LGBT Black History Month Spotlight: The Organizations

In collaboration with Philly Black Pride, we celebrate Black History Month with a weekly spotlight on local LGBT African Americans who are moving and shaking things up. Today, five local organizations created by and for Philly queer people of color.

Members of Colours

Members of The Colours Organization doing outreach at a street festival.

The Colours Organization

Colours Organization, Inc. was established in 1991 in response to the lack of positive and progressive educational advocacy and support mechanisms for LGBT people of color in the Greater Philadelphia area. For the last 20 years, Colours has been dedicated to empowering and enhancing the self-esteem of LGBT people of color by serving as a resource center offering educational workshops and services. Colours offers free, confidential rapid HIV-testing and STD screenings, on the third floor of their office at 1207 Chestnut Street, in addition to diverse programming to help address social issues faced by the community.

Trans Masculine Advocacy Network (TMAN)

Founded in 2006 by Lonnie Grant, TMAN is a grassroots organization that dedicates itself to uplift people of color along the trans-masculine spectrum. TMAN provides extensive networking and referral services that address the unique and underrepresented vocational, educational, legal, social, familial as well as mental and general health care needs of its members through weekly gatherings, special events and directed activities. TMAN is still strong under the leadership of Christian Axavier Lovehall.

Supporters gather at an Elements event.

Supporters gather at an Elements Organization event.

The Elements Organization

Element’s mission is to create and sustain a safe space for LGBTQ womyn to connect and dialogue while increasing visibility, promoting holistic healing and addressing key issues within our communities that will move us toward a more just society. Elements envision building a group of empowered LGBTQ womyn of color who break the silence, become more consciously engaged in one another’s herstory and foster connections in order to become a network of resources and support. Elements also host an annual conference for LGBTQ Womyn of Color. It is the first of its kind in the Delaware Valley Region. Taking a bit of an organizational break in 2015, look for the Elements Organization very soon for when they spring out of hiding (Hint, hint!)

SimplyChristopher / Chris Hunter Entertainment

Simply Christopher is dedicated to hosting quality nightlife events for queer people of color in Philadelphia—something that’s sorely lacking in our community. Founder Chris Hunter is truly a leader of community mobilization. In the business for over 20 years, if Harper knows anything it’s how to throw a party. From First Fridays at Voyeur to organizing celebrity performances, Chris provides an unmatched experience to the Black Gay Nightlife of Philadelphia.

Members of the TK.

Members of the Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council.

Black Gay Men’s Leadership Council (BGMLC)

Founded in 2005, the mission of the BGMLC is to cultivate advocacy, education and community collaborations to empower Philadelphia’s diverse communities of black gay men by focusing on their social and political advancement and health and wellness needs, while developing local, regional and national leaders. The BGMLC is under the leadership of Jacinto Grant and Javonte Lee Williams.