Q&A: La’Brinda Morgan, speaking her truth
La’Brinda Morgan is a mother of two in a small town in Ohio, who was recently engaged to her finance Theresa. She was asked a series of questions, and an edited version appeared in the 2016 Mansfield and Proud Festival guide at the Mansfield Gay Pride Festival.
Member’s of the gay community were asked a series of questions by the straight community. The questions follow…
Some of you wear clothes like a male and cut your hair in a male style. Also take on a more dominant role. Could you help explain why?
A: I don’t try to look more dominant or male. But the clothes and hair cut choices that are easier to maintain are typically male styles and materials and are the most comfortable and also men’s clothing tends to be fashionably not as revealing as women’s clothes and made more athletic and sporty looking.
Do you think Lesbians are looked at in a more positive light than Gay men?
A: Yes, because all women historically in society are portrayed to show more emotion and are considered to be outwardly physical and emotional with their behavior in private or public whether they were lesbian or straight.
This is also why I believe women early on were considered inferior to men and the feminist movement was launched to provide information that shows women are created equal. So a women’s’ actions and behavior is familiar and easier to accept in our society.
But men showing emotional behavior in public is considered as weak and when the emotion is directed toward another man…the public reacts as if it is abnormal to a man’s nature(of not showing emotions or weakness in public).
Men are typically raised from little boys to act masculine and take on masculine life roles. Furthermore this behavior with men can appear abnormal and not natural when displayed in public and a male’s typical life role. This is especially true in specific cultures and religions where males are considered the leaders and must appear strong and dominant in every way.
How do you feel about heterosexuals?
A: I have lived my life under both the roles given by society as “heterosexual” and “homosexual”. Which technically also gives me the perspective of bisexuality. I have lived my live under both the roles given by society as heterosexual and homosexual. I believe that there should be no terminology as to one’s sexual preferences. But I feel the same way about heterosexuals as I do about all sexual beings: Each has the right to be treated as a citizen and human being and should have all the rights and privileges as one another.
Do you still feel the desire to be a Mom? (It is fair to ask the same to a Gay Male about being a father?)
A: I was in a heterosexual relationship and had two young kids (married to a man) and then was divorced before I entered the Lesbian lifestyle. But my perspective is that my desire for being a parent doesn’t have anything to do with whether I am male or my sexual orientation. I feel having children in general is a personal preference and that there are some that have that innate need to nurture and have children and other’s that do not wish to have children. I have friends that are termed by society as straight, gay, Lesbian and Transgender who all believe in having or not having children. And none of their beliefs involve the fact that they are straight, Lesbian, gay or Transgender.
Moms and daughters share a bond much like Fathers and Sons. Did you relationship with your family suffer from the decision to go public?
A: Fortunately, my immediate family is accepting of me no matter what walk in life I choose. I do believe there may have been more challenges if I had come out publicly at an earlier age or stage in my life.
Have you ever thought about suicide?
A: Fortunately, I have never had thoughts about suicide regarding my decision to live as a member of the LBGTQ community.
Have you accepted your life as it is, and are proud of who you are?
A: I have accepted my life as it is and I am proud of who I am. However there are times when safety is of concern but not just as a member of LBGTQ but as an African American as well.
Did your family except you with open arms?
What are your feelings on the public bathroom situation now?
A: One is “with urinals” and the other is “without urinals”. Also I have seen a report in the news of sports facilities having locker rooms where a heterosexual woman saw a transsexual person getting dressed in the locker rooms and was noticeably upset. So based on these experiences I believe two things: I believe that transgender individuals should have the option for a space to use the bathroom/locker room; such as the family bathroom found in the large department stores or individual bathrooms that are in the area. The other suggestion is that all members of the sports facility are made aware of possible transgender individuals using the facilities and sign the general admission paperwork when they sign up to use the sports facilities.
Do you worry about going out in large crowds, like to bars, since the shootings?
A: Yes, but I am equally concerned with airports, marathons, schools, church and movie theaters. Any location where there has been tragedy from gunmen, bombs and terrorists makes me think twice before attending.
I believe any group of people can’t be afraid of going into the public… We just need to be smart about attending events, knowing your exits and recognizing suspicious looking individuals. But honestly, I don’t see how any of those tragic events could have been avoided by those who attended.
How do you choose who births the children in the relationship?
A: I believe discussing it with my partner and determining who of the two of us would best fit the physical and emotional scenario of carrying the child.
How do you define roles in a relationship?
A: I think we have not defined our roles specifically in this relationship. There are no feminine or masculine roles that are defined. The roles that are defined are the roles of care taker for our children, and one of us is more passive or aggressive than the other one of us. Our personalities have determined any roles of how we interact not our gender or our social definition of being a lesbian.
If you’ve ever had physical relations with a man, did it seem all wrong?
A: Yes I have. Physical relations did not seem wrong with a man, but none of the male relationships I have had were complete or fulfilling for me both physically or emotionally.
How do you view a gay republican?
A: I view gay republicans just like I do heterosexual republicans. I consider myself as being independent and do not associate with either party. Unless it is an election year and I am forced to vote one way or another. I feel like republican’s political stances are often opposing the LBGTQ community’s rights and privileges. Therefore, the Republican Party becomes disliked by the LBGTQ community overall.
Have you ever felt discriminated against in the workplace?
A: Fortunately, I have not felt discriminated against in the workplace for being Lesbian. Most places I have worked have embraced the LBGTQ community. I have felt more discriminated against for being a woman or being an African American at previous work places.
Does your sexuality affect your religious beliefs?
A: My religion does not affect my religious beliefs. Unfortunately, it can be difficult when the faith /church you attend does not accepted openly LBGTQ community members as recognized clergy or ministers within their church organization.
How do you deal with small minded people?
A: I have 3 minorities that I live with every day. I am a woman, I am African American and I have been termed as Lesbian by society. There are times when there are others in the community that aren’t happy with any of these characteristics. It is difficult for those who have hate or ignorance in their hearts and these are the people I call “small minded”. I attempt to surround myself with those who have love, compassion and tolerance then there is no room for those who are small minded.
Why do you think so many people bring “GOD” into their reasoning as to your sexuality?
A: I believe humans have translated the bible from a perspective that was from a time long ago. Just like any language there are many translations and when different people translate there are different meanings and understandings. This unfortunately allows for lots of misunderstandings in the bible translations.
There are so many passages in the bible that religious figures have referred to when describing their own beliefs that those who have not truly studied the word and its meaning tend to believe them because they are a religious figure. I also believe there is a lesson or reason that was being taught at the time period of when the scripture was written. Unfortunately, the lesson is not always the same in this day and age.
For example, people were not to eat Pork because it was considered to be an unclean animal and eating its meat was considered to make the person unclean. Today there are some religious beliefs that still believe it is unclean to eat pork. Yet in other religions they believe that pork is not unclean if processed correctly. This is an example of religious beliefs and which religious belief one chooses to follow will depict what they truly believe to be correct for their personal life and beliefs.