“In a world where so many people are categorized and labeled, it is important to identify who you are early on, before the masses can do it for you. I have always identified myself as a mixed race individual, coming from a mixed home with an African-American father and an Irish/Native American mother.
I was told early in life by my father that I was ‘Not black, Not white, I could never be just one but I am the best of both and to never forget that.’ Him telling me this early in age helped me to embrace both of my cultures, without the fear of not being black enough or white enough in the eyes of my peers.
Being a proud gay multi-racial male has helped to shape me into the strong and open minded person I am today. I embrace who I am by simply embracing all of me and living in my truth.”
Clockwise from top left: service has enabled me to help both children and adults who are suffering from many forms of abuse and marginalization. This led me to complete a master’s in social work, to work with children in need, and to a life of activism to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. There was nothing poetic about my life but my love of Christ has provided it with a rhythm of love, salvation, and hope.”
more good to do in the world.”
“Queer Muslim black femme would be me in four words. I love being black. Period. I love the words ‘queer femme’ together. I love it because it is me in so many ways - from the way I dress to my meandering conversations, it is truly me.
I’ve found that being a femme in a queer world where femmes are overlooked makes me equally odd. Similarly, I was and still am the oddball in my family.
My siblings and I were raised Sunni Islam and for various reasons, I’ve looked at other religions. I can honestly say no matter how many times I entertain other faiths, my heart stays with it. I had no choice in reconciling these polarized ids because they live within me. I used to worry that I was alone until I realized that all I had to do is be.
It’s much easier said than done but it’s gotten easier with time.”