WE ARE MORE POWERFUL THAN WE KNOW
LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR Volume 3 Issue 6
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ovember and December are mostly known for the holiday themes of thanks and giving—oddly enough, these two words become a portmanteau identifying the November holiday. So with thanks and giving we are known for dedicating our November/ December issue to the people who contribute meaning to our community—The Loud 100. It takes us a year to compile hundreds of names of gay people of color who we feel are inﬂuencing our culture in a positive way. These people are the best and brightest in ﬁelds such as media, education, politics, and entertainment. We then reﬁne this list to 100 LGBT people of color who within the last year have had a loud inﬂuence on our world. You can ﬁnd this magniﬁcent list on Pg 12. From Secretly We Are Gay (SWAG) to We Are Gay (WAG) written by Nathan James, discussing the progress of homosexuality being illegal in almost every state in the 70s to our current visibility in the media, being elected to local and federal political ofﬁces, marriage equality in 12 states, and our position in the armed services. Pg 9. We of course have some warm Winter fashion looks for you to consider and as always we end this issue with my column What I've Come To Know. Make sure that in this season of gratitude you remember who you are, whose you are, and what you contribute to the world.
Here We Go! TEAM DBQ
David A. Bridgeforth Jr. Editor-In-Chief / Publisher Abraham Tomo, Jr. attends Pace University in New York City where he studies English, Graphic Design, and graduate Publishing. He has written for many online publication and currently is an intern editor for DBQ.
Nathan James is an author, screenwriter, radio personality, and journalist. He is Executive Editor of the LGBT multimedia resource GBM News, and writes exclusively on LGBT issues and affairs.
Stanley Bennett Clay is an award winning ﬁlmmaker, novelist, director and playwright. His documentary "You Are Not Alone" is currently screening throughout the country. He recently directed the stage adaptation of "B-Boy Blues." His latest novel "Hollywood Flames" (Book 2 of his 5-book "Dominican Heat" series) is currently on the market.
Dave Bridgeforth Sr.
Stanley Bennett Clay
Consulting Cover Editor
DBQ Magazine is a nationally distributed bimonthly lifestyle publication. Published and printed in Indianapolis, Indiana. For more information on advertisement contact Rivendell Media at 908.232.2021, for editorial inquires or any other business please visit us at www.DBQMAG.com Or 908.656.6218.
Nov/Dec 2013 FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @DBQMAG / DBQMAG.COM
David Bridgeforth Quarterly
EVERYWHERE ABOVE THE RAINBOW
5. Behind The Scenes 7. Community/ Be The Generation 8. News
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100 9. Politics 10. Books/ Stanley Bennett Clay's Hollywood Flame
12. The Loud 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR 26. Fashion/ Winter Warm
LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR P.12
29. What I've Come To Know
Behind the Scene @Bridgeforth @DBQMAG
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HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY MR. BRIDGEFORTH! 1 1. Mr. Bridgeforth at his surprise birthday party in Brooklyn on the eve of Oct 14th. 2. Dave with a friend at his club birthday party Oct 18th. 3. Dave with lifelong best friend Pierre Ingram at club birthday party. 4. Jussie Smollett and Dustin Rossâ€”The Skinny, both friends of Mr. Bridgeforth (Attending friend Derrick Briggs Halloween Party in Brooklyn) 5. Keith Boykin and Mr. Bridgeforth at new favorite hang out spot, Harlem Food Bar.
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Behind the Scene @Bridgeforth @DBQMAG
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DALLAS BLACK PRIDE Being invited to Dallas, TX by Dallas Black Pride —The Movement was an amazing honor. It was my first time in Texas and I didn't know what to expect. What I will say is that Dallas Black Pride took very good care of me and kept me very busy. I was inspired by Mr. Spillman's ability to create events that uplifted and enforced positivity into the community. I attended and spoke at forums and panels that discussed how we as LGBT people can be more unified and be more proud. I got to meet black gay royalty (3.) 'Rodney Chester' whose character Alex in Noah's Arc made us all feel safe as if we all had a great friend like he was. I got to dance and sing with Monifah (1.) who was not only kind but was so funny. Not to mention all the hilarious jokes that were told to crowds of people about me by the real queen of comedy, Miss Sophia (2.). My friend Twiggy Garçon (5.) took me to a ball in Dallas while I was there and for the first time ever I was called up and out for 'star, statements & legends', Ive been to many of balls and have never been recognized as the 'Oprah of the gay community' (Thank you Jack Miza for the love). I got to see one of the most beautiful men alive, Tre Gracon (4.) battle face and take home the grand prize as well as having my eyes glued to the stage as my all-time favorite category 'Sex Siren' (6.) was in action. The man that walked 99% naked and took home the grand prize made me fall head over heels in love with the men in Texas. I spent 5 days in southern comfort. I got to make a difference and touch lives. I was able to meet so many of my Texas fans that read this magazine who I never knew about. I got to laugh and be inspired by how amazing we as LGBT people are—all because of the amazing work of Dallas Black Pride 'The Movement'. Thank you for having me and I hope to be back next year.
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[Community ] BE THE GENERATION Words/ Abe Tomo
n an effort to reach LGBT people of color, Be The Generation and REACH LA collaborated in 2011 to “maintain and establish relationships with communities most impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in order to promote awareness, understanding, dialogue, and support for biomedical prevention research” by using balls where HIV/ AIDS education and prevention is almost nonexistent. They are funded through the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and The Legacy Project out of Seattle, Washington, which is a government bureau through the National Institute of Health (NIH). These events take place in large metropolitan areas across the country like New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Washington DC, etc. The Ballroom Community Outreach Team (BCOT) utilizes the aid of the most iconic and legendary ballroom members and performers —Jack Mizrahi, Jay Blahnik, Pony Zion Garcon, Malachi Garcon, and Dashaun Lavin—to develop interest and get people to attend. Their goal is to inform Ballroom audiences about HIV biomedical prevention strategies such as PrEP, PEP and treatment as prevention (TaP) as well as current research on HIV vaccines and microbicides that will prevent HIV infection.
I sat down to speak with Lawrence Frazier (Fuzzy Blahnik), project manager and Director of COULOURS Organization, Inc. and Damon Humes (Jay Blahnik) to further discuss BCOT’s goals and initiative.
What is your mission? Lawrence: The project is a collaboration between the House of Blahnik and REACH LA. We use different ballroom leaders to promote awareness around HIV prevention and biomedical research in the house ballroom scene. Damon: We do that by hosting a series of performances at major balls throughout the country. And then we take those performances and we put them on YouTube and Facebook and we attempt to get people to see these performances and learn by the artistic presentations that we do.
Just to create awareness? Damon: In part to create awareness of the studies and trials that are going. But also to help facilitate relationships between local trial sites that are in those respective cities where the balls are being housed and the members themselves and their project team.
What are the types of things discussed? Damon: We talk about microbicide research, HIV vaccine research, some of the work around PrEP, and treatment and prevention as another way of reducing the acquisition of HIV.
On November 18th, 2013, Jack Mizrahi, Jay Blahnik, and Dr. Michelle Andrasik will be featured on “Tens & Chops”, the popular online radio show hosted by Jasmine Couture, to focus on BCOT’s work and have community members call in and ask questions. After the radio show, BCOT will perform at the New York City Rumble Ball.
On event: Damon: We’re going to bring one of our social scientist who is actually employed at the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in Seattle, Washington to talk about the social characteristics of trials like making sure there’s safety involved, emotional harm of trials to really prevent people who are in trials who are really dealing with post-traumatic stress as a result of their participation. And then we’ll have Jack [Mizrahi] and myself talk about the performance aspects and some of the ways we convey the science to the community.
If you would like to be involved, please visit BeTheGeneration.gov or HouseofBlahnik.org or contact REACH LA at (213) 622.1650 and the COLOURS Organization in Philadelphia, PA via their website ColoursOrganization.org or at (215) 851.1975.
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according to a new survey conducted by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute. It surveyed more than 1,500 Latino adults across the country.
Words/ Baldwin Rivers
SENATOR RUBIO BLOCKS NOMINATION OF BLACK OPENLY GAY JUDGE TO FEDERAL BENCH Florida’s Republican Senator, Marco Rubio, has effectively blocked President Obama’s nominee to the Federal District Court, black openly gay Miami Judge William Thomas.
Judge Thomas’ supporters said Senator Rubio’s opposition was rooted in politics, not court rulings, as the senator claimed. Judge Thomas, who grew up in Pennsylvania on welfare in a family of 10 children, currently serves on the Miami-Dade Circuit Court. GAY ORGANIZER OF 1963 MARCH ON WASHINGTON TO BE HONORED POSTHUMOUSLY
Florida’s Democratic Senator Bill Nelson supported the judge’s nomination but it takes the support of both of the state’s senators to seat a judge on the federal bench.
“He is one of the three or four most-important civil-rights leaders in history,” stated noted historian William P. Jones. And in November President Barack Obama will award the openly gay organizer of the 1963 March On Washington, Bayard Rustin, who died in 1987, the Medal of Freedom. The President will present the award to Mr. Rustin’s longtime partner, Walter Naegle.
If Thomas had been approved, he would have been the first openly gay black man appointed a federal judgeship. “As much as I would like to think that politics had nothing to do with this, it looks as if it does,” stated Yolanda Strader, president of Miami’s largest association of black lawyers. “It’s simply unfair to prevent a well-qualified judicial nominee from proceeding with the nomination process because he is an openly gay black male.”
Born in Pennsylvania in 1912, Rustin was a star athlete and a gifted musician. In the 1930s, he joined the Young Communist League, drawn to the organization’s efforts to fight racial injustice in America. He broke with the party when he realized their allegiances were more to the Soviet Union than America.
FIRST TRAYVON NOW TRAYON: THE CRIME OF BEING BLACK
Keeping with his non-violent Quaker beliefs, he spent 27 months in federal prisons during World War II for refusing to submit to the draft. While in prison he led protests against segregation behind bars.
19-year-old Trayon Christian, a New York College of Technology student, decided to purchase a $349 Ferragamo belt at the ultra chic Barney’s in downtown Manhattan once his work-study job deposited his pay directly into his Chase bank account. The young African American model student who had never been in trouble with the law, presented his debit card to the store’s clerk, and presented his New York State I.D. upon request. The transaction was made and Trayon left the store with his purchase.
After his release, he ended up on a North Carolina chain gang for organizing protests against bus segregation. In the 1940s he traveled to India to study Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent techniques.
In 1956 he helped Martin Luther King organize the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. And in 1963, he was asked to organize the March on Washington. In an effort to discredit the march, Sen. Throm Thurmond of South Carolina publicly condemned Rustin’s former Communist ties and his “sexual perversion,” entering into the Congressional Record Rustin’s 1953 conviction for a sexual encounter with two men in California.
But he got no further than a block from the store before he was stopped by two undercover NYPD detectives, questioned where he got the money from, interrogated about the authenticity of his debit card, handcuffed and taken to the 19th Precinct.
The store clerk, allegedly skeptical of the black teen being able to afford such a pricey item, became suspicious and called the police. Trayvon was detained at the police station for 42 minutes before they realized the card was authentic and the money was his. He was not charged with a crime and released.
Young Mr. Christian returned the belt, got his money back, and got himself a lawyer. The City of New York’s Law Department and Barneys now face a lawsuit of an undisclosed amount.
Many civil-right leaders and black politician, including the outspoken Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell Jr., called for Rustin’s resignation as the March organizer. But at an organizing meeting Rev. King ended the debate in defense of Bayard Rustin. “Let he who is without sin come forward and cast the first stone,” Dr. King said.
LATINO LGBT US POPULATION GROWS TO OVER 1.4 MILLION A newly released report by UCLA’s Williams Institute estimates that the Latino LGBT population in the United States has grown to over 1.4 million. On a related issue, nearly two out of three Latino Catholics think gay and lesbian couples should be able to legally marry,
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From SWAG to WAG By Nathan James
rom way back in my younger days, I can recall an aphorism, perhaps apocryphal, about the way people “in the life” used to identify themselves to each other during the 1970s. They’d use the acronym “SWAG” for “Secretly We Are Gay”. Scribbled on little scraps of paper, men would be able to discreetly hook up with like individuals, in a time when homosexuality was illegal in almost every state. Forced to hide, to a degree even today’s LGBT community would find shocking, the gays and lesbians of that era came up with inventive ways to seek each other out. Fast forward to the 21st century, where we have marriage equality in a dozen states, we’re able to serve openly and proudly in our armed forces, and in ever-increasing numbers, we’re getting elected to local and national public office. An observer from the SWAG era might be pardoned for thinking we have achieved all the things he and his contemporaries could only dream about. But, still, many of us are compelled to be “secretly” gay, belying decades of progress. There are still those who speak out against us in the political arena and in popular culture (as witness recording artist Eminem’s latest single, shot through with ugly, homophobic lyrics), pushing us back towards the days of fear and “discretion”. When people like New Jersey’s Republican Governor, Chris Christie, rush to make “emergency appeals” when his state’s courts rule in favor of legalizing gay marriage, or Linda Oliver, mayor of a small town in South Carolina, says “I don’t want [gay marriage] rammed down my throat. God will not bless queer unions because God speaks against it in the Bible”, our leader shove us back towards that closet. Becoming “secret” again to avoid the venom of homophobic individuals or groups, however comforting this may be to those who are still in the closet, would ill serve the rest of us who want to complete the journey from “SWAG” to “WAG”—“We Are Gay”. That’s the acronym we should embrace, at home, on the streets, and
especially at City Hall, the State House, and on Capitol Hill. When our tongues are WAGging with the pride of what we are, new opportunities for equality open up. This extends to declaring “We Are Gay” at the polls. Voting, every year, in every election, is critical to our freedom to come out—and stay out—of the closet. There’s still a lot to do. Gays and lesbians can still be fired or refused employment in 29 states, for their sexual orientation alone. For transgender people, it’s even worse. They suffer high employment and incarceration rates far out of proportion to their numbers. Our rights are often put to a vote, even after legislative bodies have granted them to us. By making our voices heard in ways both political and personal, we can bring an end to these and other gross injustices. We can never return to the days of SWAG. “We Are Gay”. Those three words should importune such a profound meaning, that all who hear it will understand what a beautiful, dynamic culture we represent. “We Are Gay”. That statement should be known to every elected official, describing a constituency that pays attention to their actions, and votes on them. “We Are Gay.” We are also unafraid to run for office ourselves, if those we elect aren’t performing in our best interest. “We Are Gay.” To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, “that is the proudest boast today.” The men and women we elect to represent us, and give us our laws, will easily ignore us if our tongues aren’t WAGging. They will use words like “marginal” or “minimal” to describe us, and that’s why our three words are of such crucial importance. Where we once cowered in fear from laws designed to keep us secret and invisible, today it’s up to us to make sure our laws make us free and visible. We Are Gay. Say it, live it, make sure everyone knows it. There are more of us than you think, and that, in the end, is power. Will your tongue be WAGging today?
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[ Books ]
An Excerpt from: HOLLYWOOD FLAMES The new e-book novel By Stanley Bennett Clay
Book two of his five-book Dominican Heat Series
Los Angeles was an easy adjust for Étie. In that ﬁrst year of us living together, time passed quickly and his feel for the city made him right at home. He maintained a closet full of clothes, photographs, and duplicate personal items at my sister Frankie’s place just in case an immigration ofﬁcer popped up for a surprise visit. That Southern California was similar in so many ways to much of the Dominican Republic was a deﬁnite plus for him. The year-round sunshine, the warm desert breezes—not as humid as the tropical breezes of his island birthplace, but just as soothing—and the huge Latino population, along with attended cultural inﬂuences, embraced him as much as he embraced them. In Southern California, his independent spirit ﬂourished like the daily sunshine. Having worked most of his life, he couldn’t wait to ﬁnd a job, even though I had suggested he kick back awhile, enjoy some
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extended leisure time, something he’d little known in his young struggling life. Big mistake on my part. “Do not think that I am just your bitch, Papi, your housewife with nothing to do but sit around all day on your income, eat chocolate and get fat.” Man, did he stun my condescending ass into a state of selfexamination. I apologized immediately. Now don’t get me wrong. He enjoyed as much as I did, the laying around our beautiful sun drenched apartment. And every so often, on a Saturday night, he’d drag me out of the house, around the corner and down the street to the Catch One Disco. There he’d dance my old ass into a frenzy, until the sun came up on Sunday. After a quick shower, he’d prop me up for Agape Spiritual Center’s ﬁrst service because he’d fallen in love with Michael Beckwith’s inspirational pulpit week-starter as much as I had. But Étienne Saldano was still the same man I had fallen in love with; his own man, not simply the pretty face I photographed smiling at me from behind the counter at Bodega Colonial. He landed a job at Jay’s Market bagging groceries. Jay’s Market, as everyone in the neighborhood knew, was the corner jewel and communal trough at Pico Boulevard and Norton Avenue, in walking distance of our Fourth Avenue apartment, and right across the street from the Catch One Disco. Étienne couldn’t have been happier. He loved working for his jovial tri-lingual Korean employers, working with his Central and South American co-workers and the African-American security. He loved eating tacos and Mexican pastries at the carnicería next door to Jay’s during his lunch break, and getting to know the neighborhood rainbow coalition of grocery shoppers that daily ﬁlled the store. Étie had Sundays and Mondays off, which was great. I rarely had a photo shoot on Sundays, and if we weren’t having dinner at Mom’s or at some other family member’s place, or hosting a Sunday family gettogether at our place, we’d hit the Rose Bowl swap meet in Pasadena. Some Sundays we spent strolling along the Venice Beach boardwalk and people-watch, or drive out to Malibu, swim, lie out under the sun, and picnic on the sand. Monday was our homebody day, hanging around in our pjs looking at movies until three o’clock in the afternoon. Mondays from three to four was our crying hour. It was so named because we’d sit up in bed with popcorn, sodas and a box of Kleenex, turn on Oprah, and cry at the happy, sad, touching, inspirational, tragic, and poignant stories O was always good for. Now let me take it back to family, as in parents, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, cousins, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Everyone pretty much took to Étie with open arms. Mom and Dad—God rest his beautiful soul—always referred to me as their special child. I don’t know if it was because I was the only one of their offspring who was left-handed or because I was the only one who was gay. I’m sure it was a little bit of both. But my parents, former Woodstock baby-booming hippies, only wanted total love, joy, peace, and happiness for their children, all of them. They were hell bent on preventing anybody else’s social, cultural, religious and political bigotry, vitriol, and discrimination from denying any of us that. They protected me, their gay son, their ﬁrst born, with the ﬁerceness of mamma grizzlies, from so-called friends, subtle and blatant foes and dissenting family. And they taught me that self-love, dignity, and living honestly would be my greatest defense against the negative elements the world would surely try to rain upon me. If ever there was something that caused them a bit of dismay, it was the one thing I shared with my baby sister Frankie. No, I have never had her sex drive, but both of us have been in and out of, and out of and back into relationships like serial bargain shoppers at Wal-Mart. Mom and Dad so desperately wanted Frankie and me to ﬁnd good and decent men to settle down with. But both our track records were rather dismal. Frankie was tallying ex-husbands like James Bond kill
notches, and my success with men was about as winning as William Hung’s singing on American Idol. Actually, Mr. Hung’s warbling was a lot more successful than most of my romantic life. Before Étie, I was a total relationship klutz. First there was my high school ﬂing with Anthony. Yeah, to him it was a ﬂing. I thought we were a serious couple until I found out he was seriously ﬂinging it with half the guys on the football team. And then there was low down down-low Kelvin who I didn’t know was down low until we received an invitation to his sister’s wedding in Cleveland addressed to the both of us. When I opened it, there was a note inside from his mother. Can’t wait to meet your girlfriend Jessica, son. She sounds absolutely wonderful. When he got home from work, I confronted him. That’s when he told me that nobody in Cleveland, in fact, nobody anywhere, knew he was gay, which explained why he preferred quiet nights at home, every night. I just thought he was a homebody. Holy roller Fred was a real piece of work. He’d get up out of bed after we had sex and sequester himself inside the bathroom for what seemed like hours. I didn’t think much of it until one night I got up and heard his strange mumbling. I opened the door and found him sitting lotus-like on the ﬂoor, palms turned upward, closed eyes dripping with tears, praying to the Lord to forgive him for being the sinning sodomite that he was. Mild mannered Jevon turned out to be not so mild mannered. I’ve been known to have a rather wicked tongue and one could expect a good tongue lashing if I’m riled. Well I certainly didn’t expect Jevon to smack me upside my head just for calling him everything but a child of God. No matter how violent my mouth is, I am completely non-violent, domestic and otherwise. I called the police on his ass and while he was cooling it in overnight lock-up, I got a restraining order, moved all his shit out to his sister’s, changed the locks, and was never in contact with him again. I mean, you can spank me but you can’t hit me. I really thought I had found my own private piece of heaven when I met Demetrius. Not only did he have the personality of a saint, but also he was intellectual, witty, drop-dead gorgeous, and the best sex this side of a porn star. That was the problem. He was a porn star. I didn’t ﬁnd out until I happened to be browsing videos in a Castro District sex shop, and there he was on the cover taking triple X dick like he was taking a nap. Now I have nothing against porn stars, I just don’t want to be in a relationship with one. And of course, there was Hollywood Sean, the actor, my last romantic debacle. I went to surprise him in Germany where he was shooting a ﬁlm with Denzel Washington and Brad Pitt, only to get the surprise myself when I walked in on him getting his cookies done by Brad Pitt’s stand-in. So when Étie entered my life and our relationship went beyond the six-month milestone, I knew my losing streak was over and my poor mother would ﬁnally be able to exhale. “You know something, Junie? Your daddy would be so happy for you and Étie. In fact, I think I hear him singing.” She said that so often, it became her theme song. Étie, like the spouses of my other siblings, simply became another one of Mrs. Anjenette Templeton’s children, and she was to Étie the mother he never knew. And oh yes, she knew about the marital arrangement we had with Frankie, and wasn’t a bit surprised when Frankie and I sat her down and told her about it. Although the old bra-burning, afro-wearing, student-protesting sensibility of her youth had been mellowed by motherhood and general satisfaction with her idyllic life, that conspiratorial sparkle in mother’s eyes, and the proudly mischievous smirk on her face as she patted my hand spoke volumes. Although the ﬂame of radical thinking and ﬁerce liberalism was not as bright, the sparks were still present and hot to trot.
“Son, you do what you have to do,” she counseled me. “Just like Malcolm said, by any means necessary. Being with the one you love is your civil right.” She also cautioned us not to discuss our situation with too many others. Even family was on a need-to-know basis, according to Mom. “Loose lips sink ships,” she carefully pointed out, reminding us that our big, proud, loud tribe liked to spread good news like Oprah on one of her “My Favorite Things” segments. So this lie by omission, endorsed by my mother, would have to be seriously maintained during the two years of Étie’s immigration probation. He would stay quietly married to Frankie, unbeknownst to those who knew the three of us. And for the beneﬁt of those whose knowledge of the marriage was as cursory as their acquaintance with the couple—Frankie’s nosey neighbor across the street, her mailman, the building’s gardener and pool man–Étie made routine appearances at Frankie’s place. He would lie up by the pool with her often, bring in the mail and take out the garbage. Frankie even had her building’s management company put Étie’s name on the lease. It all seemed so Machiavellian, and yet, we all knew—Étie, Frankie, Mom, and me— that this was what we had to do. Now marriage, without the intrigue of our attended deeds and actions, is a rather precarious institution in Hollywood anyway. More often than not, spouses don’t take the last name of their betrothed. And though the proliferation of blogs, search engines, and Perez Hilton-type electronic rags make it harder for celebrities to keep their marriages—or anything else for that matter—under wraps, a lesser celebrity like Frankie could slip under the radar quite easily. She was still just a working actress, albeit a successful one. People knew her face, if not her name. She easily pulled down an annual six-ﬁgure income. But there weren’t a lot of gushing Barbie doll entertainment reporters thrusting microphones in her face waiting for her to explain the hot Latin hunk on her arm. She didn’t witness the “Entertainment Tonight-Access Hollywood-TMZ” hoopla from a red carpet vantage point. She experienced it just like the rest of us, in rollers and a bathrobe sipping diet Coke instead of champagne in her living room, perched in front of her big screen TV. In fact, as an industry photographer, I experienced a lot more front line red carpet action than she did. That being said, there were times when she enlisted Étie’s armcandy services. That way, if she met some hot piece of tinsel town testosterone at some Hollywood shindig, which she usually did, she could hook up without heart-breaking her date. Étie found these ritualistic charades absolutely hysterical, and couldn’t wait to get back home and describe the three-ring circus of activities to me. As I listened to his gushing regales, I realized that something strange and not so strange was beginning to happen to him and me. He began returning home from these parties with business cards and phone numbers from producers, directors, casting directors and agents. They all seemed eager to help launch him into a modeling and/or acting career. I suspected they all seemed eager to help launch him out of his pants. I should not have been surprised. After all, my baby is as drop-dead gorgeous as he is loving and charismatic. Who wouldn’t want to work him, on or off screen? My God, my own sister tried to have him. Nor was I surprised by the slight twinge I was beginning to experience, a twinge I was well aware of, a twinge I would have to address in a mature way. Étie attracted admirers effortlessly and without any pointed attempt, and if his natural sex appeal was turning Hollywood heads and could possibly lead to a wonderful career opportunity for him, then I should be thrilled for him, which I was. Still, there was the matter of this twinge. And it was time for me to call it by its name. It was the name that dare not speak its name. Jealousy.
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LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR
Loud has many forms. The most common definition of the word is the high volume in which someone or something is heard. To DBQ Magazine, Loud is an action or a way of being. It is the high volume of one's power or influence. All year long we watch and listen for those Loud people of color who go out into the world with boldness, those with the courage to wear bright colors and speak out of line with high volume. We look for those who dare to inspire—those who have the audacity to gather substance of meaning and inject it into our culture. From actors, activists, authors, to politicians and painters, these people allow us to spell our names LGBT. They are the magnificent—the most Influential LGBT people this year. They are DBQ Magazine's LOUD 100.
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—David Bridgeforth & The DBQ Magazine LOUD 100 Team
THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR Lee Daniels ACTOR | DIRECTOR | PRODUCER Lee Daniels is best known for directing the ﬁlm Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, which received six Academy Award nominations including Best Director, winning two. This summer, Daniels directed The Butler, which was the #1 ﬁlm opening weekend receiving great reviews and Oscar buzz.
LZ Granderson JOURNALIST When highly respected CNN and ESPN sports commentator LZ Granderson asked two Lakers basketball players on air who they had crushes on, they answered, then turned the tables on him. He had a crush on “Hugh Jackman,” he replied as the cameras continued to roll, marking his coming out. Since then, Granderson has been a mighty onscreen warrior for LGBT causes and against homophobia in professional sports. He is a 2010 nominee and the 2009 winner of the GLAAD award for online journalism and a 2010 and 2008 honoree of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for column writing. This year he has been the most outspoken defender of NFL’s Jason Collins’ coming out process.
Tarrell McCraney PLAYWRIGHT 32-year-old playwright Tarrell McCraney explores the rich diversity of the African American experience in works that imbue the lives of ordinary people with epic signiﬁcance. He transforms intentionally minimalist stages into worlds marked by metaphor and imagery. One of his many plays Choir Boy, which wowed audiences and critics alike when it opened Off-Broadway this summer, examines sexual identity and spirituality at an all boys’ school. For his signiﬁcant contribution to re-shaping the American theatre, McCraney was awarded a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship, one of the most prestigious prizes in America, and one of the richest. It includes a no-strings-attached cash prize of $625,000.
Gregorio Millett ADVOCATE Gregorio Millett works in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Ofﬁce of National AIDS Policy. His work this year in HIV prevention has contributed to the progress black gay men are experiencing with the disease.
Keith Boykin AUTHOR | ADVOCATE Keith Boykin is a ﬁxture every year on every list noting those doing the most important work in the Black LGBT community. As Special Assistant to the President and Director of Specialty Media, Mr. Boykin was the highest-ranking openly gay staffer in the Clinton White House. He is currently political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, and BET and a New York Times Best-Selling author. This season he gave us For Colored Boys Who Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enuf, an anthology of young gay men of color sharing their tales of sexual abuse, suicide, HIV/AIDS, racism, and homophobia. Mr. Boykin continues to give voice to those society tries to mufﬂe.
Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear WRITER | DIRECTOR | PRODUCER Power couple Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear have been creating quality cinematic product for almost as long as their 17-year committed relationship. Partners in business and partners in life, these writer-producer-director lovers (with major backgrounds in ﬁlm and TV acting) broke signiﬁcant ground with their thought provoking and quality-produced and GLAAD Award-winning TV series The DL Chronicles. They came back this year with a new segment, “Episode Thomas,” and have reclaimed their throne as the premiere examiner of small screen black gay angst done with taste and intellect.
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Arykah Randall WRITER | PRODUCER Arykah Randall is the creator and lead writer for TheFabFemme.com, maybe the only LGBT entertainment blog controlled by a lesbian African-American. This year, she began a YouTube series called Girl Play TV that seeks to dispel stereotypes for lesbian women and ﬁnally give them some light when so many media outlets only focus on gay men.
Dr. Ayana Christian DOCTOR | BALLROOM LEGEND
She is a legendary woman with a face that slays all in a 'carter battle'. She is mother of the house of Christian, but outside the ballroom community, she is a doctor researching and working diligently to make a charge in the transgender community. Her ability to partner beauty and brains in one woman so amazingly has given her tremendous inﬂuence in the LGBT community.
Don Lemon JOURNALIST CNN anchor Don Lemon revealed his sexuality in his book Transparent becoming one of the few openly gay news anchors. Today, Lemon is one of the most famous, black gay faces in politics and on television with his own show on CNN.
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Jack Mizrahi BALLROOM COMMENTATOR | ACTIVIST The most recognizable voice in the ballroom community, the man who is always on the mic is none other Jack Mizrahi. The ballroom legend who created the ultra sexy battle category 'sex siren' has done more than just ask the judges for their votes or tell the kids to leave the stage once they have been chopped. His work this year with the Be The Generation campaign has brought a loud voice to HIV prevention in the ballroom community around the world.
A. Cornelius Baker ADVOCATE A. Cornelius Baker has been an HIV/ AIDS advocate for almost twenty years, being the Senior Policy Advisor at the National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition. Mr. Baker is also an advisor to the President on HIV/AIDS.
Miss Lawrence HAIR STYLIST | PERSONALITY Miss Lawrence became a well-known sidekick to Sheree Whitﬁeld of The Real Housewives of Atlanta. His small part on the show gave him his own show on Bravo called Fashion Queens, co-hosting with Bevy Smith and Derrick J.
Gabriel Maldonado ADVOCATE Gabriel Maldonado is the Founder and CEO of TruEvolution in Los Angeles, CA. The organization seeks to create a strong sense of community within its youth by educating, connecting them with academic and government agencies and organizations, and building support systems. This year he was appointed by the City of Riverside as the ﬁrst LGBT and youngest liaison to the Mayor's ofﬁce under the Human Relations Commission.
Michael Garçon BALLROOM LEGEND | ACTIVIST Lovingly nicknamed 'Father Ballroom' for his vast knowledge of the history of ballroom culture. Michael Garcon is one of the founding fathers of the house of Garcon and a diligent activist for both HIV and Transgender issues. His research, lectures and ballroom inﬂuence this year has changed the way the ballroom community sees its self.
David Malebranche PHYSICIAN | ADVOCATE David Malebranche is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University’s School of Medicine. He is recognized as an HIV Specialist and has been providing care to patients with HIV since 2001. He has done extensive research of HIV behavior with black men who have sex with men and how social behaviors inﬂuence their sexual behavior.
Steve Walker POLITICS Steve Walker is the DNC Deputy Political Director and most might say that he is the most important black gay man in politics today. His views and opinions on our laws and LGBT rights have shaped gay politics.
THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR
Monifah RECORDING ARTIST Monifah has been known for singing and her music in the late 90s. But on the TV One reality show R&B Divas, she revealed she was a lesbian. This is a ﬁrst for women within the R&B and Hip-Hop genre of music. Many have been speculated but Monifah is one of the few if not the only to conﬁrm.
Kyle Abraham DANCER | CHOREOGRAPHER Kyle Abraham is a renowned choreographer, being appointed New York Live Arts Resident Commissioned Artist for 2012-2014. His work Another Night premiered at the Alvin Ailey America Dance Theater with great reviews. Abraham is a supporter of Dancers Responding to AIDS, which raises money through performance to support people affected by HIV/AIDS and their families.
Desmond Richardson DANCER | CHOREOGRAPHER Desmond Richardson has been working as a dancer and choreographer for over twenty years. He was a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for seven years and has worked with such celebrities as Michael Jackson and Madonna.
Janet Mock WRITER | ADVOCATE | AUTHOR Janet Mock was also featured on HBO’s The Out List where she spoke about her struggle with gender identity and how she came to be a trans woman. Through her life she has made it a mission to be an advocate for trans women everywhere giving a voice for those that have been stigmatized and ostracized for decades in all cultures. Her memoir Redeﬁning Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More will debut February 4, 2014.
Josh Dixon GYMNAST Josh Dixon was just announced to be a on the US Men’s Senior National Team for his performance at the P&G Gymnastics Championships. If his determination for a spot on the US Olympic team pays off, he will be the ﬁrst openly gay male gymnast to compete for the American team.
Ravi Perry & Paris Prince PERSONALITIES Ravi Perry and Paris Prince were the ﬁrst gay male couple to be featured in Jet Magazine’s wedding section. This was the ﬁrst time a African-American publication has given light to LGBT people of color as a married couple.
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SONGWRITER | RECORDING ARTIST In a impromptu and casual tumblr post, Frank Ocean confessed to the world that his ﬁrst love ever in life was with a man and it will be something he will always hold dear to him. Although not ofﬁcially declaring he was gay, Ocean still managed to be a pioneer for the LGBT community in the hip-hop genre, receiving much praise from many of his contemporaries. Finding out the song I Miss You that he wrote makes his personal letter even more endearing.
CELEBRITY STYLIST Ty Hunter is—of course—most recognized as Beyoncé’s personal stylist and has been working with the iconic recording artist since her Destiny’s Child days. It’s interesting to know that he actually began as a window dresser in a small boutique in Houston where he met Miss Tina Knowles whom introduced him to the girls. Hunter has been synonymous with Beyoncé since the 90s dressing her in most of her iconic pieces from videos and the red carpet.
Olivier Rousteing CREATIVE DIRECTOR At the age of 25, Olivier Rousteing became not only the youngest but the ﬁrst black man to head the infamous house of Balmain. After working for Robert Cavalli for ﬁve years, Rousteing was hired as an assistant at Balmain and then rose to creative director in 2011. He broke up with his boyfriend of ﬁve years who helped him obtain the job at Cavalli, leaving him heartbroken and encouraged him to come out to his parents. Rousteing says, “I never took my parents aside and said, ‘Guess what, Mom and Dad? I’m gay,’ just like they never took me aside and said, ‘Guess what, Olivier? You’re adopted,’ ” he explains. “I never talked about love with them, but they understood me. They accepted and supported me. They’re very protective of me.” (Out)
Daquan Thompson DANCER | CHOREOGRAPHER | ENTREPRENEUR As a trained Alvin Ailey Dancer, Daquan Thompson took that along with his involvement in the Girard Academic Music Program’s cheerleading squad to found the Dynasty Spirit Elite All Stars, Inc. in 2009. “It is my mission to make the youth of today the Kings and Queens of our future no matter race, gender, or sexuality.”
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Kevin Grayson FOOTBALL PLAYER A torn ligament caused Kevin Grayson to not be drafted by the NFL back in 2011, but that didn’t stop him from playing football in Italy with the Parma Panthers. In an interview with CBS 6 WTVR in Virginia, Grayson spoke about his sexuality and being an athlete, coming out to the world. Like other gay athletes he states, “If you are an athlete, you want to be an athlete…. You don’t want to be that person who is always ‘the gay athlete.'"This is something most people can sympathize with because our sexuality should not deﬁne us or deter us from what’s most important in our lives.
Diandre Tristan STYLIST Diandre Tristan has been styling for celebrities like Kelly Price, Justin Timberlake, and Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts for years. This year, Tristan has put Robin Roberts on every best dressed list out as well as becoming the force behind the style of Tamar Braxton.
Alex Newell ACTOR | SINGER If anyone is familiar with Glee, then you are familiar with the ﬂamboyant, transgender character Unique played by Alex Newell. Newell ﬁrst appeared on Oxygen’s The Glee Project where he came out in a wig and dress singing I Am Changing from the Dreamgirls soundtrack in his countertenor tone. That moment earned him a spot on the innovative, socially diverse show Glee. His character would be one of the youngest trangender characters represented by a person of color on syndicated television. We should be thankful for the representation of such a diverse character with an amazing talent.
Derrick Rutledge MAKEUP ARTIST Derrick Rutledge is a makeup artist known for his celebrity clients like Patti Labelle and Michelle Obama. He did Oprah's makeup for the June 2009 issue of Time Magazine. Since Reggie Wells retired after 25 years from doing Oprah's makeup, she has kept Rutledge as her new main artist.
Sampson McCormick COMEDIAN | ADVOCATE Sampson McCormick is one of the few openly gay black comedians that advocates about gay rights. He uses his comedy to not only entertain but educate in mainstream venues across the country.
THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR
Amir Dixon DIRECTOR The young and talented Amir Dixon broke into the hearts of the community this year with his new documentary Friend of Essex. Paying homage to writer Essex Hemphill and documentary 'Tongues Untied', his ﬁlm gave a beautifully intimate look into sexuality, homophobia, identity, and religion in the world.
Stanley Bennett Clay DIRECTOR | ACTOR | AUTHOR Living legend Stanley Bennett Clay has been leading the way for the LGBT community in many different ﬁelds for almost 40 years. This year not only did Clay direct You Are Not Alone, a documentary about the struggle of depression with black gay men in relationship with HIV, but he also directed the stage adaptation of James Earl Hardy's classic book B-Boy Blues. This month, Stanley Bennett Clay releases his second book Hollywood Flame in his 5-book Dominican Heat series.
Sam Fine MAKEUP ARTIST Sam Fine is a worldrenowned makeup artist working with supermodels like Tyra Banks and Iman. This year, he launched his own makeup line with Fashion Fair Cosmetics called the Sam Fine Supreme Color Collection as well as doing Queen Latifah's make up for her new television show.
Jonte CHOREOGRAPHER | RECORDING ARTIST Jonte is one of the most creative and jaw dropping entertainers of the black gay community. A dancer, singer, songwriter, choreographer, and an impressive model, most know Jonte for his work with Beyoncé or through his own rising career. But what we all love about Jonte is his eclectic style and animated personality that deﬁes convention.
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Karl Griggs BRAND DEVELOPER | AUTHOR Karl Griggs has worked in the world of ﬁnance since he graduated Walsh college and is responsible for over a billion dollars in revenue for Fortune 500 companies. The celebrated entrepreneur has currently been traveling the country promoting his new book, Shattered Mirrors: Broken In Plain Sight, which details his childhood abuse and how he overcame those obstacles to be the powerhouse he is today.
Mark Corece WRITER | DIRECTOR Mark Corece created his own ﬁlm within the indie circuit called Freedom Identity. He’s also contributed to many online publications and large brands like BET. Corece was one of the contributing editors of Keith Boykin’s anthology For Colored Boys. He is the current co-host on Clay Cane Live.
Tiq Milan EDITOR | TRANS ADVOCATE Tiq Milan is another leading trans male in the community. Milan started writing for magazine like Complex and Vibe. He continues to work with organizations like GLAAD to help gay youth in HIV prevention and transgender advocacy. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IKONS Magazine, which is the nation's leading black lesbian publication.
Darrell Wheeler DEAN Darrell Wheeler is a Dean at Loyola University in Chicago. Most of his research focuses on HIV prevention and intervention within the black gay community. His contributions to the ﬁght against HIV has made a great difference in our community this year.
David Harris & Tre’Darrius Anderson ADVOCATES David and Tre’Darrius married January 18th of this year making history as the youngest, African American gay couple to wed at just 19-years-old. Their union was caught on tape by TLC’s My Teenage Wedding, which inspires us all and shows the world the beauty of gay love. Both Mr. & Mr. Anderson are from Memphis, TN.
Kye Allums ADVOCATE Kye Allums attended college at George Washington University where he became the ﬁrst trans man in NCAA Division 1 women’s college basketball. He continues to advocate for transgender awareness and rights in sports and the community.
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Derrick Briggs DIRECTOR | YouTube PERSONALITY Derrick Briggs is the creator of the highly popular YouTube channel ADTV. Since its inception the channel has been an anchor in the LGBT community. ADTV's inspirational, informative, and entertaining reality episodes and sexy interviews have not only made it casts members stars, but it has healed a generation of gay people. Briggs continues this year to spread his message of unity and advocate for our community's well being.
THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR RuPaul DRAG PERFORMER | ACTOR | RECORDING ARTIST | MODEL | AUTHOR RuPaul has graced stages, televisions, and movie screens since the early 1980s when his drag career began in Atlanta, Georgia. From there, he moved to New York City making a mark in the music industry with his most famed track Supermodel. Now, RuPaul is executive producer and host of Logo TV’s hit reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race, bringing the culture and art of drag to the masses in dazzling costumes, beat makeup, big hair, and a soft glow that illuminates him like the goddess he is.
AzMarie Livingston Darren Young PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER This year Darren Young became the ﬁrst professional wrestler to disclose his same gender loving nature while still professionally wrestling. Under his birth name Frederick Douglas “Fred” Rosser III, he competed in Northeastern and MidAtlantic Independent promotions, including Chaotic Wrestling, East Coast Wrestling Association, Independent Wrestling Federation, and the National Wrestling Alliance. Upon signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), he adopted the stage name Darren Young.
MODEL AzMarie Livingston is most noted for appearing on cycle 18 of America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion. She modeled for a short period of time before that in Los Angeles and New York City. After ANTM she signed with an agency and is featured in a few publications. She is also the rumored girlfriend of Disney alumna Raven Symone. The couple have been spotted at many events most frequently after Raven’s indirect coming out on Twitter. But they nor reps have made anything ofﬁcial.
Twiggy Pucci Garçon PERSONALITY | ADVOCATE This summer, The Out List premiered on HBO and introduced everyone to the legendary ballroom child Twiggy Pucci Garçon. There, he spoke about being raised by a single mother and having her accept him for everything he was and competing in the ballroom scene at the age of fourteen in Virginia to New York City. He currently works as community health specialist at FACES NY, which is an HIV & AIDS non-proﬁt in Harlem that educates and tests LGBT minority youth.
Big Freedia MUSICIAN If you’re from New Orleans, then you are very familiar with the underground genre of hip-hop called bounce music. Big Freedia has contributed to its popularization through his music even joining RuPaul on the Peanut Butter track available on iTunes. On September 25th, 2013 in Herald Square in New York City, Freedia set the Guinness World Record for Most People Twerking Simultaneously stating, “It would open a lot of doors and set history for bounce music and let the world know that we’ve been twerking for a long time. This is not new at all. Now it’s time to set the record.” (Fuse)
Kid Fury & Crissle INTERNET PERSONALITIES | HOSTS | BLOGGERS Internet sensations Kid Fury & Crissle found each other via Twitter and from there have built a cult fan base through their weekly podcast The Read on iTunes. Kid Fury has been blogging since 2006, letting The Fury and his infectious YouTube videos progress his career to being recognize by media brands like BET. Crissle is currently featured in the November issue of Essence Magazine.
Wanda Sykes COMEDIENNE | WRITER | ACTRESS During a same-sex rally for Proposition 8 in 2006, Wanda Sykes publicly came out during her speech to the audience that mentioned her marriage to her partner, Alex, a month prior. She was the ﬁrst African American woman to be the entertainer for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner also being the ﬁrst openly LGBT person to do so. Sykes appeared in HBO’s The Out List speaking about same-sex marriage, a topic she still actively advocates.
Jamal Brown PRESIDENTIAL ASSISTANT Jamal Brown is the Conﬁdential Assistant in the Executive Ofﬁce of The President. He advocates for gay rights particularly for people of color at the highest level.
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STYLIST | HOST | AUTHOR Lloyd Boston is the out, proud, and trendsetting “Style Guy” who has been giving us all fashion advice on TV programs ranging from Oprah to Martha Stewart, for many years. The Emmy Award-winning Closet Cases host is also a passionate LGBT advocate, working with groups like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to promote positive depictions of gays and lesbians in ﬁlm and on television. Boston is the author of ﬁve books on style, including the bestselling The Style Checklist: Ultimate Wardrobe Essentials For You, his most recent work.
FORMER NFL PLAYER | ADVOCATE | WRITER Former NFL player Wade Davis came out of the closet in 2012, and has since become a formidable presence in the LGBT-rights movement. He’s the Executive Director of You Can Play, a group ﬁghting against homophobia in major-league sports. Davis worked as the Director of Job Readiness at the Hetrick-Martin institute (NMI) New York City’s LGBT high school, and writes extensively on gay issues for publications such as the New York Times and Outsports. The gridiron star now plays with the New York Gay Football League, where he’s also a board member, and operates his own media company, In Motion.
ADVOCATE Phil Wilson is a longtime HIV/AIDS activist and founder of the Black AIDS Institute (BAI). He’s been an outspoken advocate for the African-American LGBT community for a generation, serving as Los Angeles’ ofﬁcial AIDS Coordinator and later as Director of Policy and Planning for AIDS Project Los Angeles and co-chairing the LA County HIV Health Commission. This work and his own experiences living with HIV, inspired Wilson to organize the BAI in 1999. His agency has raised public and professional awareness about the issues and challenges faced by people of color living in the third decade of the HIV epidemic.
ADVOCATE Earl Fowlkes, Jr. is the founder of the International Federation of Black Prides (IFBP), the world’s only international organization for LGBT people of color. Known today as the Center For Black Equity (CBE), Fowlkes’ group brings Black Pride events on three continents together. He was the Executive Director of the [Washington] DC Comprehensive AIDS Resources and Education Consortium (DC CARES) for 15 years, and worked with Damien Ministries, a local AIDS service group. Fowlkes is still active with several community service organizations and advisory boards and is the CEO of the CBE.
WRITER | DIRECTOR | PRODUCER | SONGWRITER Critically acclaimed gay ﬁlmmaker and screenwriter Patrik-Ian Polk has dedicated himself to bringing gay men and women of color to big and small screens all over the world. In 2005, Polk stunned the LGBT community—and the rest of the world—with the LOGO TV series Noah’s Arc, which quickly became the network’s top program. Depicting the lives of four young, black gay men, the show took the community by storm and led to the feature ﬁlm Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom, which highlighted the ongoing issue of marriage equality. His most recent work, The Skinny, explored a wide range of issues facing gay men of color, and Polk is said to be working on a new drama, set in his native Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
JOURNALIST | RADIO PERSONALITY | EDITOR Tune in to WWRL 1600 AM in New York City when Equality Pride Radio is on the air, and you’ll hear the voice of award-winning journalist Clay Cane on his talk show, Clay Cane Live. He’s done current-affairs commentary for ABC, TV One, and BET, where he also works as Entertainment Editor for the network’s website. In addition with MSNBC personality Keith Boykin, Cane coedited the bestselling anthology For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Isn’t Enuf, a collection of stories about the black gay experience. Cane’s on-point delivery over New York’s airwaves helps keep our community’s voice alive and well.
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PUBLISHER In the pages of the Washington DC-based LGBT quarterly magazine Swerv, publisher Jamil Fletcher talks to our community with ﬂair and substance. The quarterly, founded in 2008 by Fletcher and author Michaeel-Christopher, has since become an eagerly awaited guide to the latest trending fashions, literary releases, and proﬁles of noted LGBT personalities. His periodical also educates us on LGBT service groups, HIV/AIDS prevention, and other important topics. Before embarking on Swerv, Fletcher and Christopher produced the well-known annual Black Pride Guide, an indispensable resource for locating these events around the country..
MODEL | ADVOCATE Isis King burst on to the scene as the ﬁrst transgender contestant on Americas Next Top Model. Since the show, Isis has been ripping the runways of fashion week and working hard on her clothing line. Not only is she a model and designer but she also is a transgender advocate and has been working along fellow transgender advocate and activist Janet Mock on the their campaign "Girls Like Us."
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Angela Davis ADVOCATE
Controversial political activist, scholar, and author Angela Davis was the most famous and infamous woman of the radical 1960s. One of the leaders of the Communist Party USA, she maintained close ties to the Black Panther Party and was later tried and acquitted of suspected involvement in the August 1970 courtroom abduction and murder of a Marin County, California judge. Her incredible story of political activism was captured this year in the critically acclaimed documentary Free Angela And All Political Prisoners. This ﬁlm, front-runner for the Best Documentary Oscar, has catapulted Ms. Davis back into the public eye and the consciousness of a new generation of activist and historians.
Paris Barclay DIRECTOR | PRODUCER Television Director-Producer Paris Barclay has been nominated for 22—and has won 8—Emmy, DGA and/or NAACP Image Awards for such shows as Glee, NYPD Blue, ER, and In Treatment. He’s currently Executive Producer of the TV series Sons of Anarchy. In June he was the ﬁrst person of color, and the ﬁrst openly gay person to be elected President of the 77 year-old, 15,000-member Director Guild of America. Paris has also been married to his husband Christopher Mason since 2008.
ACTRESS | PRODUCER Raven Symone: We all remember her as little Olivia from The Cosby Show. Then she made us laugh in one of her most memorable rolls as the main character on her show That's So Raven on Disney Channel. Now the former Disney princess is keeping it low-key in her career, but not quite so much in her personal life. Raven continues to puzzle us with her subliminal messages regarding her sexuality through her tweets and has been spotted with her rumored but not conﬁrmed girlfriend AzMarie Livingston. August 2, Raven tweeted, "I am very happy that gay marriage is opening up around the country and is being accepted." She added, "I was excited to hear today that more states legalized gay marriage. I, however am not currently getting married, but it is great to know I can now, should I wish to." Never ofﬁcially claiming herself as lesbian, it's clear that Raven's outspoken comments have earned her an initiation in the LGBT community.
Billy Porter ACTOR Openly gay Broadway star, pop singer, and ﬁlm and television personality Billy Porter is this season’s undisputed toast of Broadway. Starring as the drag queen Lola in the hit Broadway musical Kinky Boots, Mr. Porter won the 2013 Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and the Outer Circle Critics Award.
Archbishop Carl Bean RECORDING ARTIST | MINISTER | ADVOCATE Twenty-three years before Lady Gaga recorded “Born This Way,” openly gay Motown recording artist Carl Bean recorded “I Was Born This Way,” a gayafﬁrming disco hit. Shortly thereafter, Bean took up the ministry and in 1982 founded what is now known as the Unity Fellowship Movement, the world’s largest church denomination for the Black LGBT community. He founded the Minority AIDS Project in 1985, the nation’s ﬁrst AIDS agency catering to black and brown people. This year Archbishop Bean continues to be the Presiding Prelate of the UFC Movement where many continue to be afﬁrmed by the statement he created decades ago: “God is love, and love is for everyone.”
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Laverne Cox ACTRESS | ADVOCATE Laverne Cox got her big break by portraying character Sophia Burset in the Netﬂix series Orange Is The New Black. Cox actually began her acting career on VH1’s reality show TRANSform Me, making her the ﬁrst African-American trans woman to produce and star in her own show.
Rudy Carn ADVOCATE Rudy Carn is the Founder and CEO of NAESM, Inc., a non-proﬁt organization in Atlanta, Georgia seeking to educate people of color on HIV/AIDS. At the end of the year, Carn plans on retiring as CEO after over 20 years of service with the organization.
Nathan Hale Williams PRODUCER | ACTOR | ADVOCATE Nathan Hale Williams has produced and starred in the movies Dirty Laundry and The Ski Trip and has even produced television series. He writes a very popular column on Essence.com called, 'Girl’s Best Friend.' He also works on the board of the Harlem United Community AIDS Center.
Amiyah Scott PERSONALITY She hasn't lead any movements or wrote any books. Many would argue she hasn't done anything and doesn't deserve to be on this list. But we believe that what she has been successful at is being her best self so much so that over a quarter of a million people follow her on one app (Instagram). To us a loud inﬂuence isn't something you can buy or forge, people follow who inspires them and those people become leaders. By simply becoming the best and perfect trans woman she could be while allowing the world to experience her story, Ms. Scott has inspired millions to be true to ones self, to have courage, and to look dazzling during the process. In our book, there is no simpler way to be loud.
Pony Zion DANCER | CHOREOGRAPHER Arguably the most famous mainstream 'Vogue Fem' from the ballroom community, Pony Zion made his name in the scene with his creative performances at balls all over the country. After rising to the status of ballroom legend he formed 'Vogue Evolution,' which was the ﬁrst openly gay dance troupe to be on Americas Best Dance Group and on national television. Today Pony Zion has been able to take the ballroom culture mainstream unlike no other in our generation. He has transitioned into stage coaching, career branding, and choreography for the world biggest stars; as well as throwing celebrity attended balls in different countries.
Oscar James CELEBRITY HAIRSTYLIST One of the most celebrated hair stylist in the country from doing the hair of Tyra Banks to creating the amazing wigs of barbie Nicki Minaj. He is an Emmy award winning hair stylist and has been creating works of art with superstar locks for over 25 years. chances are if you see a superstar on a cover of a magazine today, oscar james was most likely involved with their head of hair.
Lee Soulja PRIDE BUILDER | ACTIVIST He is a dramatic visual artist that has performed and worked with the best that the industry had to offer. In addition to his passion for fashion and dramatic visual art, Lee Soulja is an activist and is responsible for producing NYC Black Pride. Every year he celebrates the most honorable LGBT people in NYC and creates events that unite us all.
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THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR Kehinde Wiley PAINTER Kehinde Wiley’s work portrays very realistic paintings of contemporary urban people of color. His work can be found in the Brooklyn Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, and more.
Reggie Wells CREATIVE DIRECTOR | MASTER MAKEUP ARTIST He is known all over the world as the father of makeup, reigning as the most famous black gay makeup artist alive. With a career spanning over 40 years, Reggie Wells has touched the face of every major black star in the world. He is the ﬁrst person to ever touch Whitney Houston's face. With makeup, he took Beyonce's face from a young girl to a grown woman. He has directed the covers of Essence and O Magazine, as well as being Oprah Winfrey's personal makeup artist for 25 years with an Emmy to prove it. Today he is working on his memoirs as well as a reality television project while keeping both Jennifer Hudson and Chaka Khan painted and beautiful.
Kelvin Atkinson POLITICAN Kelvin Atkinson is a Democratic member of the Nevada Senate. In April of this year during a debate on repealing Nevada’s gay marriage ban, Atkinson stated, “I’m black. I’m gay,” becoming the ﬁfth openly gay Nevada legislature.
Saaed Jones WRITER | EDITOR Saaed Jones is the Editor of BuzzFeed LGBT. His chapbook When The Only Light Is Fire debuts this November and is a collection of poems about his life in the South.
Luna Luis Ortiz ADVOCATE The legendary Luna Khan is mostly known from his career in the ballroom scene, which he uses as a way to educate others about HIV/AIDS. Luna contracted HIV at the young age of 14 in the mid 80s stating, “I was waiting for death to come to me,” in a casual tone. He has been living well since and continues to educate and inspire being one of the key producers of the annual mainstream Latex Ball in NYC.
Derrick J HAIR STYLIST | PERSONALITY Derrick J is an Atlanta based hair stylist who got his mainstream start in national hair competitions and his appearances on the The Real House Wives of Atlanta. From there he hosted Oxygen’s Hair Battle Spectacular and is now co-hosting Fashion Queens with Bevy Smith and Miss Lawrence. We are proud to see Miss Lawrence and he, two openly black gay men in feminine clothing and high heels on national television talking 'unbotheredly' about fashion.
Rashad Robinson ADVOCATE Rashad Robinson is the Executive Director of Color of Change, which was formed after Hurricane Katrina and seeks to give black America a larger and more powerful voice. He has been featured on many media outlets CNN, BET, ABC, and OWN.
Storme DeLarverie PERFORMER | ADVOCATE After a drag queen threw a brick at the window of the Stonewall Inn, Storme DeLarverie threw the ﬁrst punch at a police ofﬁcer. DeLarverie was born in New Orleans and performed as one of the ﬁrst drag kings in the 50s and 60s for the Jewel Box Revue. This year she was honored by NYC black pride for the legacy of being the Rosa Parks of the gay rights movement.
Nadine Smith JOURNALIST | ADVOCATE Nadine Smith is the Executive Director of Equality Florida that advocates for civil rights and protection for LGBT residents in the state of Florida. Back in 1991, she was the ﬁrst openly gay African-American female to run for Tampa City Council.
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REVEREND | ADVOCATE Uniting the LGBT community with the Christian faith is the work and passion of Rev. Kevin E. Taylor, co-pastor of the all-inclusive Unity Fellowship Church New-Ark, in New Jersey. Rev. Taylor is a vigorous LGBT-rights activist, serving on the board of Garden State Equality, organizing and leading protest marches and rallies against homophobia and hate crimes, and on the board of Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD). The preacher is also the author of several spiritual self-help books and has worked as a producer with Black Entertainment Television (BET). His production unit, TaylorMadeMusicMementos (TM3), has given us such shows as Parallel Paths and Voices from the Underground. Rev. Taylor helped organize the Newark, NJ LGBT Center and is hard at work on his latest TV venture entitled Now What?, scheduled for a January 2014 release.
FORMER NBA PLAYER | ADVOCATE Jason Collins: They said a black man could never play for or integrate a Major League Baseball team, then came Jackie Robinson. They said a gay man could never be out and play for the NBA, then on April 29 2013, came Jason Collins. Before the Washington Wizards star came out as a black gay man, no one barely knew his name. When he ﬁnally broke his silence, he instantly became a household name. Collins' impact has inspired us all to believe that anything is possible and to live proudly and bold as LGBT people of color. Cheers to hoping that Collins' announcement will inspire fellow teammates and others in the sports industry to come out. James Earl Hardy AUTHOR Next year marks the 20th Anniversary of James Earl Hardy’s iconic novel B-Boy Blues. When ﬁrst published in 1994 it broke new ground as it explored an unapologetic romance between two black gay men, a middle class magazine editor and a stone cold thug. This year, Hardy adapted his classic novel to the stage. His play was critically acclaimed, sold out every performance in New York and D.C, and earned him his second Audience Award at the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival. Hardy returned this year with an artistic vengeance. But then again, he never left.
Jonathan Capehart JOURNALIST Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Jonathan Capehart has been an editorial force to be reckoned with since being the youngest editorial board member ever of the New York Daily News from 1993 to 2000. In 2001 he advised and wrote speeches for Michael Bloomberg during Bloomberg’s successful run for Mayor of New York City. Since 2007 Capehart has been one of the most visible journalists and board members of The Washington Post and a familiar on-air news and political commentator for MSNBC.
Rod McCullom JOURNALIST GLAAD Media Award-winning journalist Rod McCullom has been reporting on all things black and gay and in the “mainstream” for over a generation. His blog, Rod 2.0, has been recognized by GLAAD, the Esteem awards, and numerous other groups for its excellence, and Rod has written or produced news programs at ABC, NBC, and FOX. He’s an outspoken contributor to The Advocate, and his work appears regularly in Ebony Magazine, as well. Rod also contributes to radio and TV talk shows, appearing on local radio in his hometown of Chicago and on the long-running LGBT online program Da Doo-Dirty Show. His writings have shaped the modern LGBT political landscape, and Rod travels abroad extensively, to keep us all apprised of world affairs.
B. Scott PERSONALITY | BLOGGER The Multimedia Maven, B. Scott, has exploded through all forms of media from his infectious and humorous YouTube videos and his detailed and current celebrity blog site lovebscott.com. Scott has crossed over into TV as a featured contributor on Extra and guest starring on shows like Oxygen’s Hair Battle Spectacular, the Tyra Banks Show, and most recently Chef Roble & Co. Scott is in current litigation with BET after a very public incident that encouraged him to come out as transgender, receiving an interview with Janet Mock that further deﬁned the term and detailed Scott’s experience to his current position in life.
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DESIGNER Celebrity eyewear designer and socialite Stevie Boi, has been mesmerizing us, aswell as setting the standard for fashion and style with his brand SBShades. His clientele includes the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Amber Rose, and other popular musicians and models. His eyewear designs have been featured on many covers, including Vogue. Every NYC fashion week, he delivers a unique and innovative show that keeps the fashion industry buzzing. His work is not limited to fashion, he also recently participated in a peace March in Brooklyn for equality and anti bullying.
THE LOUD 100 LGBT PEOPLE OF COLOR Jussie Smollett
Kirven Boyd & Antonio Douthit
ACTOR Since he was young, Jussie Smollett has been acting in TV and movies like the mini-series Queen starring alongside Halle Berry. Last spring, Smollett played the lead role, Magnus, of Patrik-Ian Polk’s newest ﬁlm The Skinny that followed ﬁve friends after graduating from Brown University during New York City’s Pride Weekend.
Dwayne Jenkins ADVOCATE A highly-recognized and respected awardwinning HIV educator, LGBT advocate, and President and Executive Director of Nashville Black Pride, Brooklyn native Dwayne Jenkins has done the heavy-lifting for the LGBT community in his adopted home of nearly twenty years, Nashville. Dwayne’s work as Program Coordinator of Nashville CARES, member of the Advisory Board of Jackson State University’s Mississippi Urban Research Center for Capacity Building Assistance, and Founder and Director of the Brothers United Network, Inc. (a collective of BU chapters in Chattanooga, Memphis, Knoxville, and West Tennessee) continues to solidify the visibility, clout and political muscle of the Black LGBT community in the Volunteer State.
DANCERS Kirven and Antonio of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater tied the knot at City Hall in New York City on June 7th of this year, making them the ﬁrst active Alvin Ailey dancers to marry.
Daniel Black AUTHOR It is of no surprise that this year, novelist Daniel Black re-awakened the literary community, in fact the world, with the wordof-mouth resurgence of his brilliant 2010 novel of haunting beauty and Shakespearean tragedy. Perfect Peace is quite simply a masterpiece. It is, on the surface, the story of a black woman in 1940’s rural America who, after giving her husband six sons, wants the seventh child to be a daughter. But when fate disappoints, she decides to raise her seventh son as her ﬁrst daughter. But the epic story is so much more than that. This Southern Gothic masterpiece ranks Dr. Black —a Temple University PhD, and an Oxford Scholar—as Black America and Black Gay America’s most important literary voice of 2013 and the most signiﬁcant since Toni Morrison.
Patrick Riley WRITER Few pop culture commentators are as highly respected and universally loved as Patrick Riley. His upbeat and inspirational column “The Life of Riley” has been featuring the going-ons of Hollywood, Broadway, the music industry and the literary world for years. His gossip-free/ negative-free reporting has endeared him to his readers and earned him close alliances and numerous production and writing assignments with many, from Wendy Williams to Oprah. This convivial and openly gay gentleman was even accorded an audience with President Barack Obama. Patrick continues to make the black LGBT community proud, as his uplifting words and upbeat reporting continues to inspire so many from every walk of life.
MODEL | TV PERSONALITY Miss J Alexander is South Bronx born runway coach most noted for his role as a judge on America’s Next Top Model from cycle 5 to 14. He has currently been working on his own designs but there is no word if he hopes to have a line of his own.
DANCER | CHOREOGRAPHER Most of you may know Anthony Burrell as the best male dancer of The Beyoncé Experience tour. He is still working on choreography and concepts for Beyoncé’s ﬁfth studio album and has been touring the country holding dance classes for everyone.
YOUTUBE PERSONALITY Kingsley became “YouTube famous” with his most memorable video Things I Hate, and from there, he ranted about everything before making the conscious decision to not make his videos so negative. Now, he delivers commentary on pop culture and life issues, and is the reigning black, gay male on YouTube with over 2.5 million subscribers and his videos have been viewed over 270 million times!
Maurice Jamal DIRECTOR | PRODUCER | WRITER | ADVOCATE Maurice Jamal brought us movies like The Ski Trip and Dirty Laundry starring Rockmond Dunbar. He continues to speak at public events like Atlanta’s Black Gay Pride about current issues within the community.
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I've Come To
or the majority of my life I've gazed in awe at powerful people and would secretly hope one day to perhaps obtain the ability to make a meaningful difference in someone's life. Every time I read a list of inﬂuential people I am reminded of one phenomenal secret truth that has taken me years to bring my mind and soul to know. It has taken me years because of the lie I was told, the same lie that many of you reading my words still believe.
I've heard the whispers of this truth in a song by John Mayer, "...Someday I'll ﬂy / Someday I'll soar / Someday I'll be so damn much more / Cause I'm bigger than my body gives me credit for...". The thought that my height and weight could defy my physically body intrigued me. Maya Angelou stared at me once, she stared deeply and told me to my face , "You are better than you think you are and more powerful than you ever could imagine becoming", that was the second time I heard such noise and even then my mind couldn't believe what I was hearing. It wasn't until the third encounter with such thinking, that I ﬂirted with the inclinations. I was reading my favorite book of all time, A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. In it she wrote, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are more powerful beyond measure". The thought that I, in my weakest state, in my darkest moment, in the middle of my hardest storm was stronger and more powerful than I knew—didn't ﬁt in with the story I had been telling myself for so long.
What I know now that I didn't know then is that power isn't something that can be bought or forged. Power is the byproduct of the elements that we are born with, the stuff that is buried in our souls, and when the wind blows and it gets dark and cold and wet, and we are alone— when we fall to our lowest and we forget the spelling of our name and the direction of where we've come. In that space that we crumple, the hidden elements of our soul break and bend and mix—and what is created in that silent lonely mixture is the proof of our divinity. For we are only as powerful as our midnights.
What I've come to know is that the very same power that keeps this sphere of soot in orbit, the same stuff that beams rays of lost light to the sky and ocean making them both blue—that same inﬂuence is ingrained in our very being. When we dare to see it, reverence it, and know it—our very movement on this earth will be loud.
The phenomenal secret truth is that the 'in awe' feeling we experience in relation to someone else's power is our unconscious response to the cultivation of our own. We aren't powerless or weak or helpless, we just haven't been paying attention to the colors, to voice of truth, to the directions that lead to who we really are. For me it was a song, the voice of Maya Angelou, and the writings of Marianne Williamson. For you it could be a scripture, a movie, or this very column.
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