Chroma Celebrates 2SLGBTQIA+ Black Icons for Black History Month

Chroma NB proudly featured black activists, artists, community pillars, educators and crucial pillars of 2SLGBTQIA+ society to highlight their immeasurable contributions to celebrate Black History Month and share information with our community about these noteworthy figures of history and present.

Chris Cochrane (Elle Noir, She/Her) is a trans black activist & public speaker who educates communities across the world about her lived experience of intersectionality . Working constantly to create spaces for QTBIPOC people and 2SLGBTIQIA+ youth, she works to ensure the longevity of these spaces/events. Cochrane is the Support Service Educator for The Youth Project. Former Vice Chair of Halifax Pride (2020-2022), she uses the platform to ensure equality for everyone while focusing on marginalized and racialized communities. Regarded as a local drag legend performing as Elle Noir, she been named winner of “The Best Halifax Drag Performer” consecutively for the last five years by “The Coast”

Cicely Belle Blain (they/them) grew up between London, the Netherlands and France. Descending from a long line of feminist educators, they formed a passion for justice at an early age. Cicely Belle founded Black Lives Matter Vancouver and has twice been listed as Vancouver’s 50 Most Powerful People among many other notable awards and mentions. In 2018 they founded Bakau Consulting, an inclusion and anti-racism consulting company that is based in Canada with a global/intersectional approach. A very important figure in many roles, they also are an educator at Simon Fraser University,  Ripple of Change Magazine Editorial Director and a published author of award nominated “Burning Sugar”. Truly an iconic, world changing modern day humanitarian!

Marsha P Johnson, (1945-1992) a gay libertarian, activist and self identified drag queen from New York City, was pivotal outspoken advocate for gay rights and a prominent figure in the Stonewall uprising of 1969. A founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, Johnson also co-founded the radical activist group Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, alongside close friend Sylvia Rivera. Touching so many 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, Marsha was an AIDS activist for Act Up, a model for artist Andy Warhol and performed in drag with the stage troupe Hot Peaches. Marsha died in 1992 and after 20 years, her case which was ruled a suicide initially, was reponed as a possible homicide. Marsha made positive changes in our world that continue to ripple through the 2SLGBTQIA+ generations.

Douglas Stewart is a gay rights activist and was the founding Executive Director of the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention. He works mainly within Black communities to provide awareness and support to issues around gay rights.

Douglas primarily works on building the capacity of smaller community-based not-for-profit organizations, providing a range of professional development services.

In 1984, he was a founding member of Zami, the first Black queer group in Toronto. He was one of the first people in Canada to speak out publicly against the exclusion and racism that queers of color faced from the overall queer community.

“History isn’t something you look back at and say it was inevitable. It happens because people make decisions that are sometimes very impulsive and of the moment, but those moments are cumulative realities.”

-Marsha P Johnson

Chroma: Pride, Inclusion, Equality Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides support for 2SLGBTQIA+ people in the Saint John Region. Chroma commits to advocating for and collaborating with our community, as well as providing 2SLGBTQIA+ education to all. We promote positive initiatives for the community and conduct research to highlight gaps in services and policy to encourage positive change.

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