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The Lonely Side of Being Black and Queer In a Major City

Many Black queer folk feel anything but at home in the areas we’re from. Supportive friends and family can’t always make up for a lack of opportunity. When major cities are seen as the mecca for Black queer and trans acceptance, it draws us in. But an increase in opportunity doesn’t always mean instant community – especially for Black queer women and non binary people.

Compared to white gay men, we have little to no choice romantically and socially. Be it a night out, a queer market, or an outdoor excursion, we’re way too familiar with seeing a former friend in several parts of town. Or avoiding an event entirely because an abusive ex’s name is on the flyer.

When attempts to have a great time become messy and traumatic, how can it safely be handled? Where can we go when we’re not welcome in the few spaces made for us? I spoke to Taylor* who has lived in several major cities across the US. We spoke about loneliness, the -isms plaguing these spaces, and how they navigate discouraging environments.

This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.