Since 1976, Black history has been celebrated in February. Since then, many countries worldwide also devoted the month to celebrating Black history, including Canada and the United Kingdom. As it also is LGBTQIA+ History Month, we want to highlight queer black voices that were or are trailblazers for equal rights for everyone, because information about the challenges and history of queer black people is often times missing.
Queer Black People of the Past
James was a writer and activist. In his novels, he highlights topics such as race, sexual orientation, and class distinctions in the United States. His work still educates people about the Queer Black experiences in the mid-twentieth century.
“Neither love nor terror makes one blind: indifference makes one blind.” – James Baldwin
Marsha P. Johnson
Marsha was a drag queen and activist for queer rights. She is one of the most well-known people in the queer rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s in New York City. Despite her personal challenges, she never stopped being an advocate for equal rights.
“No pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.” – Marsha P. Johnson
Read more about Marsha P. Johnson
Audre was a writer, feminist and advocate for civil rights. In her books, she talks about her sexuality, global issues, and her African heritage. “She is remembered today for being a great warrior poet who valiantly fought many personal and political battles with her words.”
“Your silence will not protect you.” – Audre Lorde
Queer Black People Trailblazers of Today
Laverne is an actress from the United States. She is best known for her role in the series ‘Orange is the New Black’ as Sophia Burset on Netflix. She is the first trans person that was nominated for an Emmy and an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights.
“When I was perceived as a black man, I became a threat to public safety. When I was dressed as myself, it was my safety that was threatened.” – Laverne Cox
Alexya is a trailblazer from Brazil. She is a trans pastor and mother of two children. The first trans person in Brazil who adopts a child, according to Al Dia.
“As a pastor, I try to teach people that differences are not a threat, because people often believe that anything that is not in their own vocabulary, that is not part of their reality, should be seen as a threat and, therefore, combated. No, human beings should not wage war against one another. Not for any reason.“ – Alexya Salvador
Read more about Alexya Salvador
Michael is the first openly gay American football player. His experiences in NFL teams were discouraging. After being left without a team, he retired from NFL due to mental health reasons. By sharing his story, Michael wants to accelerate change.
“I’m not afraid of who I am. I’m not afraid to tell the world who I am. I’m Michael Sam, I’m a college graduate, I’m African-American and I’m gay.” – Michael Sam
Black History Month 2023: https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month#:~:text=President%20Gerald%20Ford%20officially%20recognized,the%20contributions%20and%20legacy%20of
Queering Black History Month: https://www.queerevents.ca/queer-history/queering-black-history-month
15 LGBTQ Activists of the past and present you should know: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/lgbtq-pride-activists-advocates-johnson-milk/
33 Times Laverne Cox Said Things Better Than Anyone Else Could: https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/laverne-cox-birthday-quotes/
Alexya Salvador: la mujer transexual que es profesora y pastora: https://www.aldia.co/historias/alexya-salvador-la-mujer-transexual-que-es-profesora-y-pastora