A Way to Luv…Celebrating #ThisIsLuv

Currently there is a dominant and pervasive narrative within the U.S. and abroad that the Black community is overwhelmingly more homophobic than other groups. However, we know that this biased assumption is both untrue and unfounded. Homophobia exists in all communities, and although Black LGBTQ people often tell stories of antagonism, which is no different than others, they also tell stories of affirmation. As such, this campaign offers a counter-narrative, and its chief aim is to give space for our community to come together and show love. It was created to highlight examples of Black LGBT-affirming love already present within Black families and communities through photos, video blogs, and testimonials. Join us using the hashtags #ThisIsLuv and #BlackLoveMatters. We’d love to hear from you!

Photo credit:  http://thisisluvproject.tumblr.com/post/111129409194/currently-there-is-a-dominant-and-pervasive

Luv is in the air because today Ebony.com launched #ThisIsluv.  A media campaign intended to highlight the abundant sense of love present in the Black community for LGBT persons.  While the media and the church often rehearse hate-centered language of homophobia and exclusion, the truth is that love continues to conquer all.  Our experiences show us how colleagues, friends and family are simply doing more loving than condemning.  We can celebrate the diverse ways queer people of color feel the love in their families and the community.

For myself, I can honestly admit that there are no words to fully express the sense of love I feel when I think back over my life and reflect on the ways I have been embraced and accepted by family and friends alike for identifying as a SGL/Open woman.

Sidebar lesson:  The string of alphabets stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and SGL stands for Same Gender Loving.  As for Open, that is my own creation which captures the idea that one can be open to love in whatever form it presents itself. 

I lived most of my life as a straight woman.  It was not until I identified along the LGBT spectrum that I understood the complex considerations taken when deciding to “come out” and be openly honest about myself and who I love.  Did I shock my family?  Yes.  Were there tense conversations?  Yes.  Did all of my friends understand?  No.  Did I lose some connections?  Yes.  Have I been able to make new connections and create community?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Yes.  The risks I have taken to be vulnerable and share all of who I am have been challenging but the rewards have been amazing.

Even as I boldly embrace and embody my truth as a SGL woman I recognize that homosexuality is still a touchy subject for many people in the church.  The idea that it is a sin, the literal interpretations of scripture that are devoid of any social-cultural critiques and the oppressive life-negating theologies that are advanced in pulpits and sermons across this country.  It is no wonder it takes so much work to get us to the place of love.  However, the more we talk about luv, the more we show luv, the more we see luv, the more luv becomes the prevailing narrative.

Celebrate luv this week and join in the movement to show others that #ThisIsLuv!