Q/T Black Creators Are the Blueprint. Culture, music and aesthetics influence queer scenes, film and nightlife around the world. While the world loves Black culture, we know the fight for Black liberation and justice for our people is a daily struggle. Black creatives are visionaries who build spaces that provide Black communities an escape, a community and an opportunity to come into ourselves – our style, our sexuality and our values – in loving and supportive spaces.
In an anti-Black world, Q/T Black creators are building transformative spaces that celebrate our style, our cultures and communities – honouring our resilience, embracing our softness and allowing Black folks to explore kink, sexuality and connection in deep and meaningful ways.
Connected For The Culture brings an international line-up of Q/T Black creators together to talk about event curation, how they’ve continued organizing virtual spaces through the pandemic, and what queer event organizing looks like as the #BlackLivesMatter movement brings our struggles to the forefront in so many communities.
Now more than ever we need to get connected and stay connected for the culture!
- Jewel The Jem – Jewel The Gem Productions
- Ryann Holmes – bklyn boihood collective
- smallWorld Collective
- Fame Neal – Lezcronymz
- Be Steadwell
- Marisa Grant – Strapped.to
Jewel The Jem
Born and raised in Brooklyn, East New York by a Haitian single Mother, Jewel Cadet is an Entertainer, Healer, Speaker, Educator & Entrepreneur. She is an unapologetic Black Queer abolitionist and freedom fighting Femme for Black lives. A Social Justice Organizer for the rights of Black women, girls, femmes and for the transgender and gender non-conforming community. She owns an event planning business, Jewel The Gem Productions, that hosts her own talk show and produces community spaces that center Black joy, restoration and healing. She has been recognized from BET to NYU for her dynamic work as a Community Organizer. As a multi-awarded speaker and educator who values the healing that comes with being vulnerable to her experiences as an Intimate Queer Partner Violence Survivor, Jewel’s life’s mission is to amplify the voices of those who are silenced and support them on their journey to resilience.
Ryann has worked and lived in Brooklyn since 2006. Ryann’s passion is to create love and space that uplifts and transforms. Over the last 15 years, Ryann has created and produced music festivals, live shows, conferences, film events has happened in New York, Atlanta, Toronto. In 2009 Ryann founded the bklyn boihood collective. Now celebrating a decade of events, the collective has grown into a community staple. Ryann is also the co-founder of Lucid Haus, an indie music label based in Brooklyn. By creating spaces like the Soul of BK festival, Ryann has been able to empower Black businesses, queer and trans artists and employing local youth. While producing events and spaces, Ryann has also worked in the film industry, serving as talent coordinator for films from artists like Stacey Ann Chin, Yin Quan and Margaret Cho. Ryann was the music supervisor for the groundbreaking web series 195 Lewis. In 2016, Ryann was voted one of Brooklyn Magazine’s top 100 cultural innovators and in 2019 was featured in the New York Times article, “The Joy of Queer Parties”. In June, Ryann was awarded the 2019 Community Leadership Award from the Brooklyn Pride Center.
smallWORLD Collective is an organization whose mission is to produce cultural, artistic, and informative programming, promote sex and body positivity, and uplift Black Queer Women, TGNC people, and other marginalized communities, through intentionally curated events, art, fashion, grassroots media, and activism. Based in Chicago, Illinois sWC collaborates with artists, entrepreneurs, and organizations from around the city and worldwide.
Fame Neal (she/her), a proud Black, Queer, Femme, is the CEO of Lezcronymz an LGBTQ, Womxn’s media and event production company based in Philadelphia, PA, Host of Edible Podcast and Sex & Music LIVE, founder of EdibleWordz.com and a proud mom.
After spending two years building the clothing brand Lezcronymz and being on the Philadelphia “Gay Scene” she recognized a need for more queer, black and brown spaces that catered to niche communities. Bringing with her a background in Coorporate Event Planning she began coordinating LGBTQ Events for Queer Womxn of Color taking on major coorporate sponsors.
Fame began utilizing the Lezcronymz platform to begin advocacy efforts for Queer, Black and Brown event visibility on popular travel websites, including UWishunu and Visit Philly, which led to increased corporate accountability for their failure to represent black and brown gay events.
In 2018, the event series Color Scheme was born. The event series seeks to intentionally utilize POC-owned spaces for events in efforts to reinvest in marginalized small businesses. In 2020, she began connecting with Philadelphia-area sex workers rights organizers to help bring attention to advocacy and protection efforts.
Through media coverage and pro-bono marketing & event production services, Lezcronymz continues to create spaces for the Black, Queer, & Kink Communities.
Be Steadwell is a musician, filmmaker, storyteller from Washington DC. In her live performances, she utilizes looping, vocal layering and beat boxing to compose her songs on stage. Be’s original music features earnest lyricism, and affirming LGBTQ content. In 2020, Be released her newest album, Succulent. During the pandemic, you can find Be on her Patreon channel- Patreon.com/besteadwell. Be’s goal as a musician is to make other black girls, queers, introverts and generally marginalized weirdos feel seen and loved.
If you ever wanted to make something happen Marisa is the person to do it! Marisa started the party STRAPPED with no guidance; just drive and ambition. They wanted to make the party of their dreams come to life. This Queer event producer has been creating events and workshops for the past 3 years with great success. Their goal is to always make spaces inclusive to queer people of colour and is willing to do the necessary work to create that.