What’s my superpower? I am a black lesbian.
It takes a certain amount of strength to be black and to identify as a member of the LGTBQ+ community in today’s world. Although there is a wealth of talent within the community, we are often underestimated and undervalued. We carry a stigma that encourages an idea of confusion, and poor lifestyle choices.
There has never been more clarity around the success of LGBTQ+ business owners. The truth is, we are lit! We are dancers, makeup artists, clothing designers, photographers, videographers, spiritual healers, personal chefs, journalists, among other things. More and more the representation in our community is broadening, giving us the visibility needed to educate others. On a larger platform, we have shows like Pose that give us a deeper insight to the trans experience. We can thank Lena Waithe for creating an opportunity for masculine-presenting lesbians to be seen on screen. Janelle Monae and Amandla Stenberg both used their platforms to come out as non-binary people.
Representation matters. Not only in mainstream media, but within our smaller communities as well. It’s important to know who your LGBTQ+ business owners are so that we can keep the dollars circulating. Because we are a school of people with diverse talents and knowledge, I’ve compiled a list of important services provided by black LGBTQ+ people.
Linnea W. is the owner of LinnTVProductions, a photography and videography service operating out of New York City. She is widely known for her city tours, a photo series that allows her to capture her clients in monumental parts of the city. Linnea’s passion behind the lens stems from a desire to shift the conversation. “It is imperative that we control a positive narrative of our art for future generations.”
2. MARSHAY NICOLE
Marshay Nicole is a guru when it comes to managing hair. Based out of L.A. the makeup artist and hair stylist has her own collection of hair products. From edge control to scalp scrubs, your tresses are sure to thrive from her concoctions. “I did this because my community and my family needed to see us in the room. My mission expands far behind haircare. Doing hair is fun, but being a boss was the goal. When the young black youth sees themselves in us, they become us. They imagine and manifest bigger dreams and better futures. Uplift your people, one dream at a time.”
3. AUDACIOUS CULTURE
Audacious Culture is a brand that pays homage to being a black woman. Per the Instagram profile, they carry “limited quantity, high vibe items for The Around the Way Girls.” Jenell G. owner of the brand says, “Black women are my muse, always have been and always will be. Everything I create, I do with them in mind. They feed everything I do.”
4. WE LIT
We Lit is a black-made, handmade candle business. “The reason We L.I.T inspired me because non binary people of trans experience aren’t seen and heard, and this candle line is more than just candles, its an affirmative company to make sure we see you in all aspects of yourself. Thats why we WE LIT! WE LIVE IN TRUTH EVERYDAY!” said Dream, the owner of the brand.
5. EXPERIENCE COVET
We’re all adults here, right? If you’re looking for a platform that will allow you to safely explore your sexual side, then Experience Covet is right up your alley. The inclusive social network and educational resource is dedicated to exploring sexual desires in a safe, sane and consensual space.
“Covet pushes the energy, ‘Nothing is Expected, but Anything is Possible’. It’s a network for individuals that take their pleasure seriously. And when I say pleasure, that means pleasure in kink, sex, talking about your favorite series in our Blerd Group, joining the Covet Book Club, learning more about kink through Kink U and/or attending Covet Coven Intuition Circles, that they host every Thursday. Covet is about authentic connections with authentic people…who happen to be kinky,” says owner Teneal B.
6. SEALED CLUTCH FITNESS
Sealedclutch is a fitness brand dedicated to keeping fitness fun! Cameil Ross is the owner and a proud member of the LGBTQAI+ community. Her client base represents a wide spectrum of people who believes in the the brands tag line “Train Dirty. Clean Up Nice”
7. PURE BELLA SPA
Pure Bella Spa is a full service spa and Beauty Bar located in Decatur, Georgia. She promotes healthy skin and the simplicity of beauty . In 2015, she opened her spa and launched her own organic skincare line, Pure Bella Skincare.
8. CHARLIE L’STRANGE
For all the spiritual beings out there, meet Charlie L’Strange. He is a a healer, psychic medium and Sexual Health and Pleasure Workshop Facilitator. In an Instagram post he writes, “My passion is found in supporting folks in their healing journey to create a world where connection and care are paramount. As the mind, body and spirit are connected, I offer Psychic Mediumship sessions for anyone seeking guidance and insight into situations/ people or themselves in the past, present or future. Sessions also extend to communication with loved ones who have transitioned beyond the veil. I often use tarot cards as a visual representation explanation and to offer additional information and guidance.
I am also a Reiki Energy Healer, which is a practitioner that utilizes universal energy to transfer energy through the palms in order to encourage emotional or physical healing. Understanding ourselves as sources of healing is a step towards doing so.”