On Queer and Transgender People of Color, Pt. 2

By Jessica Mahmoud on March 31, 2017

Courtesy of Damon Dixon

In June of last year, I wrote a piece on Queer People of Color. While that’s written and published, looking back at it in creating my Instagram, I realized I missed a lot. That’s where a part 2 comes in, similar to what I did regarding Ace identities.

**You’ll notice I’m using QTPOC (Queer and Transgender People of Color) instead of just QPOC (Queer People of Color) to be more inclusive. Please also note that I recognize that not everyone likes the term People of Color, but I felt it was the most appropriate term for this piece.

Here are some of the topics that went unmentioned in my piece last year.

One in three LGBT people identify as a person of color (2015).

Stud is another label, often associated with gendered terms like butch, femme, and androgynous.

While used in many different ways, stud at its basic level can be a word used to describe an African-American and/or Latina masculine lesbian. Sometimes the words ‘aggressive’ or ‘ag’ are used interchangeably with stud.

In the book of personal stories, Render Me, Gender Me, Raye Porter explains stud very well in a few quotes:

“Being African American and being decisive, knowing who you are, is that part of [being butch]?” (38)

“In 1990 adopting a term like ‘stud’ made good political sense to Raye … Resolving the question of whether people are born femme or butch is neither here nor there” (43).

“‘I’m beyond labels!’ becomes an illusion only privilege can sustain” (43).

However, in a 2014 study, some participants relate being a stud to gender identity.

For three of the four participants, “stud” denoted an absence of desire to “be” or identify as male.

In the same study, when one of the participants was explained to what transgender means, she realized that transgender might describe her experience more accurately than lesbian. This is NOT saying all studs are really transgender.

The participants in the study defined stud as: “those assigned female at birth who wear ‘male’ clothing and are more generally masculine than other individuals assigned female at birth” (Kuper).

Of all LGBTQ identities, transgender women of color face the highest rates of murder (Hate).

In fact, in 2017, as of the beginning of this month, seven transgender women of color have been murdered (Ring). Last year, it was six in the first two months of 2016. Here’s some advice on what you can do about it.

There is still a stigma against same-sex interracial relationships.

In addition to dealing with stigma (which comes mostly from the public and family, according to a 2012 study) and possible discrimination, same-sex interracial couples have also reported feeling that their intimacy goes unseen in public. It is more common to see interracial heterosexual couples than it is to see LGBTQ interracial couples.

This is especially true for LGBTQ interracial families with children. Some challenges that have been reported are:

•Feeling misunderstood, invisible, or targeted in public appearance, and

•Having someone assume one parent is the nanny. I can assume this happening in other situations, but due to visible differences in skin color and appearance, I can see it happening more in multiracial families.

On another note, there is also a lot written on the hardships of being in interracial relationships (LGBTQ or not) due to the inequalities of power and privilege partners may hold (SAGE).

According to a 2015 study, LGBT People of Color are also:

•At higher risk of unemployment

•Less likely to have health insurance

•Experiencing harassment at schools

•Have lower statistics of college completion

•Experiencing housing discrimination (1 in 4 LGBT older adults)

As a white woman, my race is not really something I think about. However, as you see QTPOC are in a double minority of facing possible racial discrimination along with homophobia and/or transphobia, etc. Feel free to check out the resources and additional sources below!


Battle, M. Trans Women Of Color Are Being Killed In The U.S., Here’s What You Can Do About It. Elite Daily. http://elitedaily.com/news/trans-women-color-killed-us/1819592/

Kuper, L., Wright, L., & Mustanski, B. (2014). Stud Identity Among Female-Born Youth of Color: Joint Conceptualizations of Gender Variance and Same-Sex Sexuality. Journal Of Homosexuality, 61(5), 714-731.

2015. Paying an Unfair Price: The Financial Penalty for LGBT People of Color in America. LGBT Map. http://www.lgbtmap.org/file/paying-an-unfair-price-lgbt-people-of-color.pdf

Ring, T. (2017). Murders of Two More Trans Women Reported. The Advocate. http://www.advocate.com/crime/2017/3/02/murders-two-more-trans-women-reported.

Rosenthal, L., & Starks, T. J. (2015). Relationship stigma and relationship outcomes in interracial and same-sex relationships: Examination of sources and buffers. Journal Of Family Psychology, 29(6), 818-830. doi:10.1037/fam0000116

Weston, K. (1996). Render me, gender me : Lesbians talk sex, class, color, nation, studmuffins– (Between men–between women; Between men–between women). New York: Columbia University Press.

Additional sources:

2017. National LGBTQ Task Force. Transgender Women of Color to Rally on National Day of Action to End Violence. http://www.thetaskforce.org/transgender-women-of-color-to-rally-on-national-day-of-action-to-end-violence/

Doyle, D., & Molix, L. (n.d). Love on the Margins: The Effects of Social Stigma and Relationship Length on Romantic Relationship Quality. Social Psychological And Personality Science, 5(1), 102-110.

Fabello, M. A. (2015). 7 Things to Remember if You’re a White Person Dating a Person of Color. Everyday Feminism. http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/08/white-person-dating-poc/

G, Cameron. (2016). 4 Reasons ‘People of Color’ Isn’t Always the Best Choice of Words. Everyday Feminism. http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/08/poc-not-best-choice-of-words/

Gil, J. 4 Unique Struggles That Queer and Trans People of Color Have to Deal With. (2016). Everyday Feminism. http://everydayfeminism.com/2016/01/unique-queer-poc-struggles/

(2013). Campus Pride Resources. Campus Pride. Being An Ally to Queer People of Color. https://www.campuspride.org/resources/being-an-ally-to-queer-people-of-color/

Gabby. (2014). 36 Reasons Why QPOC-Only Spaces Are Very Necessary. Autostraddle. https://www.autostraddle.com/36-reasons-why-qpoc-only-spaces-are-very-necessary-237164/

Hate Violence Against Transgender Communities. National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. http://www.avp.org/storage/documents/ncavp_transhvfactsheet.pdf

Black Girl Dangerous: Amplifying the Voices of Queer & Trans People of Color. https://www.bgdblog.org/

The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies. (2016). The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies,

The QTPOC Shoutouts Project. http://qpocshoutouts.com/qpoc-blogs-and-bloggers/

Originally published on Color it Queer

Hey I'm Jess, a student at Montclair State University studying Journalism with a minor in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Studies. My pronouns are she, her, hers, and herself. I enjoy smashing the patriarchy, questioning the gender binary, and making new friends. With hopes to be an activist for the LGBTQ Community, I educate people on my Wordpress blog, https://coloritqueer.com/

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