This article is extracted from a discussion between Camel Gupta, Jay Bernard and Sita Balani. We took as our starting point ‘Becoming visible: Black lesbian discussions’ (Carmen et al, 1984), featured in the 1984 special issue of Feminist Review on black feminism. Here, we reflect on the political, cultural and technological transformations of queer life since the publication of ‘Becoming visible’. The original discussion focused on questions of identity, safety, the public and the private, and the tensions between race and sexuality. The discussants took personal and political risks to be active organisers. As the beneficiaries of that activism, we interrogate not only the broader ideas of race, sexuality and feminism, but critique some of the discussions circulating within our own ranks. We also consider our responsibility to follow our predecessors and to learn from their mistakes. We are more visible than ever, but at what price? What has been gained and lost? Beyond visibility, what is our responsibility? In an attempt to understand these questions we cover contemporary notions such as QTIPOC, monolithic whiteness and online activism.
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