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Black History Month 2021

February is Black History Month and a time for us to focus our attention on recognizing the contributions of Black folks in our communities, celebrating Black life and excellence, and working to secure successful Black futures. So much of our history as queer and trans folks has been shaped by the courage and actions of Black activists, artists, and scholars. The struggle against homophobia and transphobia is deeply linked to the struggle against anti-Black racism. Black queer and trans folks have been at the forefront of these struggles and deserve to be honoured—too often, they’ve been erased and ignored. 

Celebrating Black excellence and fighting against anti-Black racism is more than just a month-long project. It is something each of us—as individuals and as organizations—need to live every single day. Over the last year, this commitment at the GMSH has meant: 

  • Contracting Black queer and trans folks on our projects; 
  • Commissioning a report on the experiences of young adult Black same-gender-loving men, HIV prevention, and sexual health; 
  • Facilitating conversations with front-line service workers at HIV/AIDS service organizations on how to better meet the needs of queer and trans Black folks; 
  • Highlighting contributions and experiences of Black members of our community through our portrait series; 
  • Leading a call-to-action among LGBTQ2S+ and HIV/AIDS service organizations across Canada demanding an end to anti-Black police violence and a shifting of resources away from policing and towards community-based responses to health and poverty; 
  • Producing meaningful sexual health content by and for Black same-gender-loving men in partnership with Black producers, directors, performers, and community members 

Queer lives are black lives and black lives are queer lives. The GMSH acknowledges the endless contributions of Black queer and trans trailblazers and is inspired by what’s ahead. We have the opportunity to uplift, celebrate, and defend the life and dignity of Black folks in our community—not just today, not just for these 28 days, but on each and every day.

In solidarity,
 

The team of the Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance

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