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March 10, 2023

Point Foundation - The National LGBTQ Scholarship Fund

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A Tradition of Black LGBTQ Women Creators

March 10, 2023
Point Foundation - The National LGBTQ Scholarship Fund

Although she is currently pursuing an MFA in Poetry at New York University, Point Foundation Scholar Dasia Moore remains rooted in the Carolinas. Dasia is a poet and journalist following in the footsteps of powerful Black women writers from the South, including Lucy Parsons, Ida B. Wells, and Zora Neale Hurston. Now in New York, Dasia is learning from contemporary writers like Claudia Rankine, who premiered her new play Help at The Shed in 2022.

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“One wonderful thing about writing is that you can take your own dreams and help seed those dreams in other people," Dasia said. “That's something that I hope to do with my writing and something that I hope to continue learning from other incredible Black women, queer Black women writers.”

Dasia and her peers study ways Black women writers, many of whom are LGBTQ, have advanced poetic forms, removed barriers, and led the way toward a world in which all of us can thrive.

Teaching from the Past

As a Black queer woman from the South, Dasia did not see much representation of her life or her joy growing up. This is why Dasia believes it’s important for LGBTQ women to tell their own stories. LGBTQ women creators can authentically represent complex and nuanced stories based on their experiences.

“When we write from that authentic place of having those experiences and knowing how liberated and how happy and fulfilled we can be in our identities, then that's the sort of representation that makes it easier for the next generation to find that fulfillment within themselves,” Dasia said.

Much of Dasia’s work is aimed at amplifying the voices of the next generation of Black LGBTQ women. Dasia incorporates the voices of Black LGBTQ women writers into her workshops at NYU so that her students see themselves represented and can imagine how they might impact the world. By including books on Blackness and queerness, Dasia makes her classroom a safer space for students of color and those who identify as part of the LGBTQ community. Dasia also hopes her white and cisheteronormative students can learn new perspectives from her work that will help to advance a more open and equal world.

Building a Brighter Future

Point provides LGBTQ college students with financial support throughout their time as scholars. Many Point Alumni share that this support makes it possible to focus on schoolwork by removing the pressure of taking on a part time job. This support also allowed alumni to graduate with less student debt. For Dasia, being a Point Scholar means financial liberty that gives her more time to reflect and write.

“Financial support from the Point Foundation means that I'm able to actually use this time in graduate school to read, to think, to reflect, to process and really try to envision that future and that joy that I want to help enact through my writing,” she said. “And while being in class full time and also trying to make a life in New York, then support with my daily expenses and my learning expenses is honestly one of the most essential components to allowing me to process and tell those stories.

“I'm reading about the histories of anti-queer and anti-Black violence and that is exhausting work, it's draining, it takes a lot out of you. And so much of being able to do that work and access that place and then be able to write a meaningful story and write towards a future where Black and queer bodies are valued is being able to have time.”

Dasia’s writing focuses on envisioning a future filled with joy for Black LGBTQ women. She believes that society will need to completely change in order for LGBTQ women to find equality. As someone working to create a more equal future, Dasia reaffirms the importance of LGBTQ women sharing their stories.

“Unfortunately, even within the community of LGBTQ women, there are some people who believe that some of us can access that freedom and equality without it being true for all of us,” she said. “But we all have different experiences. We live at the intersections of so many different systems of oppression—not just homophobia or queerphobia but also racism, transphobia, classism… So really liberation for all of us is the goal and it's definitely one that we're still working towards.”

What does this future world look like? Dasia wants to create a future that is safer for all women of color.

“A world that is equal and free for queer women would have to include a world that does not show disproportionate violence towards trans women, that doesn’t disproportionately incarcerate Black and brown LGBTQ women,” she said.

Dasia is a Black queer woman creating as a poet, journalist, and educator. Through her work, she makes strides towards this future world every day. We at Point celebrate her work in envisioning a future that can liberate us all.

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