GLAAD, a leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization, just launched a new digital content series to increase the visibility of Black LGBTQ people. It’s called “Neon,” and it just launched on Monday — right on time for Black History Month.
Each video in the Neon series will highlight a different Black LGBTQ person, including people in the media, community voices, and celebrities.
The first Neon video features Roya Marsha, an artist and poet whose legacy channels the great Black lesbian poet Audre Lorde.
“It’s important to me that queer people across the African diaspora can see themselves and hear their stories,” says Major Nesby, Neon’s co-creator and contributing producer. “There are so many opportunities to be represented in the media and yet in 2020, I still don’t feel represented or seen in traditional media. Neon now has the chance to tell these diverse and collective stories.”
Neon’s content will be curated by “a group of Black LGBTQ artists and allies who are both staffers at GLAAD and contributors,” per a press release from GLAAD. As part of the initiative, GLAAD will also be present at a number of important Black media events, including the NAACP Image Awards, BET Awards, and Essence Festival.
DaShawn Usher is the Programs Officer for Communities of Color at GLAAD and producer of Neon. He explained why this series is such an important move for the organization, especially at this particular moment in time.
“We hope to help shift the narratives of underrepresented communities in media, especially for the Black LGBTQ community and their allies,” Usher says. “With an increase in violence and murders of Black Trans women, LGBTQ youth suicides, and a decrease in LGBTQ acceptance, Neon comes at a time when it’s absolutely critical to showcase diverse, fair, and accurate representations of Black LGBTQ people within the media.”
Through the rest of February, Neon’s Black history series will release one video every Tuesday and Thursday.