6 Black Icons You Didn't Know Were Queer

6 Black Icons You Didn't Know Were Queer

It's time for Black History Month again and here are 6 queer black icons to celebrate.
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Today is February 1st, the first day of Black History Month! Black History Month is a celebration of black excellence throughout history as well as an important reminder of what we've been through as a community.

So many of the great works of art and ideas within the black community have come from those of us who identify as LGBTQ+. Among the most popular and visible black queers today include Lee Daniels, Wanda Sykes, Frank Ocean, Laverne Cox, Robin Roberts, Brittney Griner, and Janet Mock, but there have been tons of black LGBTQ+ people throughout history who have accomplished great things and helped fight against racism.

Below are 6 black icons who you may not have known are members of the LGBTQ+ community.


1. Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes was a poet and novelist who had one of the most significant and celebrated voices of the Harlem Renaissance. As noted by the Equality Forum, Hughes was not openly gay, but his work still reflected his identity; many literary scholars point to "Montage Of A Dream Deferred," "Desire," "Young Sailor," and "Tell Me" as having gay subjects and themes.

2. Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday was a jazz singer who is best known for "Strange Fruit," which NPR perfectly describes as a "haunting protest against the inhumanity of racism." Throughout her career, Holiday was openly bisexual and many of her female relationships were with stage and film actresses.

3. Alice Walker


Alice Walker is an activist, poet, and writer who has, as GLAAD notes, "confronted society's inequities" in both her writing and activism, "working to bring about racial equality, human rights, international peace, and fair treatment of the trans community." She is openly bisexual and was the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her critically acclaimed novel, "The Color Purple."

4. Malcolm X

Sure, activist Malcolm X never identified as bisexual, but, as Bi.org explains, "Malcolm X had relationships with men as well as women. His self-identity was not bisexual, however his sexual orientation and behavior were." (It is worth noting, though, that many of his experiences with men took place during his time as a sex worker.)

5. Angela Davis



Angela Davis is an activist, author, and professor who has fought on the forefront against racism, sexism, homophobia, and all of their intersections. In 1997, she came out as a lesbian during an interview with Out Magazine and, since then, continued to tackle oppression faced by the black community, women, and the LGBT community.

6. James Baldwin

James Baldwin's writing reflected not just his identity and outlook on life as a black man but also as a gay black man; his books "Go Tell It On The Mountain," "Giovanni's Room," and "Just Above My Head" all discuss homosexuality to various degrees.

When asked about being gay, Baldwin responded: "Everybody's journey is individual. If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality."

Cover Image Credit: Patrol

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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