Identity / Life

Queer Families Beyond Western Borders

One of my ex-girlfriends used to say she could never call herself a lesbian; she couldn’t identify with a word that translated (at least in her head and most of the images that she saw on television) as a butch or femme, youngish, middle class, western, white woman. She could not find herself or her experience as a queer person of color reflected anywhere. Basking in my own white privilege, I argued that this couldn’t be true. I looked and searched; I found some great queer POCs, literary figures, YouTube phenomenons, but she was right. Representations of African lesbian women live outside the mainstream.

Ever since this enlightening conversation (okay, fine, it was many, many conversations, and I am still learning), I have been more aware of how LGBT people are represented and, more importantly, how they are not. It is one of my goals to amplify more global voices on VillageQ and hopefully allow a wider audience to see themselves represented here. In highlighting the experiences of others outside of our western borders, we recognize their lives as central, valid, important, and rich.

The video, The Story of Cha, speaks of the experience of queer parents outside of a Western World; in this case in Manila. It shines a light on the experience of queer parents who are often invisible. And, while we discover and appreciate queer families around the world, I hope VillageQ can offer a community for those who struggle to imagine an open, out, happy, queer, family life.

Cha Roque (CherryRed) is a lesbian mom, literary writer, and filmmaker from the Philippines. She is a council member of Dakila Philippine Collective for Modern Heroism, a collective of artists and individuals who believe in the power of art to incite social change. The Story of Cha was created as part of the Be, a web-app designed to support the well-being of young people from diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.

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  1. So important to remember that there is not one representation of queer. Honestly, it took me until adulthood to even see alternative (non-white, non-American, etc) different ways of being queer. Even watching “Paris is Burning” a few years ago was such a revelation to me, and I grew up in an ostensibly very diverse setting!

    • That is the thing. It is so easy to think that I am surrounded by diversity and I get it. And yet it is so alienating for queer to be seen as one, singular, same. I am happy to see a broader section of us out in the public but there is still so much room for growth and improvement!

      Kudos to Cha for putting herself out there like this.

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