Queer Archives Project


Throughout the history of Black queer life, many themes emerge. From the creation of chosen communities and the fear of identities recognizing each as other as true, to the labor often put on victimized people to aid their situation and the quotidian feeling of ‘otherness’, it can be seen that to be a queer Black individual Lafayette is to constantly live in and be reminded of one’s positionality at the intersecting crossroads of these identities. As a group usually never spoken of in its totality but rather split up by the two identities, queer black folks at Lafayette have been both hypervisible and invisible at once, navigating the ways in which being a part of community commands the duality of one’s existence. These students have also interacted with administration in ways often determined by the overall social and political climate in the United States, with the encouragement of diversity with backing in policy, but no change in actual social attitudes.

As a first year student at Lafayette College who currently serves on the executive board of QPOC and ABC as treasurer and historian respectively, this research for the QAP honestly feels full-circle. While also currently doing research in the archives with ABC on the existence of Black life at Lafayette over the past 50 years, it has been rewarding, refreshing, and enlightening to be able to engage with these identities at the same time and make connections across archival finds. While I do believe that Lafayette’s Black community has been increasingly accepting of queer identities with organizations such as QPOC, ABC, and NIA starting to focus more on the upkeep of communities as opposed to only fighting for institutional equity which naturally comes with a demand and desire to be present for all from the diaspora, Lafayette institutionally and individually still has work to do. Once we come to a space where marginalized people are not minorities held as beacons of diversity and fully benefit from the resources and support that is available, Lafayette will potentially become a space where the Black queer community is able to exist and thrive without consistently navigating hypervisibility and silence.

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