In celebration of NYC Black Pride, Native Son – the leading organization championing Black gay and queer men – presented its inaugural Black, Queer and Here town hall exploring the intersectionality of the Black LGBTQ community on Aug. 11 at the Apollo Theater. The event was held in partnership with Warner Bros. Discovery and the Apollo.

With opening remarks from Native Son Founder Emil Wilbekin, Black, Queer and Here included an in-depth conversation with Nancy Santiago of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office focused on mental health in America as well as emerging health concerns around Monkeypox;  a discussion with Lee Soulja, Director of Black Pride NYC, about the gensis and history of Black Pride; and an engaging panel discussion centered around the experiences of Black queer people sharing their stories, challenges, and hopes while also engaging with other members of the Black community at large.

Moderated by Wilbekin, this intimate discussion explored the realities of what it means to live in the duality of Blackness and queerness, facing shame and stigma, and unlearning homophobia and transphobia.

In addition to being known as the epicenter of Black artistic innovation and excellence, the world-famous Apollo Theater has also been a safe space for the Queer Community from showcasing the famed Jewel Box Revue to Moms Mabley, Johnny Mathis, Josephine Baker, Little Richard and many more.

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