means, here you go… No one can ever be 100% of what you want the majority of the time. You will get a good 80% but never 100. So some people may go out looking for that 20% that is missing in their 80% lover not knowing that the 20% that they just found is only 20% and nothing more. When that discovery is made, they want to come back home with “I’m sorry,” but now it is too late.

Outlawed Love Blossoms in Homophobic East Africa

Fayth and Meg share a kiss the night they got engaged.

Fayth and Meg share a kiss the night they got engaged.

Although homosexuality has been outlawed in their home country of Kenya, Fayth and Meg have fallen deeply in love. And they have no plans of separating, no matter the consequences. Fayth—an artist, blogger and part-time travel agent; and Meg, a videographer/graphics artist—live and work in the capital city of Nairobi. We shared their engagement story here, and although their love is risky, this playful couple agreed to share their love story below:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How long have you been together?

Fayth: We have been together for 7 months now. I have never been with anyone for that long, and I look forward to having many more months with her.

BL3: How did you two meet?

Fayth: We had been meeting with mutual friends but never had any conversation. We met at a human rights tattoo event. We started talking and had our first conversation about tattoos and explaining the ones we already had. We did not exchange numbers but Twitter handles and just parted. I wasn’t sure I was going to see her again unless during other LGBT events. The next day, we had a long talk on Twitter and that is where I realized how interesting she was. She is an intellectual and me being a sapiosexual got attracted to her. We flirted during that conversation, and the next hour I was asking our mutual friend who introduced us for her number. I was the first to make the move.

Meg: *Peeks at Fayth’s answer* ahem. Yeah. … [After the human rights event], we hit it off and I found out that she was the blogger I’d been obsessing over for a while. Jackpot *smirk.* But. There’s a but. Heh. I wasn’t ready for any type of relationship having just come out of a messy, complicated one. We were friends for about two months (admirable restraint) before we decided to officially date.

BL3: What do you love about each other?  

Fayth: She is a simple person to love. She has a great sense of humor. It’s unbelievable. She has [these] beautiful dreadlocs that I love and most times play with them. More often than not, her backside is my source of objectification, and I do not hide it whenever she is around.

She has a contagious beautiful smile and laugh that lights up her face and anyone who gets to see or hear it. She is such an intellectual and we can engage in conversations that are stimulating and I can listen to her all day. She is a passionate and creative person and is constantly learning new things in her line of work. It interests me a lot and I am never bored because of my curiosity with what she does. It all adds up to the excitement of being with her. We write each other love letters sometimes, and when we decide to become mushy and cheesy, [there’s] a whole bowl of it. She participates in my dreams and goals and encourages me a lot. We make a good team: friends first, inseparable when together, we are always willing to talk about things, we are both introverts.

Meg: What attracted me/attracts me to Fayth is her mind. Her way of expressing herself and debating life issues really stirred up the Sagittarius in me 🙂 Oh and the fact she is mind numbingly beautiful and fucking sexy adds to the overall charm. What I love about Fayth is so extensive I could write pages about it. I will say though that the person she is, how she handles herself, her passion, determination and creativity tops the list. Also when she’s putting on her mascara in that moment she looks quite gorgeous, delicate, feminine, enchanting. Heart stopping even.

BL3: When will your wedding ceremony be? And, why get married when it is not legal in Kenya?

Fayth: With Meg everything feels right. I want to be with her constantly and the thought of otherwise is just not entertained in my line of thoughts. I want to be married to her; it somehow makes me feel even more important to her than just a girlfriend. She gives me support, the challenge and the urge to do more, especially as an artist. We form an idea and we look for ways to actualize it.

Make It Last Forever: Secrets From 9 Real-Life Couples

When you first fall in love, you never, ever want to let each other go. If you listen to Keith Sweat’s 1987 hit song, “Make It Last Forever,” all you had to do was say, “I love you” and make each other feel good. But we all know that happy, long lasting relationships takes more than that, right? We turned to people who would know—eight 9 black, lesbian couples in long term relationships. These real-life couples share their secrets for making their love last.

Click on the pictures below to view the slideshow!

Or click here to read what works for them! 

When She Looks at the Cute Girl at the Bar

WakingUpLovelyLogo

The other night my partner and I went out for drinks with a friend of hers. As we were walking to the bar, I noticed a woman with a small waist; beautiful, exotic face; and big, voluptuous breasts. I knew right away that my woman was going to have “the long neck” and would be looking. It just so happened that we sat at a table right in front of this woman. I sat with my back to her, but my honey conveniently had the ultimate view. It seemed like every two seconds, my honey glanced past my shoulders. After about the fifth time, I wanted to grab her by the neck and sit her next to me and share a few choice words, but I remained calm and didn’t say anything.

are you cheating on me

Instead of getting upset with your girlfriend for not being blind to other beautiful women, first consider if you’re just being insecure.

My honey isn’t blind and I know when there is an attractive woman around, she is going to look, and I would do the same but I am never as obvious about it as she is. I know there are pretty women out there and I can run with the best of them. I also acknowledge pretty women. Hell, if you got it, you got it and I will be looking too, but I will not be disrespectful with it nor will I be obvious with it. I am the “oh, babe look” kinda girl. If I see something that is nice, I want my girl to see it too. I am also overly committed, so when it comes to looking at more aggressive women, I see no other but my boo.

However, that night the constant looking made me feel somewhat jealous. Why was she looking at this woman so much? Was I making it out to be more than what it actually was? Well, as it turned out, I was. Call me naïve but when I asked her about it, my honey told me she was thinking, “what the hell is she (the pretty woman) doing.” With my back to the woman, my honey was seeing everything that I wasn’t and it was just curiosity on her part.

So, I had to ask myself what led me to the conclusion that my partner was lusting over this woman? Simply put, just my insecurities. My partner is great at making me feel like I am the only woman she wants and needs, so the fact that I was feeling insecure is something within me.

Before You Go Off

I know every woman has her own opinion about the wandering eye and whether it is disrespectful. I say you can do it, just don’t be over the top and disrespectful with it. The most respectable thing to do is to keep your focus on your woman and if your woman is the one doing the looking, keep a couple of things in mind before you go off:

  1. Your insecurity levels
  2. The status of your relationship

If the ship is rocky, I say go off. But, if you’re good and you know at that moment your relationship is in your “forever status,” leave it be and remind your woman why she picked you.


Luvly Jones is the oldest of three, daughter of a Christian pastor and enjoys writing poetry and short stories. After dating a plethora of women, resulting in many life lessons she now shares her life with the woman she believes is “the one.” In this space she shares her journey of awareness, love, conflicts and getting through a relationship without getting arrested.

A Big Wedding Wasn’t Necessary for These Lovebirds

Marlena and Lakeisha hold hands during their wedding ceremony.

Marlena and Lakeisha hold hands during their wedding ceremony.

I first noticed Marlena and Lakeisha as they walked down the streets at Baltimore pride earlier this summer hand in hand. They both wore “Just Married” T-shirts and “Mrs.” hats. The couple, who live in Baltimore, graciously agreed to share their love story below:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): How did you first meet?

Marlena: We met at our previous job. I approached Lakeshia at work with a work-related matter and then started a conversation with her and discovered she was single.

BL3: What attracted you to each other?

Lakeshia: Her coy smile, beauty and girlish charm [are] what attracted me to my wife.

Marlena: Her beautiful smile, eyes, lips personality and the fact that she carries herself so gracefully as if she’s attending a $5,000-a-plate charity event with millionaires.

BL3: When did you first know it was love?

Lakeshia: I first knew I was in love with Marlena our second night together when she held me in her arms.

Marlena: I first knew that I was in love with Lakeshia when I literally first laid my eyes on her, and after spending the first night with her just confirmed those feelings. I said I love you first.

BL3: What do you love about each other?

Lakeshia: I love her femininity.

Marlena: I love her femininity, affection, smile, her kiss. I could go on and on …

Marlena and Lakeisha show off their wedding bling.

Marlena and Lakeisha show off their wedding bling.

BL3: Tell us about the wedding.

Lakeshia: We’ve been together for 2 1/2 years. We got married on February 18, 2014.

Marlena: The most memorable part of our ceremony is the actual ceremony. From the moment we woke up all the way up until the moment when we said, “I do.” We kept the something old, something new something borrowed and something blue wedding tradition. We got married at the courthouse in Baltimore County. We knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We didn’t want a big wedding we were ready to take the next step.

Turning the Lens on Black Lesbian Mothers: A Conversation With Isis Asare

Isis Asare is the founder of Sista Sinema. Photo by #1MustHaves (http://number1musthave.com/).

Isis Asare is the founder of Sista Sinema. Photo by #1MustHaves (http://number1musthave.com/).

 

This month Sista Sinema, a monthly screening event focused on queer women of color films, selects four shorts that turn the lens on black lesbian mothers. Below we chat with Isis Asare, founder of Sista Sinema:

Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3): Please explain for those who do not know, what exactly Sistah Sinema is and does?

Isis: Sistah Sinema is a monthly event screening queer women of color films. We started in 2011 in Seattle, and are currently in 15 cities in the [United States] and Kingston, Jamaica. We hope to be in 20 cities by the end of the year. Click here if you want to bring Sistah Sinema to your city. We are also working on launching a pay-per-view streaming service on Vimeo this fall.

BL3: Explain the power/importance of film as a medium.

Isis: Film is a great way to foster discussion on various aspects of identity politics, the complexity of intersectionality, and the outliers that aren’t seen every day. Also, unlike a book club or a university course, there is no pre-work required of the attendees.

BL3: What are some of the topics covered by the selected films so far?

Isis: Using film, Sistah Sinema has covered futuristic queerness, the revolutionary act of women loving women, how queer communities form familial ties, marriage equality, undocumented immigrant status in the queer community, and bisexuality. That is just in the first six months of 2014!

BL3: And this month you’ll focus on black queer moms. What is it that sets black queer moms apart from all other moms?

Isis: Sixty-seven percent of African American children are raised in single mother homes. This is higher than any other racial group in the United States. In our view, that called for a deeper look at stories from that experience and a celebration of the strength it takes to be black, a woman, a lesbian, and a mother. Black, queer mothers are warriors, but their stories are rarely told in mainstream media.

BL3: What films did you select and why? 

Isis: The best thing about Sistah Sinema is that because we have so many screenings, we can be very focused in a given month. I chose four shorts that adhere to the theme … which lent itself to a conversation on black lesbian motherhood:

Truth. Be. Told: StaceyAnn Chin. In this interview with Katina Parker, StaceyAnn is candid about the joys and challenges at the intersection of blackness, queerness, womanhood, and motherhood. I think there are a lot of powerful lessons to be pulled from her story. We chose it for two reasons. One, the interview perfectly fits the theme. Second, we wanted to highlight the work of Katina Parker.

If She Grows Up Gay, produced by Frameline Voices, is a rich part of queer women of color herstory. Shot in 1983, it is a short documentary following the life of a 19-year-old mother and her two-year-old daughter. Unlike StaceyAnn’s highly political decision to become a mother, the lead in this short barely had a choice. Despite battling homelessness, joblessness, and a lack of education, she gracefully takes on the role of mother the best way she knows how. Sistah Sinema has to thank Frameline Voices for producing the work and serving as a national sponsor for this month’s screenings.

Crossover is an amazing short produced by Morgan’s Mark—a production company run by Black lesbian power couple Tina Mabry and Morgan Stiff. Set in 2028, it shows how far a mother would go to give her child a better future. The short was the catalyst for the July theme. In addition, it depicts a world were the most basic infrastructure—healthcare, electricity, running water, education are reserved for the wealthy and the implications of that vast disparity.

Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan is also by Tina and Morgan. Again, the filmmaker tells the tale of a black lesbian mother against the backdrop of a major societal challenge. In this case, it is marriage equality.