"I name myself “lesbian” because this culture oppresses, silences, and destroys lesbians, even…"

“I name myself “lesbian” because this culture oppresses, silences, and destroys lesbians, even lesbians who do don’t call themselves “lesbians.” I name myself “lesbian” because I want to be visible to other black lesbians. I name myself “lesbian” because I do not subscribe to predatory/institutionalized heterosexuality. I name myself lesbian because I want to be with women (and they don’t all have to call themselves “lesbians”). I name myself “lesbian” because it is part of my vision. I name myself lesbian because being woman-identified has kept me sane. I call myself “Black,” too, because Black is my perspective, my aesthetic, my politics, my vision, my sanity.”

- Professor Cheryl Clarke , from “New Notes on Lesbianism”  (via colorfuldiaspora)

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