June is Pride Month and we’re celebrating with everything we’ve got, as the contributions of the queer community are endless across society.
We especially owe a debt of thanks to Black LGBTQ+ folks, who’ve worked tirelessly to educate the ignorant and to see queer stories represented throughout media. Per usual, people of color are a huge reason this country has made significant strides in its journey to truly become a place where all are free. Diversity and equal representation are two stepping stones to respect and acceptance.
That said, we thought we’d highlight 5 Black Pride moments in entertainment we’re sure the world will always remember. Check those out below.
Starring Mahershala Ali, Trevante Rhodes (pictured above), Andre Holland, and more, Moonlight told the inspiring (and at times, heartbreaking) story of a young Black boy on his journey to manhood. Screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCranney went on to win an Oscar for the intimate story and said during his acceptance speech… “This goes out to all those Black and brown boys and girls and non-gender conforming who don’t see themselves… we are trying to show you, you and us.”
Back in 2014, the Orange Is The New Black actress made history as the first transgender person to cover Time magazine. In the issue, Cox talked about a “tipping point” in our nation’s history where transgender folks were concerned, violence against the trans community, and giving the trans community the respect of simply listening.
“Some folks, they just don’t understand. And they need to get to know us as human beings,” she told the publication. “Others are just going to be opposed to us forever. But I do believe in the humanity of people and in people’s capacity to love and to change.”
Pose was also a huge moment, as the hit series employed the largest trans cast in television history, including many trans women of color. Pose follows New York City’s Black and Latino ballroom culture in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the beginnings of the HIV/Aids epidemic that swept the nation and how that affected the queer community.
For his role as Pray Tell in Pose, star Billy Porter won two Emmy awards. In 2019, he made history as the first openly gay Black man to accept the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He won again in 2020.
Last, but certainly not least, we have to give a huge shoutout to Empire, as the hit series kept it real in its portrayal of Black gay men and the disdain they face from Hip-Hop and homophobic communities at large. One main storyline was Jamal Lyon’s strained relationship with father Lucious Lyon, due to Jamal’s sexuality. While Jussie Smollett is no longer apart of the series, his contributions will never be forgotten.