More than 1,500 New Yorkers gathered today in Manhattan to mourn the death of a 32 year-old gay man, who was shot down on Friday just blocks away from the historic Stonewall Inn in an apparent act of anti-gay bias.
National Youth Pride Services Launches 'Black & Gay at HBCU's' Series
National Youth Pride Services featured an essay by Brian Alston Carter, an alumnus of the HBCU Morehouse College in Atlanta. Brian, who is openly gay, spoke out in 2010 to protest a dress code at the all-male college that was specifically targetting gay and gender non-conforming students, a fact which Morehouse's vice president of Student Services openly admitted. VIBE magazine brought the story to national attention with an article featuring Brian and several other students at the school. Since then, Morehouse has made several advances for LGBT people of color visibility, including the creation of the Bayard Rustin Scholars Program, named for the LGBT and Civil Rights pioneer, and the introduction of the school's first LGBT Black History course. Students of Morehouse also went purple for Spirit Day to show support for LGBT youth and stand against bullying.
Reflecting on the shift at Morehouse overtime, Brian writes: "During New Student Orientation of 2011, I was stopped by a group of incoming freshman and parents who thanked me for being vocal about the experience...A shift in institutional and Black culture—a bold step towards conquering old fears and a taboo topic. This is the work of community. We started the movement but it is up to our community to keep the flame burning despite the blood, sweat and tears." Brian served as a NAESM Creating Responsible Intelligent Black Brothers Fellow and a Directed Studies HIV/AIDS Researcher in the Department of Sociology at Morehouse College until May of 2011. He also eceived an appointment to the Morehouse College Respect & Diversity Committee as a Board Member. In a recent piece for the Huffington Post, Morehouse student Marus Lee shares his persepective on the college's new LGBT Black History course.