Sexuality in Color: Of Queens and Bs

Hey, hey, hey, it’s Chanté, back this week to continue the convo about sexuality and intersectionality. This week, I want to revisit a little basic terminology I brought up last time.

Sexuality and intersectionality are my jam. Why? Well, because I’m someone who identifies as so many things that talking about anything without intersectionality seems literally impossible. I think the more we can connect the two, the easier it may be to see the fluidity in and the intersections within our own identities and those of others.

If any of that’s brand-new to you, you might want to check out⁠ some content on our site about it (from awesome Scarleteen team members Al and Jacob, no less), to get yourself started:

Current Mood: #GetMeBodied

There are two Queens I need to holler at and give all the praise to right now for reminding the entire (digital) world that BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL!

drum roll, please…

#1) Beyoncé.

I got three words: SHE DID THAT. On second thought, I have three slightly better words: Get Me Bodied!

Once again, Queen B broke the damn internet when she dropped Homecoming via Netflix last month.

Of course, I stayed up way past my bedtime to attend her digital concert! Nothing (not even my kids waking up and demanding I turn down the TV) was going to stop me from singing, dancing and scrolling through my amazing social media feeds. I stayed up until 4 AM that night -- or day rather -- because I knew it was about to be LIT. The beautiful folx of Twitter and Instagram did not disappoint!

In case you missed it, I highly recommend starting here. This gem is brought to us by Patrice Peck, talented Buzzfeed writer who is has been doing a damn good job of covering all things: #blackgirlmagic, culture and technology.

Anyway, Beyoncé and her crew made me feel all the feels. I laughed, danced, cried and contemplated.

What I loved most was the intimacy of her commentary; it was powerful and poetic. I sincerely appreciated her attention to the details -- everything from the conscious curation (of black artists, performers, dancers, drummers) to Nina Simone’s voiceovers to Beyoncé sharing intimate details about her journey of coming HOME to herself after being pregnant with twins and surviving an emergency c-section. If there’s anyone who understands, I certainly do. Like Bey, I am a proud mommy of twins and went through a similar experience.

Since becoming mother of two highly active little kids, I’ve learned just how much of a sacrifice it can be to 1) conceive 2) grow and 3) raise children. It is NOT for the faint of heart. But as much as I like to joke and tell everyone that Beyoncé and are soul sisters (our names rhyme; we’re both Virgos who happened to be born in the same zip code; both have twins AND we share common interests in wanting to empower and educate urban youth within our communities.), the two of us live different realities and lifestyles.

Because of that, I wasn’t expecting a woman of her stature -- and especially because she has set a precedent: her personal life is off limits -- to blatantly share the fact that she weighed 218 pounds the day she gave birth. I also wasn’t expecting Queen B to spill the tea when it came to experiencing complications or misgivings she had about headlining at Coachella.

Ya’ll, this was a big deal to me because she’s built a brand that is iron clad. I can’t really think of a time where she’s folded OR subjected herself to being explicitly vulnerable. So when she shared such intimate details, I felt like I could FINALLY see more of myself in her. My respect and admiration for her grew tenfold this month.

Her story reminded me, and the world, that black is beautiful, bold and radiant. The glimpses into their family life was exactly what my soul had been yearning for. I loved seeing Jay Z in the background tending to their children while she worked her ass off for this comeback moment. His presence conveyed a strong message; black love and black excellence isn’t about being “Instagram perfect”. It’s about showing up and tending to your tribe. Sometimes it means taking a step back from your own spotlight to make space for your partner⁠ ’s evolution and homecoming.

Now that she’s home, I can only hope this is the beginning of a new era; one where we start to experience more of the real Beyoncé and as a result, recognize the Queen in ourselves. Thank you, Beyoncé, you are the G.O.A.T.!

2) Lizzo.

Need I say more? Maybe not, but I will; she’s Black. Beautiful. Thicc. Sultry. Confident and my (new) Queen of Body Positivity!

Lizzo went mainstream when she dropped a masterpiece last month -- her album, Cuz I Love You, which quickly climbed the charts and proved to the world that black beauty is not objective, it’s subjective. YAAAS GURL! We see you and we LOVE you.

This is one of my favorite Lizzo quotes -- keep reading if you want to learn how a queen builds herself up and practices self-love:

"First off, I love my body. No matter what angle you shoot it at, no matter the lighting, my body is just so fucking beautiful all the time. I may talk shit about it sometimes, but fuck. She’s still a bad bitch," she explained.

"My second favorite thing about myself is my blackness. I am really just so honored to be graced with this identity⁠ . No shade to any other shade on the planet—I just can’t relate. I just love being a black woman, even in a world where [we] are statistically the least desirable. I am still here, and I still rise."

Want to read the full interview? You know you do. It's here.

Shout Outs, Recommendations and Resources

I discovered this awesome website last month (I know, I’m late!) and have to share with all of you - if you haven’t spent time scoping out the stories and content on ShondaLand, I implore you to do so now!

I also wanted to pass along this Upcoming QTBIPOC Series hosted in Toronto! If anyone goes, I’d love to get your thoughts and feedback!

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  • Clove Kelly Hernandez

I am an autistic, genderfluid lesbian, and I experience these identifiers as tightly intertwined.