A Space of Our Own: An Intersectional Analysis of Black Queer Voices and Experiences



Martinez-Bentley, Leila

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This auto-ethnographic study investigates the question of “Why do we gather?” where “we” refers to Black, queer, gender minority populations. Specifically, this research is focused on understanding why these individuals seek out similar others with whom to congregate and “hold space.” Twelve individuals, located in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, who attended one of three separate virtual meeting groups agreed to participate in one-on-one interviews and comprised the study population. Concepts of Blackness, queerness, and gender are specifically explored here as a means to better understand how they come together to inform the experiences of individuals whose lives are lived at the intersection of all three marginalized identities and who seek spaces in which those identities are shared. Using the lens of intersectionality and Foucault’s concept of heterotopia to analyze these interviews created a further focus on identity, gathering, and community. This work demonstrates how societal rejection can be exceedingly damaging to these individuals in ways that lead them to seek out others with similar experiences to create a space of safety.



Intersectionality, Black Feminism, Queer Theory, Heterotopia, Autoethnography, Anthropology