In Celebration of Black History Month

I was reminded last night on AE that I’ve been really lacking in these posts.  Shame on me, as a black lesbian to stop posting influential LGBT women of color.  So it only seems natural to select someone who was mentioned and someone I tend to talk about a little bit (too much) for my pick of the day.

Stacey Ann Chin

Most of you know that I have an intense crush on Ms. Chin.  It’s hard not to have a crush on her, really.  After reading her memoir, The Other Side of Paradise, my crush became even more intense.  It’s not just that she’s beautiful, because she is, it is because of who she is-not what she looks like.  After reading The Other Side of Paradise, the story of her childhood in Paradise, Jamaica I was intrigued by the adversity she’s overcome to get to be the person we are now.  There are parts at the end of the book where I’m talking to the pages before me, wanting to scream, “No, Stacey!  Don’t do that!”

In America, although there is still violence towards gays and lesbians every day, Jamaica is a completely other world of acceptance of gays and lesbians.  It has always been my impression that there was a complete intolerance of homosexuality and when she describes her coming out process-loud, out, and proud while attending school in Jamaica I feared for the worse as I read in the subway.

It took me years of playing straight-including an engagement-to finally feel comfortable in my own skin as an American in the MidWest.  I can’t imagine the courage it took to come out in Jamaica.  As we all know, she did come out and thank god for it.  Not only is Stacey Ann Chin an accomplished writer and poet, but she also starred in a one-woman show on Broadway in NYC, and her spoken word is considered to be some of the best.  I unfortunately have never seen her live-only clips on the internet.  She is definitely a woman of our time and a great spokes woman not only for the LGBT community but for the black community as well.



4 thoughts on “In Celebration of Black History Month

  1. It’s official, I love your blog. I adore StaceyAnn Chin for all the reasons you listed.
    My gf (Jamaican) is out to her parents, peers and her old coworkers. I had the same fears about being gay in Jamaica (and also because I am from the Caribbean, I understand the homophobic nature of its people). It doesn’t help when you hear the stores of “corrective rape”, the murders, and threats you face being out and gay in Jamaica. My gf said it’s not as bad as the media makes it and she is perfectly fine and safe, perhaps she has some validity being from there. I will keep sticking to the fact that I think she needs to be careful regardless.

    Also, if you come across any news of her doing an event in NYC, please post it cause I really want to see her live. I will do the same if I hear of anything.

    • Did you read The Other Side of Paradise, yet? It is so amazing-if you haven’t yet, make sure you do. I’ve been trying to find the clip of Stacey Ann on the Oprah Show “Gay Around the World” Stacey’s Website had a link that I’m sure Harpo Staffers have pulled. I’ve e-mailed the show twice trying to find it because you can’t even watch it on her website.

      I never realized that Caribbean islands had the reputation for being so homophobic until I moved to NYC…it’s the same every where, though. My home town is not the most gay-friendly place on earth, but it’s getting better. I think we have 1 lesbian bar and 2 gay bars!

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