Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women

Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women

Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women

Invisible Families: Gay Identities, Relationships, and Motherhood among Black Women

Synopsis

Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible--gay women of color--in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, Invisible Families explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status. Overturning generalizations about lesbian families derived largely from research focused on white, middle-class feminists, Invisible Families reveals experiences within black American and Caribbean communities as it asks how people with multiple stigmatized identities imagine and construct an individual and collective sense of self.

Excerpt

As dusk falls, I pull up to the house feeling embarrassed at my lateness. The e-mail invitation said to come any time after 4 p.m., but I am arriving slightly after eight, and the sun has already set. I have been here before. The first time was to interview Ruthie Erickson about the family she has created with her three-year-old adopted son, Lawrence. Ruthie is a thirtysix-year-old accountant for a large financial institution. During the interview, she talked a great deal about Lawrence’s godmothers, Dana and Angie Russell, who live on the second floor of the two-family house that Ruthie owns. Angie was recently promoted to sergeant in the New York City Police Department, and Dana works for the post office. This eve ning I am at their home for a purely social event: an end-of-summer/back-toschool barbeque. Dana’s only child, whom she had in a prior heterosexual relationship, is headed off to college in a few weeks, and the invitation asks that we bring something her daughter can use for school. I forget to do this but manage to follow the other instruction, which is to bring “a dish or bottle to share.” I’ve made a jerk chicken pasta salad and am hoping everyone will like it.

The Ericksons and the Russells share a large two-family house in a Black middle-class neighborhood in Queens, a short distance from a well-known shopping mall. It is a warm night and lots of folks are sitting on the front porch. A few people are smoking, and some children are tossing a ball outside. The family dog playfully chases other kids as they run in and out of the house. Rhythm and blues music floats into . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.