Francine Ramsey is the executive director and co-founder of the Zuna Institute, a Sacramento, California based non-profit national Black organization whose primary mission is to serve and support Black Lesbians.
I first met Francine several years ago and became hip to Zuna. In the past several years, I have participated in Zuna’s National Black Lesbian Conference and worked with Francine on several projects.
I can tell you she’s tough as nails when it comes to advocating for Black lesbians and she doesn’t take no for an answer.
She has been a community activist for over 20 years working with civil rights organizations and various lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organizations of color.
Francine is committed to bringing visibility and empowerment to the Black lesbian community and eliminating barriers that are deeply rooted in public policies that encourage homophobia, economic and educational injustices, and other forms of social discrimination.
She has served on several boards and committees including, the NIA Collective, Black Lesbian Elder Speak Project, Lambda Community Fund in Sacramento, Oakland Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club, the Outreach Advisory Committee for the first National Health Study for African-American Lesbians. As if her plate isn’t already full, she will soon join Lambda Letters’ board of directors.
Her background is in training, organizational development, community organizing, and leadership development. In 1981 prior to entering the non-profit world, she was the first Africa- American female to earn Journeyman status in the rigging trade for the Department of the Navy. She earned her B.A. degree from New College of California with an emphasis on Women’s Social and Economic Analysis.
And the beautiful part…Francine and her partner of 14 years are enjoying life with their beautiful two-year-old grandson.
Francine Ramsey is a Lesbian I Love.
Describe yourself in one word.
Do you think lesbian women are underrepresented?
When it comes to Black lesbians, yes, especially in leadership roles within the mainstream and Black national LGBT organizations. We are educated and qualified, but still don’t get the opportunity to work in leadership positions.
What are some of the things you enjoy doing in your spare time? Favorite hobbies?
I am a movie buff. There are very few movies that I haven’t seen. I also like traveling, hanging at the beach, and have been known to play a mean game of billiards.
What was your coming out like?
I fell in love with a women at the age of 19 and remained in that relationship for three years. Although am not sure when I came out, my closest friends say they always knew I was a lesbian. Even today, I feel I am always coming out to someone.
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite food?
L Word or Girlfriends?
I like them both, but I favor the L Word.
Do you prefer fem or butch women and why?
Although I don’t like labels, I prefer fem women, but as I get older I am not afraid of exploring my feminine side.
Favorite body part and why?
I am a breast woman. They are the nurture and nature part of a woman.
As Black a woman do you prefer nappy or straight hair and why?
I have no preference in hair. I like all hairstyles and types as long as it’s on a woman.
How to reach Francine…