Lindsay Snowden, whose pronouns are sirb or they/them, grew up in Philadelphia with their grandmother and later moved in with sirb’s mother and siblings. Sirb grew up in an open family and some of sirb’s cousins had already come out as gay. So, sirb were not a stranger to the LGBTQ+ community. Lindsay began to experiment with girls, however, sirb felt the expectation of society that sirb should be with a man, so by 11, sirb was interested in boys again. Sirb had a great work ethic as sirb started working when they were 10 and sirb’s mother taught them the value of a dollar. Even with sirb’s open family, there was always the expectation that sirb should be with a man. Sirb’s Baptist upbringing also reinforced this message, and while sirb did not necessarily believe this message, it was always lingering in the back of their mind.
Lindsay joined the military as a nurse at 17 and it was during this time in the military at age 20 that sirb began to discover their sexuality. Before this time, sirb saw their attraction to women as platonic and friendly. But one day at lunch sirb was with some friends when sirb remarked that they liked some girl’s boots, a compliment that would not make them be seen as gay. That woman later called the office that sirb was in and asked her out, while also saying that she knew other men who were looking to enlist. Sirb went to meet this girl to get these names. They ended up kissing and this was when sirb realized that they in fact, liked girls. Sirb broke off their engagement as sirb realized that they loved their partner as a person. It also made sirb realize they could not go without being with a women. Which would not bode well for their military career.
Lindsay discusses their experience as a Black, masculine identifying woman
Lindsay discusses the aftermath and effects of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy
Lindsay came out to their friends and family, who were not surprised, and their mother told them it was a hard life to live. Sirb left the military in 2002 due to the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which put them at risk for a dishonorable discharge due to their sexuality. When sirb returned to Harrisburg, sirb noticed the lack of Black performers in the drag scene. After performing in a free pageant, sirb was able to break into the local drag scene. Sirb created the first all-Black drag trope, House of Gain, that gave sirb a platform to perform from as well as highlight Black performers. This was a family of people who had similar struggles and understood each other better than anyone.
Pages from STUDS magazine, a magazine created by Lindsay and her partner to celebrate masculine identifying women
Lindsay also started a magazine, Studs, with sirb’s wife where they celebrate women’s accomplishments and highlight masculine identifying women by showing that anyone can wear the clothing they want. Together, they also created a calendar to highlight various bodies and spread body positivity where every they could. Sirb’s sexuality has helped to normalize being gay to sirb’s family and it pushed them to be intersectional in their political ideology, ensuring that sirb’s identity as a Black, queer individual is protected by policymakers. Though, sirb says that at times they have to give up their Blackness to assimilate into queer culture, sirb would still rather be friends with queer individuals than anyone else due to the acceptance the community provides.