Javier Pagan started his career with the Boston Police Department in 1995 after graduating from Suffolk University in 1993. He is the GLBT Liaison Community Service Officer and a local hero from his feats during the Boston marathon Bombing. He is married to Pedro Velazquez. He talks about his fear of being identified as gay when he was in Puerto Rico even though he always knew he was gay.
Sheryl Scott attended Immaculate Conception High School, the premier all-girls Catholic school in Kingston, Jamaica and St. Barnabas High School in NY. She struggled with her lesbian identity and came out at age thirty, which being in her fifty's, she described her self -acceptance like living all over again. She does social work in New York City, and spends her available time creating art. She shares coming out at a late age which she describes feel like almost living all over again.
Giftson Joseph has been performing since the age of 7 and is studying performance art at Emerson College. He is member of True Colors Out Youth Theater and has performed in an off-Broadway production of Hair. He talks about his insecurities in high school and finding a label that supports his identity.
Jacqueline Mason grew up in a Barbadian household in Boston. Her day-job she a hospital ambassador and the face featured in its campaign. Her night-job as a DJ started over 15 years ago by mixing in her house with an old turntable and cassette player which later she began playing at local house parties, cookouts, corporate functions and becoming the resident DJ for several popular nightclubs in the Boston metro area. She was recently married to her long-term girlfriend. She shares being invisible in Barbados and feeling liberated in the US.
Louie Fonseca-Ortiz implements programs that honor and meet the needs of young black and Latino gay men. He produced the documentary, The Gran Varones, an oral history of Latino gay and queer men living in Philadelphia. He is the 2015 winner of the Hispanic Choice Awards Creative Artist of the Year. He talks the strong hold the Catholic fate has on many Puerto Ricans that causes them to feel a sense of disconnect between their religious beliefs and accepting their LGBTQ identity.
Eva Simone is a self-proclaimed LGBTQ+ activist, performance artist, community organizer, and entertainment connoisseur. Born out of a personal need, she is venturing to become a lingerie designer to cater to unique needs of trans-women like herself offering ease and comfort, confidence, and grace for the expanding definitions of female. She talks about being free in Toronto.
Toyka Lopez grew up in a non-accepting community and family members in Barbados that forced him to seek asylum in Toronto. He has always been supported by his mother, which developed his sense of identity at a young age. Since migrating to Toronto, he began his transition, and his experience has been positive as he finds that his new space does not have an issue with his identification as a trans man.
Darrell Johnson attended Howard University. He collaborates with several LGBTQ organizations as their merchandiser and graphic design consultant. He organizes B.R.U. H.S., a group aimed at promoting self-published SGL (Same Gender Loving) men of color with monthly events at Martin Luther King. He talks about his masculine privilege.
Olubode Shawn Brown is the facilitator of The Essential Journey. He is a lawyer and a transformational guide. He is the founder of BLOOM, a lifestyle brand that celebrates spirituality, fun, creativity, inclusiveness and community. He shares his experience growing up in Jamaica, and his first time with a boy.
Xavier Brown worked at as a food and beverage server at The Grand Marriott Resort and The Royal Beach in St. Kitts & Nevis before seeking asylum in Toronto. He has dabbled in modeling and fashion and works at the retail shop Frank and Oak. He lives with his Jamaican boyfriend. He talks about what he has gained being in Toronto because he is free to live his gay life openly.
Timothy Nicholas Tate attended Mannings High School and worked in the tourism industry in Jamaica at The Grand Palladium hotel before seeking asylum in Boston, MA. He hopes to be a successful in the managerial field at a respected company and sharing his life a future partner. He shares not having to be fearful of his gay identity living in Boston.
Patrick De Castro grew up in Queens,NY and Port-au-Prince , Haiti. He attended a private French school in Manhattan and later St. John’s College. During a year in college , he studied in Florence, Italy. His paintings explore his Haitian identity and sexuality. He shares his view on living in a liberal accepting community in Maimi, FL.
Brian Edwards learned to play several musical instruments at an earlyage. He his performed throughout the Caribbean before being awarded a scholardhip to study music at Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. He shares his expereince of falling in love with his boyhood best friend, and their growth as adult.
Sobourney Barnes' mother is the Bahamas and has family living on the island where she was raise with interest to trace her roots. She works with ArtServe and was instumental in planning and participating the Caribbean LGBTQ Pride in Fort Lauderdale since 2016.
Gary Hall aka Shequida attended Juilliard. He has been the USA Network's spokesperson for Latin America. From 1997 to 1998 he played Wendi Mercury on the daytime television show One Life to Live. He starred in Daron Hagen's Vera of Las Vegas for its world premiere in 2003. His Off-Broadway show, Opera for Dummies, garnered a positive review in The Boston Phoenix, and was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. In 2008, Shequida appeared on the TV reality competition America's Got Talent, getting into the Top 40 for the third season. Since 2013, he has headlined in a summer show in Cherry Grove, New York. He talks about the NYC being more liberal than Jamaica, but homophobia still exists everywhere.
Leighton grew up in a firm Christian Chinese-Jamaican holdhold, with parents that attempted to have him sexual orientation converted through therapy. He shares his freedom on living an authentic life in Toronto.
Along with being a drag artist, Joseph Long aka Kitty Sharrod is also an actor and stage manage. He was the host/announcer at the Second Annual Caribbean LGBTQ Pride Festival in Fort Lauderdale and participates regularly in events in his community. He talks about his mother finding out he is gay, her acceptance and fear, and his exploration of drag.
Larry Chang is the first person to come out publicly as gay in Jamaica and the Caribbean in 1978. He is a founding member of J-FLAG (Jamaica's LGBT organization), and previously organized the first gay group in Jamaica, the Gay Freedom Movement (GFM) in 1978. Heistheauthorofnewseveralagespiritualliteratures. HeshareshishistoryandofferssupporttotheLGBTQCaribbeancommunity.
Ricky Martin began his career at age twelve with the all-boy pop group Menudo. He released several Spanish-language solo albums throughout the 1990s. He also acted on stage and on TV in Mexico, becoming a modest star in the country. In early 1999, after releasing several albums in Spanish, released "Livin' la Vida Loca" which helped him obtain enormous success worldwide, and is generally seen as the song that began the Latin pop explosion of 1999, and made the transition easier for other Spanish-speaking artists to move into the English-speaking market.
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