Something Like A Super Lesbian: Audre Lorde

lordpic1Happy Wednesday! I am still recovering from HerWinterParty (feel free to judge me) but I do believe I am getting back in the swing of things. As some of you have seen, there is a viewing of the film Audre Lorde: The Berlin Years being held at the Museum of  Contemporary Art on March 27th. I will definitely be there and hope to meet some of my Miami lezzies.

I know that many of you already know who Audre Lorde is, but unfortunately there are just as many who only know the picture of her holding her glasses. The picture is pretty iconic in black lesbian culture, let’s discuss the icon featured.

The thing about Audre Lorde that sets her a part from many feminists… lesbians… women, of today and yesterday, was her willingness to investigate and evaluate all of her selves. As a “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet,” (which is how she described herself), she used her voice and talent to confront issues like racism, homophobia and sexism. The key word being AND. Not just for her peace of mind, but for every black (or white), lesbian (or straight), woman to come after her. She gave us the tools to be able to discuss Black lesbians’ obsessions with labels, Femme Privilege, and Why gold stars are only important in grade school.

Before dying, Lorde finally allowed the world to know her true identity. In an African naming ceremony she took the Audrename Gambda Adisa, meaning Warrior: She Who Makes Her Meaning Known.

Audre, you might not have been a super lesbian but you were definitely something like it… and I thank you for helping women like me find our voice. (Sorry there was no cutesy statement that felt right).

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Audre Lorde:

“Your silence will not protect you.”

― Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
― Audre Lorde

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
― Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

“But the true feminist deals out of a lesbian consciousness whether or not she ever sleeps with women.”
― Audre Lorde

“I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
― Audre Lorde

Do you know any SLSLs in your neck of the woods? Email me at kristi at the kword.com or tweet me @kristiweb.

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