Deputy Chief of Staff of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
The White House
Serving in President Obama’s administration has given me the opportunity to highlight key issues in the Black LGBT community. Working alongside community leaders, the Office of Public Engagement launched an annual young leaders briefing at the White House that focuses on systemic issues and federal policy that directly affects the Black LGBT community.
Working at the White House, I serve as a bridge between the government and the communities I represent. Black LGBT leaders are reminders to both the LGBT rights and racial justice movements of the need to embrace intersectionality and push both communities toward a more inclusive social justice lens. These leaders challenge landmark justice movements to evaluate the ways in which racism, sexism, and homophobia have played out historically while breaking down the idea that identity can be neatly packaged by checking a single box.
Black LGBT leaders hold a unique vantage point and experience. As not only an embodiment and reminder of the connectedness between movements (LGBT, women’s rights, racial justice), Black LGBT emerging leaders remind us that their experiences are not universal, but dependent on a myriad of social, political, cultural, and economic factors. As someone who sits at this intersection and holds these identities proudly, it is my hope to mentor the next generation of emerging leaders to step into leadership and harness their full potential.