When I first moved to Richmond two years ago, I sought out the city’s LGBT+ community. When I got there, I asked many questions: Where are the LGBT people of color? Where are the best spots to hangout as young, out LGBT+ persons? How can I help and contribute to my community?
I haven’t quite found the answers to those questions yet. And some of those questions came with answers I didn’t like. Within my time here, I found Richmond to be a very cliqued city, a private city, an old money city. As an out, loud, androgynous/femme/butch queen, Black male; I often find myself in White spaces having those uncomfortable conversations around race and sexuality. Within Richmond, the general understanding is that I have to go to Norfolk/Hampton area to be around LGBT+ people of color or to D.C. to be out and proud without persecution of entitled White gays.
These conversations happen in both professional fields and amongst the scene – from nightclubs to community organizations to businesses, with blatant racism and “gaycism” occurring in all.
My sex, my color, my identity have given me a constantly changing, growing and evolving perspective on the world. I have learned many things about who I am and where I belong in this world. And, in these eyes, being Black and bold means being in the face of those who can’t see you, don’t see you, or won’t see you, in order to change their perspectives.
This post is part of a partnership between GayRVA and Diversity Richmond to feature honoree’s of Diversity’s first LGBTQ+ Black History Month series. Honorees were asked to share their stories in their own words. We’ll be posting more honorees as the month continues. Photo provided by Harron Fells
Patricia R. Corbett is an award-winning playwright, an artist, advocate, educator, published author, personal historian, editor, feminist, and entrepreneur. Her passions are art, community service, social justice, and education. Patricia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Virginia Union University and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Patricia’s art [...]