New York          Articles


A Web Portal For Lesbians Of Color

About FemmeNoir
The Library
Poetry & Fiction
Leaders and Legends
Social Activities
A & E
PRIDE 2005
Favorite Links
In Business
Redbone Press
Your Health


On The Web

"Gay Folks Live Where Black Folks Live"

Talking to several black lesbians in Los Angeles gives the lie to the myth that black folks and gay folks inhabit different worlds.

By Carla Thompson
Black Voices

When Jasmyne Cannick hears the comment, "go to back to West Hollywood where you belong," it makes her blood boil. Cannick, a board member for the National Black Justice Coalition, an ad hoc social justice organization formed around the issue of gay marriage, says she's not going anywhere — especially to the white gay enclave some fellow black activists suggest she check out.

[Read More]

back to top

Visiting Scholar Evelyn C. White
Publishes Biography of Alice Walker

By Laura K. Cucullu
November 18, 2004
Mills College Weekly

Over the last 10 years, visiting scholar Evelyn C. White has had hundreds of interviews, sorted through thousands of letters, records, and photos, and spent countless hours pouring over the life of one of literature’s most famous authors. Her “journalist credo to interview first-person everyone I could” took her all over the country and the world, including Cuba, Japan, Brazil, and Kenya.  [Read More]

back to top

Black clergy unite to publicly support gay rights
Pastors offer ‘a more hope-filled perspective’

Friday, February 04, 2005
Southern Voice Online

Photo:  Emory University’s Dr. Alton Pollard penned a letter last month signed by more than 50 black clergy members that said the black church needs to be more accepting of gay Christians.

More than 50 black clergy and theologians from metro Atlanta published a letter recently in the Atlanta Daily World calling on African-American churches to be more sympathetic to the political and spiritual struggles faced by gay men and lesbians.

Alton Pollard III, director of the black church studies program at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, wrote the letter, which was addressed to Martin Luther King Jr., and intended to counter the area’s growing reputation as “the epicenter of black religious backlash when it comes to issues of human sexuality.”  [Read More]

back to top

Fighting Demons

Author and Activist Keith Boykin Joins the Down Low Debate with a New Book that Asks What’s at Stake in Portraying Black Americans as Villains and Victims in the Spread of HIV

by Lester Strong
A&U Magazine (Art & Understanding)

As I listened to the media stories about the down low over the past year, I was really disappointed with the coverage and lack of in-depth reporting. I wanted to write something that would go beneath the surface. I wanted to explore the question of whether men on the down low were really responsible for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the black community.  [Read More]

back to top


by Anita Charlot
2005-02-01 -- Identities

Happy Valentine’s Day! Considering that this is the month of love, relationships and, for some, major heartbreaks and disappointments, I felt that this was the perfect month to release my new e-Book entitled, The 5 Phases of Dating ... Without Losing Sight of Your Purrfectly Authentic Self. In this book, you will find my thoughts on the realities of dating broken down into what I consider to be 5 Well-Defined Phases.

Are you tired of following the same old patterns in dating? Can you fight the urge for immediate gratification? Wouldn’t you like to go into your next relationship emotionally healthy and speaking from your Purrfectly Authentic Voice? Well, this is the book for you! In this book, I will assist you in identifying your true wants, needs and desires and then walk you through the 5 Phases that we all should go through on our journey of finding our life’s partner.   [Read More]

back to top

Avoiding the Relationship Blues

by Vicky Nabors
2005-02-01 -- Identifies

With the biggest holiday season behind us, we turn our attention to the season of love and relationships, Valentine’s Day. For this article, I decided to tie this season into some college academics for thought purposes. Mark Knapp’s Relational Development and Maintenance model is one that I’ve use in my interpersonal communication courses. Hopefully, you’ll find something in his 5-step model that’ll help you avoid “the relationship blues” in the future. The blues best reflects our frustrations over lost loves, failed relationships, and especially being alone on Valentine’s Day.  [Read More]

back to top


The Life and Music of Mexican Legend
Chavela Vargas

Malinda Lo, January 24, 2005

In the late 1950s and early 1960s in Mexico, singer Chavela Vargas dressed in men’s clothes, drank and smoked cigars like any man, carried a gun with her, and was notorious for her love of women. Some even say that she once kidnapped a woman at gunpoint, but Vargas denies that rumor. However, she doesn’t deny that she gained her slight limp from jumping out of a window because a woman disappointed her in love. If that’s true, Vargas in her youth was every bit as romantic as the music she sang.  [Read More]

back to top

Las Vegas Episode Serves Up
Buffet of Lesbian Stereotypes

by Sarah Warn, January 12, 2005

Scary butch lesbians. Oversexed feminine lesbians. Lesbians who just want to get pregnant. This week's episode of NBC's drama Las Vegas served up more lesbian stereotypes than almost any show on network TV this season--but also offered two lesbians of color, a rarity on network TV.

Episode 37 ("Sperm Whales and Spearmint Rhinos"), which aired on January 10th, opens with series regular Mike Cannon (James Lesure), part of the security team for Montecito Resort and Casino, spying his old college flame Nina (Sharon Leal, Boston Public) at a craps table. Mike describes Nina to his co-worker Nessa (Marsha Thomason) as the one who got away, and Nessa urges him to go up to Nina and say hello, suggesting he might be able to win her back since "she's not with anyone." Mike takes her advice and Nina greets him warmly, introduces him to her two friends, Debbie and Rhona, and then agrees to meet him for coffee later.  [Read More]

back to top

On FemmeNoir



Los Angeles, California - January 24, 2005 -

Each year the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards recognizes and honors members of the media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and the issues that affect our lives.

This past year was groundbreaking for gays in Black journalism. From Black churches supporting or opposing gay marriage to the alarming rise in HIV infection rates among Black gay and bisexual men, Black journalists tackled issues considered taboo by many and generated the beginning of an open and honest dialogue in a community that isn't necessarily willing or ready to discuss the L, G or H word.  [Read More]

back to top

GLAAD Media Awards:  Fair,
Accurate and Inclusive? 

Los Angeles, California - January 24, 2005 -

Each year the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards recognizes and honors members of the media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities and the issues that affect our lives.

This past year was groundbreaking for gays in Black journalism. From Black churches supporting or opposing gay marriage to the alarming rise in HIV infection rates among Black gay and bisexual men, Black journalists tackled issues considered taboo by many and generated the beginning of an open and honest dialogue in a community that isn't necessarily willing or ready to discuss the L, G or H word. 

Warrior Poet:
A Biography Of Audre Lorde

If you have not read this book, you need to.  Alexis De Veaux does a wonderful job in documenting the life of this Warrior Poet, Audre Lorde. 

OUT-FM recently conducted an interview with Alexis De Veaux on her new book and the life of Audre Lorde. 

Warrior Poet: A Biography of Audre Lorde

  • Also featuring...
    Jewelle Gomez, award-winning novelist, author of The Gilda Stories;  
    Cheryl Clarke, award-winning poet and short-story writer, author of Humid Pitch;  and
    James Credle, human rights activist, AIDS advocate, founder People of All Colors Together.

This OUT-FM broadcast explores the notion De Veaux puts forth in her biography that there were two lives led by Audre Lorde. Lorde's first life encompassed her upbringing in a conservative childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and her transformation into a gifted poet, mother and teacher - identities which De Veaux explains evolved "defined by [Lorde's] identity as a lesbian and by the development of a black lesbian eroticism within and without her work."

Click here to listen to hour 1 -- (Begins approximately 9 minutes into audio right after Sweet Honey)

Click here to listen to hour 2

back to top

lesbian, lesbian resources, lesbian photo gallery, lesbian art, lesbian poetry, lesbian horoscopes, lesbian psychic readings, lesbian tarot readings, lesbian love readings

Empress Book Signing Party

"Love has no color, sex or reason. It’s just love..."

The book signing party for EMPRESSS, written by Playboy Centerfold & "Out" Lesbian Author Stephanie Adams was a great success. The party was held at Vela restaurant/lounge and ended up at Gallery night club in addition to an after party at the Roxy. The crowd was a gay, lesbian and straight, with a mix of people in the fashion, film and fiction industries. 

back to top

The Choir Needs A New Song

By Jasmyne Cannick
Los Angeles, California - Oct. 7, 2004

When traveling around the country speaking to same gender loving (SGL) and LGBT communities of African decent about our issues and strategies, I often remind myself that I am preaching to the choir. I mean, these people get it. Right? Well, in light of the recent support for President Bush from prominent Black ministers, maybe it's time we learn a new song because I think we need to do better. 

First-Ever In-Depth Study of Black Same Sex Households In U.S Reveals High Parenting Rates; Income Disparities

Black Couples Have Most at Stake In The Same Sex Marriage Debate, Census Analysis Shows

"This study disproves the myth that all gay people are White, wealthy, and have unstable relationships without children," said Task Force Executive Director, Matt Foreman

New York, October 6, 2004 - A groundbreaking study released today by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition shows that Black lesbian couples are raising children at almost the same rate as Black married couples, and that Black same-sex couples raise children at twice the rate of White same-sex couples. They also earn less, are less likely to own a home, and are more likely to hold public sector jobs. For all these reasons, Black same-sex couples have more to gain from the legal protections of marriage, and more to lose if states pass amendments banning marriage and other forms of partner recognition.

Half Way In, Half Way Out

By:  Frances Scott

I remember the day when I knew I was never letting anybody, including myself, know that I loved girls.

It was a hot summer day.  I had just hugged, kissed, and ran my ten year old hands down Cee’s back and butt.  She felt good to the touch.  Only twelve, she had that hourglass shape, small breast, shoulder length pressed hair, voluptuous mouth, flat wide nose and the color of tapioca with a tinge of cinnamon, short waist but with that little indentation, full hips, short thick thighs and a mini backside.  During the summer I would occasionally get to hug, kiss her cheek and touch her outer clothed body.  Yeah, I still remember how it was to be ten and free!  Little did know, I was about to find out that people, my people, Black people could be so cruel to each other for no other reason than… 

Back to top

Being Black In A Political Climate

By:  Jasmyne Cannick

Last year may have been the year of gay television, but 2004 has been the year of the Black gay. From the emerging series Noah's Arc, the first gay television series targeting and featuring African Americans to the highly debated issue of gay marriage, long gone are the days of silence around same gender loving persons in the African American community and it's about time. However, we need to shape the context and direction of this discussion in our own community.

Back to top  


ULOAH/YES – Youth Empowerment Retreat

Article and photos:  A.D. Odom

United Lesbians of African Heritage (ULOAH), a Los Angeles based Black lesbian organization held its first Youth Empowerment Retreat for young women the weekend of August 27, 2004, between the age of 16 to 25. Considering the number of young people visibly out in high school (or younger), this was a much needed retreat for young people to come together, exchange ideas, network, talk, and meet other young women like themselves.

Back to top

Atlanta Black Pride Report
By Jasmyne Cannick

I am back from Atlanta and feeling good. Wow! Atlanta's pride was so wonderful and the about southern hospitality. The board and staff of In the Life Atlanta (ITLA) were fabulous and put on a great pride filled with substance and not just parties, although there was no shortage of them.

Because it is a political year and Blacks and gays are being used as wedge issues, this year's community luncheon for ITLA discussed gay marriage on the local level (Georgia), the national level, and where we fit in.  

Back to top

Black Lesbians Speak On Marriage Equality


On Thursday, the day New Jersey’s governor proclaimed “I am gay,” and then resigned his position, the California Supreme Court issued its decision in Lockyer v. San Francisco  (Opinion Nos. S122923 & S122865) stating city officials exceeded their authority by issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of state law, and ruled to void the 4,000-plus licenses issued in February of this year.

Though most of the justices agreed, two dissented from the order that licenses already issued be deemed invalid.  Justices Joyce Kennard and Kathryn Werdegar wrote that the licenses should have stood at least until the state law's constitutionality is decided – an issue completely avoided in Thursday's ruling, and addressed in lawsuits currently working their way through the court system.  [Read More]

Photo Credit:  A.D. Odom.  Panelists from left to right Marquita Thomas (Out & About), Jasmyne Cannick (National Black Justice Coalition), Sylvia Rhue (California Freedom to Marry Coalition) and D. Lisa Powell, United Lesbians of African Heritage (ULOAH).  The event was held at Cabrini's Spot, a lesbian owned and operated coffee house in Los Angeles.

Back to top


Jasmyne Cannick Goes To Cleveland

According to Jasmyne, Cleveland's Black gay pride celebration was a huge success and they have a wonderful close knit community there.  She says she will definitely be back!.  Jasmyne was there as a speaker for their symposium "The State of Black Gay America."

"I was really psyched because my favorite television show, Drew Carey is based on the city. I ended up staying next door to the fictitious Lauder Building where Drew works and where they shot the title sequence." 

Back to top

An Interview With Marquita Thomas of


I began a correspondence with Marquita Thomas about two years ago via email when she was promoting parties for women under Isis.  Unfortunately, because of Christine's illness, I was unable to attend her parties but I made a promise to myself that as soon as I could, I would.  Well, finally I was able to attend one such event, a horseback riding adventure early one Sunday morning.  Having not been on a horse since  well, we won't go there I can say I definitely had a good time, albeit a little sore afterward.  Horseback riding, paint balling, and private parties are but a few of the events Marquita Thomas hosts "for the ladies."  The following is an interview with Marquita Thomas as she answers some of my questions about Out & About and her future plans "For The Ladies." 

Back to top

National HIV Testing Day Is June 27, 2004

by Phill Wilson,
Executive Director of the Black AIDS Institute

I tested HIV positive almost 20 years ago.  I was scared and angry, and I struggled with despair and hopelessness at the news.  I never fully believed then that two decades later I’d still be alive – let alone happy and, all things considered, in good health. I am living proof that an HIV positive diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence.

So if AIDS is no longer a death sentence, why are so many Black folks still dying from the disease?  The answer is not enough of us are getting tested early enough.  Taking an HIV test is still an emotionally charged experience – so much that a third of people who get tested with standard tests never come back for their results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 25% of people living with HIV in this country don’t know their HIV status.  They’ve either never been tested or never found out their test results.

Back to top

WSW (Women who have Sex with other Women):
What You Don’t Know Can KILL You!

Claire J. Griffin, LCSW

HIV/AIDS has been a reality in our lives for over 20 years and during this time women as a gender group are still being excluded from information regarding not only prevention but also treatment and its effect on our bodies.  Women continue to be treated as a monolithic community, with one woman being equal to all women even as it relates to our sexual practices, sexual orientations (not preferences), race/ethnicity, and the ills we live with and battle through each day.  The simple truth is that we are a diverse community sharing only the commonality that we identify as WOMYN.* (empowerment spelling)  There are some of you who may already know that HIV/AIDS impacts and effects us differently than men, however if we are to improve the quality of our lives and that of our children (should we elect to have them), then we must educate ourselves as well as those who seek to treat us because what you don’t know can kill you!

Back to top

Laurinda Brown: Following Her Passion

“Laurinda Brown’s poignant tales of everyday life in both the heterosexual and homosexual communities are definitely stories that we want to keep coming.” - Sable Magazine

A native of Memphis, TN, and a graduate of Howard University’s English Department, Laurinda believes in divine destiny. Saying, “It was time for me to do what God put me here to do,” she turned her back on corporate America in order to complete the book that she knew was inside her. That book evolved into a four-year labor of love that she eventually entitled UnderCover. “When you do what your passion is – your passion being what God gave you the zest and talent to do – the rest falls into place."

A full-time grant and policy writer who currently resides with her two daughters in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Laurinda D. Brown writes about life…not lifestyles.

Back to top

The Road To Perdition
By A.D. Odom

The other night, while sitting in my driveway, I made a spontaneous change in plans. Instead of driving to one of the pick up locations to board a bus for the Michael Jackson “Keep the Faith Caravan,” I chose to drive the 150 plus miles up to Santa Maria alone. Yeah, this little squirrel may just well be a nut, but not only did I not trust going up with a bus load of people I didn't know, which would not have been a bad thing, I just had some reservations that I might end up being used to make signs or cover the event from a very one-sided perspective -- I hate not having the freedom to go and do what I want to go and do. Since I had troubling reservations about this, I had to trust my gut on this one. Next time I probably will catch a bus -- if they have one -- which will allow me to gather perspectives from others or make some connections. For now, I wanted my first solo outing covering a news event to be a personal one.

Back to top

By Jasmyne Cannick

Barely Breaking Even Productions (BBE Productions), a division of Bamboo Media, has embarked upon a three-prong project to include a documentary film, a photography book and a photo-text exhibit. The project is a collaboration between journalist and publicist Jasmyne Cannick and long time activist and writer Charlotte M. Young  “My personal goal is to incite the black family to start talking more openly about sexual orientation and I believe that once we see the diversity of gay people and hear their stories, this in itself will help to combat homophobia in the black community and more specifically in the black church,” comments Young. 

Back to top

My Trip To Nia With Christine
Article and Photos By Gayle Fuhr

There was a beautiful alter set up and so on the first night when we were asked to say our name and where we were from, I did and I mentioned that I had brought a very big Nia supporter with me, Christine. I asked if I could place her urn on the alter for the weekend and leave her there until we were ready to have a ceremony for her on Sunday. I was asked to bring Christine’s ashes with me the next morning for the opening ceremony and was asked to talk about her. My first reaction was that there are so many women here who knew her so much longer than I and maybe they should speak. I was told that I was entrusted with her and so it would be more appropriate for me to do so.

Back to top

Fear of a Black Lesbian Planet
By Samiya Bashir

"It's the big pink elephant in the middle of the room. Everyone knows it's there — and we quietly tiptoe around it, afraid that even acknowledging its existence would throw off the delicate balance that exists in our pretending it isn't standing there, grazing on our avoidance. If we do choose to look at the elephant's skin, we see that she carries the tattoos of racial division — exclusion, nasty feelings, words, and actions, the unspoken rules of separation.

Black lesbians trying to find out who we are both as women of color and as lesbians find the invisible wall we bump up against while trying to find access into the lesbian community even harder to bear. White women may feel equally bruised by a situation where they don't feel they are being exclusionary at all. Some black women, reeling from accusations of being overly sensitive, question whether or not we are just imagining foul play.

Back to top


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised -- Thoughts on the Election
Last night, I had a dream.  In the dream, I was visiting my mother in a foreign land, her home, where she lived.  In the dream, I found my thoughts and words were somehow heard from behind the closed doors and windows of her house.  This country where she lived was one you had to conform, you had to think as they thought, you had to live as they lived and somehow, I drew attention to my mother’s house by my thoughts.  At one point in the dream, a helicopter swooped down near her home and flew, very slowly, past her window.  My mother said “they heard you.”  I was astonished that my thoughts could be heard not only from outside my body, but from within her home.  I felt a foreboding feeling envelop me – this is not freedom, I thought, this is oppression.  Just because someone has feelings that oppose the current system should not be cause for attack.  I awoke wanting to leave my mother’s house and her country.


Back to top




By Alicia Banks

I am very proud of every person who voted last Tuesday, even if we all did so in vain.  I know that millions of voters, of all races and classes, were denied a chance to vote. They were deliberately sabotaged by incompetence, error, and evil nationwide.

And, unlike in 2000, when the exact same voter abuses were exposed en masse, in 2002 all national news agencies decided to simply ignore these travesties. Millions of us are reading about voter outrage and municipal lawsuits in our local papers. But, this news will appear nowhere else....

Back to top

Black gay Fire & Ink

Washington Blade

A distinguished group of gay and lesbian writers of African descent gather, and in the very act of doing so find themselves making a political statement

FOR ABOUT FOUR years now Lisa C. Moore, the founder of RedBone Press, the only black lesbian publishing house in the U.S., and a handful of friends in her literary circle have been talking about sponsoring a national conference for gay writers of African descent.

The conversations traditionally unfolded after they left OutWrite, a now-defunct national lesbian and gay writers' conference held in Boston. While OutWrite gatherings would attract as many as 900 gay writers, Moore and a close colleague, poet and writer G. Winston James, said it was a mostly white crowd and issues of concern to many black writers there were often overlooked.

Back to top

The Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame


The Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame is both a historic event and an exhibit. through the Hall of Fame, residents of Chicago and the world are made aware of the contributions of Chicago's lesbian and gay community and the community's efforts to eradicate homophobic bias and discrimination.

With the support of the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues established the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame in June 1991. The inaugural induction ceremony took place during Gay and Lesbian Pride Week at City Hall, hosted by Mayor Richard M. Daley. This was the first event of its kind in the country.

Back to top

Passing The Torch
What is Activism?
The Oxford English Dictionary defines 'Activism' as "a doctrine or policy of advocating energetic action", and an 'Activist' as "an advocate of activism". The Random House Dictionary furthers the definition of 'Activism', defining it as an "involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.".

Much can be learned at the feet of an activist; those who have walked the walk and talked the talk.  The following are men and women, straight and gay who have been in the trenches of activism, have suffered the wounds and who have enjoyed the libations of success.  They are presented here for you to hear their words and be inspired.  You may consider yourself one person, but one person can inspire many people, or many nations.   

Back to top

Falling for Straight Women
by Sonya Shields

Sonya Shields is an African American lesbian, who came out ten years ago while living in Washington, DC. Within a few years of her coming out, she took a position with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. For over six years, she held a senior position within the organization, joined several national boards, and participated in other community activities. But despite her professional career as an activist working to achieve social justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, she settled for affairs and relationships with too many straight women. This is her story.


Back to top

World View:  Native Americans
Sex and Spirit: Native American Lesbian Identity
Native American and First Nations lesbians have to deal with unique issues as a result of their history, cultural status, and perceptions as Natives. They come out of a history of genocide; their people have been persecuted, killed, kidnapped, and assimilated for hundreds of years and still face lingering aspects of genocide. They face homophobia and sexism from their own people; racism from lesbians; and racism, homophobia, and sexism from the dominant society, not to mention the classism many Native Americans have to deal with.


Back to top

Lesbian Lovers

The assumption of many straight friends of mine is that lesbians and gays do not have long-term relationships.   When pressed, they often paint stereotypical images of gay men in bath houses, women in prison, or, when they have run out of things to say, they continue with "these relationships are destined to fail."  Really? 

I have been fortunate enough to know women who have been in monogamous relationships for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40+ years.  I knew one couple who had been together through their marriages to men, helped each other raise their children, attended the funeral of one husband, and when I left Chicago in 1990, were still together.  They referred to each other as "special friends."

Back to top



Back Next


FemmeNoir  © 2004