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Queer. Black. Women.

Queer. Black. Women. Three powerful words, yet, three words signaling discrimination, one individual in multitude. Black History Month is at its end, National Women’s History Month is knocking at the door, and LGBT Pride month is fast approaching. A month each to recognize such strong and oppressed groups. A month---- that’s right, approximately thirty days to celebrate a person’s identity, roots and soul…separately. Sure, we should celebrate ourselves every day, as everyone should, but is it really that easy? Short and simple, No. But don’t worry, the celebration will come around for us again next year. Next year as in, next February, next March and -- next June.

Myself, as a multi-racial lesbian--- I have power, but please don’t be confused, this is not to say that any other person has less power than me. We all have power within us, we all want to get ahead, but not all of us can utilize our power to get ahead.

I remember when I was sixteen, I had just graduated high school ahead of my class, I was attending a local community college in a suburb in Illinois, where I aspired to be a nurse. I was working two jobs, trying to pay for my living expenses as well as the tuition that was not covered for the studies that I wanted to pursue. I came across a job posting for a position cleaning houses that would amount to the same amount of income I had been making at my former two jobs, jointly, with less hours--- meaning more time to focus on my studies. I applied to the job posting and later that week I got a call for an interview. I scheduled an interview the same day I had gotten the call. I was in a scramble to get myself ready and in mere panic after I realized that my signature interview clothes had somehow gotten bleach stained. I rushed to my mother’s closest and borrowed her nicest and most professional women’s suit while thinking about how I could tame my long curly locks into a style that was semi-feminine (to match the women’s suit) and professional, with little notice. I had previous experience cleaning hotel rooms at my grandparent’s lodge when I was younger—I knew that I was going to own the interview. With no question, I was offered the job!

I put in my two weeks’ notice at both of my former jobs, thanking God that I was able to take advantage of this opportunity. I thought I was secure, in my heart, I was so sure that I had nothing to worry about. My first day, I wore my best pair of jeans and a professional collared shirt, ready to tackle the days’ training. For anyone who knows me personally, I don’t dress as any “gender-conformative” woman would. I walked into my new job collecting bold stares as I walked through the long and narrow office. At that moment, I was reminded that I was a, “Queer. Black. Woman”. I tried to poke out