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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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Arab-American Heritage Month Is Not A Well Known Celebration And I'm Pissed About It

I'm an Arab-American and didn't even know this was a thing... That's sad.

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The month of April is special for a lot of reasons but this one hits home for me. This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the culture, history and amazing people who have helped bring something to this country. So many Arab-Americans have contributed a lot to society yet they don't get the recognition they deserve for it.

In today's society, the Arab community is always being looked down on and degraded. The lack of understanding from those around makes Arab-Americans feel like outsiders in a place they should be able to call home. The inaccurate images and stereotypes that inhabit the word "Arab" are sickening.

It's time to raise awareness. It's time to look beyond the media's portrayal. It's time to see a neighbor, a teacher, a doctor, a scientist, an artist, an athlete, a parent, a child, but most importantly, a human being, NOT a monster.

Arab-Americans encounter and fight racism every day. As a society, we should be better than that. We should want everyone in this country to feel wanted, needed and appreciated. Together, we should use this month as a time to shine light and celebrate the many Arab-Americans who have, and continue making this country great.

While you read this list of just a few famous Arab-Americans keep in mind how much they want this country to be amazing, just as much as anyone else does.

Dr. Michael DeBakey, invented the heart pump

Dr. Elias Corey, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1990 

Dr. Ahmed H. Zewail, Nobel Prize winner for Chemistry in 1999

Lucie Salhany, first woman to head a tv network 

Ralph Johns, an active participant in the civil rights movement and encouraged the famous Woolworth sit-in 

Ernest Hamwi, invented the ice cream cone

Pvt. Nathan Badeen, died fighting in the Revolutionary War

Leila Ahmed, the first women's studies professor at Harvard Divinity School 

We should recognize and celebrate these achievements. There are so many things you can learn when you step inside another culture instead of turning your back to it. This April, take time to indulge in the Arab-American heritage.

Instead of pushing away the things you don't understand, dive into diversity and expand your knowledge of the unknown. Together we can raise awareness. #IAmArabAmerican

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