Black LGBTQ+ History

A big part of Black history overlaps with LBGTQ history. That’s because many prominent historical figures in the LGBT liberation movement were Black. These people deserve as much recognition as anyone else.

Important Black LGBTQ People From History

Marsha P. Johnson, “As long as my people don’t have their rights across America, there’s no reason for celebration.”

Many people celebrate Pride month in June, but not everyone knows the story behind it. June is Pride month because The Stonewall Riots happened in June 1969 in Manhattan. When discussing the Stonewall Riots it is important to remember Marsha P. Johnson a Black transgender woman who is credited with starting the riots. She was an advocate for gay and trans youths and even cofounded STAR an organization that provided homeless transgender people with shelter and community. Click here to watch a documentary on Marsha P. Johnson.

James Baldwin, “If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy.”

James Baldwin, also from New York City, was a poet, a writer, and a social justice advocate. As a Black and gay man, he wrote about the intersections of his identities. He is known for his essays in “Notes of a Native Son” which discuss the intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in society in The United States. Baldwin wrote about being gay in a time when being gay was not yet accepted. On sexuality, Baldwin believed it to be more fluid than it is often thought to be.

Audre Lorde, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

Lorde was a Black lesbian poet, author, and social justice advocate. She was also a cancer survivor. She described herself as a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” She often discussed how a person's identity was more than just gender and race. That it was gender, race, sexuality, class, age, and ability. This idea is now known as intersectionality. She was recognized internationally and received many awards. She is known for “Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches” a collection of her essential essays and speeches.