Much has been said about the issue of homophobia in the Black community, but a new initiative called #ThisIsLuv aims to counteract that narrative. The multi-media campaign focuses on "affirming LGBT love in Black communities and families." Former NBA Star Jason Collins and TV personality EJ Johnson, son of NBA legend Magic Johnson, are among the celebrities who support #ThisIsLuv.
“Too many people within the Black LGBT community believe this myth and never allow themselves to be loved by their families,” says program co-founder and former NFL player Wade Davis. “Our goal is to make it known that love for Black LGBT people exists in our community.”
The campaign, which launched on February 16 and continues throughout the month, invites celebrities, writers and advocates to share photos and video blogs about the supportive and caring relationships that have transcended sexual orientation or gender identity via the hashtag #ThisIsLuv. The goal is to reframe the conversation about the Black community's relationship to its LGBT members.
“Part of what we wanted to offer is space to place Black LGBT affirming love front and center,” says co-founder Darnell Moore. “Many of us are loved by our families and friends and some of us have experienced alienation and hurt, but isn’t that the case for so many others? We are hoping people will use this an opportunity to further dialogue.”
On Sunday, February 22, these topics will be put on the table at a Town Hall Discussion at the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., with special guests Collins, Johnson, Mychal Denzel Smith (The Nation), Danielle Moodie-Mills (Politini), Lori Adelman (Feministing.com), Miss Lawrence (Real Housewives of Atlanta, Fashion Queens) and Tiq Milan (GLAAD). Click here for more information.
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(Photos from left: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for GLSEN, Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)