Family Equality Council! I’m from Detroit, Michigan and I’m a
senior at the University of Michigan studying sociology and
philosophy. Why am I at Family Equality Council??? Let me tell
As a Black and queer woman, family equality has become increasingly
important in my life for many reasons. My family structure has
always been unique compared to traditional views of “family”
and will continue to be as I foresee in my future.
Here’s my story (bear with me, it gets a little complicated):
While growing up, I was raised by my grandmother, then my
drug-abused mother with her drug-dealing boyfriend, and lastly by
my older cousins. At a young age I learned the value of family and
formed my own definition in contrast to my peers who were mainly
raised by [at least] their biological mother and occasionally their
biological father. As a Black girl in urban Detroit, my situation
was not rare. I learned later that my family situation and many
others were judged by their composition and looked down upon. But I
had already realized that even though I had never met my biological
father and I wasn’t living with my biological mother, it was more
important that I had people in my life who loved me and always had
my best interest at heart.
This same love and support from my family made it easier to come
out as queer in a homophobic Black community. The experience of
coming out and forming my own family presented me with a different
issue involving family equality that was unlike the former. This
was mainly because of the traditional beliefs in the Black church
that so many of my community members continue to live by devotedly.
These beliefs shun any homosexual or transsexual behavior and any
thoughts of creating a family. Our nation reflects these same views
since only a few states are considering same-sex marriage and so
many organizations go above and beyond to prevent the LGBTQ
community from forming families.
I am here to create change.