BOSTON, Mass. — This month, the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC) released its first anthology publication in hopes of raising visibility to and understanding of the experiences of Black and Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) individuals of color. The anthology, entitled Shout It OUT: Coming Out Black and Brown, features 21 selections from LGBTQ-identified people of color nationwide. In the book, contributors reveal their personal journeys and struggles with understanding, embracing, and communicating their sexual and/or gender identity. An official book release party, featuring readings from some of the anthology contributors is scheduled for Sunday, April 15, 2012 from 2-5 p.m. at Club Café in Boston. The event is free and open to the public.
Offering an intimate and unique look into the “coming out” experience, Shout It OUT: Coming Out Black and Brown features poetry, narratives, letters and personal reflections. Pieces cover an array of thought provoking topics such as living in the Caribbean as a gay man, coming out as a lesbian Latina revolutionary, being condemned by the Black church, and searching for family acceptance and support.
“We’re in a time when visibility is a double-edged sword. As people of color we’re more visible in mainstream media, but we continue to hold ‘supporting positions’. As LGBTQ individuals we’re progressively more visible as well, however we’re used as comic relief. The call to action was not to wait for someone, anyone to highlight our stories, the call to action was to gather together and tell our individual and collective truths,” revealed Uriah Bell, Chair of the HBGC Board of Directors and Co-Editor of the anthology. “Shout it Out is our call to action. The 21 stories told in this book are meant to generate pride and show a different face both within and outside the gay and lesbian community. These stories are meant to give courage to the little Black and brown boys and girls that feel different, the grown men and women afraid to love candidly and openly. These are beautifully comical and painful stories told by and about a collection of beautiful people.”
The anthology is available for purchase ($15) on the organization’s website at www.hbgc-boston.org. All proceeds generated from the anthology will benefit HBGC programming and operational support. Located in Boston, HBGC works to inspire and empower Hispanic/Latino and Black LGBTQ individuals to improve their livelihood through activism, education, outreach and counseling. Since 2009, the organization has implemented programming in the areas of coming out support, HIV & STI prevention, civic engagement, spiritual growth, and community building.