At the close of of Pride 2020, co-creators Jordan Anderson and Chiara Nonino have introduced a brand new project entitled MQBMBQ: My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness, described as “an independent initiative highlighting and celebrating the intersection of Black Queerness within society and includes several aspects.” This is a 3-week project and virtual space dedicated to supporting the Black Queer community through creative and cultural exposure and engagement, with a focus on violence against Black Trans women.
The global Black Lives Matter movement has opened up a ongoing dialogue around Black lives and how to better support marginalised groups. 100% of the proceeds generated through this initiative will go towards charities who support Black Trans men and women. What better time to highlight, celebrate and pay for Black Queer content than during Pride Month? Read on to hear what Jordan Anderson has to say about this important initiative.
MQBMBQ: My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness
All the Pretty Birds: Where have you found inspiration surrounding Black Queer identity in art and culture?
Jordan Anderson: It’s always been difficult, but I’ve found solace in complex personalities like Janelle Monae, Grace Jones, and Solange, some of whom are queer. Of course, I’ve also looked to those who have passed as well being Little Richard, Marlon Riggs, James Baldwin, and Marsha P. Johnson, who have all inspired me in some way or another to take control of my own narrative.
ATPB: The Black Lives Movement garnered a lot of attention, but often the clear discrimination that Black Queer people experience is often quickly forgotten about. How can we amplify and support the Black LGBTQIA+ community?
JA: I think it’s important for us to listen to the Black LGBTQIA+ community and especially to Black Trans women who are being murdered in the streets.
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The Black Queer Fundraiser is a print sale in support of Black Trans Lives. It features the works of 12 photographers who give interpretation of Black Queer Identity through imagery. Prices range from 100£ to 400£ to 1000£ . 100% of the proceeds from the print sale minus shipping and printing will be donated to @forthegworls & @transwaveja . Link in bio to purchase
ATPB: When did you start working on this passionate project? Tell us about your team and collaborative efforts.
JA: The idea started a few weeks ago, as a small concept that was born out of noticing the lack of acceptance of Black Trans Women and Black Queer people both from white LGBTQIA+ spaces, and from the Black community. My last straw was really when I read some comments under one of The Shade Room’s post of the massive Black Trans Lives Matter protests in New York and noticed the level of blatant ignorance that existed even among skin folk. After which I managed to rally up and incredible team including Chiara Nonino from Vogue Italia, who helped me curate and work on the whole thing, Valentina Antollini who conceived the entire website and Zina Jamil who served up some very impressive graphics all across the board of the site and assets.
ATPB: Keeping records of Black Queer identity is so important and affirming for the legacy that is Black Queer culture from the ballroom scene to photography and more – will this project continue regularly?
JA: For now it’s only three weeks, but yes, absolutely. My hope is for us to continue celebrating Black Queer identity not just during pride month, but on a regular basis.
ATPB: What do you hope people will take or learn through engaging with MBQMQB?
JA: Well mainly the space is for us, so my intention is for Black Queer people to not only notice but to flaunt the beauty and power that we hold as we choose, having a vast cultural backgrounds to pull from. However, it’s also important for the rest of the world to note that we need to center the conversation and focus of pride to the ones who started it, Black Trans Women as they are the ones who need to be protected the most.
ATPB: Black Queer culture is present through mainstream media (POSE etc). Beyond the representation aspect, what do you hope for Black Queer creatives in the industry moving forward?
JA: I hope for us to exist freely, not only in overly queer centered narratives, but for us to be seen and accepted for what we are, not just the Black side, or not just the queer side but rather the entire essence of our existences.
Don’t miss live screenings of films by the late Marlon Riggs:
- Affirmations, 1990 (10 min) Sunday June 28th 7:30 pm CET / 1:30 pm ET
- Anthem, 1991 (9 min) Sunday July 5th 7:30 pm CET / 1:30 pm ET
- Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, 1992 (38 min) Sunday July 12th 7:30 pm CET / 1:30 pm ET