As women, it’s easy to find sisterhood in celebrating the many things we have in common. But the strength in sisterhood isn’t in our commonalities. Rather it lies in the celebration of our differences, and mutual respect for sisters of various races, classes, and sexual orientations. In honor of Women’s History Month, Clutch would like to celebrate queer Black women for making strides in our communities and bringing awareness to LGBT issues. From June Jordan to Audre Lorde, queer Black women have exhibited strength, resilience, and determination to have their voices heard, and recognized as part of Black women’s history. We honor the women below for continuing that legacy.

Staceyann Chin is an award-winning performance artist who brings an incomparable sense of rawness to advocacy for LGBT rights. This outspoken poet and political activist has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and 60 Minutes for her performances, and even shared her story growing up as a lesbian in Jamaica on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The author of The Other Side of Paradise, Chin continues to empower her readers and fans through her real life testimonies and honesty. She recently gave birth to a beautiful daughter, redefining heteronormative paths to motherhood and once again proving that she’s fearless in challenging the status quo, particularly for LGBT communities.

Dee Rees is one of the breakout filmmakers of this decade, shining a spotlight on the dire lack of Black LGBT stories in mainstream film. The award-winning director is most popularly known for her feature film, Pariah, a Black lesbian coming of age story, that’s playing in select theaters now. Trained under New York University’s graduate film program along with numerous organizations having backed her as a fellow, Rees is clearly a powerful storyteller that’s prepared to take the road less traveled and bring LGBT narratives to the screen. The best part is that she’s young, and just getting started.

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