To be honest girls (and boys), lovedby.her almost didn’t make it to year two. Because frankly, year one was not an easy one. And while this is not my first time running a brand, or a blog for that matter, it was my first time being responsible for content that folks were actually reading, supporting and rightfully so, holding to a high/higher standard. In the past, I could just write whatever content and release whatever merchandise I wanted, but with this platform, I have a greater responsibility. To not only share diverse images of black queer love, but to ensure that our content reflects the type of conversations our community is having in realtime. To release merchandise that offered representation to all, not just some. And even more importantly, to make sure the team that is working for me feels empowered, supported and paid for the work that they are providing.
Our lovetelling goes digital
I know your first question after reading that section headline is, “isn’t the entire platform already digital?” Yes, but the way we initially planned to approach our popular lovetelling videos was to do local in-person interviews. However, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we realized that it was not a feasible plan, and one that would greatly limit the amount of stories we could tell. In fact, the pandemic allowed us to connect with even more couples, something we struggled with at first due to most having conflicting work schedules making it impossible for them to sit down together for an interview. But with COVID forcing everyone to retreat indoors, we were able to start recording our interviews via Zoom and more widely share those stories across all of our social channels and platforms. Visit and subscribe to our lovedby.her Youtube channel to watch them all.
“You all are posting fluff pieces”
And we were. Initially, our goal with this platform was to focus on the stories of love, and use blog posts as space fillers so that the site wouldn’t look bare. But we soon realized, through various rounds of feedback from our readers, that you all wanted us to cover the hard topics just as much as the fluffy ones. Think Cosmopolitan meets The New Yorker. Now, you will see a more diverse library of blog content, everything from gift guides for those who are shopping on a budget to financial literacy advice to investigative pieces around the lack of queer representation in film and tv. We even interviewed a black queer doula who educated our readers on why having a doula is important and provided parenting advice to first time queer parents.
Putting the “e” back into womxn
Another big change you will notice with our interview and blog content moving forward is the spelling of the word “women” throughout our posts. When we first started this platform, our leadership at the time was under the impression that using the term “womxn” was considered more inclusive for our non-binary and trans community members. However, feedback from a reader led us to an article from the insider.com which states, “The problem is that using "womxn" to refer specifically to trans women and non-binary people does more to exclude and single out trans people than it does to include them. Womxn implies trans women aren't real women and non-binary people are women, so it's best to avoid using it if you want to make a space safe for trans people.” Additionally, last month, we conducted a survey on our Twitter account asking you all plainly which spelling of the word you all preferred, and have included those survey results above.
From day one, our mission has always been to properly reflect the full spectrum and images of all the identities that are apart of the black queer community in whole, including but not limited to, lesbian, bisexual, non-binary and trans folks. So to ensure that we are meeting the standards we set for ourselves, we will revert back to the use of the original spelling of the word women throughout our platform, merchandise, marketing materials and ads.
A part of loving her, at times, is also loving them
We understand that some of our readers question why we have featured trans couples on our platform and “lovedby.them” pronoun options on our merch. And the answer is simple: non-binary folks are just as much apart of our community as lesbians are. More importantly, there are many queers, who are not trans, but who now prefer to be referred to as they/them/he/him. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for femmes to refer to their partners as their “boyfriend,” “man,” or even “husband.” Simply put, some queers just no longer identify with feminine sounding pronouns, and we want to make sure our platform and merchandise reflect that.
In conclusion, this platform is no longer just a website that features black lesbian couples, but a digital community that truly reflects diversity, acceptance, safety and representation. And we have grown bigger and more popular than we could have ever imagined! Going into year three, our core mission will remain the same, but our efforts, intentions, and range of content will continue to grow and expand. So, thank you for loving for us these past two years.
With love, Kee Simone, LBH Founder + Editor-in-Chief (@thebaddiegalore)