I came across the article Black Lesbian Owned Businesses are Endangered today, and I have to admit that it read more like a rant than anything else, and to be honest with you, as a Black lesbian with dollars to spend, I was offended by Ms. Breedlove’s comments. I do my best to support Black owned establishments, and actively seek out Black and lesbian owned businesses that provide services or goods that I need. While I understand that she may be frustrated, the way to encourage me to patronize your place of business is not to call me a “crab in a barrel,” or to make judgments about how I spend my money.
Likewise, if you know anything about the current state of our economy, then you must know that Black lesbians have a higher rate of poverty than most other LGBT folks, and are usually raising children as well. So, no, most of us aren’t spending $400 on weaves or sneakers, and if we are, that’s our business, not yours. If you want me to buy what you’re selling, how about you market a quality product that people want instead of putting them down and suggesting that all Black lesbians are a bunch of weaving wearing, stripper loving idiots who don’t have the good sense to know how to walk away from poor service, or that we all patronize homophobic or racist establishments?
Perhaps Ms. Breedlove needs an attitude adjustment more than my business. The one thing that she seems to forget that she is in the social networking business, so no, we don’t necessarily NEED your service, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr do just fine. However, I have utilized Black lesbian-themed social networking sites, because I do like the idea of an internet space that caters to my needs, and I’m a member of at least one site that I truly love.
In order to EARN my business, Black lesbian business owners need to do more than assert that I engage in behaviors that are taking money out of their pockets or lay some guilt trip on me about tithing my money to a business that doesn’t meet my needs, simply because we are part of the same community. And while I support strippers and other entertainers’ right to do what they do, I’d rather spend my money on a nice vacation, concert, or some other activity where I’m getting more for my buck than a handful of sweaty ass. You also need to do more than insinuate that all of us are fighting at the club every weekend, drinking up the money we should be spending with you. You also shouldn’t assume that some, if not most of us, who are doing well financially, aren’t already giving back to our communities, financially and by providing other resources and support to the issues that we care about.
Ms. Breedlove, you seem angry that we aren’t supporting YOUR business, and while I am certainly willing to give any business a chance to earn my loyalty and hard earned dollars, I am hard pressed to give one to a business that focuses more on telling me why I’m a careless consumer than proving that she has the best service or product on the market.
From one Black lesbian to another, it might be a good idea to change your marketing and publicity strategy, because although some Black lesbians may engage in some of the behaviors you mention, you may have just managed to offend a huge portion of your target consumer base in a major news source.
Probably not good for business.