LGBTQ INFORMATION NETWORK │ RAINBOW OF RESOURCES

BLACK LIVES MATTER
 

The Love: Black Eyed Peas, Jennifer Hudson, Joe Biden

All LGBTQ People Should Stand in Solidarity with Black Athletes

Black Trans Lives Matter Mural at Compton's Cafeteria Site

Billy Porter and Stephen Stills Perform at Dem National Convention

Take a Knee: Sports is Back With Sideline Protests

Remembering Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis

March March: Protest Song by The Chicks

 

 

Black Lives Matter: LGBTQ Roundtable

Inspiring Legacy: Congressman John Lewis

Civil Rights Icon John Lewis Passes Away at 80

BLM and Pride 2020: Still We

155th Anniversary of Juneteenth

Thousands Gather for BLM and LGBTQ Pride March

CNN Commentator: Hard Being Black in America

Black Lives Matter: Peaceful Demonstrations

LGBTQ Pride Festivals Become Black Lives Matter Protests

Merging of Two Movements: LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter

When Black Lives Matter Meets LGBTQ Pride

Black LGBTQ Americans Hit Hard(er) by Pandemic

 

 

"When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty."
-Thomas Jefferson, US President

 

"When we see something that is not right, not fair, not just...  we have a moral obligation to say something, do something, get in trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble."
-Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

"It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have."
-James Baldwin

"We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers. When an individual is protesting society's refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him."
-Bayard Rustin, Civil Rights Activist with MLK

 

 

There is an identification of a shared struggle between the African-American and LGBTQ communities. The recent rash of killings of black people parallels the recent rash of killings of transgender people. The injustice experienced by the black community mirrors the injustice experienced by the LGBTQ community. Alicia Garza, one of the founders of the BLM movement, is a queer woman of color who understands discrimination as a black person and as a queer person. It was Alicia who coined the "Black Lives Matter" slogan. There is a real sense of solidarity between the LGBTQ Pride movement and the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

When the Covid-19 pandemic began, most LGBTQ celebrations were canceled. But with protests across the world drawing attention to police brutality and the systemic racism facing the black community, many of the organizations behind Pride festivals are re-engaging their plans and pivoting to join the protest movement.

 

"Black people! I love you! I love us! Our lives matter! Black lives matter!"

-Alicia Garza, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Movement, Creator of BLM Slogan

"We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum. Our network centers those who have been marginalized within Black liberation movements. We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise. We affirm our humanity, our contributions to this society, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression. The call for Black lives to matter is a rallying cry for ALL Black lives striving for liberation."

-Black Lives Matter
 

 

"We cannot give up. We cannot give out. We cannot give in."
-Congressman John Lewis, Civil Rights Icon

"Rights are won only by those who make their voices heard."
-Harvey Milk

 

John Lewis: Wake Up America

Inspiring Legacy: Congressman John Lewis

A Hug From John Lewis

Rep. John Lewis: Emory Commencement Address 2014

Patrisse Cullorss, BLM Co-Founder : Ongoing Fight for Racial Justice

Alicia Garza, BLM Co-Founder: Bringing Black Queer Folks to the Polls

In Lieu of Pride Parade: Thousands Attend Vigil for Black Trans Lives

Thousands Demonstrate in NYC: Support Black trans Lives

Protest Led by LGBTQ Support for Black Lives Matter

Merging of Two Movements: LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter

Increasing Connection Between LGBTQ Community and Black Lives Matter

Chicks Sing March March on Stephen Colbert Show

Black LGBTQ HIV+ Americans Still Face Constant Discrimination

Black Lives Matter: Street Mural in Washington DC

Kellen Stancil: Dance Performance at Stonewall Day 2020

Another BLM Street Mural: In Front of Trump Tower in NYC

Two Gay Black New Yorkers Running for US Congress

Country Music Responds: Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum Change Their Names

VP Mike Pence Cannot Say: Black Lives Matter

Laverne Cox on Black Transgender Lives

Andrea Jenkins of Minneapolis City Council: Speaking About George Floyd

Being Black and Queer in America Today

Black Gay Journalist, Keith Boykin, Arrested at George Floyd Protest

Tyler Perry: Black Lives Matter Hero

About the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter: Around the World

Remembering George Floyd

Black Lives Matter: Painted on DC Street Leading to the White House

Solidarity: Los Angeles Pride Supports Black Lives Matter

Dr Cornel West: Future of America Depends on Our Response

Blackish: Dre's Most Profound Speech

Actor Justice Smith Comes Out: Supports BLM and QPOC

Being Black is Not a Crime

International Demonstrations: BLM Goes Global

Black Lives Matter: Peaceful Demonstrations

 

 

I say BLACK LIVES MATTER because...

ALL didn't cover BLACK when they said ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL.

I say BLACK LIVES MATTER because...

ALL didn't cover BLACK when they said LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

I say BLACK LIVES MATTER because...

They're still struggling with the definition of ALL.

 

Remembering Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis

Congressman John Lewis Talks About Civil Rights Movement

Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis: Tribute

50 Years of Change: BLM and the LGBTQ Pride Movement

LA Pride Revived as Black Lives Matter Solidarity March

Why Pride 2020 is All About Black Lives Matter

Violent Crimes Against Trans People and Black People

 

 

How Can LGBTQ White People Be Better Allies to Black People

Tyler Perry: Speech Following George Floyd's Death

Queer Black Trailblazers

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Dr Cornel West on Racial Justice: Anderson Cooper Moved to Tears

Performative Allyship: Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Trevor Noah: Protests Sweep Across America

LGBTQ Allies and Advocates Raise Funds for Black Trans Lives

Dr Anthony Fauci: Inequities and Disparities in Healthcare

Justice Smith: Queer Black Lives Matter Too

Roundtable: What Does Justice Mean in 2020?

How to Support Black-Owned Small Businesses

Wanda Sykes: Black Lives Matter, Quarantine, Current Events, More

Intersectionality: Insights From a Queer Man of Color

COVID 19 Impact: Serve Economic Hardships for LGBTQ People of Color

Putting Intersectionality Into Practice

Black Lives Matter Founders: Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi

Racism Tipping Point: Insights from Alicia Garza and Rev William Barber

 

 

George Floyd... Breonna Taylor... Ahmaud Arbery... Iyanna Dior...

Eric Garner... Michael Brown... Trayvon Martin... Tamir Rice...

 

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

-Barack Obama

 

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

"The trans people of color are the ones who started the Stonewall rebellion. Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Do you want to know what they faced? Paying your dues with hair, teeth, skin and bones. That's how people got to this point here today. It didn't come easy."
-Renee Imperato

 

"There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives."

-Audre Lorde

"Would you ask me how I’d dare to compare the civil rights struggle with the struggle for lesbian and gay rights? I can compare them, and I do compare them. I know what it means to be called a nigger. I know what it means to be called a faggot. And I can sum up the difference in one word: None."

-Melvin Boozer

 

"I fought too long and too hard to end discrimination based on race and color, to not stand up against discrimination against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Human rights, civil rights, these are issues of dignity. Every human being walking this Earth, whether gay, lesbian, straight, or transgender, is entitled to the same rights. It is in keeping with America’s promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

-John Lewis, US Congressman

 

 

Queer African-American activists who were courageous pioneers in the struggle for equal rights for black people and LGBTQ people include such champions as June Jordan, Pat Parker, Melvin Boozer, Assotto Saint, Audre Lorde, Joseph Beam, Barbara Smith, and Marsha P. Johnson

 

The intersectionality of race and and sexual identity in the current struggle for justice and equality reminds us that no person can be defined simply by their skin color or their ethnicity or their sexual orientation or their gender identity. The overlap of experiences invites us to recognize how much we all have in common. It's not just about black people and LGBTQ people fighting their separate battles, or even about the two communities coming together. It's about black gay men, black lesbians, black bisexuals, black transgender people, and queer people of color fighting a battle that converges within their own soul.

 

John Lewis: Wake Up America

Civil Rights Leader Rep. John Lewis: Tribute

Remembering Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis

 

Trey Songz: How Many Times

Trevor Noah: The Dominoes of Racial Injustice

When Black Lives Matter Meets LGBTQ Pride

James Baldwin: Heartfelt Plea for Racial Justice and Equality

LGBTQ Organizations Stand in Solidarity With Black Lives Matter

Jide Zeitlin: Black CEO Talks About Diversity and Inclusion

TED Talk: 50 Years of Racism and Why Silence is Not the Answer

Thousands Gather for BLM and LGBTQ Pride March

Roundtable: Imagining Tomorrow in America

Fabulous Photos: Harlem's Queer Juneteenth Jubilee

Queer Black Pioneers Who Made History

 

 

ACLU: Demand Justice Now

James Baldwin: 1965 Speech on Race Relations in America

Queer Roots of Black Lives Matter

Breonna Taylor: Black Women's Lives Matter Too

Merging of Two Movements: LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter

Marques Brownlee: Reflecting on the Color of My Skin

Words Matter When Talking About Race and Unrest

International Demonstrations: BLM Goes Global

CBS News: The List Keeps Growing

Black Lives Matter: Street Mural Demonstration

When Black Lives Matter Meets LGBTQ Pride

NPR: Decade of Watching Black People Die

World According to James Baldwin

COVID 19 Impact: Serve Economic Hardships for LGBTQ People of Color

The Look: Let's Talk About Bias



Juneteenth
June 19, 1865
General Order No. 3: All Slaves Are Free
Marks the true end of chattel slavery across the United States,

two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation

 

"A riot is the language of the unheard."
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

"Without community, there is no liberation."

-Audre Lorde

"I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the world as it is. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things."
Hugo Claus

"In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations."
-Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

 

 

Pride 2020: Still We

John Legend: Redemption Song

Black Lives Matter: Peaceful Demonstrations

LGBTQ Pride Festivals Become Black Lives Matter Protests

 

Gay Black Poet Jericho Brown: Americans Don't See Black People as Human

TED Talk: Root of Racial Injustice

About the Black Lives Matter Movement

Remembering George Floyd

Black Lives Matter: Painted on DC Street Leading to the White House

BLM isn't Enough if Black Trans People Aren't Safe

When Black Lives Matter Meets LGBTQ Pride

Cat Ndivisi: We Need to Talk

Solidarity: Los Angeles Pride Supports Black Lives Matter

Queer Black Actors Speak Up for Queer Black Lives Matter

James Baldwin: Heartfelt Plea for Racial Justice and Equality

Jessica: Black LGBTQ People You Should Know

Queer Black Trailblazers

Black Ivy League Students: Why Black Lives Matter

Charlotte Police Officer Does the Right Thing

Queer Blackathon: Black LGBTQ Book Recommendations

 

 

"Black Americans are two-and-a-half times as likely as white Americans to be killed by police officers."

-Statistic

"The ultimate measure of a person is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

"There is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of the law and in the name of justice."
-Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de la Brède et de Montesquieu

"
Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

-Robert F. Kennedy

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that."

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

"Don't be afraid. Be focused. Be determined.  Be hopeful. Be empowered."
-Michelle Obama

 


 

What Does it Mean to Be Queer and Black in America Today?

Redefining What It Means to be a Gay Black Man

Queer Black Pioneers Who Made History

Lee Gray Creates His Own Space: Being Black and Gay

Black History Month: Days of Queer Excellence

Michael Arceneaux: I Can't Date Jesus

Coming Out as a Black Transgender Woman

Lena Waithe: Gay Black Girls Rock

HRC: Being African American and LGBTQ

Kehinde Wiley: Painter of President Obama Official Portrait

CNN: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Pardoned After 67 Years

Video: Black Gay Men Attending Homophobic Churches

 

 

Remembering Civil Rights Icon Congressman John Lewis

MAP: Talking About LGBTQ Equality With African Americans

Black Gay Christians Speak Out

Slideshow: Black LGBTQ People in History

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Janelle Monae: CBS Sunday Morning Interview

PBS Video: Black Trans Woman's Journey

Growing Up Black and Gay in the South

Black Gay Comedian: Sampson McCormick

Merging of Two Movements: LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter

Essence: Liberated and Loved

Tarek Ali: The Truth of a Gay Black Man

Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church
Gay Pride: Are Black Gay Men Proud?

Angela Davis: Radical Self Care

 

 

Black LGBTQ Celebrities

 

Audre Lorde - Essayist, Poet

James Baldwin - Novelist, Playwright

Angela Davis - Activist, Scholar, Author

Sylvester - Disco Music Artist

Michael Sam - Football Player

Josephine Baker - Singer, Dancer, Actor

Don Lemon - Journalist

Alphonso David - Lawyer, Activist

Lori Lightfoot - Mayor of Chicago

Benjamin Banneker - Mathematician

Alice Walker - Novelist, Poet

Langston Hughes - Writer

Billy Preston - R&B Musician

Keith Green - Activist

Larnzell Martin - Judge
LZ Granderson - Journalist

Jericho Brown - Poet

Niecy Nash - Actor

Bayard Rustin - Civil Rights Organizer, Advisor to MLK

George Bellinger Jr - AIDS Activist

Alicia Garza - Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter

John Holiday - Opera Singer

Samantha Irby - Author

Emile Griffith - World Champion Boxer

Leslie Herod - Politician

Ma Rainey - Blues Singer

Patrisse Cullors - Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter

Kehinde Wiley - Artist

Billie Holiday - Jazz Singer

Carl Bean - Archbishop
Randall Kenan - Author
Bill T Jones - Dancer, Choreographer
Carl Phillips - Poet

Charles Montorio-Archer - Business Executive
Darren Walker - President of Ford Foundation

Ron Oden - Politician

 

 

Janet Mock - Magazine Editor

Sheryl Swoopes - Basketball Player

Alvin Ailey - Dancer, Choreographer

Pat Parker - Poet

Darnell Moore - Writer, Activist

Barbara Jordan - Politician

Janelle Monae - Singer, Actor

Billy Strayhorn - Musician

Wanda Sykes - Comedian, Actor

Ru Paul - Drag Queen, TV Personality

Frank Ocean - Rapper

Glenn Burke - Baseball Player

Indya Moore - TV Actor, Model

Billy Porter - TV Actor

Phill Wilson - AIDS Activist

Kellen Stancil - Dancer, Choreographer

Langston Hughes - Poet, Novelist, Playwright

Raven Symone - TV Actor

Maya Hayes - Soccer Player

Alberta Hunter - Blues Singer

Anita Cornwell - Author

Todrick Hall - Singer, Dancer

Lee Daniels - Movie Producer, Director, Writer

Lena Waithe - Actor, Producer, Screenwriter

Domo Wilson - Hip Hop Artist

Peter J Gomes - Theologian

David Kato Kisule - Teacher, Human Rights Activist

Luther Vandross - Singer, Songwriter

Ellis B Hazlip - TV Producer

Wilson Cruz - Actor

Andrea Jenkins - Poet, Historian, Politician

Isaac Julien - Photographer, Artist, Filmmaker

 

 

Michael Arceneaux - Author

Robin Roberts - Newscaster

Bessie Smith - Blues Singer

Joseph Beam - Writer

Essex Hemphill - Artist, Cultural Activist

Lil Nas X - Country Music Rapper

Clark Accord - Novelist, Journalist

Horace Griffin - Minister

Jason Collins - Basketball Player

Doug Spearman - Actor

Johnny Mathis - Pop Singer

Howard Rollins - Actor

Azealia Banks - Rapper

Nell Carter - Singer, Actor

June Jordan - Writer

Alan Rogers - Military Officer

Laverne Cox - Actor

Julius Eastman - Composer

Derrick Gordon - Basketball Player

Nadine Smith - Activist

Jonathan Burke - Broadway Actor

Nikki Giovanni - Poet, Writer

Alice Dunbar Nelson - Journalist, Activist

Paul Winfield - Actor (Portrayed MLK)

Jackie Walker - All-American Football Linebacker

Paris Barclay - TV Producer, Director, Writer

Tarek Ali - YouTuber

Meshell Ndegeocello - Musician

Angel Haze - Rapper

E Lynn Harris - Novelist, Educator

Keith Boykin - Broadcaster, Commentator, Author

Alain LeRoy Locke - Philosopher, Writer, Educator

Cary Alan Johnson - Activist
John Amaeche - Basketball Player
JL King - Author
Aaryn Lang - Media Personality, Trans Activist

Craig Washington - Activist
Zachary Jones - Bishop

Countee Cullen - Poet

Franqi French - Comedian

Deon Kevin Johnson - Bishop

Shea Diamond - Soul Singer, Trans Activist

 

 

GLAAD: Honoring Black LGBTQ Icons

Advocate: Black LGBTQ Pioneers

Huff Post: Prominent Black LGBTQ Icons

Black Lesbians You Should Know (1)

Coming Out Black: Black LGBTQ People in History

Pride: Inspiring Queer Black Heroes

List: LGBTQ African Americans

Slideshow: Black LGBTQ People in History

Queer Black Trailblazers

Ranker: LGBTQ Black Hollywood Celebrities

Black Gay Men You Should Know (1)

Our Families: LGBTQ African American Stories

 

Coming Out as LGBTQ and Black
 

For many black individuals, coming out involves additional cultural factors that make the process more challenging but no less rewarding. It includes having to deal with homophobic churches, strong family foundations that emphasize heterosexuality, homophobia in the black community, and racism in the broader LGBTQ community. Thanks to brave LGBTQ black activists and their allies there is more support and acceptance than ever before, but there still exist many prejudices and roadblocks for LGBTQ blacks.

Religion - The church has traditionally played a central role in guiding the day-to-day lives and beliefs of many black Americans. Some churches and individual parishioners have been unwelcoming to people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity. The stance of the many in the black community on homosexuality, either you don’t talk about it or you condemn it, has been historically dictated by the church. Over the past few decades, new churches have been established specifically to welcome and affirm LGBTQ people of color. Some long-established black churches also have made progress toward being more welcoming.
 

 

Family - The black family unit often functions as a haven and stronghold of support in a society where racism is still prevalent. Often, there is no place in this fortress of strength for a “weakness,” as homosexuality is often viewed. LGBTQ children are sometimes viewed as being detrimental and damaging to the black family and give a negative impression for the whole black community.

Society and Media - Within the LGBTQ community, many of the same prejudices that we see in the rest of society based on race, class, and ethnicity still exist, which create unique challenges black LGBTQ American trying to fit into the LGBTQ community. Many LGBTQ communities and organizations have been viewed as historically white and can be uncomfortable or unwelcoming for some black Americans. Black LGBTQ Americans have been virtually invisible in history and when they are depicted their sexual orientation is rarely mentioned. The media and entertainment world rarely show LGBTQ people as anything but white.
 

[Source: Coming Out for African Americans, Human Rights Campaign]

 

Black LGBTQ People in History
Things to Know If You Are QPOC

Black and Gay in New Orleans in the 60s

The Truth About Homophobia in the Black Community

Cory and Davonta: How We Met

Black Love: Same Sex Couples' Quest for Marriage Equality

LGBTQ African American Stories

Black Lesbians You Should Know (2)

TED Talk: African and Gay

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Black Love: Queer Couples Share Their Definition

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Short Film: Who I Am

Derrick Gordon: Black LGBTQ Basketball Player

Minority Leaders in LGBTQ Movement

 

 

Benjamin Carlton: Gay Black Minister

Stunning Photos: Queer Africans

Janelle Monae: Growing Up Queer and Black

Info: Black Gay Drag Slang

How Many African Americans are LGBTQ?

Black Gay Men You Should Know (2)

LGBTQ People of Color

HRC: Being African American and LGBTQ

Where Would MLK Have Stood on Marriage Equality?

LGBTQ African American Celebrities

Jasika Nicole: Being Biracial and Queer in Hollywood

Info: Down Low Culture

People of Color: Pioneers in Marriage Equality

Coming Out: Black Gay Broadway Star Jonathan Burke

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Video: Racism in the LGBTQ Community

 

 

 

LGBTQ People of Color

The term QPOC (Queer People of Color) has begun making some traction in the LGBTQ African-American community and in other non-white LGBTQ circles. Another popular term being used is QBIPOC (Queer Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

 

Thirty-nine percent of LGBTQ adults identify as people of color, including 15 percent who identify as Latinx, 11 percent as Black, two percent as Asian Pacific Islander, and one percent as Native American. This is more diverse than the overall US adult population, which is 65 percent white. The higher representation of people of color in LGBTQ communities is in part related to age. With increasing acceptance of LGBTQ people, younger generations are more likely to be out as LGBTQ. Younger people are also more likely to be of color, which is the main reason that a large proportion of people of color identify as LGBTQ. From service provision to movement building, there is a need to respond and adapt to a new generation in the US that is more diverse than any previous generation in terms of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

 



At the intersection of two marginalized identities, LGBTQ people of color often face stark disparities:
 

--One in five youth in the juvenile justice system identify as LGBTQ, 85 percent of whom are people of color.
--LGBTQ people of color face high rates of unemployment: 15 percent of African American LGBTQ adults are unemployed, as are 14 percent of Latinx LGBTQ adults and 11 percent of API LGBTQ adults—compared to 8 percent unemployment for the general population.
--Gay and bisexual men of color continue to make up the majority of new HIV/AIDS infections in the US, with Black men accounting for 39 percent of 2014 HIV diagnoses among men who have sex with men, and Latinos accounting for 24 percent.

[Source: Funders for LGBTQ Issues]

 

Being an LGBTQ Person of Color

Things to Know If You Are QPOC

Funders for LGBTQ Issues: LGBTQ People of Color

LGBTQ People of Color: Double Discrimination

LGBTQ Spaces: Uncomfortable for Queer People of Color

Movement Advancement Project: LGBTQ People of Color

Brown Boi Project: Communities of Color Talk About Gender

LGBTQ People of Color Call Rural America Home

 

Bayard Rustin Posthumously Pardoned

 

As a civil rights leader and an advocate for justice, Bayard Rustin was no stranger to being behind bars. He was arrested for his anti-war efforts in opposition to World War II. He was arrested for protesting segregation laws in the Jim Crow-era South. But in 1953, he was arrested for reasons outside his activism — for having sex with men.

Rustin was jailed on a "morals charge." He was eventually convicted of misdemeanor vagrancy and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. The offense landed him on the sex offender list, cost him jobs and was used to delegitimize the civil rights movement by people like segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond, who read Rustin's arrest record on the Senate floor.

 



In February 2020, 67 years after that arrest and 33 years after his death, Rustin received a pardon from California Gov. Gavin Newsom. "Mr. Rustin was criminalized because of stigma, bias, and ignorance," Newsom said in the pardon. "With this act of executive clemency, I acknowledge the inherent injustice of this conviction, an injustice that was compounded by his political opponents' use of the record of this case to try to undermine him, his associates, and the civil rights movement."

Rustin's pardon is part of a new initiative from Newsom's office to grant clemency to people who were prosecuted in California for being gay, inspired by a push from leaders of the California Legislative Black Caucus and the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus. "In California and across the country, charges like vagrancy, loitering, and sodomy have been used to unjustly target lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people," according to a news release from Newson's office. "Law enforcement and prosecutors specifically targeted LGBTQ individuals, communities and community spaces for criminal prosecution. Now, as a proudly LGBTQ-allied state, California is turning the page on historic wrongs."


Rustin led and organized some of the most pivotal protests of the civil rights movement. Most famously, he was the mastermind behind the 1963 March on Washington. He was the main person who pushed the movement (and Martin Luther King) toward nonviolent ideas and tactics. Rustin traveled to India in 1948 to learn more about pacifist ideas and helped introduce those teachings to King. Following the success of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1956, Rustin became a close confidant and advisor of King. Rustin played a significant role in the formation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Though former President Barack Obama awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, he remains much less known when compared to his civil rights movement peers. Some academics argue this is due to the homophobia of the time.

[Source: CNN, February 2020]

Biography: Bayard Rustin, Advisor to Martin Luther King
Biographical Notes: Bayard Rustin

CNN: Civil Rights Leader Bayard Rustin Pardoned After 67 Years

PBS: Bayard Rustin, Designer of the March on Washington

Posthumous Pardon for Bayard Rustin

The Gay Man Black History Erased

 

 

Notes on LGBTQ African Americans

LGBTQ Developmental Tasks for African-American Students

"Those who stand outside the circle of this society’s definition of acceptable women, those of us who are poor, who are lesbian, who are Black, who are older – know that survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths."
-Audre Lorde, 1984, Sister Outsider

 



"I hate being invisible. Being both Black and gay, I haven’t developed the courage to fight on two battlefields. So I’ve chosen one by default; the obvious one, the easy one, the Black one… As a gay person, I’ve feared losing the love of family, and facing the wrath of community. I’ve searched through an obscure history. Allies are gay friends also trying to remain invisible and straight friends sworn to keep my secret… While I openly share the beauty of my Black experience, insight gained from being gay is shared only when it’s safe. Black publications proudly announce their arrival, while gay publications arrive hidden in plain manila envelopes…When I’m hurt as a Black person I have an instant support network. When I’m hurt as a gay person, I’m left to lick my wounds until I find a safe place… I fear taking on another label and providing people with yet another reason to view me as a target. It’s difficult enough educating people to see Black people as multi-dimensional and not flat stereotypes. Why take on the added burden? I suffer as a result of this decision… Just as Black people need distance from the distorted image reflected by Whites, so too do we as gays need an environment in which to affirm ourselves…When people think, “gay” they see, “White.” When they think “Black” they fail to see “gay” …Our success in being invisible robs us of knowing ourselves and each other. It further robs us of being known on our own terms...Yet, the risk of being visible is one that too few of us is willing to take. Someday I’ll marshal the strength to fight on two battlefields. Until then I’ll choose the obvious one, continue to be invisible and hate it."
-Chuck, Blackstripe

 



These two excepts highlight the challenges gay African Americans must face. They have the task of dealing with the intersection of multiple identities (intertwined states of “otherness”): Sexual orientation, race, and gender (women). This can be a stressful and lonely journey. The challenge is in learning how to negotiate and manage these simultaneous states of social realities.

[Source: Dr. Angela D. Coker, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Education]

HRC: Religion and Coming Out Issues for African Americans

Black Gay Christians Speak Out
Queer Black Man Talks to His Grandmother

Black Love: Queer Couples Share Their Definition

Michael Arceneaux: Gay, Black, and Beyonce Obsessed

Nobody by Jade Novah and Cynthia Erivo

LGBTQ African American Celebrities

What Does it Mean to Be Queer and Black in America Today?

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Janelle Monae: Growing Up Queer and Black

Things to Know If You Are QPOC

Black Gay Men You Should Know (1)

Our Families: LGBTQ African American Stories

Tia and Nadine

Slideshow: Black LGBTQ People in History

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Gay Pride: Are Black Gay Men Proud?

TED Talk: African and Gay

Queer Blackathon: Black LGBTQ Book Recommendations

The Truth About Homophobia in the Black Community

 

 

Video: Black Gay Men Attending Homophobic Churches

Growing Up Black and Gay in the South

Beauty of Blackness

Black Lesbians You Should Know (1)

Raven-Simone: Don't Label Me Gay or African American

LGBTQ African American Stories

Video Talk: Black Gay Man Learns to Love Himself

Queer Black Trailblazers

Tarek Ali: The Truth of a Gay Black Man

Janelle Monae: Growing Up Queer and Black

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Trans Sistas of Color Project

TED Talk: Misadventures of a Tired Gay Black Man

How Many African Americans are LGBTQ?

Black LGBTQ People in History

Essence: Liberated and Loved

Black and Gay in New Orleans in the 60s

LGBTQ People of Color

 

 

How Many African Americans are LGBTQ?

 

According to one report, there is a growing number of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer in the black community.

The study indicates there are more than one million African-American LGBTQ adults in the US. Of those individuals, 84,000 are in same-sex households with about 34 percent of couples raising children. These numbers come about a year after a Gallup report that found African-Americans make up the largest share of the LGBTQ community.

The report highlights some key findings, including the fact that 58 percent of African-American LGBTQ couples are female, and the economic challenges many LGBTQ African-Americans face.

For example, the report finds overall higher unemployment rates and lower proportions with a college degree among LGBTQ African-Americans, when compared to their non-LGBTQ counterparts. However, these disadvantages are not present among African-Americans in same-sex couples, with 25 percent having completed a college degree, compared to 22 percent of African-Americans in heterosexual couples. In addition, 71 percent of African-Americans in same-sex couples are employed compared to 68 percent of their heterosexual counterparts.

 

[Source: Huffington Post, Black Voices, October 2013]

 

 

Kehinde Wiley: Painter of President Obama Official Portrait

Moorehouse College Now Accepting Trans Men

Short Film: Who I Am

Video Interview: Black, Christian, Lesbian

Beautiful Wedding: Gina and Angie

Redefining What It Means to be a Gay Black Man

Coming Out as a Black Transgender Woman

Tia and Nadine

Black Lesbians You Should Know (2)

HRC: Being African American and LGBTQ

MAP: Talking About LGBTQ Equality With African Americans

Growing Up Black and Gay in the South
Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Cory and Davonta: How We Met

Coming Out: Black Gay Broadway Star Jonathan Burke

Video: Racism in the LGBTQ Community

Black Love: Same Sex Couples' Quest for Marriage Equality

Channing-Studville

Black Gay Men You Should Know (2)

Gay Pride: Are Black Gay Men Proud?

Queer POC: Realities of Being a Young Black Gay Man

James Baldwin: Speaking on Dick Cavett Show

Video Talk: Black Gay Man Learns to Love Himself

Her Story: The Lesbian and the Black Church

 

Lori Lightfoot: Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor

 

Chicago mayoral candidate Lori Lightfoot trounced her opponent in April 2019 and made history. Lightfoot will be the only black lesbian mayor in the nation. And the first out mayor of one of America’s three largest cities.

“A Black lesbian taking power in the nation’s third-largest city is a historic moment for so many communities that are too often ignored in American politics,” said former Houston mayor Annise Parker. Parker, the President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund formerly held the record as the “highest ranking” out mayor. Houston is the nation’s fourth largest city.

 



“Chicago’s enormous influence on the national dialogue provides a platform for Lori to promote more inclusive solutions to the challenges facing our cities and nation – and to be a credible messenger as well,” Parker said. “Lori will certainly remain focused on the issues facing Chicago. But as the highest-ranking LGBTQ person ever elected mayor of an American city (a title she takes from me) she is also now a key leader in the movement to build LGBTQ political power nationwide.”
 

“As the first openly LGBTQ woman of color to be elected mayor in any of America’s 100 largest cities and the first black woman to serve as Mayor of Chicago, Lightfoot is an inspiration to thousands of LGBTQ people of color who have a new role model in elected office,” DNC chair Tom Perez said in an emailed statement.

“This historic win reaffirms that our diversity is our greatest strength, and that our elected leaders should reflect the diversity of the communities they represent. I look forward to working with Mayor-elect Lightfoot as she fights to build a brighter future for all. The people of Chicago will be well served with her leadership.”
 

LGBTQ Nation: Black Lesbian Becomes Chicago Mayor

USA Today: Chicago Makes History with First Gay, Black, Female Mayor

Chicago Tribune: Lori Lightfoot Breaks the Rules

 

 

LGBTQ Black College Students

African-American students in general are developing ethnic and racial identity. LGBTQ African-American students have an understanding that gayness is not a White phenomenon.

African-American college students in general interact with the dominant culture. LGBTQ African-American college students are dealing with homophobia from general society.  What are the benefits or risks to “coming out?”.

African-American college students in general are developing cultural aesthetics and awareness. LGBTQ African-American college students are developing cultural aesthetics and awareness.

 

African-American college students in general are developing identity. LGBTQ African-American college students are asking themselves, "Who am I as a racialized homosexual being?" For men: trying to define Black manhood; For women: learning how to sort through issues of physical attractiveness. Must deal with racism, sexism, and homophobia. Have evolved outside of society’s definition of femininity

African-American college students in general are developing Interdependence. LGBTQ African-American college students ask themselves, "What will my family, friends, and community think? Will they disown me?" Social isolation and/or secrecy. Fear of being found out. Maintaining ties to family and community.

African-American college students in general are fulfilling affiliation needs. For LGBTQ African-American college students, much of one’s identity is constructed on the basis of community connection. Managing the coming out process and maintaining strong connection to group.

African-American college students in general are surviving intellectually. LGBTQ African-American college students are learning how to deal with stress of academia while trying to sort out one’s identity. What will my professor think? Will often travel to other cities for social outlets (this is time that could be used to study instead of spending several hours on the road to another city)

 

African-American college students in general are developing spiritually. LGBTQ African-American college students are maintaining connections with religious organizations. Fear of being ousted from their church. Wrestling with relationship with higher power.

African-American college students in general are developing social responsibility. LGBTQ African-American college students are dealing with the “coming out” process and recognizing the need to be role models for other African American LGBTQ persons, thereby reducing the invisibility.

Questions for Educators: In what ways can we make our classrooms/learning communities more inclusive and user-friendly for LGBTQ students? How often do we engage in self-reflection and an examination of our own values and biases with respect to race, gender, and homosexuality? How might our personal issues, comments, subtle message impede the educational process for students who are members of this group?

[Source: Angela D. Coker, PhD, LPC, NCC, University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Education. McEwen, M.K., Roper, L.D., Bryant, D.R., & Langa, M.J. (1990). Incorporating the development of African-American students into psychosocial theories of student development. Journal of College Student Development]

 

Gay Pride: Are Black Gay Men Proud?

TED Talk: African and Gay

Black LGBTQ People in History

Video Interview: Black, Christian, Lesbian

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Queer Black Trailblazers

Black Lesbians You Should Know (1)

The Truth About Homophobia in the Black Community

Video: Racism in the LGBTQ Community

James Baldwin: Speaking on Dick Cavett Show

Our Families: LGBTQ African American Stories

Tia and Nadine

 

 

TED Talk: Misadventures of a Tired Gay Black Man

Moorehouse College Now Accepting Trans Men

Growing Up Black and Gay in the South

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

MAP: Talking About LGBTQ Equality With African Americans

LGBTQ African American Celebrities

Kehinde Wiley: Black Gay Artist

Things to Know If You Are QPOC

Beauty of Blackness

Black Gay Men You Should Know (1)

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Brown Boi Project: Communities of Color Talk About Gender

What It's Like to Grow Up Gay and Black

LGBTQ African American Stories

 

 

Lena Waithe: Gay Black Girls Rock

 

Lena Waithe, who is a gay black woman, is an American actress, producer, and screenwriter. She is known for co-writing and acting in the Netflix series Master of None. Waithe made history at the 69th annual Primetime Emmy Awards when she won Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on Master of None, becoming the first black woman to do so. The "Thanksgiving" episode for which she won the Emmy was partially based on her personal experience coming out to her mother. She is also the creator of the Showtime series The Chi. Here are some of Lena's recent eloquent remarks:

 


 

“Let’s get free of the idea that we can’t go after our dreams because of how we look, where we come from, who we love or how old we are. We all have gifts and we can either lock into those gifts or act like we don’t exist. You can’t live your dream if you don’t go after it.”

 

“Many queer kids, they don’t feel love. They don’t feel seen and they don’t feel heard. I don’t just want these kids to live, but I want them to live their best lives because we as a society will benefit from all the many gifts they have to share. Our youth deserve to know that they weren’t born to be perfect. They were born to be whole.”

 

Lena Waithe: Gay Black Girls Rock

Lena Waithe: Queer Superhero

BET: Lena Waithe's Acceptance Speech

Lena Waithe: My Favorite Black Queer Icons


Critical Issues Facing LGBTQ African Americans

 

African Americans are, and have always been, a vibrant part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and same gender-loving community. From trailblazing pioneers such as openly gay novelist James Baldwin and transgender rights activist Marsha P. Johnson, to modern-day heroes such as actress Laverne Cox and basketball star Jason Collins, LGBTQ African Americans have made enormous contributions to the ongoing fight for social, racial and economic justice.

According to the Williams Institute, there are more than 1 million LGBTQ African Americans currently living in the United States, with approximately 3.7 percent of all African American people identifying as LGBTQ. LGBTQ African Americans are disproportionately young and disproportionately female, and nearly one-third of all African American same-sex couples are raising children.

 



LGBTQ African Americans live in communities across the nation, but there are some areas of the country where the LGBTQ African American population is more heavily concentrated. Washington, DC comes in at number one due in part to the large number of African Americans who live in and around the nation's capital. Maryland, Georgia, New York and North Carolina also have large numbers of LGBTQ African American residents, as do several other states in the Deep South. Notably, many of these states lack statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

What are some important issues facing LGBTQ African Americans?  While the Civil Rights Movement resulted in monumental legal changes for a country just 100 years removed from slavery, African Americans continue to experience bias, discrimination and prejudice at all levels of society. The situation is even more severe for LGBTQ African Americans, who live at the intersection of racism, homophobia and transphobia and face a number of critical issues.

 

 

Economic Insecurity – Although economic conditions in the U.S. are improving, LGBTQ African Americans continue to be economically disadvantaged because of persistent discrimination, housing insecurity, a lack of quality, affordable healthcare and fewer educational opportunities. A 2012 report found that "32 percent of children being raised by Black same-sex couples live in poverty, compared to 13 percent of children being raised by heterosexual Black parents and just 7 percent being raised by married heterosexual white parents." Additionally, Black transgender people face severe rates of poverty, with 34 percent living in extreme poverty compared to just 9 percent of non-transgender Black people.

Violence & Harassment – According to a 2014 report on hate violence against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, Black survivors of hate violence were 1.3 times more likely to experience police violence than their non-Black counterparts. Black survivors were also twice as likely to experience any physical violence, twice as likely to experience discrimination and 1.4 times more likely to experience threats and intimidation during acts of hate violence. Additionally, Black transgender women face the highest levels of fatal violence within the LGBTQ community and are less likely to turn to police for help for fear of revictimization by law enforcement personnel. According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 38 percent of Black transgender people who interacted with police reported harassment; 14 percent reported physical assault from police and 6 percent reported sexual assault. Such high rates of revictimization by police is a major barrier to dealing with anti-transgender violence.

 

 

HIV & Health Inequity – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young, Black gay and bisexual men are among the communities most heavily affected by HIV. In the city of Atlanta, for example, a young, Black gay man now has a 60 percent chance of becoming HIV-positive by the age of 30 even though Black gay and bisexual men are more likely to engage in safer sex practices than their white counterparts.

 

Religious Intolerance – While LGBTQ African Americans identify with various faith traditions, the Christian church remains a source of both hope and trepidation for many, but acceptance of LGBTQ people is increasing in communities of faith. For example, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, support for marriage equality increased from 23 percent to 38 percent among Black Protestants between 2013 and 2014.

Criminal Injustice – A number of recent, highly publicized cases of police brutality and misconduct have highlighted how broken our criminal justice system really is. Findings from a 2014 U.S. Department of Justice investigation revealed patterns of excessive force in the Albuquerque and Cleveland police departments. Findings of clear racial disparities and discriminatory intent were also revealed in a 2015 study of Ferguson, Missouri, which became a site of major protests following the police shooting of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown in 2014. Additionally, data from the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination Survey found disproportionately high rates of arrest and incarceration among Black transgender people when compared to all other racial and ethnic groups.

 

 

Redefining What It Means to be a Gay Black Man

Slideshow: Black LGBTQ People in History

PBS Video: Boundless Black Masculinity

Coming Out as a Black Transgender Woman

LGBTQ African American Celebrities

Essence: Liberated and Loved

Black Gay Men You Should Know (2)

Derrick Gordon: Black LGBTQ Basketball Player

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Annisa and Grace

HRC: Being African American and LGBTQ

MAP: Talking About LGBTQ Equality With African Americans

 

 

Kehinde Wiley: Black Gay Artist

Short Film: Who I Am

Tia and Nadine

Black Gay Christians Speak Out

Janelle Monae: Queer Black Woman

Black Lesbians You Should Know (2)

Holler If You Hear Me: Black and Gay in the Church
Info: Black Gay Drag Slang

Masicka: Blessing

James Baldwin: Speaking on Dick Cavett Show

Advocate: Homophobia in the Black Community

Gay Pride: Are Black Gay Men Proud?

PBS Video: Surviving Racism and Cancer as a Queer Black Woman

 

 

Black Queer Love
 

Black Queer Love: The Beginning

Black Queer Love: Coming Out

Black Queer Love: Intimacy and Infidelity

 

Keith Boykin

 

Keith Boykin is a New York Times best-selling author, assistant adjunct professor of political science at Columbia University, CNN political commentator, journalist, actor and public speaker.

Each of Keith’s four books has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, including his most recent book, For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Still Not Enough, which won the American Library Association Stonewall Award for Nonfiction in 2013.

Educated at Dartmouth and Harvard, Keith attended law school with President Barack Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to President Bill Clinton, where he was once the highest ranking openly gay person in the Clinton White House. He also helped organize and participated in the nation’s first ever meeting between a sitting president and leaders of the LGBTQ community.

 



Keith has been actively involved in progressive causes since he worked on his first congressional campaign while still a student in high school. He is a veteran of six political campaigns, including two presidential campaigns, and he was named one of the top instructors when he taught political science at American University in Washington.

He starred on the 2004 Showtime television series American Candidate, and then became a co-host of the BET J TV series My Two Cents, where he interviewed celebrities, politicians, and public figures. A former CNBC contributor, MSNBC commentator and BET columnist, Keith is also the former editor of the online news site, The Daily Voice. He has appeared on numerous national media programs, including Anderson Cooper 360, The O’Reilly Factor, The Tyra Banks Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show.

A founder and first board president of the National Black Justice Coalition, Keith has spoken to audiences, large and small, all across the world. He delivered a landmark speech to 200,000 people at the Millennium March on Washington and he gave a stirring speech about the AIDS epidemic in front of 40,000 people in Chicago’s Soldier Field in July 2006.

Keith was an associate producer of the 2007 feature film Dirty Laundry and appeared in the 2014 BET drama series, Being Mary Jane.

His third book, Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies and Denial in Black America, spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Keith won the Lambda Literary Award for his second book, Respecting The Soul, and his first book, One More River to Cross, is taught in colleges and universities throughout the country.

Keith has lived in 12 cities, visited 48 of the 50 US states, and traveled across four continents. In 1997 President Clinton appointed him, along with Coretta Scott King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, to the US presidential trade delegation to Zimbabwe. Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Keith currently lives in New York.
 

Keith Boykin's Website

National Black Justice Coalition

Wikipedia: Keith Boykin

Keith Boykin on Facebook

 

Actor and Rapper Janelle Monae

 

Janelle Monáe is further opening up about her sexuality.  Movie fans know her from her roles in the films Hidden Figures and Moonlight. And, while she is an accomplished movie actor, she first came to fame as an R&B singer and rapper. The 32-year-old singer, who released her new album Dirty Computer in April 2018, spoke to CBS This Morning about how her late mentor Prince influenced how she wants to portray her sexuality in music and in the public eye.



“I think that it’s important for people to be proud of their identity. I am very proud to be a queer young black woman in America. I’m proud of who I am,” Monáe said. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Monáe revealed what it’s like “being a black queer woman in America” and why she doesn’t identify as bisexual.  Monae has described herself as "someone who has been in relationships with both men and women" and has further identified as pansexual.


Janelle Monae: CBS Sunday Morning Interview

Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae

Make Me Feel by Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae: Queer Black Woman

Rolling Stone: Janelle Monae Frees Herself

Django Jane by Janelle Monae

Billboard: Queerest Moments on Janelle Monae's New Album

I Like That by Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae: Growing Up Queer and Black

Pynk by Janelle Monae

 

Black, Gay and Successful in Hollywood

Paris KC Barclay is a gay black man working in Hollywood as a television director and producer. Born in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois, Barclay has directed over 100 episodes of television to date, for series including NYPD Blue, ER, The West Wing, CSI, Lost, The Shield, House MD, Law & Order, Monk, Numb3rs, City of Angels, Cold Case, and more recently The Mentalist, Weeds, Sons of Anarchy, NCIS: Los Angeles, The Good Wife, In Treatment, and Glee.

 

Paris has won two Emmy Awards as well as a Directors Guild of America award for directing episodes of NYPD Blue, and has garnered 10 DGA nominations. He is the first director in the history of the Guild to be nominated for a comedy series and drama series in the same year, two years in a row (2008, 2009). Barclay has also received an NAACP Image award for Best Drama Series as co-creator, writer, and director of the groundbreaking medical drama City of Angels, and another Image Award for directing Cold Case.

Currently, Barclay is executive producer and principal director of HBO's In Treatment, now in its third season. Openly gay since late in his college days, he was a regular contributor to The Advocate magazine for several years. Barclay is one of Hollywood's very few openly gay black decision-makers. He is used to hearing the same line, repeatedly, when other industry executives see scripts with queer black characters.


Gay Black Theologian

Horace L. Griffin is an African-American Theologian who is also gay.  He teaches pastoral theology and is Director of Field Education at the General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church. An ordained priest in the Episcopal Church, USA, Griffin also serves as an associate at All Saints' Episcopal Church in Glen Rock, NJ.

 

In 1990, Griffin began his professional career as a college professor at the historical black Fisk University while completing his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt. At Fisk, he chaired the Department of Religious and Philosophical Studies from 1993-1996, becoming the first openly gay Department chair in the University's 127 year history. In 1992, he received the "Professor of the Year Award" for the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.

 

 

During this period, he also co-chaired the Lesbian and Gay Coalition for Justice, a civil rights organization for gay citizens in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. Griffin has a Bachelor of Arts in Religion degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a Master of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology in Boston, and a PhD in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University Graduate Department of Religion in Nashville.

As a graduate student concentrating in gender and sexuality issues, he developed a slide presentation addressing black pastoral issues and the AIDS epidemic. Called "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray," the presentation became a teaching tool for black pastors at conferences and in black faith communities. As a result of his AIDS work, Griffin was invited to serve as a board member (1994-1996) of Nashville Cares, an AIDS agency for the Greater Nashville community.
 

In 1996, Griffin joined the religious studies faculty at the University of Missouri-Columbia as Assistant Professor of African-American Religions. He taught courses on African-American religions, religion and human sexuality and religion and homosexuality. In 1999, Griffin resigned, in part, because the university president and administrators refused to include sexual orientation in the university's non-discrimination policy. Later that year, he accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, where he taught courses such as Pastoral Care and Congregations, Sexuality and Pastoral Care, and Cross Cultural Pastoral Care. He also directed the Chicago Collegiate Seminarians Program, a Lilly funded grant for college students considering ordained ministry.

Griffin has published numerous articles and essays in peer journals and anthologies, including "Revisioning Christian Ethical Discourse on Homosexuality: A Challenge for the 21st Century" in the Journal of Pastoral Care, and "Toward a True Black Liberation Theology: Affirming Homoeroticism, Black Lesbian and Gay Christians and their Relationships" in Loving the Body: Black Religious Studies and the Erotic. His most recent work, "Black Machoism and Its Discontents" will be published in 2008 in Face to Face: A Discussion of Critical Issues in Pastoral Theology. His first book, Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches (Pilgrim Press 2006) was awarded the 2006 Lambda Literary Award in LGBTQ studies in the spring of 2007. This groundbreaking work also received a Stonewall Award nomination. The LGBTQ African American Roundtable convened a panel of scholars and clergy offering a critical examination of the book at its 2007 annual meeting. In its second printing, Their Own Receive Them Not is a useful text currently being studied and discussed in college and seminary classrooms and black faith communities.

 

 

GLAAD: Honoring Black LGBTQ Icons

Advocate: Black LGBTQ Pioneers

What Does it Mean to Be Queer and Black in America Today?

Things to Know If You Are QPOC

TED Talk: Misadventures of a Tired Gay Black Man

Brown Boi Project: Communities of Color Talk About Gender

Our Families: LGBTQ African American Stories

Black and Gay in New Orleans in the 60s

Info: Discrimination, Prejudice, Bigotry

Cory and Davonta: How We Met

Huff Post: Prominent Black LGBTQ Icons

James Baldwin: Speaking on Dick Cavett Show

Tarek Ali: The Truth of a Gay Black Man

Coming Out Black: Black LGBTQ People in History

Trans Sistas of Color Project

 

 

Video: Racism in the LGBTQ Community

Black Love: Same Sex Couples' Quest for Marriage Equality

Pride: Inspiring Queer Black Heroes

Black LGBTQ Short Film: Different Direction

LGBTQ African American Celebrities

Lena Waithe: My Favorite Black Queer Icons

Queer Blackathon: Black LGBTQ Book Recommendations

Slideshow: Black LGBTQ People in History

Beautiful Wedding: Gina and Angie

Video Talk: Black Gay Man Learns to Love Himself

List: LGBTQ African Americans

Oprah and Raven-Simone Talk About Labels

Merging of Two Movements: LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Ranker: LGBTQ Black Hollywood Celebrities

James Baldwin: Explaining the Riots of 1968

Nobody by Jade Novah and Cynthia Erivo

 

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