Holding Space: Protecting Places for Philadelphia’s Black Queer Community

today June 27, 2023

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Begin June 27, 2023 H 5:00 pm
End June 27, 2023 H 7:00 pm

More than 1.2 million Americans identify as Black and LGBTQ, yet these voices are often left out of conversations impacting them. Yet on many of these issues, members of the Black LGBTQ community are disproportionately affected. Black LGBTQ adults are more likely to experience economic insecurity than non-LGBTQ adults, and members of the Black LGBTQ community face health disparities in mental and physical health. Seventy-nine percent have reported facing verbal insults or abuse, and 60 percent have reported being threatened with violence.

This Pride Month special broadcast and roundtable will create a platform to advocate for these voices being heard and protected. The panel will consist of two parts: From 5-6 pm, we will be talking about allyship, what that looks like and how the Black community can be the best allies to LGBTQ friends and family. From 6-7 pm, we will be identifying Black queer spaces in Philly and what we can do to preserve them.

Host: Amadee Braxton, host of Solutions on WURD Radio

Come back to this page for information on additional speakers. Confirmed so far:

Tyrell Brown (They/Them) is a Long-time Philadelphia community organizer Tyrell Brown was appointed Executive Director of the radical social justice organization galaei after serving previously as the organization’s deputy director. Brown has had a wealth of community activism experience in Philadelphia; they helmed local organizational efforts for Bernie Sanders’ campaign for president and carried out mutual aid and community organizing work with Reclaim Philadelphia. They have worked as a preschool teacher, directed the Wynnefield Residents Association’s camp programming, and co-developed children’s programming for the Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference. Through their leadership at galaei, Brown co-organized the 50th annual pride festivities in Philadelphia including Pride march and festival in 2022. Tyrell is a compassionate leader who cultivates environments that are both resourceful, restorative, in the pursuit of justice for marginalized peoples. 

Eric Cole, M.Ed., Sr. Business Systems Analyst, and Certified Life Coach is the host of the Hung Up Podcast; A Philly based culture and society platform from a Black Queer Perspective. Since 2017, guests from all walks of life have brought their knowledge, stories, and expertise to the show: educators, singers, artists, actors, authors, community engagers and advocates, podcast hosts, and health advocates. The Hung Up Podcast exists to encourage, inform, and share experiences of the people impacting various spaces throughout the community. He was a Temple University alumnus and 2x Philly Tennis Champion.

Icon Ebony Fierce (They/She) is a Philadelphia-based performance artist that has one mission: to change people’s perception of artistic expression one subculture at a time. Icon has a background in theatre, dance, and spoken word performance. Icon has been community organizing, curating events all throughout Philadelphia since 2012. Icon also specializes in burlesque, performance art, and drag. Their content includes body positivity, political/social issues, gender equality, etc. They are also a co curator for festivals like Philadelphia Pride Festival, Phreak N Queer, Hot Bits Film Festival, Snatcherella 3000 and more things always centering QTPOC people with an alternative point of view. Icon is currently a board member of the William Way Community Center and the Youth Program Manager at Galaei.

Taylor Thompson is a Public Health professional and ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Thompson became an ally for the LGBTQ+ community at the age of 14, after joining the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at her local high school.

Joining the GSA allowed Taylor to see and hear about the challenges her peers faced and noticed the lack of support and encouragement among them from their families and loved ones. Taylor incorporates ally ship in her daily life and work by attending local balls, community events and businesses, while also providing a listening ear and safe space to those of the community who may be experiencing homophobia or discrimination.

Taylor is a 2017 alumna of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania where she obtained her Bachelors in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in public health and social work. Since then, she has worked in multiple areas of public health and the LGBTQ+ community including: mental health, substance abuse, crisis, sexual health testing, education, re-linkage and contact tracing.

Taylor is a Delaware County native, who currently works as a Prevention Navigator at Bebashi Transition to Hope, assisting clients at risk of acquiring HIV with PrEP adherence and connecting them with community resources.

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