Black History Month Project: Personal Stories from Young Black Americans #3

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“I remember my first celebrity girl crush… I remember the first girl I wanted to kiss… I remember the first time I told someone… I remember. Being “different” in a world that embraces similarities is not only difficult; it’s impossible without self-love.’

“Godmommy, I think I’m gay…”

“Morgan, no. You’re not.”

“Ok.”

From that conversation, I began to shun the beautiful person inside, making every attempt to not acknowledge or feed the curiosity within my eleven-year-old body. Self-hate was born. In the fall of 2003, I was an excited and eager freshman at Spelman College, ready to learn all I could to take on the scary world that was to follow after graduation. Little did I know, the only thing scarier than the “real world” was discovering in one of my Diaspora classes that I was not only young, Black, and female. I was a lesbian. This made me a target and possible victim for all “isms,” sure to make my life more difficult than I’d ever expected. Self-hate grew.

With so much hate and denial of myself, I felt the pain of the mirror. I was looking at a woman too afraid to be who she is as a result of her family, friends, and society. Interestingly enough, my older sister would help me figure it all out. On February 14, 2004, I lost my sister to asthma. At that moment, I discovered life was too short to be unhappy and I needed to explore these emotions I had tried to ignore since middle school. At that moment, I discovered self-love. I slowly came out to my new friends, relatives, and eventually began to proudly wave the banner of lesbianism.

Learning to love myself in a world full of divide was the best thing that could have happened to me. It gave me more confidence, and thereby impacted every area of my life. Relationships became stronger, business endeavors grew, and my life was made better by accepting, acknowledging, and loving the woman I am. Being young, Black, and gay in a world that doesn’t completely embrace me requires self-love… Learn to love the person you are as you strive to become the person you are destined to be.”

-Aestheticallyspoken

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Aryka Randall is a media mogul in the making from San Diego, California. After relocating to Louisiana in 2004, Randall became active in her local LGBTQ community. Randall was recently featured on Go Magazines annual ‘100 Women We Love‘ issue along with Tagg Magazine, the Dinah Shore Blog, and a number of other LGBT publications for her work in the LGBT community

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