Ebony, a long-standing magazine that focuses on African-American issues, features a lesbian couple in its Black Love issue this month. The special Issue, with three different Covers (Hot Couples Issues), features partners Yanette L. Freeman and Willa Walker talked about how they met through mutual friends in 1998 and how they eventually became a couple, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
"When meeting [her] ... and our group of friends in the late '90s, it was exciting and new for me," Walker said. "[We grew] closer over the years, and it has been one of the best experiences of my life."
Walker and Freeman are among several couples and individuals who talk to the magazine about intimacy, relationships, and marriage.
The article highlights the stories of each of the women, with particular attention to identity discovery and previous relationships. Yanette, an out lesbian, describes being attracted to girls since third grade, and despite her mother's assertion that gay people were crazy, chemically imbalanced people, Yanette eventually became OK with herself and came out. As for dating women rather men, Yanette says that it's still the same process of becoming "emotional" and "in tune" with one another. Yanette's partner, Willa, does not identify as a lesbian, but feels that she gets the "best of both worlds" with Yanette. Willa, a mother, narrates her struggles with abusive partners, dating both men and women, and the friendship that turned into much more with Yanette.
This really awesome that a Black magazine is running a feature of a black same-sex female couple. Earlier this year, Essence.com featured their first lesbian pairing on the Bridal Bliss section of their website.
Currently, Wanda Sykes and Sheryl Swoopes are two of the most famous "out" American black women in high profile-status relationships, with Swoopes and her partner Alisa Scott initially having received backlash for being out in the WNBA. Jasika Nicole is another "out" black woman known for her role as Astrid on Fringe. Her partner, Claire Savage, was featured alongside her in a New York Times profile in 2009.
To be honest, lesbian couples of color have had limited publicity and inclusion in the media, so Ebony's article moves us in a positive direction toward reduced homophobia and increased normalization of such LGBT relationships. Well done!
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Tags: african american lesbians, black lesbians, black same-sex female couples, bridal bliss, Claire Savage, ebony magazine, essence, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, glaad, homophobia, Jasika Nicole, lesbian female couples of color, lesbians, lesbians of color, same sex female couples, Sheryl Swoopes, Wanda Sykes, Willa Walker, WNBA, Yanette L. Freeman