Black Lesbian Love Lab (BL3) is a magazine-inspired relationship blog committed to sharing stories and resources about and for black queer women (lesbian, bisexual, poly, transgendered, etc.) and the women who love them.
A Letter From the Editor: What Inspired This Blog
I want to be completely honest with you. I am not out at work and this why for now, I use a pen name and you won’t see my face on this blog. I’m also single and child free. It may seem strange that someone like myself would be writing about the family life of queer women of color. However, I assure you that it is not. Just because I am presently single does not mean that these issues are not near and dear to my heart.
First, I want to congratulate the women who live their lives and share their love freely all over the Internet. Seeing your love stories fills my heart with so much joy and reminds me that even if romantic love is not in my present it is definitely a part of my future. But I’m kind of greedy and to me, there are not enough tools, stories and resources for the black queer community and their families and this has bothered me for many years. As a professionally trained, print journalist, I know first-hand the power that mainstream media wields in all of our lives. Media overwhelming determines what is real, normal and acceptable. If something is not in the media, it doesn’t exist. And while there is an increasing number of black lesbians and queer people in the media, I find that black queer love, commitment and families are still for the most part invisible. I find that strange because in the area where I live, Washington, D.C., I know of several women who have been in committed, long-term relationships raising beautiful families together. Their stories go untold and that is a disservice to our community and the rest of the world.
Second, while I believe there are many of us who want healthy loving relationships and family, we just don’t know how to go about gaining one. In my particular case, I have seen very few healthy, happy relationships among family members. I grew up a child of divorce and suffered emotional abuse, neglect and abandonment. As a 30-something, black queer woman, I struggled in my two major relationships. In both cases, I was emotionally unavailable at first but slowly and surely opened myself up and became vulnerable. In both cases, we discussed marriage and family. But both cases involved anger, distrust, disrespect and violence. But it wasn’t just the other person who caused me pain. I’ve been shady, flirty, dismissive, sneaky, a martyr, unsupportive and excessively needy. Needless to say, these were not ideal proving grounds for raising a healthy family. Neither of us are evil. I believe in both cases we had deep love, but because neither of us had models for healthy families, the relationships we tried to create were disastrous. Is it possible for a single person to edit a site on relationships? I think so. I believe that who we are as individuals prior to getting into a relationship can make or break any attempts at love. So, instead of jumping back into another relationship, I’ve decided to take the time to learn from and showcase real, lasting queer/lesbian families of color here.
Why this blog? I believe that a journalistic approach to documenting our lives is necessary. In this particular case, it allows our stories to be told in a somewhat honest, unbiased way. We are an integral part of the fabric of the American story, and without our threads, the story is incomplete. Join me in telling our stories! We are accepting writers, families, couples, professional counselors/therapists, photographers and educators from all over the country and beyond North America. We are also seeking other community members who are willing to ask questions, participate in respectful debate on the site and honestly seek and share help for those needing it. Welcome one and all!
Z. Amara Perri