I've been waiting for this film to arrive for sometime now and it finally showed up. My copy of black.womyn: conversations with lesbians of African descent arrived tonight and I just finished watching it. I've got three words to describe it. Pow-Wer-Ful. Black same-gender loving individuals are almost totally absent from film. That is why I totally embrace any opportunity to see LGBT people of color. Be it feature film or documentary, big screen or small screen, if there is a black gay or lesbian being featured, I try to support.
That being said, this film is phenomenal. Over fifty beautiful, intelligent, articulate and engaging black lesbians have a real conversation about what it means to wear these three titles - woman, black, lesbian. They talk about everything from coming out to gender roles and from homophobia to lesbian visibility. As a black gay man I can identify with many of the issues that were discussed. But I cannot speak to what it means to add gender to the equation. I relate to being same-gender loving. I can speak to being black. I cannot (and will not) pretend to understand the added weight of gender. But these womym do a remarkable job in telling their stores and relaying their truth.
I do feel however that the people that need to see this film probably never will. Black.womyn will most likely be watched by lesbians and gays (and most likely lesbians and gays of color). And thought I totally get why that will happen (because we do want to see ourselves reflected back from the screen) the relevence of this film goes beyond such a simplistic limitation. Black.womyn does a fantastic job giving visibility to an invisible community and more films like this one are needed. I can see this being a tool in college classrooms or in LGBT community centers across the country. Kudos to filmmaker Tiona McClodden for making the project happen. You did an amazing job.