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Laqwanda Roberts-Buckley, LMSW
The older I got I just fell into the typical like a guy, date a guy and see what happened. However, something always felt like it was missing. It was not until my sophomore in college that I found someone who came close to understanding how I felt, my college roommate. She openly identified as a lesbian and I had so many questions to ask her. However, I remained reserved because I heard the whispers and saw how organizations she desired to be a part of treated her.
Fast forward years later, I married a cisgender man, had a child and later divorce. I spent years trying to find the part of me that I felt was missing. I thought connecting to one person after the next would bring me closer to the fullness of myself. Of course, I was 100% wrong. It was not until I moved from the deep south that I finally had the confidence and freedom to live in my complete truth.
In the beginning, I felt pressured to call myself a lesbian and then that changed to bisexual. Labels were often forced upon me by the people I dated because it made them feel “uncomfortable” for me to identify outside of how they identified. As I walked the streets of my new surroundings, I began to take notice of all the beauty of the individuals around me. It did not matter to me if they identified as straight, lesbian, bisexual, etc. It was during this period of realization that I knew that gender did not play a role in my attraction towards someone.
One faithful day I met a wonderful group of people who identified as queer, and it was the first time that I felt like I belonged. Through deep conversation and self-reflection, I openly began to identify as a Black Queer Woman. I was in my mid 30’s at this time and sharing with family and friends was a bit of a shock to some. I lost one of my closest friends and disconnected from some associates back home. Despite the loss, I had gained myself and that was who I needed above all.
Honestly, coming out at any age can be difficult, challenging, and rewarding. You wonder if the people closest to you will accept you. You are scared at how many people will throw “their scripture” at you. Then there is a beautiful side of having a wonderful community of people who understand and welcome you. Although this has been a beautiful yet painful journey at times, I did learn some lessons along the way.
As we celebrate Pride, I just want to acknowledge everyone who took a little bit longer to get here. I see you. Happy Pride Family!
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Healing Black Women
is a safe space designed to encourage and promote all forms of wellness and healing for black women.