Jamal Jordan is bringing more representation to queer couples of color!
The journalist recently published a New York Times article in the Pride section titled "Queer Love in Color," which highlights Black and brown same-sex couples that he says he didn't see growing up. Not only was it catharsis for his frustration over the lack of media representation of queer Black people, but it prompted dozens of messages from LGBTQ couples of color around the world. Many people shared photos of their families with him, and now he's on a journey to document underrepresented love stories, according to NBC News.
“People really wanted to let me and the world know that a love like theirs exists,” Jordan told reporters. “I started to wonder what would happen if every little queer kid knew early on Black queer people can find love and could say to themselves, ‘That could be me.’”
For his photo book, also titled “Queer Love in Color,” Jordan traveled to Canada, South Africa, and across the United States to interview multiple couples, including two transgender people he met in Cape Town: Tee and Sinoxolo.
According to NBC News, Jordan shares the story of Tee, who was kicked out of his home after coming out as transgender, and how he met his girlfriend Sinoxolo through activism work in 2018.
“I never thought a person like her, so beautiful and so intelligent, could ever look my way,” Tee shared in the book. After finally working up the courage to talk to Sinoxolo, he said, she revealed she “felt like [they] should’ve done this a long time ago.”
The journalist also recognized that some readers grew up without positive examples of queer joy and love, hence why he featured an older couple in the book.
“Mike and Phil are two Black men, both in their 70s, who met in Detroit, at church, on Easter Sunday in 1967,” he explained. “When photographing them, they asked me to be sure to mention that they’ve spent every night together for over 40 years.” Jordan said he hopes couples like Mike and Phil will provide young readers a visual for their future love lives.
“Straight kids have references to help them visualize a romantic future that they get from media or even their grandparents," he said. "Where do young queer people, especially those of color, turn to when media seems to focus on our trauma?”
Jordan also wants “Queer Love in Color” to remind the larger LGBTQ community to be softer with one another.
“We know we’ve come so far as an LGBTQ community regarding our safety, rights and resources,” he said. “But many of the older people I met shared with me that my generation actually missed out on the connected experience of their generation and how they created and found community out of necessity. While we enjoy the benefits of the work our elders did before us, I hope the LGBTQ community will remember we’re still all in this together and to be kinder with one another.”
To read more about some of the people Jordan interacted with, click here.
Photo: Getty Images