Overview

On Valentine’s Day, the Black AIDS Institute launches “The Way We Love: A series on Black, Queer Relationships.” This digital storytelling campaign is conversation about being Black and queer, our individual journeys and the paths we walk for love. “The Way We Love” shares our perspectives on monogamy, faith, stigma, HIV treatment, raising a family, and other ways we express love.

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The Black AIDS Institute is currently crowdfunding to develop short videos of our Black and Queer couples featured in “The Way We Love.” Please support our video-development efforts!

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read “the way we love” stories

Abdu Ali

Abdu Ali: The Way We Love

What does it mean to be Black and Queer?

They stand as two separate entities. To be black is a cultural identity and to be queer is a political stance and way of mental navigation.

What does loving yourself mean to you?

Loving myself is a part of radical self care..because how can I love others if I don’t learn to love myself and change can’t be done with out love.

What does it mean to be Black and Queer?

They stand as two separate entities. To be black is a cultural identity and to be queer is a political stance and way of mental navigation.

What is your experience navigating the challenges of our culture, namely being Black and queer with your gender identity?

The erasure of black and queer people and the fact that white queers dictate queerness.

If you could deliver any message to young Black queer individuals what would it be?

Keep redefining yourself and the world you exist in.

Follow Abdu on Instagram! 

Traniesa Caldwell

Traniesa Caldwell: The Way We Love

What does it mean to be Black and Queer?

To be a black sheep..

What does loving yourself mean to you?

Living whole.I can’t navigate this world in parts. I have to come whole and that’s so important.

What is your experience navigating the challenges of our culture, namely being Black and queer with your gender identity?

Black folks have a hard time with queer folks because white Christianity has taught them there is something wrong with queer folks. I love freely which in my opinion goes against everything that Christianity stands for. I stand out. It’s hard and oppressive asf when my own oppressed people shun me. But I’m here. I refuse to hide.

If you could deliver any message to young Black queer individuals what would it be?

Keeping moving and believe in your WHOLE self

Follow Traniesa on Instagram! 

 

David Coleman with Matthew Brinkley: The Way We Lov

David Coleman with Matthew Brinkley

What does it mean to be Black and Queer? 

It means being extra strong because the odds tend to be stacked against you…twice.

What role, if any, does faith play in your relationship? 

Not much. We practice gratitude together as a form of religion.

What is your message to other young Black, queer couples and individuals about love and relationships?

First, treat yourself as good as you want to be treated by someone else. Be patient and don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Follow David and Matthew on Instagram!

Percival Pandy with Jarred Kimbell

Percival and Jarred: The Way We Love

What does it mean to be Black and Queer? 

To always be struggle for a place in both communities..

How has being in a relationship impacted your ability to navigate the challenges of our culture, namely being Black, queer, and with your gender identity?

It has been challenging but it is something you adapt to doing as a mechanism for survival.

What role, if any, does faith play in your relationship? 

God is the center of my life – Percival

I’m spiritual not religious – Jarred

Cameron Wright with Kashif Uqdah

Cameron Wright

What does it mean to be Black and Queer? 

Being black and queer is being courageous. I think embracing your blackness is what ultimately allows you to embrace your queerness. Dismantling mental colonization helps you understand why we even box people into these categories in the first place.

How has being in a relationship impacted your ability to navigate the challenges of our culture, namely being Black, queer, and with your gender identity? 

I think we’ve grown together ESPECIALLY when it comes to understanding black culture. We were on two opposite ends of the seesaw. I (Cameron) have always been pro-woman and pro-black and I carry a very aggressive approach about how I feel when it comes to navigating in society as a black, feminine man. Kashif is very masculine, extremely nice and sensitive to societal topics, so besides being detached from the homophobia that comes with being outwardly flamboyant, he also navigated in spaces that were unhealthy for his blackness. Us being together has definitely opened his eyes when it comes to protecting his energy and space and has helped me with my approach when talking about social injustices. He has much more patience than I do and everyday I’m learning.

Cameron and Kashif: The Way We Love

What is your message to other young Black, queer couples and individuals about love and relationships?

Always communicate, take each other’s feelings into consideration for everything, and detach yourselves from heteronormative relationship standards. The only rules your relationship should have are the ones you set.

Follow Cameron Wright on Instagram

MORE STORIES COMING SOON!

 

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