2021 was such a wild year for me. In the spirit of transparency, it was one of the toughest years of my life. From occupational troubles (that led to my impromptu but voluntary leave. in other words – I quit w/o a clear backup plan), to break ups, to severe mental health struggles. But in all of that, I was able to do some amazing things in 2021. Let’s take a look at what I’ve been up to this year.
In late December 2020, I was looking for a podcast or YouTube channel that engaged the politics of RuPaul’s Drag Race. When I couldn’t find one, I decided to start my own with my creative partner, Alex Frazier, and Drag From The Left was born with the first episode dropping on January 4th.
We started on the Stereo App, and in just a few months transitioned to recording in an actual studio. The reception from our communities has been amazing, and it’s only the beginning.
February is Black History Month and my birthday month – it was definitely one to remember.
February 3rd: 30 Interesting Queer Black People (Sage & Maven)
February 10th: Drag From the Left: Avery Ware and Juanita Bind’em on the Importance of Knowing Your History (Culture Jock) – Read here!
February 25th: Queering The Movement – panelist (Sage & Maven) – Watch here!
March 25th: Discussing Desirability Politcs w/ OHIV Hotline – Watch here!
April 6th: Black Mental Health Matters: Addressing Suicide in African American Communities w/ Hegria Health (panelist) – Watch here!
May 8th:Announced Mx. Juneteenth: A Black & Queer Liberation Celebration! Mx. Juneteenth is my brain-child. I had the idea to throw a Juneteenth event that centered Blackness AND Queerness because living at that (with that) intersection is routinely unacknowledged and I wanted to show my communities that this holiday is just as much as ours as any other Black person.
I quickly put together a team and we got to work!
May 27th: Published an essay with INTO about the legacy of Tom of Finland – Read here!
This is also the month I accepted I was obsessed with hoop earrings.
With it being Pride month & the month of Mx. Juneteenth, June was busy!
June 1st: Suicide Risk & Prevention for LGBTQ+ folks w/ Hegria Health (panelist) TRIGGER WARNING: In depth discussion on suicide ideation, attempts, and death by suicide – Watch here!
June 10th: The Next 400: The Intersection of Black & LGBTQ+ Identities w/ Cleveland Public Library and 19 News – Watch here!
June 17th: Lecture on Black Queerness & Civil Rights w/ Cleveland Stonewall Democrats (guest speaker) – Watch here!
June 19th: Mx. Juneteenth took place & it was unbelievably LIT
In terms of events, July was pretty chill. Which I’m grateful for, after June I definitely needed a break. Unfortunately, that break came with a break-up so I decided to write about it here.
In August I was offered and accepted to be honored by Equality Ohio as one of their Advocates of the Year. Something I’ve still trying to wrap my mind around!
September 1st: Whose Pride Is It Anyway w/ The University of Akron (guest speaker)
Unfortunately, there is no recording of this talk. But the reception was amazing! It was an honor to speak at my alma mater.
September 6th: I started my Pateron! It was a huge leap of faith, but I wanted to move what I did in the classroom to a virtual setting where it is more accessible and engaging. Subscribe to The History You Won’t Learn in School today for as little as $1!
September 29th: Equality Ohio’s Allies and Advocates ceremony takes place in Columbus, Ohio!
October 6th: It was officially announced that I will be facilitating the new OPOC Adult Group at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
November 8th: Published an essay with INTO on Drag & Citation – Read here!
That’s a wrap for 2021! I am very grateful for the experiences I’ve had this year – the good and the bad. Here’s to a productive, fruitful, abundant 2022. I have some wonderful things on the horizon for the new year. If you or your organization would like to work together, I’d love that! Visit my ‘booking‘ page for more information. Cheers!