Scroll To Top

7 Queer Women Making Sure We All Know That #BlackLivesMatter

7 Queer Women Making Sure We All Know That #BlackLivesMatter

7 Queer Women Making Sure We All Know That #BlackLivesMatter

The candles may burn for black men slain by police, but those candles are raised by women.

At the tail end of Black History Month and the cusp of Women's History Month, here's a look at a few of the countless queer women of color who are making history with their voices. 

Daunasia Yancey

Where: Boston

About: Since age 13, Yancey has been involved in activism — she founded her middle school's gay-straight alliance. Now she's a lead organizer for Boston's arm of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and was present in Ferguson, Mo., for many of the most notable demonstrations.

Facebook: BlackLivesMatterBOS

Key Quote: “I’m black and gay, all the time.” — Boston, January 29

Patrisse Marie Cullors-Brignac 

Where: Los Angeles

About: One of the three co-founders of the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, and the executive director of Dignity & Power Now, a grassroots organization that fights for the rights of incarcerated people, their families, and communities.

Twitter: @osope 

Key Quote: "It started to become clear as the hashtag began to grow, that the historical narrative was playing out. The historic narrative of black people has been that we've been fighting for black, cis, hetero, Christian men — both their lives, and for them being at the forefront of the conversation… I think there was this sort of thing for black folks where it was like, being black was already hard enough. It's too much to try to be black and gay, black and trans, black, trans and poor, black gay and poor — it's too much. Let's focus on this one issue that's called blackness, as if blackness doesn't encompass all of everything. As if blackness is one thing. And once we get that down, we can focus on other things. But that's actually a very harmful narrative, because blackness is everything. You can't tell me I'm also not a woman. You can't tell me I'm also not queer. It shapes how I see the world." — MSNBC, February 20 



Alicia Garza

Where: San Francisco

Twitter: @aliciagarza

About: Alicia Garza is co-founder of the internationally respected Black Lives Matter movement. She is also the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which seeks respect, recognition and labor protection for domestic workers.

Key Quote: "Despite the possibility of two women vying for the president's office, and summits being held across the nation about women's economic security and the role of women in the economy and our democracy, the silence around the needs and dreams of Black women is still deafening." — The Nation, Feb. 26  

Opal Tometi

Where: New York, N.Y.

About: Tometi is the executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration. As a Nigerian-American from Arizona, Tometi has been involved in the fight for immigration and racial justice for more than a decade. She is also a co-founder of the hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter

Twitter: @opalayo

Key Quote: "When we say #blacklivesmatter — we mean all Black lives matter — regardless of gender or sexual orientation, immigration status, physical disability, income level, criminal record, etc. In order to have a democracy that works for all of us we need the entire nation to challenge anti-Black racism and get involved in this movement for all Black lives." — Huffington Post,February 1 


Ashley Yates

Where: Ferguson, Mo.

About: Yates, a co-founder of Millennial Activists United, was one of the young activists who was invited to the White House last year to meet with President Obama related to her activism.

Twitter: @brownblaze

Key Quote:  “I can say this with 100 percent certainty: all three of us have had moments in the street where we realized we could die right there.” — The Guardian, October 8, 2014 


Brittany Ferrell (left), Alexis Templeton

Brittany Ferrell 

Where: South St. Louis, Mo.

About: Ferrell left nursing school to take on activism. She's since co-founded Millennial Activists United, a grassroots social justice group built in the wake of Michael Brown's death. (She's also married to MAU co-founder Alexis Templeton)

Twitter: @bdoulaoblongata

Key Quote: "The world is watching Ferguson. So they have no choice but to pay attention. And they're going to follow your lead. Me being in nursing school, you know, I'm a black woman first. Before I'm a nurse, I'm a black woman. Before I was a mother, I was a black woman. You know, I have to do this for my child and my unborn children. I have to do this for my little brother. It's bigger than us. We have to take care of community." — National Public Radio, November 25, 2014 

Alexis Templeton

Where: Ferguson, Mo.

About: Templeton is a dedicated local activist who joined the front lines shortly after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. 

Twitter: @keenblackgirl

Key Quote: "We march. We chant. We vent. The anger and vigor in our combined voice has not and will not waver." — Ebony, Sept 22, 2014 

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

author avatar

Michelle Garcia