OJI

I chose my chest area to be photographed because my heart is here, and I believe my heart holds a lot of courage as well as pain and fear. The heart's the centre of courage and determination. As a black woman I'm prone to much prejudice in the world, let alone as a queer black woman. Being queer and black I’m worried about my family finding out about my sexuality and being blatantly hateful. I'm worried about the discrimination I'll receive in professional spaces and even within the LGBTQ+ community. I feel that we've been made to accept that being queer is only suitable or befitting to a white person and I think that people of other ethnicities view black countries as stricter in terms of sexuality so they think it's a huge surprise to see a black person from a supposedly strict background be free and open with their sexuality when there are so many black people confirmed to have been involved in our history. But then my heart also holds the courage to embrace my sexuality in private against the negative voice that might taunt me. I believe that me even just interacting with black LGBTQ+ content even if it’s a comment or a like is brave in itself, bravery against that voice telling me that I’m doing wrong, or I’m dirty and against any hateful person I feel might find me. I think it's brave to celebrate my identity as a black queer woman in any shape or form."