Chicago Tribune

Dating while black: Queer black Chicagoans talk about isolation, lack of safe spaces where they can explore identity

Editor's note: Meet. Assess attraction. Court her. (Or him. Or them.) Confess feelings. Discuss monogamy. Marry, maybe. Make babies, if you want. In many ways, the mechanics of dating are universal, regardless of whether you're black, white, brown or "a colorless person," as Raven-Symone famously described herself to Oprah in a 2014 interview. Still, race can color dating experiences in minute and major ways. Many say there are common, cultural threads, and we're here to tease them out. Call it a labor of love.

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Lesbian. Gay. Pansexual. Queer. Black.

We use various terms during conversations about sexuality and gender expression, but regardless of our words, so many of these discussions boil down to identity. When you belong to two distinctive groups - and two marginalized groups, at that - these

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