restricted access Sexing While a Survivor: Gender, Self-Definition, and Black Queer Desire

Black women experience high rates of gender-based violence, and social science researchers and activists identify adverse effects such violence has on their sense of sexual selves. In this paper, we seek to contribute to resilience scholarship and highlight Black women’s resistance strategies to access sexual pleasure after experiencing sexual trauma. We present findings from qualitative interviews with six Black queer, lesbian, and bisexual women survivors; these narratives highlight their abilities to access autonomy and pleasure within sexual relationships. Participants shared visions for community led therapeutic spaces for survivors that engaged the body and centered desire as mechanisms to heal themselves.