I am a dapperqueer Black woman.
It means that I’m more at home in bowties and wingtips than dresses and kitten heels. To be honest, it means that I don’t even know if kitten heels are worn with dresses; it’s just a cute term that my wife used.
Mostly, my dapperqueer identity means that I spent my formative years drawing from an aesthetic with very few examples and resources. Like other Black women, I cheered for characters that began to show us as powerful, intelligent, and yes, sexy without regard to European standards of beauty.
And yet, Black intentionally masculine of center women remained in the background, if we were present at all. It’s like Jewelle Gomez’s 1990s question, “where are the Black lesbians in fiction” echoed on the television landscape.