WILHELMINA PERRY, PH.D.
Dr. Wilhelmina Perry is the coolest 81-year-old you’d ever want to meet. The co-founder and administrative coordinator of LGBTQ Faith Leaders of African Descent says her work has allowed her “to lift my voice for those who are marginalized because they are Black, LGBTQS-GL (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or same gender-loving), and people of faith.” Later this year, on September 15, she will receive an award from GRIOT Circle, an organization for older LGBTQ people of color. “I choose to work in this field because I have witnessed the consequences of religious teachings that give permission to parents to abandon and ‘throw away’ their gay children,” she says. “… As a person of faith, I was clear that I had a responsibility to speak to my Black community about the needs of the population of homeless gay youth. …As a Black lesbian, I also understand that I must step up, educate and advocate for the lives of these young people, as well as other LGBTQSGLs who have suffered from religious harm and hurt. As one of the co-founders of LGBTQ Faith Leaders of African Descent, I have taken the pledge to work towards inclusion and acceptance in my Black community.” –GH