Bayard Rustin,Audre Lorde,Alice Walker,Rupaul,Alvin Ailey,Wanda Sykes,and Lee Daniels, these are my proud black gay role models. These are the pioneers who marched in the civil rights movement but then were cast aside because of who they loved. These were the people who blazed a trail for people like Frank Ocean to say he fell in love with a man,and for Chance the Rappers brother to come out as bisexual and get nothing but love instead of death threats. It was James Baldwins powerful words that summed up the black LGBT experience at the time. It was Wanda Sykes comical yet emotional story of coming out,that set the stage for black LGBT people to declare we are here. It was Don Lemon shocking reveal of childhood abuse that helped other black gay men heal from the wounds those can cause. It was Alvin Ailey dancing his way to the top of the ballet industry which lead the way for the fabulous Rupaul to work that runway like the superstar he is in the early 90s. It was Audre Lorde who combined feminism,blackness,and lesbianism which led the way for Alice Walker to write the Color Purple,and for Janet Mock to write about being a black trans person. It was Bayard Rustin marching,and organizing from the civil rights movement to the AIDS crisis which led to Keith Boykin writing books about the complexity of the down low. It was shows like Noah’s Arc which showed four black successful gay men who were killing it in the game,which led to Lee Daniels groundbreaking Empire and Star which focuses on black LGBT struggles,which led to popular YouTube series such as About Him,and Street Behavior which shows young black people trying to find love(and lust) in today’s complicated society. Every black history month these people are routinize left behind,forgotten,or even watered down. Not anymore! I thank each and everyone of you for being brave enough to proclaim in your own words I am black,gay,and I am here to stay!!!!