Sabrin, 31 years old, identifies as queer woman, in a 3-year relationship (engaged) with an individual who identifies as a queer woman.
We got engaged in Vietnam last year, then when we came back to London, we had a photoshoot walking down the streets of Shoreditch, East London. This was when we had a brief period after the lockdown where we could go out during the summer, so we were very glad to be out and about. We felt free because there wasn’t a lot of people outside. We felt free and liberated, because we were just being ourselves. These photos represent just love really. But then visibility as well because we’re both queer women of colour and it’s just kind of a celebration of us. So every time I look at the photos, it just reminds me of like this liberation of our love. And I guess, also commitment to one another.
I feel like you do have to worry about what people are going to say or how they’re going to look. I don’t really care what they do or say, but you just don’t want it to ruin your day essentially. Like, I have a thick skin but still, part of it just makes you feel sad that you can’t truly be yourself because somebody is like “Oi, look at this lesbian” or whatever comment that they make, you know. This photoshoot was in East London and, I mean let’s be honest, East London is pretty Queer. You know it’s quite gay friendly. But if this photo shoot was somewhere else I may not have done it. Even if it was in Brixton, where you know it has a big Caribbean population, I would not have done it, because I want to feel safe you know. Although there’s loads of queer people in Brixton now, there is also a lot of homophobic people, especially black people who up to now they don’t realize that being queer is also part of who we are. And even growing up, you’ve always been taught that being a lesbian or being gay is not African, it is something that only white people are, not black people are. So even if they know a gay person that is kind of okay, they will still insult them. But being black and gay is worse than anything else. So, I think, because I grew up having that, it’s very difficult to kind of forget or switch off.