“Queer Caribbeans of NYC/ Stonewall 50,” a multi-media online exhibition providing an historical retrospective of Caribbean-American LGBTQ activism, is online at jcal.org/queercaribbeans through September 7.
The exhibition is an extensive repository of photographs, posters, portraits, and interviews with respected Caribbean LGBTQ activists including Dominique Jackson, a star of “Pose,” Colin Robinson, a poet who founded and directs the Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation (CAISO), Kim Watson, co-founder of Community Kinship Life (CK Life), Tina Arniotis, founder of Chutney Pride, and Mohamed Q. Amin, founder and executive director of the Caribbean Equality Project (CEP).
The project, a year-long endeavor curated by Amin and Kadeem Robinson, also of CEP, puts LGBTQ activism into the larger context of Caribbean-American history, emphasizing that such activism has always been part of that bigger story.
The current exhibition is the result of a partnership between CEP, a Queens-based group that works to empower the marginalized voices of LGBTQ people of Caribbean origin and descent, and the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), a multidisciplinary arts center in Southeast Queens that has provided quality visual, performing, and literary arts since 1972.
The exhibition debuted last year as part of the Stonewall 50 celebrations at the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.
“‘Queer Caribbeans of NYC’ not only speaks to our inclusive values at JCAL but to our confidence that even online-only, we can proudly stand with the LGBTQ+ community in Queens and amplify their stories and their history,” Courtney Ffrench, JCAL’s interim artistic director said in a written statement.
“Caribbean Drag: We Have Always Been Queer,” another project of CEP that profiles 18 drag artists of Caribbean origin and descent, written by Ryan Persadie, was published August 13 in Gay City News.