Our Sista Circle Connects Lesbians of Color
A classy social networking site made for lesbians of color.
Photo: Kris Hanke
Our Sista Circle is a push back response to those social networking sites that promise companionship, maybe even a date or two, but deliver dead-ends and little diversity. To Nicole Breedlove, founder of the site Our Sista Circle, the need was two-fold. It wasn't simply an issue of carving out a space for lesbians from a largely hetero dating world, but building a space for lesbians of color, that motivated Breedlove to launch her site in October 2009. "There were a lot of issues that most white lesbians didn't understand or weren't discussing" says Breedlove, and she is out to change that by creating an atmosphere that caters specifically to lesbians of color. The idea to launch this kind of site also came out of frustration. She asks a question that many of us have asked ourselves at some point, "why am I still single?" The answer led her to create something that spoke to her experiences and desires as a lesbian of color.
Our Sista Circle is a space for like-minded lesbians of color to discuss areas that affect their lives beyond just bad (or good) dates. Issues such a race, class and gender are not off-limits and are discussed candidly and with support.The site is free, easy to navigate and breaks away from some of the more annoying aspects of other social networking sites. The site has a non-nudity policy which prevents users from having to scroll through photos some of us might not be wanting to see just yet. It encourages users to build relationships based on common interests and chemistry instead.
The site also stands out and builds sisterly community by boasting an interactive advice column where "Dr. Bionic" doles out friendly advice and then opens the floor for other members to chime in. Forums on the site fill up quickly with ideas and invites for exotic travel, events and vacations while other forums provide a space for lesbian parents.
Safety is a priority at Our Sista Circle and Breedlove wants to ensure it stays that way. I recall, in my brief online dating experience, filling out profiles for woman-seeking-woman only to have my inbox full of men requesting an opportunity to change my mind about that whole "lesbian thing." Breedlove poses the question "how come we can't we have our own space where we don't have to worry about being threatened or bothered?" She monitors the site daily and relies on her attention to detail and safety and her members to spot fakers, questionable content and men treading into a lesbian safe space.
Breedlove is proud of the sites diversity and growing popularity. Currently the site hosts 5,100 members with an age range spanning from 19 to 65 and members who hail from across the globe and include "business women, moms, students all at different points in their lives". With this much promise, Breedlove hopes to grow with the simple but honest goal: "I'm hoping that the women on there make friends—true friends...I want them to connect to each other" (oursistacircle.com)