‘I am a woman that loves women’

Lakisha, Louisville

What do you identify as? Why? Or why don’t you identify as anything?

I am a woman that loves women. My love for Women goes beyond the labels placed on me based on who I choose to be intimate with. My soul belongs to the Woman

I choose not to say that I identify as anything because regardless of who We feel we truly are, the outside world will always label you as They feel, not as you feel. So I rid myself of labels and live as I do. In Love.

What does the word Queer mean to you?

To me, Queer is Life. It’s just as important as me saying I’m an African American Woman, it’s not a label. It’s a way of life. It’s a bold ass statement in the face of the bs that asks us to hide.

Where are you from and explain what it was like growing up/living in Kentucky?

Born and raised in Louisville. There was nothing pretty about my upbringing. As a child in poverty I have to say the love from my stepmom over shadowed that we were poor or that I had a father on drugs and in and out of jail. I moved away at 16 to Alabama to escape the abuse at home, fell into abuse from my child’s father there, moved back to Kentucky at 19, from that point on I made a promise to live my life for me. I came out at 19 with a newborn baby, no place to live, no job at the time but I was free from abuse and starting to find a sense of self and had a purpose to be my strongest self for my daughter. I have to say I “grew up” in Alabama but the glow up definitely took its course in Louisville, Ky

What would you say to anyone struggling to come into their own identity?

Do not run from any insecurities or fears you have!!!!! God that is the worst shit ever taught, to not express that. If you find yourself in a space or around others that make you feel like you cannot be vulnerable Get Away!!! Those are natural emotions, and it’s not until we allow ourselves to fully feel it and speak it that we grow through it. People are going to judge you anyway, so why not just be who you want to be and sleep well with that. You’re not out here alone, speak out!!!!!

How does your own identity run how you carry yourself? Or does it?

Man!!!! It’s a testimony that no matter how down I’ve seen myself, I am one hell of a woman to not look like an ounce of it. It gives me that extra thought on my hard days, because we will experience them, that I am a beautiful healer, healing every day. It’s testament. Every day for me.

What issues do you see in the queer community?

Projection. Seeing someone living who they are now, happy with that, but because you walked a different path you are shaming another.

What do you think would solve those issues?

Self love really does show, you get a group of people together that are happy with themselves, they will always come together for the better. They can listen to a journey and see it for the outcome, without judgement. More self love will definitely make a difference, whether that be the openness about accepting therapy, promoting ones to speak out about hurt etc. we have to start the process of self love

Do you feel excluded from the “mainstream” queer community? Why or why not?

I did for a while because I chose to try dating men. But again, I was projecting my own insecurities. Once I started being more open about myself, people took to my story and journey more, I still catch a few side eyes here and there, but my journey has molded me, so I feel no need to overcompensate my gayness to make up for any time missed lol

Where do you feel “at your best” (safe, happy, fabulous, comfortable, etc)?

In my garden or in my work room making products for my newly started business. I’m a very spiritual woman ao when it comes to someone reaching out to me to help them on their spiritual journey, there’s that reassurance for me that I’m on my right path

Who influenced the life you live now?

The child molesters, physical abusers, the verbal abusers, the fake friends, toxic relationships etc Who influenced me to KEEP GOING: My mother Karen White. Raised 8 kids, went pedal to the medal with nursing school My step mom Vera Lewis Jackson, took me in as a baby and raised me like her very own daughter also killed the game in nursing My amazing headache of a daughter Keiana Patterson… gave me a reason to not only find love, but be love in every sense, all those years I was too afraid to fight for myself, to speak out against my abusers, she helped me find my voice and my fight! She is a out and proud lesbian that finished high school at the top of her class with honors, a basketball genius, a music genius and grind just like her mother. I know for a fact that all was capable because she had the support at home to be open and true to herself!