Tag Archives: African American

6 Famous Bisexual African-American Women

When asked to come up with the names of famous bisexual women, most people will name Megan Fox, Drew Barrymore and Anna Paquin. African-American women are a lot less likely to show up on the list for whatever reason.

So, to celebrate the identities of those who are both of African-American descent and identify as ‘B’, here’s a list of six famous bisexual African-American women who are often overlooked.

1. Amandla Stenberg

Amandla Stenberg

Best known for her role as Rue in The Hunger Games, actress Amandla Stenberg is also an outspoken intersectional feminist. Aged just 17, Stenberg has made headlines for her writing and opinions on cultural appropriation and race, but most recently she made headlines for coming out as bisexual. On the Teen Vogue Snapchat, the actress explained:

I cannot stress enough how important representation is, so the concept that I can provide for other black girls is mind-blowing. It’s a really really hard thing to be silenced, and it’s deeply bruising to fight against your identity and just mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn’t be in.

As someone who identifies as a black bisexual woman, I’ve been through it, and it hurts and it’s awkward and it’s uncomfortable. But then I realized: because of Solange and Ava Duvernay and Willow and all the black girls watching this right now, there’s absolutely nothing but change.

We cannot be suppressed. We are meant to express our joy and our love and our tears, to be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow.”

2. Azealia Banks


While Azealia Banks may be a controversial figure – and is perhaps best-known for her Twitter rants than her music – the rapper and singer has spoken about her bisexuality many times. Asked whether she has a “special affection” for her gay fans, Banks told Rolling Stone:

Definitely. I mean, I’m bisexual, so it makes sense. But I don’t want to be that girl who says all gays necessarily hang out together, of course! I have people say to me, “Oh wow, my friend is gay, too,” and I’m like, “Yeah, so?”

3. Frenchie Davis


Frenchie Davis is a Broadway performer, but most know her from her time on reality television shows American Idol and The Voice. Speaking to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2012, Davis told the publication that she had been dating a woman for the past year and that “I wasn’t out before the relationship, but I wasn’t in. I dated men and women, though lesbians weren’t feeling the bisexual thing. Now I’m in love with a woman I think I can be with forever.”

4. Sapphire

Push is the book that Oscar-winning movie Precious was based on and it tells the story of an illiterate, HIV-positive African-American girl who had also been abused. While both the movie and the book have been massively praised and studied, few people know that the author behind the novel “describes herself as bisexual”, according to an interview with the Evening Standard.

5. Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith, "The Empress of the Blues," gave voice the listeners' tribulations and yearnings of the 1920s and '30s.

Bessie Smith, “The Empress of the Blues,” gave voice the listeners’ tribulations and yearnings of the 1920s and ’30s.

Blues singer Bessie Smith was one of the most famous singers within the genre during the 1920s and the 1930s. Also a major influence on other jazz singers of the time, it’s difficult to quantify just how much of an impact Smith had on the music industry.

Much of Smith’s life is depicted in HBO biopic Bessie (which starred Queen Latifah as the titular performer), including the singer’s bisexuality. While Bessie Smith was not ‘traditionally’ out, due to the times, her relationships with men and women are well-known to those who have studied her life and her career.

6. Tinashe


Tinashe is best-known for her incredibly catch track 2 On, and she has also won fans with recent track Player as well as her feature on Snakehips’ song All My Friends. The singer and performer is also openly bisexual, having posted this gifset on her Tumblr that explains that bisexuality is not a set, 50/50 (50% attraction to men, 50% attraction to women) thing for some people and that she has “an attraction to everyone” and she loves “everybody”.

Raven-Symoné, the Issues of Race and Labels

Race is a contentious issue at the best of times. We still live in a deeply racist society, despite the claims of the 21st century being ‘post-racial’, and people have strong opinions when it comes to their racial identities.

Raven-Symoné learnt this herself some weeks ago when she denounced the label ‘African American’ in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, explaining that she is “tired of being labelled”.

Understandably, arguments were raised on both sides, for and against Symoné’s anti-labelling stance. Not all of the criticism was debate-worthy or even constructive, though and she has now taken to Facebook to defend herself.

In a post, the actress states

“I don’t take offense to those that are mad at my personal opinion of myself. Like before, I’m glad there are conversations happening. Our generation tends to stay comfortable, at times, with issues and topics that need to be addressed.”


She then goes on to say that,

“What does irritate me is the bulling [sic] tone towards myself and other opinions in the blog. Keep your disrespectful, mean, hurtful, words in a diary for yourself. Personal attacking is not needed, and no matter what race, nationality, culture, or womb you came out of; strive for respect. Strive to be virtuous, so the conversation can lead to great things, other things.

Our ancestors of all races had the courage to stand up for what they believed in no matter what the fight. Back then I hope the motto wasn’t…”the more haters the better”


In many cases she is right – whether you disagree with what she said or not, verbally attacking her is unnecessary and doesn’t aid positive discussion. However, the suggestion that everyone critiquing her opinions are “haters” is somewhat troubling.

It’s unclear if we’ll hear her speak up about her beliefs again as the backlash was harsh enough that she backtracked on her ‘colourless’ expression a few days after she made it, confirming to thegrio that yes, she is still black.

But without Symoné, the conversation about race and labels rages on anyway, let’s just hope it can continue without the personal attacks on her in future.

‘Masculine Women’ Debut Scoops Lambda Award

Descendants of Hagar, Nik Nicholson’s first book, has won the Lambda award for best debut novel. LGBT.

This work of historical fiction explores the issue of a woman coming to terms with her masculine nature. To research her book Nicholson interviewed a wide variety of women who identified themselves as ‘masculine’.

‘I didn’t want Linny to be a combination of all my assumptions about masculine women,’ said Nicholson during the Lambda ceremony. ‘I don’t know of any other book where such a process was used … I interviewed more than sixty women who I presumed were lesbians because I’d posted requests for interviews on lesbian sites, but surprisingly the majority were bisexual. This was a constant reminder that gender expression does not denote sexuality.’

Descendants of Hagar is set in Georgia in 1914 during the Black Codes era, when the oppression of African-American people was particularly severe. Madelyn “Linny” Remington is a tough black woman whose forefather was the strong-spirited slave Miemay. Trapped by the limitations of her race and gender, Linny makes a promise that gives her the freedom she desires but that also brings shame upon her family.

Beauty Queen, African American, Queer – Djuan Trent Talks to Story Magazine

Djuan Trent was crowned Miss Kentucky 2010 and then went to be a top ten semi-finalist in the Miss America Pageant in 2011 (where she voted the first-ever “Contestants’ Choice”).

However, what really put Miss Trent in the media spotlight was when she announced to the world that she was ‘Queer’.

Yes, ‘Queer’ not a lesbian or Gay, but Queer. In a recent interview with Story – The Magazine she spoke openly about how she feels about it all…

“I had a hard time just saying I’m a lesbian because a lot of the lesbians I knew were women who felt they never had any kind of connection with a man; they could never be with a man because it felt completely unnatural to them, and that wasn’t my story,” she says. “I have been with men, and it was never something like ‘Eww, this feels so unnatural.’”

Djuan Trent, Story – The Magazine

Listen to the interview below: Former Miss Kentucky On Why She Calls Herself ‘Queer’