There are those who misunderstand Black people, Black men particularly, and there are also those for whom my being gay can incite hatred; forcing individuals like me to seek invisibility. In Star Trek: Voyager, one of my favorite characters, “B’Elenna Torres,” once stated: “When the people around you are all one way, and you’re not, you can’t help feeling like there’s something wrong with you.” Being both Black and gay, I understood that feeling.
Professionally, I believe my experiences have made me more empathetic to those I serve. Diversity is often fully embraced in the community of mental health professionals. As a school based therapist, I have found that the very issues that I have struggled with, being Black and gay, have enhanced my ability to help others. Despite any demographic differences I may have with my clients, I have a great deal to offer them. And for those clients who may be like me, Black or gay, my visibility can inspire those young people to embrace who they are, fully.
I have learned much about myself through helping others and have become passionate about community service in RVA. Volunteering with the Nationz Foundation as a testing counselor, instructing trainings on mental health for the community, and raising money and awareness for a number of philanthropies, through dance, have been remarkable experiences. Finally, I’ve learned that it’s ok to be who I am. So I will be bold and beautiful, and be more than any label that one would put on me.
This post is part of a partnership between GayRVA and Diversity Richmond to feature honoree’s of Diversity’s first LGBTQ+ Black History Month series. Honorees were asked to share their stories in their own words. We’ll be posting more honorees as the month continues. Photo provided by Harron Fells
is a 28-year-old queer identified Richmond native. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from Randolph-Macon College. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at The University of Baltimore. As a community based advocate, secondary victim of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), and Black queer identified male, Sean has cultivated [...]
February 23, 2017
PrevVA Beach mayor pledges LGBTQ support as part of national mayoral campaign
NextRTP’s ‘Choir Boy’ highlights intersectionality set to a powerful Gospel groove