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brought to you by students at Thurgood Marshall Academy


Colorful Depth: A Spoonful of Emotion

Table of Contents 1 3 4

Introduction: A Litany for Survival by Audre Lorde

5 7 8 9

Not A Phase by Janiah Piper

Living In the LGBTQ Black Community Zine by Liana Brooks The Mastermind Behind the Masked Piece by Amani Green

Love Conquers by Amya Hudson Not Human by Amani Green What It Means to Be Me by Amani Green

13 15

Everything I Am Zine by Faatimah Musa

31 33

Relationship With God by Amani Green

17 18

Painting by Amya Hudson

Greetings by Amani Green

Divulge Who You Are To Me by Amani Green

34 35


Reflection by Amani Green



Perception; Siren; As If Time Stops; No Voids by Amani Green

Painting by Amani Green


Contradictory; Partaking in Love by Amani Green

Painting by A’Kira Diggs



Drawings by Sheena Patrick

Roses by A’Kira Diggs



Bloom by Amani Green

Where’s Home by Amani Green



A Litany for Survival Part II by Ms. Berhane

Collage by Sasha Brooks




Queer by Amani Green


The Evolution of Gay Rights by Dante Dixon

Collage by Gabrielle Sam Dab

Substance; Sun; Skeletons; The talk by Amani Green

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Introduction A Litany for Survival, by Audre Lorde

For those of us who live at the shoreline standing upon the constant edges of decision crucial and alone for those of us who cannot indulge the passing dreams of choice who love in doorways coming and going in the hours between dawns looking inward and outward at once before and after seeking a now that can breed futures like bread in our children’s mouths so their dreams will not reflect the death of ours; For those of us who were imprinted with fear like a faint line in the center of our foreheads learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk for by this weapon this illusion of some safety to be found the heavy-footed hoped to silence us For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive.

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And when the sun rises we are afraid it might not remain when the sun sets we are afraid it might not rise in the morning when our stomachs are full we are afraid of indigestion when our stomachs are empty we are afraid we may never eat again when we are loved we are afraid love will vanish

when we are alone we are afraid love will never return and when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard nor welcomed but when we are silent we are still afraid So it is better to speak remembering we were never meant to survive.

This poem is dedicated to Thurgood Marshall Academy and all queer youth across the world.

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Living In the LGBTQ Black Community Zine by Liana Brooks

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The Mastermind Behind the Masked Piece by Amani Green Paint the picture of who you are and be that Let the canvas no longer be the tongue that holds you back, Let the brush be what pushes you to be all you can be, Let the paint represent the color of experiences and expressions you have survive through, Let the artist be one whom you look up too One whom you’ve dreamed to be Let the masterpeice come alive, And rejoice for the time that you’ve spent

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Not A Phase by Janiah Piper Lesbian“I like cuddling in her arms, his keep me caged in” Gay“I like his kisses, hers are numb” Bisexual“Her cuddles are protective, his kisses are reassuring” Triple T“I am my own person. This is my mind, body, soul, and Spirit” Double Q“My options are mine to make and experiment with.” There’s more Its deeper than the surface but one has to be willing to explore the community One has to be open minded before stepping one foot in this territory One has to hold no hostility Towards those who openly claim their sexuality It’s 2019 We’re in the 21st century So what if we want to march out loud and proud with what we like Its not misleading or decieving One must be willing to ask the question and not assume based off of looks

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These gender roles need to go This didn’t just pop up It didn’t just become a thing The only difference is it was hidden Kings and queens experimented on the bodies of human beings But were never caught and kept it secret Now we’re public Look at some of the historical figures you admire At least three of them were curious and one of the three acted on it Its not degrading gods way Its imbracing who they are Its not caging yourself to what should be But what could express me Being a lesbian isn’t never being in love with a man It’s wanting to love a women Being gay isn’t a flip from being masculine to feminine It’s not liking girls, ladies, women sexually Bisexual is not being a confused sex addict Its having the ability to connect to both genders on a deeper level


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Love Conquers by Amya Hudson

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Not Human by Amani Green Ever met a soul so strung out on the antidote to bitterness, A soul so untamed it rose from ashes, A soul unlike no other, One that makes all your problems go away and all your wishes come true, A soul that is dying to start life(living), Dying to be everything at once, Dying to start a life worth living, A life that’s productive A life with more to offer, A soul full of emotion, Enough emotions to fill the Atlantic Sea, Enough Depth to stand up in it, Ever met a soul tamed and yet so free, A soul that’s just unlike any other, A soul with the proposition to be what it wants to be

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What It Means to Be Me by Amani Green To be me meant to be educated by society. Educated by society in a way that you believe everything your being told. It meant that it was hard at first to decipher the truth from the lies. It meant that your mind was institutionalized. It means that at first there were only two genders and that you could only be one. It meant that if you were gay you were to be shunned. It meant that if you were anything other than woman or man you were to be judged. To be deviant is that I intending on being. I was raised to be christian and to be straight by my second mom the kingdom hall. Taught lesson after lesson what adultery was, I feared to be judge and unrighteous. I feared to be myself and to be persecuted by their opinions. For some reason their opinions shaped my opinion on who I should be, only because they had a relationship with God more than I ever would. Day after day I denied all parts of me and what it meant to be me. I was taught that your gender is assigned to you at birth and that it could never be changed. I was raised to be a girl, to hate all of my boyish tendencies. As the years past my lack of belief and faith in the kingdoms hall message faded and faded. A part of me tried to escape escaped through writing. I eventually embraced all the different parts of me. I knew that I didn’t just feel like a girl inside, but I had no words at that time to describe what it all meant. So the internet became my best friend. Asking questions after questions to feed my curiosity.

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Photography by Amani Green

Questioning my sexuality I taught myself what society withheld from me. I learned a word that embraced all the matrix of sexual preference and orientation. I learned that what you hide in the dark will always come to light. I experienced what it meant to be verbally assaulted and hurled with all kind of words to describe who I am. To one white supremacist I was an abomination to all mankind. At the age of 16 in 2019 you would think people had better things to do with their time rather than being bitter. I prayed for her that night, I prayed that if there was a God that he healed her mentally, emotionally and physically. To the white man outside of giant I was a deficiency that is a waste of time trying to

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Questioning my sexuality I taught myself what society withheld from me.

corrupt. A burden that he wished upon none. Not only did I pray for him, I cried for him as well. I cried because he was the deficiency and he didn’t realize it. He didn’t realize that his opinion held no weight with me and that sooner or later I was going to forgive him. To be queer means your not just a girl but a boy as well. At least for me it does. To be queer means that you find pride in who you are and all the various components of who you are. It means that you embrace yourself for who you are. It means that your not afraid to defy the norm

and set your own norm. What it means to be queer In Corinne Werder words: “Being queer is not about a right to privacy: it is about the freedom to be public, to just be who we are. It means everyday fighting oppression; homophobia, racism, misogyny the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred. (We have been carefully taught to hate ourselves.)” Being queer is more deviant than society will ever be ready for.

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Photography by Amani Green

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Everything I Am Zine Music Playlist by Faatimah Musa

Everything I Am Artists: Kanye West, DJ Premier Album: Graduation I Like That Artist: Janelle Monรกe Album: Dirty Computer Juice Artst: Lizzo Album: Cuz I Love You After the Storm Artists: Kali Uchis; Tyler, the Creator; Bootsy Collins Album: Isolation Gabby Artists: The Internet, Janelle Monรกe Album: Ego Death Special Affair Artist: The Internet Album: Ego Death

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LISTEN ON SPOTIFY: bit.ly/everything-i-am-zine

Ivy Artist: Frank Ocean Album: Blonde Like me Artists: Steve Lacy, DAISY Album: Apollo XXI Pursuit Of Happiness (Nightmare) Artists: Kid Cudi, MGMT, Ratatat Album: Man On The Moon: The End Of The Day Purple Emoji Artists: Ty Dolla $ign, J. Cole Album: $ex $ymbol Die Young Artist: Roddy Ricch Ablum: Feed Tha Streets II CLONES Artist: Tierra Whack Album: CLONES (single)

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The Evolution of Gay Rights by Dante Dixon

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Painting by Amya Hudson

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Divulge Who You Are To Me by Amani Green They cut my story short, By massincarsiration, racism, and discrimination, Cutting me short of my potential, Cutting my voice off torturing me mentality, Hurting me Emotionally, Physically degrading and devaluing me, As if im not human to, As if my feelings dont matter, And all because I am different, Because I am not who they want me to be, Because I refuse to be the only person society will allow me to be, So don’t look at me funny When I tell you I will never be who society wants me to be, And that I am someone important beyond what the eyes can see So when you asked who Am I I’d tell you I reside within the Lgbtqia community

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Reflection by Amani Green When we met it was as if two souls meet for the very first time, As if moon had finally caught a glance at the sun, As if the wind finally howled the rains name We met while searching for another, Only to find each other, The most uncommon of duo Like a storm and Land we met at the edge of a river, I was pouring out tears while you absorbed them, I chuckled you smiled You held out your hand and I shook it, You led and I followed Followed you down a path that I knew all along And I promise I won’t ever look back

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Painting by Amani Green

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Painting by A’Kira Diggs

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Roses by A’Kira Diggs

Tia and Mya were a lesbian and biracial couple. Tia was Asian and Mya was Black. Tia and Mya always received threats for being lesbians, being together, and Mya has gotten threats for being black. Tia and Mya then moved to New York from Alabama, while it being their fourth week in New York Tia and Mya met Angela and Assata who were two black women from Black Panther at a rally. After the rally the four girls then talked about themselves and became great friends, Angela then invited the Tia and Mya to a Black Panther meeting the next day. On their way to the meeting Tia and Mya encounters a straight caucasian couple walking down the street who seems very livid about Tia and Mya holding hands and being together. The boyfriend then pushes Mya to the floor, kicks her, spits on her, picks her up by her shirt and punches her in the face. The girlfriend then spits on Tia and grabs her by the face just to tell her how disgusted she is by this “sin“ that they’re committing. Tia then looks down at Mya who is sitting down on the ground bleeding, Tia then

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holds Mya in her arms and they both breakdown crying because of how they were being treated just because of how they are. Mya then apologizes for being black but is reassured by Tia that she is the best thing to ever come in her life and that her skin is the most magnificent thing in the world no matter who has anything negative to say. Tia and Mya then fix themselves and shares a very passionate hug and kiss only to resume their journey to the Black Panther meeting. Although they had each other Mya and Tia were terrified to see what people would think of them and their relationship. Tia and Mya walk into the medium size room where the Black Panther meetings take place. They then were greeted by Mike and his wife Tonya who both recently lost their son in Alabama on vacation due to a lynching. Mike and Tonya gave Mya and Tia advice on in how to deal with hate and became

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Tia and Mya’s partner when it was time to walk in the dangerous crucial streets of New York City at the time. A couple months went by and everyone was happy even Mike and Tonya had found out they had a daughter on the way. Unfortunately that joy and happiness then went away when Mya decided to go to the colors only market to purchase Kettle Corn for movie night with Tia. After Mya purchased the popcorn she started walking home and took a shortcut which was through a colored neighborhood but she soon encounters 4 white men in a truck with guns coming towards her. Mya starts to run in fear but doesn’t get far after being shot in the leg and knocked down. Two of the four men pick her up and toss her in the car. The men drive up to a hill with one big willow tree close to her house and plan on lynching her. They hang her up with a rope but before they let the rope go they ask her if she has any last words, Mya then recites the poem “The Rose that Grew from Concrete.”

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Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping it’s dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.

and uses the poem and says that colored people are the rose and white people were the concrete. The men then ask how does this apply to life and she responds by saying that no matter how much the white man hates on us colored folks, we will continue to strive with dignity, hope, love, and peace. Mya then starts to sing a song about love and peace and how us colored folk are going to find love and peace and since the men were racist homophobes they let her rope go and watch her dangle from the tree branch while drinking alcohol and smoking a cigar.

The End.

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Where’s Home? by Amani Green Home isn’t where I wake up in the morning, It isn’t where love and support is, My home isn’t my moms home but I live with her, My moms home is the winter breeze of words, That tell you who you are and who you will be as long as you reside with her, My moms home the kinda home some days you don’t want to come back to, Only because people fear change and what they don´t know My home is the spring of new beginnings, Love and communication Itś the kind of place you don’t have to hide who you are, It’s the home that embraces every piece of you, The home that warms your heart, reaffirms your value, It’s the kind of place you don’t need to look for validations because everything’s already perfect with you, My home isn’t my moms home, but it’s a place she’ll always be welcome in when she becomes more encouraging, open minded, and Supportive.

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Photography by Amani Green

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Collage by Sasha Brooks

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Queer by Amani Green Their pale inside, And to colorful on the outside They’re not culturally expressive But believe that in community there is unity They’re not just a she or he but both Their pronouns are sometime her, him, they, and them They talk when told not too They hold water even though their not supposed to They stand their ground when their told not to They embrace what it means to be Queer And every aspect that contributes to it From their appearance down to their pronouns They stand on a foundation built on neutrality

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Relationship With God by Amani Green Religious yes, Righteous or nah, Im religious when it’s beneficial, I go to the kingdom hall when it’s fit to do But don’t listen when the topics on homophobia I ain’t righteous when adultery comes up I am spiritually awoken, And to others I’m spiritually sinning constantly I believe in a higher being, But when it comes to being judge, No other human better say a thing

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Collage by Gabrielle Sam Dab

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Greetings by Amani Green I saw you from a distance We made eye contact Our souls did the talking And our spirits did the walking With our paths intertwined We became familiar with each other Our spirits once walked two separate paths side by side Side by side became mile to mile Eventually disappearing in the distance I sang a song and hopefully years later you would’ve told me you hear it Side by side with our paths intertwined for decades to come.

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More poetry by Amani Green Substance My body aches, for trust, for justice, for support, for understanding, My body aches for food, proportions and consistency, My body aches for balance, health and exercise, My body aches for evertything it wants all at once

Sun Like the tree’s I was leaning towards you

Skeletons You asked me what am I hiding, What darkness lies inside that I hide, Im hiding so much that I can no longer find the words to tell you, Because I hid more than just words but my whole identity

The talk The birds and the bee’s didn’t know words could sting, Senfing people soaring

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Perception Like the Nazi You stereotyped me to your liking

Siren She sang a song only I could hear, A song she’d buried all her all of her fear

As If time stops I made a vowel to myself to never reality repeats itself, So I constantly dream, As if Im not sleeping my life away

No Voids The stuffy air, Fills all the capacity, My heart would ever need

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Contradictory by Amani Green

They said come as you are and soon as I arrived they told me to leave, They said God welcomes you all but failed to mention that that excludes people like me, They said there is no sin God Cannot forgive, Except for yours of course They said this is not a judgement zone, but each time I come there to seek the lord its as if I stand before them on judgement day, Its as if they will announce the verdict of how I should be punished. Punished for what they don’t understand, Punished because I’ve gone against what the bible states but little did they know so did they.

Partaking in Love by Amani Green

To love is to destroy and to be loved is to be the one destroyed To love and to be loved is to be hurt, So like a switch i turned my heart off, Hoping that it’ll never beat for love again that it’ll never seek it, Only because the feeling i felt for you were so intense, Intensed to the point that I destroyed parts of myself, That I can never get back, Parts of myself that i’d only destroy once more if it meant you’d love me back this go around

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Drawing by Sheena Patrick

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Bloom by Amani Green Pale as day A mind of Art, A smile with life, Heart made of gold The picture isn’t perfect, And yet the frame is still intact, And with every glance there’s a memorable notion Their voice is soft but tough like metal They walk as if it’s like they’re walking on water Their beauty is an amnestic to all those who look Their eye catches all those who stare So every glance gives you the medicine you need

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A Litany for Survival Part II by Ms. Berhane Dedicated to the (Colorful) Unicorns For those of us who live in the waves floating upon the pushes of our ancestors that speak to us through gentle and assertive ripples for those of us who indulge the stationed dreams of choice who love in doorways, hallways, parades coming and choosing to not return in the hours between sunset looking around seeking a vision of brighter futures with gratitude at once like Welch’s, yogurt and apple pie in our scholar’s mouths their dreams are fueled by sweet hopes and fearlessness goes beyond what we imagined Living unapologetically as themselves. Period.

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For those of us who were traced with worry like pigments finding home on our skin our mother’s milk was the safety they could provide for by this trauma has passed in hopes to stagger our power from being recognized our ancestors provide abundance in their after life this possibility of liberation to be found their presence affirmed intuition and purpose clearer with each new generation For all of us this instant and this triumph We were never meant to survive When the sun rises we are no longer worried the light lives within you when the sun sets we are no longer worried dreams turn to day with each rising morning reflected in your daily smiles mugs and internal fire

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When we speak we are worried our words will vanish when you speak we are proud there’s no such thing as too loud powerful voices remain as vivid memory threads and receipts are no longer necessary the world must learn the lessons composed carefully like your existence when the love returns healing is bound to bloom Blossoming into your ancestors wildest dreams So it is better to speak live be fight with courage remembering we were never meant to thrive

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LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer & More) Glossary Source: thetrevorproject.org/trvr_support_center/glossary/ Asexual: A term describing

Cisgender: A person who

individuals who do not experience

identifies with the sex they were

sexual attraction or do not have

assigned at birth. For example, if

interest in or desire for sex. Asex-

you were told you were “male”

uality is often viewed as a spec-

at birth and still identify that way,

trum – meaning there are varying

you would be cisgender.

levels and identities regarding

Gay: In the past, only men who

someone’s emotional, spiritual and

are attracted to men have used

romantic attraction. The best way

the word “gay.” Now, it is

to refer to the asexual community

common for “gay” to be used by

is to use the umbrella term “ace”

anyone who is attracted to their

or “aces” as in the “ace commu-

same sex or gender.

nity,” which acknowledges that spectrum.

Gender: An idea created by society (A.K.A. a social construct)

Binary System: A binary

that tells us what certain genders

system is something made up of

are “supposed” to be like, based

two opposing parts. Gender (man/

on a group of emotional, behav-

woman) and sex (male/female) are

ioral and cultural characteristics

examples of binary systems.

(like how we express our feelings or how we dress).

Bisexual: A term that describes someone who is attracted to both

Gender Expression: How we

men and women, or to more than

express our gender identity on

one gender identity.

the outside.

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Gender Identity: Our internal, personal sense of what our gender is. Everyone has a gender identity. Gender Non-Conforming:

Lesbian: A woman who is predominantly attracted to other women. Some women prefer the term “gay” – it’s all up to you and what fits your identity best.

Describes a person whose gender expression is, or appears to be, different from what we would expect from their assigned gender. Other terms include “gender variant” or “gender diverse.”

Non-Binary: Anything that falls outside of the binary system (see definition above). Intersex, genderqueer, and bisexuality are all examples of non-binary identities.

Genderqueer: A term that describes someone whose gender identity is not just a man or a

woman. This identity can mean different things to different people. Intersex: Describes a condition in which a person is born with a sex that doesn’t fit the typical definitions of female or male due to genetic, hormonal or anatomical differences.

Pansexual: Describes people who are capable of being attracted to multiple sexes or gender identities. Sexual Orientation: Describes a person’s physical, romantic, emotional, and/or spiritual attraction to another person. Everyone has a sexual orientation.

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Glossary Continued Transgender (Trans): An umbrella term used to describe people whose true gender identity does not “match” the sex or gender they were assigned at birth. Many identities fall under the transgender umbrella, which are often designated with an asterisk after the abbreviation, “trans.” However, not all genderqueer or non-binary people identify as transgender – and some people who have transitioned to their true gender choose to identify as just a “man” or “woman” instead of transgender. Always be respectful of how someone chooses to identify, and use their preferred identity, name, and pronouns. Questioning: A person who may be processing or questioning their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Queer: A broad term that is inclusive of people who are not straight and/or cisgender. In the past this word was used as discriminatory. Today the word is often used in a positive way by folks who identify as queer as well as by allies of queer/LGBTQ people, however, some people still feel that it is a word that carries negative weight.

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This zine was made in collaboration with BYP100

I love the color of my skin ‘cuz it’s the skin that I’m in I love the texture of my hair and I will rock it everywhere. I love being Black. – passage from “I Love Being Black” a song by organizers at BYP100

June 2019.

Profile for MelaNation Zine

We Glow Like Glitter: An LGBTQ Zine  

Being young, Black, and LGBTQIA+ in today's society brings unique challenges, as well as unique joys. Several students at DC's Thurgood Ma...

We Glow Like Glitter: An LGBTQ Zine  

Being young, Black, and LGBTQIA+ in today's society brings unique challenges, as well as unique joys. Several students at DC's Thurgood Ma...