2020 was a time when the world stood up for what it meant to be BLACK! Many people took to the streets, coming down on the philosophies of the US Nation in a cry to stop systemic racism and to give People of Color the right to be recognized as citizens and offered the same rights as their white counterparts.
As a Black male born in the Caribbean, the systemic effects entrenched in color was not what affected me; it was my queerness. In fact, I assumed that queer Jamaicans didn’t exist. Even worse, the Jamaican society is quite vocal that, if you are queer, you should hide it. The need to hide it was all too prevalent in my world, even though I left Jamaica at the young age of 13.
When I moved to Toronto in my late 20s, I found more and more people who were not only like me from a queer perspective, but who also looked like me as a queer Black male. Organizations like Blockorama (a committee made up of members of Toronto’s Black queer and trans communities), The 519 (a Toronto City organization dedicated to advocacy for the inclusion of LGBTQ+ communities), and 101 Dewson St Commune (a Community Space as a starting point for Black, Caribbean Lesbian and Gay people in Toronto) helped me feel like I finally fit in and that I had a community where I belonged.