How we can change the priorities of the LGBTQ+ movement

An open letter by Dr. Imani Woody

Over the last year, I’ve been reflecting on what it might mean for Same-Gender Loving Black and brown people to collectively obtain, maintain and retain our power in the face of the myriad of challenges we are resisting.

What would that look like? How could we build it?

For me, this year, one of my places of power has been to be on the advisory team for the first National LGBTQ+ Women’s Community Survey. Built for us, by us, it’s the first national research project focused on LGBTQ+/SGL women who love and make family with women. This historic effort is being led by a team of veteran women of color organizers and researchers.

But for the survey to be successful - we need your participation. Your stories and lived experiences will help to create an unprecedented data resource. And it’s that data, and our organizing together, that is going to make it possible to change the priorities of the LGBTQ+/SGL movement, and the broader story of Black LGBTQ+/same gender loving women in our country.

The survey will help us better understand:

  • The unique and amazing ways we form and support our families.
  • How we are surviving discrimination and harassment at work
  • What forms of economic and social safety nets we create for ourselves given that the government, corporations and even non-profit employers largely do a poor job of this for Black and brown LGBTQ+ women who love women
  • How we are surviving the policing of our family members and ourselves
  • How racism, sexual violence, and gender discrimination come together in our lives in ways that feel like gaslighting and can seem unimportant to our “allies.”

The whole country needs to wake up to our realities, our challenges, and our brilliance at surviving them, regardless.

Please take the survey. We need to know about YOU if we are to change our current realities.

Take the survey here.

Thank you!

Black woman Imani Woody


Imani Woody (she, her) is a nationally recognized thought leader and an advocate of women, people of color and LGBTQ/SGL people for more than 25 years. She has spoken out locally and nationally about the circumstances of elder LGBTQ+/SGL individuals and the specific jeopardies that LGBTQ+/SGL elders of color face as they age.

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