In celebration of the diversity and accomplishments that have taken place in the LGBQTIA community amidst so much historical adversity and discrimination, the Two Jess(es) have the extreme privilege of sitting down with one of the most thought-provoking journalists working today. Hari Ziyad, author of Black Boy Out of Time, candidly shares their experience of growing up Black and queer in America—and in a blended family as one of nineteen children. In BLACK BOY OUT OF TIME, Hari Ziyad recalls their childhood with a Hindu Hare Krsna mother and a Muslim father in Cleveland, Ohio, and navigating the equally complex path toward finding their true self in New York City. Exploring childhood, gender, race, and the trust that is built, broken, and repaired through generations, Ziyad investigates what it means to live beyond the limited narratives Black children are given and challenges the irreconcilable binaries that restrict them.
This is a conversation that really digs into Hari's experience as a young, queer, Black, non-binary human who is brave enough to share their stories and how they show up in the world authentically in order to honor their past, present and future in a way that advocates, educates and celebrates.
Hari Ziyad is a screenwriter, the bestselling author of Black Boy Out of Time (Little A, 2021) and the Editor-in-Chief of RaceBaitr. They received their BFA from New York University, where they concentrated in Film and Television and Psychology. Their work is informed by their passion for storytelling, and wrestling with identity as a Cleveland, Ohio-born Black, non-binary child of Muslim and Hindu parents.
They are a 2021 Lambda Literary Fellow, and their writing has been featured in Gawker, Out, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Ebony, Mic, Paste Magazine, AFROPUNK, in the peer-reviewed academic journal Critical Ethnic Studies, and in the anthology co–edited by Michael Dumas, Ashley Woodson and Carl Grant entitled The Future is Black: Afropessimism, Fugitivity and Radical Hope in Education, among other publications.