The Real L Word’s Saj Golde Launches Black LGBT Magazine

Brittani’s Team Pick:

Shows end, time goes on, and people keep living their lives. While some members of The Real L Word go on to be professionally gay and others continue their jobs (whatever those were), others are still finding their way and figuring out how they want to use the small followings they’ve garnered from being on television. I’m sure the first person you worry about is Sajdah “Saj” Golde. While it’s unknown whether she has continued dry humping people in laundromats (no judgment here, I love laundromats), she has definitely started a magazine called BlackOUT which is a collection of short stories about lesbians’ war against nite lites.

Just kidding, it’s a magazine geared towards black LGBT folks! When Elixher asked Saj why she created the magazine, she said,

“After being a part of The Real L Word, I learned of many other young LGBTQ people of color who were also in need of LGBTQ role models, a role I certainly couldn’t take on alone. So I wanted to create BlackOUT as a space were LGBTQ individuals can see themselves, people like them, experiences like theirs.”

If you’re not one of those people that refuse to buy magazine based solely on the little paper cut factory subscription cards that fly out of them every two seconds, then you’ll be pleased to know that the magazine is currently available in the Amazon Store. It’ll be available in the Apple App Store soon enough. Subscriptions are going for $20 a year which seems like a good deal to me, although I don’t usually have twenty dollars to my name so I have no real concept of money.

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 290 articles for us.

56 Comments

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        Not trolling just saying that in a perfect world we wouldn’t need to have separate magazines for different races. Hopefully one day we will have true equality.

        • Thumb up 9

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          “in a perfect world we wouldn’t need to have separate magazines for different races” so in a perfect world would there be a website like this dedicated just to queer women? The exact same logic that says black queer women don’t need their own space can be used to say queer women altogether don’t need their own space.

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          No need, you already have all white lesbian websites/magazine. They are called Shewired, Afterellen, Diva Magazine and pretty much every mainstream lesbian outlet that exists. Go there and revel in your privilege.

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        Editorial Note: this comment is in violation of autostraddle’s comment policy in general and items C1 & C5 in particular. read this comment at your own risk, or skip it and read the responses to it instead.

        Well, I got annoyed to by the fact it’s only for black women too. I am sorry but why? It makes no sense nowadays.
        I do try to understand it tho, I am a white european chick living in Asia and I do have moments I want to hang out with ‘my people’, but by that I mean western people, not white people only. There is a huge cultural different between Asian people (in Asia) and western people so I do miss my culture some time but not my race.
        But I don’t mind what Saj is doing, I mean if black people feel the need to stay between each other, if they feel like being black is a stronger identity than being american or anything else, if they want it to be known as their strongest feature then yeah create black groups but I wish one day, they won’t feel that need anymore and we will all be part of one LGBT group.

        • Thumb up 4

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          it has to do with our representation, black lgbtq people are a double minority. BlackOut gives us a positive media outlet, and a positive representation in today’s pop culture. it’s more about being included than separated. Even though black people are less of a minority now, our rep in pop culture and in the minds of other races is still pretty bad. it more about positive inclusion than about being separated with our own magazine. it’s not like there are other magazines for us either. please try to understand and support :) this is a good thing.

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          ummm. Only for those who are sour pusses over black people’s media outlets. . .It’s not about separation, it’s access to a place you can find specific things a group you belong to can RELATE to. Whether that be humor, health specific to this group, music commonly listened to, the list goes on. Let’s face it, can any media outlet (mainstream or otherwise) keep up with satisfying a specific group’s interests? It leaves one wanting.

          Besides that, anybody mad at others with their own media based on their ethnicity,culture or religion? Watch Telemundo much?

          lol.

    • Thumb up 2

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      its already taken, its called EVERY other magaine out there. girlfriend is just trying to make a magazine that includes more races then just white since thats all we see. your point
      is valid because for me personally, it’s difficult being racially mixed because there is no outlet for white, black, and native american gay women. if we could all unite as one, that would be awesome but life isn’t full of rainbows and unicorns even though i wish it was and that’s a magazine i would definitely invest in!
      i’m getting off topic, point is the more positive things we can bring to the LGBT table, the better! don’t hate girl!

      • Thumb up 0

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        Was meant to sound hatefully at all. Just was trying to show that it’s pretty sad that we still need to have separate things for races,sexualitys,ect but I’m deff not hating. Obviously if there’s a need to have a black LGBTQ mag. props to her for doing it.

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          i completely understand that and I’m sorry if i offended you! it is very sad that we still feel the need to separate ourselves. i can only speak for me and growing up in Oklahoma, being racially mixed, and being a women was a enough to set me a few paces back but throwing in the big giant lezzy card isn’t helping my case at all. there was NO outlet for me or any other girl i knew to express herself through when i was in h.s and that wasn’t too long ago. my mom always taught me color didn’t matter and i believed that until i saw how separated everything and everyone was. i don’t exactly agree with this but i can respect the fact one of our sisters (and i don’t mean black sisters)is doing something that’s representing the community.

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          Editorial Note: this comment is in violation of autostraddle’s comment policy in general and items C1 & C5 in particular. read this comment at your own risk, or skip it and read the responses to it instead.

          It’s a tricky situation cause the more black groups will want to be separated and have their own stuffs, the more they will feel a need for it. Like a vicious circle.
          You suffered from this separation yourself..
          I do totally understand the need for it and I personally think that it’s mad cool to have cultural stuffs from all around the world, I love this and I am totally gonna check out Saj’s magazine but damn, it really makes me sad at the same time that black people more than any other race still feel the need to separate from others, especially in America where the president is black and they are not considerated as a minority anymore.
          History gives them a lot of reasons to want to stay among themselves but can we move on already and all mix together? *hopes*

        • Thumb up 8

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          Dear god the white entitlement here is sickening. Every queer website is geared towards white queers, non-white people barely get a look in. Saj is making a magazine for black lesbians because when she reads lesbian magazines all she sees is white women. White lesbian women like you have the privilege of seeing yourself represented in queer circles.

          Go on any lesbian tumblr blog and see a array of scantily clad white women. Go on Afterellen and read dismissals of racism and poorly written articles about straight white actresses. Queer women like me and Saj are starved of representation. It’s incredibly dismissive to say that black women are separating themselves from white lesbians when the mainstream queer movement has proven again and again that they have no interest in including the perspective of any non-white queers.

          You espousing colour blindness does not mean racism has suddenly disappeared and I’m genuinely sick of how white gay women constantly tell non-white people how they should feel about racism.

        • Thumb up 7

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          People of color have historically been and are still systematically separated from American culture (popular and otherwise). That separation is only heightened for LGBTQ people of color. It goes beyond “culture stuffs” and becomes a situation in which freedoms of expression are ignored or made invisible. Autostraddle was created to fill the void of stories/writers/websites for girl-on-girl culture by folks *within* the culture so that we could find representation and empathy in a non-exploitative way… Your comments seem to imply that LGBTQ people of color are to blame for the separation. If I am reading your right, I am not accusing you of being insensitive but I am definitely saying you are misinformed. People of color and those who identify as LGBTQ have had to work to find representation in popular culture. The truth is there have been popular black public figures for decades, so while our black president might make it seem like “they are not considered as a minority anymore”, people o color are still treated as such (culturally, socially, and politically). I do not think this magazine is symbolic of Saj saying black LGBTQ want to “stay among themselves”, but just the opposite. To be seen and heard. I would agree with Jessica, try to understand and support… this is a good thing.

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      When you go to the bookstore and see the magazine rack, you see probably hundreds of magazines correct? There’s magazines for fashion enthusiasts, car racing enthusiasts, geared towards men, towards women, towards straight people, towards gay people, towards teens, towards seniors, etc, right?

      You see, the ideal world ISN’T having everyone mixed all together. The ideal world is having everyone have a pathway to have their voices heard. Period. I’m a femme gay woman who doesn’t care about car racing, but my friend is a femme gay woman who LOVES cars and car racing. The ideal magazine for her would mostly focus on cars and maybe have a couple of articles about how to apply makeup. I’d be bored with that magazine and it wouldn’t get my money. So, you see, this is a GOOD thing.

      That said, I feel rude saying this in an article about Saj’s new magazine, but I need to point out there’s a really great magazine for black lesbians that a friend of mine started awhile back called Ikons (www.ikonsmagazine.com). I hope a lot of you will head over there and read it too. You can also find issues in Barnes and Nobles.

  1. Thumb up 16

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    The comments in this thread over a minority group looking to have their own space is EXACTLY why a magazine like this is needed. The ideals of colorblindness and cries for equality are too exhausting.

    Two quotes come to mind:

    “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
    — Audre Lorde, Our Dead Behind Us: Poems

    “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
    — Audre Lorde

    Congrats on the magazine Saj, I’m sure it’s going to be great.

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      Editorial Note: this comment is in violation of autostraddle’s comment policy in general and items C1 & C5 in particular. read this comment at your own risk, or skip it and read the responses to it instead.

      I will never understand why it is celebrated to do a black group while creating a white group will be outrageous. This is called positive discrimination. And this sounds negative to me..
      It is so hypocritical. It is not going forward but going backward.
      Imagine one second a group called WhiteOUT like mentioned previously. You will feel shocked about it. That’s how I feel as a white girl about a black only group.

      “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences”. Well, that’s a nice sentence but how does that even apply to what you said? Creating a close group for black only is not celebrating differences! Come on! This is the absolute opposite. It’s separating us.
      I celebrate more all those differences by being a white girl living in Asia, having a drink with black, white, asian, arabic lesbians from everywhere in the word in a very cosmopolitain city like Hong Kong than a group focus on black people only will ever do.

      Now, if you want your own group, go for it, but don’t pretend you are recognizing and celebrating differences that way.

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        We don’t need a white group, we basically have the rest of the US culture. It’s kinda like how we don’t need a white history month, cause that’s every month. We don’t need straight pride cause that’s every fucking day. Minority groups need spaces devoted to them because they’re ignored in the larger culture, kinda like how Autostraddle is a nice little place for girls who like girls.

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          Editorial Note: this comment is in violation of autostraddle’s comment policy in general and item C4 in particular. read this comment at your own risk, or skip it and read the responses to it instead.

          I understand and that’s sad, I don’t feel like jumping around in happiness when I see those groups because I know it’s coming from a long road of feeling pushed away by the ‘dominant’ group.
          We have woman day cause the rest of the year is for men, then we have gay groups cause our world is so straight, in which there are lesbian groups in which there is black woman lesbian groups. We could have another sub-group inside of that one.. It’s sad to put people in sub-groups.
          My girlfriend is Chinese and I love it when she cooks Chinese meals and I cook french ones and we discover new flavors together, I love it when I am sick and she makes weird traditional Chinese remedies, I love it when she teaches me Chinese history and Chinese language. I love everything about her being different, I celebrate our differences every single day and I love the fact that we are together unify with the sum of all our differences and we are teaching each other so many things to a point that I don’t see borders or races in the world anymore, I forget about them, I only see personalities.
          Saj’s magazine reminds me of those borders and I don’t like that feeling.
          I wish for all the black people in america to feel one day like they don’t need black groups anymore.

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          ‘I celebrate more all those differences by being a white girl living in Asia, having a drink with black, white, asian, arabic lesbians from everywhere in the word in a very cosmopolitain city like Hong Kong than a group focus on black people only will ever do.’

          You’re kind of discussing different things here though- there’s nothing to say that black people that read and gain from this magazine wouldn’t also have all those sorts of friends and do all those things with them and ‘celebrate difference’ (in your words) in that way.

          One can live a life filled with nuance and appreciation for different sorts of identities and people whilst STILL enjoying reading such a mag and appreciating the understanding and role models and relevant in-depth discussion within it that relates to what it means to be them.

          Your comment I re-posted above has similarities to saying ‘I celebrate differences by being a girl who hangs out with bisexual and gay and straight people, in a country where most people are straight but I’m not .. and this celebrates differences much better than an online queer-women focused site like Autostraddle could ever do’.

          But you still obviously read Autostraddle, right?
          Do you still feel this site is important? Does it help you feel that there are people that understand you, or that it covers topics you’re interested in, that relate to what it means to be a queer woman?

          Do you think that spaces like Autostraddle are ‘positive discrimination’ and are bad also?

          If not, what’s the difference between saying ‘yes, this is good’ to a tailored-content minority-focused publication like Autostraddle and saying ‘no, this is bad’ to a tailored-content minority-focused publication like ‘BlackOUT’?

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          And as mentioned below, being LGBTQ and black is different from being LGBTQ and white.

          It’s extra important for there to be spaces to discuss this stuff because there aren’t many!

          eg. how do you talk about the fact that the L Word – the longest running, most popular lady-loving-lady show – has mostly white characters? What would it mean to be coming out for the first time and watch the L Word and see that the smooth-as-hell irresistible ladykiller was a boyish white woman? How would that feel as a 16 year old?
          So many of my white friends went through a Shane-esque phase of dressing like Shane when they were young and first coming out. What would it mean to be young and black and first coming out and see this character? Would it feel like that was someone you could look like – someone you could be? Would that be you dressing like Shane and going to bars – perhaps not?

          Even from that tiny example, things are different. Having spaces to talk about this is so important. Having friends who relate to us and our experiences is so important.

          If you value having people and voices around you who understand and support you (who doesn’t), then you should be able to understand why this magazine is necessary and great.

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        No one is saying you can’t read it. I am interested in reading things aimed primarily at people who belong to racial/ethnic groups different than my own, and I’m certainly not offended that such things exist. Media aimed at people of color, or people of a particular ethnic background, include perspectives that tend to be ignored and/or minimized in the mainstream media, including the mainstream queer media.

        Creating a space where your voice can be heard doesn’t mean separating yourself from the rest of the community, at least it doesn’t have to. It’s just one way to ensure that your perspective is part of the greater conversation.

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        I have listened and learnt a lot, thanks to your great community (I have put in my profile months ago how educated and smart AS community is and I mean it even more today).
        Again, I am miles away from america, all the way from Asia, expatriate from France, I am trying to understand things and I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I love every women from everywhere in the world.

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    The magazine is a space where LGBTQ’s of color can have someone to relate to. Being an LGBTQ of color is not always the same experience as being a caucasian LGBTQ. We don’t often have people in our everyday life we can relate to. Keep in mind that although the magazine is geared to LGBTQ’s of color it is not excluding anyone else from reading it.

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    For all of the white women who complained on this post, this comes directly from Saj in an interview:

    “When I first came out a few years ago, I had no clue what it meant to be a Black lesbian. There were plenty of images of white lesbian relationships, Ellen and Portia, The L Word, then The Real L Word ladies and their partners — but no one who looked like me, or whose experiences represented my experiences. I really struggled to figure out what my life meant relative to my sexuality and I had very little guidance along my journey. After being a part of The Real L Word, I learned of many other young LGBTQ people of color who were also in need of LGBTQ role models, a role I certainly couldn’t take on alone. So I wanted to create BlackOUT as a space were LGBTQ individuals can see themselves, people like them, experiences like theirs. I wanted to connect those who know to those who are seeking answers. I wanted a space where our beautiful, Black queerness took center stage! I wanted us to have a space all of our own! I truly hope to do my community justice.”

    If you STILL don’t understand after reading that, then it’s evident that you just don’t give a flying f*ck about the needs and unique experiences of Black LGBTQ people. If you’re more offended by her targeting an audience who looks like her than you are by people of color being largely excluded from mainstream LGBTQ media (hence the need for outlets like BlackOUT), then you’re a part of the problem.

    • Thumb up 5

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      “If you STILL don’t understand after reading that, then it’s evident that you just don’t give a flying f*ck about the needs and unique experiences of Black LGBTQ people. If you’re more offended by her targeting an audience who looks like her than you are by people of color being largely excluded from mainstream LGBTQ media (hence the need for outlets like BlackOUT), then you’re a part of the problem.”

      All of this right here- thank you.

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    Sorry if I offended anyone. Never really thought of the lack of representation for black LGBTQ. I just turned 16 so hopefully during my lifetime things like BlackOUT will not be nessicary, but for the time I think it a good idea. I also think there should be way more of a push from all races to include EVERYONE in pop. media.

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      hey jess! it’s great that you’re listening to the people who are pointing out some of the flaws in thinking that having a black lgbt magazine is at all comparable to having a white lgbt magazine. one thing that i’d like to point out, though, is that hoping that a black lgbt won’t be necessary during your lifetime isn’t really the best thing to hope. i don’t want to be part of a system where I (a white person) repeat what black and other poc readers have already said to legitimate it, so instead consider taking a minute to go back and read what they’ve written.

      i definitely see where you’re coming from because i used to think that colorblindness was the way to go, but i’ve learned that it’s a really limiting (and limited) point of view. if you’re interested in learning more about it, check out psychology today’s article on colorblindness, or look into eduardo bonilla-silva. and if you every have any questions, feel free to send a message my way.

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        ‘I don’t want to be part of a system where I (a white person) repeat what black and other poc readers have already said to legitimate it’
        I’m glad you wrote that Laura. Sorry to all if this seemed like what I was doing. I don’t always go through all comments before adding my two cents and so didn’t really realise ’til after that I was repeating what had been said by those with a more relevant firsthand opinion. I should probably in this case have made a point of reading all comments first perhaps.
        /learning

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    I do see exactly what you all mean, that was good reading.
    I def agree with many of you and this is why I am not happy about it cause it does look like black people in america still have way to go to feel equal and that pisses me off.
    I am not against Black OUT at all, I am against the idea that this magazine is must needed. :(

    My opinion on this is a very particular one, please bare with me, I am not American and I live in Asia since 10 years, I am an expatriate, I left my own culture and white people ‘supremacy’ society to discover a new one where I am such a minority. I am super curious about anything else than my own culture and race so it is very difficult for me to understand why one would like to create a group of its own kind only.
    If there is a need than go for it, absolutely, but I do not think this is making things better overall.

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    p.s. I haven’t been on this wonderful site in a while and when I did, this was the first thing I clicked on even though I aint checking for no Saj. Might be because I’m black. *shrugs* Ironically, chances are, since I don’t relate to her, I probably won’t relate to her mag either. Hmmm. I wonder what that means? But good for Saj :)

  7. Thumb up 3

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    clearly some of you all did not read the article of how white lgbtq people can be more inclusive of lgbtq people of color. if you had read it then you would have read about casual racism and white privilege. here is the link:
    http://www.autostraddle.com/how-white-lgbtq-people-can-be-more-inclusive-of-people-of-color-156848/

    creating a black lgbt magazine isn’t racist when the magazine is giving a voice to a forgotten segment of the lgbt community. i know some of you all think that because you have that liberal arts education in women’s studies that you know everything there is about privilege, class, race, and patriarchy, but until you walk a day in a poc’s shoes you just have book knowledge and not experiential knowledge. there is a need for all voices to be heard. the queer community has always been dominated by white women who told everyone how poc felt and thought. it is time for poc to tell us how they feel.

    it’s amazing to me that irrespective of if i am on yahoo or jezebel or apparently autostraddle anytime a story about a black person or poc doing something elicits so much negativity. instead of people praising saj’s entrepreneurship or activism you all are complaining that she is being divisive and other ridiculous points. just because you are gay doesn’t mean your not racist or at least ignorant. just because you know what it’s like to be lgbt doesn’t mean you know what it’s like to be lgbt and a POC. educate yourself

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    I found this article while doing some research. Albeit later comment than originally posted, I felt I had to add to the comments above.
    Being older than most readers I have mixed feelings about it. Being Black and Lesbian — Yes I can relate on those two points. But if BlackOUT is geared to mainstream – pop Black culture, is it assumed I should now ignore OUT and go for BlackOUT?- Just being hypothetical – I have no interest in OUT.

    My concern is with the thoughts that in justifying a minority magazine we also inadvertently and ultimately release the responsibilities of the mainstream owners to represent the diverse ‘public’ community of LBGT. If OUT (used as example) represents the LGBT – why are we not making noise about this issue directly to them and calling them on their short comings? Why doesn’t OUT provide editorials, events, advertising by Blacks – and not tokenism? I say Blacks because general racial minorities and Black minority is not synonymous. Black minorities are extremely under represented in nearly every existing pop culture.

    Another concern is why wouldn’t BlackOUT be more than Black and really – more about what OUT should have been? Just my 2 cents.

    Like I said I get it, on one level however I think we should be aiming to break this cycle.

    I wish Saj success and that this magazine ‘grows’ beyond the racial borders.

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