New York City braces for heat and humidity
My colleague Derrick Bryson Taylor has spoken to some of them. Here are two of their stories:
Lee soulja: In the late 1970s and early 1980s, you could find Mr. Soulja working on the dance floor at some of New York City’s exclusive clubs including Studio 54 and Paradise Garage.
Originally from the Bronx who now lives in Harlem, Mr. Soulja, 55, is a visual artist and performer who has performed on Broadway as well as at Lincoln Center and the Apollo Theater. After the death of a close friend of AIDS in the early 1990s, Mr. Soulja became an HIV and AIDS activist, volunteering with community organizations to connect with troubled LGBTQ youth. He then became a promoter and creator of events.
In 2009, Mr. Soulja established the NYC Center for Black Pride, which took over Black Pride, an annual event that will run this year from August 19-23. He said he created it “to give more visibility to LGBT people of color. , saying we have a voice, we have contributed to the history and culture of this country.
[Read more trailblazers’ stories.]
Brenda Holder: Ms. Holder, whose stage name is Brenda Continental, made her ballroom debut in New York City in the early 1980s, when she was 15. She was mentored by Paris Dupree and other ball legends.
Ms. Holder, 54, born in Guyana, began her transition in 1989, after four years in the military. When she was growing up and during her transition, there were no spaces or centers dedicated to black and brown LGBTQ people in New York City, she said.
Now living in Brooklyn, Ms Holder said she speaks to anyone in need, especially those who want to make the transition. “The work I do, I don’t do it for accolades,” she said. “I do it because I love my community. I believe in my community. So why not help my community present the best version of itself, because no one else will. “
It’s Monday – support your communities.