by Megan Kangas
March 28th, 2021

The Black Lesbian Community has historically suffered harsh stereotyping, being labeled as dangerous and vicious.

Those making these harsh claims about the community fail to realize how damaging these labels are, making it difficult for these individuals to step outside their homes and live normal lives. Those who believe these stereotypes are either afraid of the Black Lesbian Community because of misconceptions or believe them purely because they dress or present differently than the “norm.”

There is much more to the Black Lesbian Community than people realize and are aware of. One example is the different physical representations for their separate community, which helps them feel comfortable in their skin. The three main representations within the Black Lesbian Community are Femme, Gender-Blender, or Transgressive. Each sub-group has their unique individual qualities, ways of identifying, and style. Despite representations being outside of the heteronormative expectation, these women are cited as being fun and caring. Stereotyping of the Black Lesbian Community is especially harmful because it has roots in both racism and homophobia.

Professor Mignon Moore, the President of Sociologists for Women in Society, wrote a book, Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood Among Black Women, which discusses challenging long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Specifically, in chapter 2, “Gender Presentation in Black Lesbian Communities,” this discussion narrows down to discuss the different representations that the Black Lesbian Communities gave to themselves to fight stereotypes given to them predominantly by white people. As mentioned above, each different community (Femme, Gender-Bender, and Transgressive) within the Black Lesbian community has their way of presenting and expressing themselves.

Since 2013 when the Black Lives Matter movement came into fruition, the organizers Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, (two of whom are considered Queer) tried to drive home that we should not only talk about the LGBTQIA+ community but we should especially prioritize Black Queer and Transgender voices as well. In 2020 alone, 44 transgender women were killed just for trying to feel comfortable in their skin. Not all straight men have a strange vendetta against trans women, but the men who have killed these innocent women seem to feel in such a strong way that they have to kill them. If trans women aren’t killed, they still have to live with harassment and stereotypes that society’s stereotypes and norms have brought upon not just people in the LGBTQIA+ community, but especially towards the Black community because they are seen as especially dangerous or “too aggressive” to be with anyone.

According to NPR, in 2006 a group that became known as the Jersey four were arrested and charged with felony gang assault and attempted murder. The reason for this was that a man catcalled and threatened this group of women as they were walking down the street. They were branded very racist things including “wolf pack” and “killer lesbians.” Even though they fought back in self-defense of this man who was threatening them, they were still sentenced to between three and eleven years in jail, just for defending themselves. This created a toxic and stereotypical view of not only these 4 women, but all Black LGBTQIA+ women in general, and the stigma still lingers.

Despite these daunting stereotypes and numerous tragedies, there are many support groups for the Black Lesbian community, including The DC Center for the LGBTQ Community. On the 3rd Sunday of each month, they host a chat with the Beta Kappa Chapter of the Beta Phi Omega Sorority for a peer-led support group. The group only asks that participants either identify as lesbian or are questioning that aspect of their identity. Chats like these depict only just the beginning of methods that can be used to finally start stamping out the stereotypes that Black Lesbians and all Black people in the LGBTQIA+ community live in fear of, by giving them the confidence to stand up for themselves and to teach others how to support the community. Society still has a long way to go to better support these communities, however, slowly but surely, things could and hopefully will change for the better.


“Black Lesbian Support Group.” The DC Center for the LGBT Community,

Pasulka, Nicole. “The 'Criminal' Black Lesbian: Where Does This Damaging Stereotype Come From?” NPR, NPR, 17 Mar. 2016,

Moore, Mignon. “Gender Presentation in Black Lesbian Communities.” Umass Lowell,