OutRight Now: Honoring Queer Black Activists

Dear Friends,

February is Black History Month in the US, UK, Canada and elsewhere. This year, after a worldwide wave of protests against police brutality and anti-blackness in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, it seems like more people, everywhere, are paying attention to this important month.

For us in the LGBTIQ movement it serves as a reminder that we are never just one thing. We are LGBTIQ, we are different genders, different races, different religions. And because of our multiple and intersecting identities, our movement can not exist without being inextricably linked with other social justice movements, such as those demanding justice from discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, religion, economic background, immigration status, and many others.

I hope this month especially that we honor the actions and leadership of queer black activists, artists and leaders in our movement for LGBTIQ equality. That we remember that at the heart of the Stonewall riots, a moment recognized as the birth of the LGBTIQ liberation movement, were black trans women Marsha P. Johnson, Zazu Nova, Miss Major, and many others.

Our co-chair Micheal Ighodaro said to us at the start of the month:

“Visibility of black queer people is important. Because we exist, but are too often overlooked. Being an out, black, queer person shows the vast diversity of the LGBTIQ movement, and is in and of itself a form of activism which helps to achieve progress for LGBTIQ equality and black lives.”

And we agree. At OutRight we share the stories reflecting the vast diversity of our movement every day, but this month we are shining a particularly bright spotlight on the stories of black queer activists. And we will continue doing so.

Because, as our board member Rikki Nathanson says,

“We will not only celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH, we will create a victorious BLACK QUEER HISTORY."

Join us this month, and in months following, for our ongoing OutTalks series, sharing stories and shining spotlights on the successes and challenges in queer lives around the world. In weeks to come we will dive into gender identity in Indonesia, LGBTIQ people and elections in Africa, the path to recognition of same-sex partnership and many other topics. The schedule is updated weekly, so check it out and join us!

In solidarity,

Jessica Stern
Executive Director
OutRight Action International