In countries like England, where young Black boys - irregardless of sexuality - are disproportionately impacted by school exclusions, where the prison population is full of Black men and where mental health services for Black people are increasingly rare, how are we as queer Black people and queer people of colour acknowledging and showing solidarity with our presumably heterosexual Black brothers?
Cathy J. Cohen’s seminal essay “Punks, Bulldaggers and Welfare Queens” cautions us against a queer politics that does not include those whose sexuality may be different to ours. She writes, “My concern is centred on those individuals who consistently activate only one characteristic of their identity, or a single perspective of consciousness, to organise their politics, rejecting any recognition of the multiple and intersecting systems of power that largely dictate our life chances.”
And so my conversation today is with Ben Hurst, who is doing transformative work with men and boys around the country, helping them understand feminism, intersectionality and masculinity. We discuss our friendship as an example of coalition-building across sexual identities, embracing emotional literacy as Black men, and the patience and understanding required to show men and boys a different, positive version of masculinity.
Ben Hurst is the Head of Facilitation and Training at the Good Lad Initiative, an organisation teaching young men and boys about gender equality, feminism and intersectionality.
@_busybeingblack is the podcast exploring how we live in the fullness of our queer Black lives. Theory in the Flesh is made possible with funding from the British Podcast Awards Fund and Wellcome Trust. Find out more at: busybeingblack.com.