SAGE celebrates Black queer excellence
Caitlin O’Halloran – Contributor
Every Friday of February, the Sexuality and Gender Equality Center will be holding an event with Black queer figures in celebration of Black History Month.
The SAGE Center began holding their celebratory events over a livestream on Friday Feb. 5.
On Friday Feb. 12, the SAGE Center held an event on their Instagram account celebrating “Black Queer Excellence” via livestream.
On the livestream, the person this week that SAGE focused on was Ericka Hart, who is a Black Queer Activist, as well as a sex educator, writer and model. She also does a lot to promote and support what she is standing for.
“When she was younger, unfortunately, her mother died of breast cancer,” said Aaron Morabito, SAGE Center graduate intern on the livestream, “and later on in her life when she was about 28 years old, she was also diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Hart’s work as an advocate for post-cancer body positivity is an aid to remind those who have gone through the same struggle as her and to remind others that “survivors can still be sexy.”
Morabito went on to note that after receiving treatment, undergoing surgeries and fighting, Hart and her platform became more well-known, and the activism work she does took off.
In the livestream, Hart’s hard work to shine light on the institutional racism and oppression that mostly affect queer people of color was recognized.
Hart currently is a professor at Colombia School of Social Work and activist and uses her platforms, like social media, to discuss issues regarding race, gender, sexuality, sex and much more.
Hart also co-hosts a decolonized podcast Hoodrat to Headwrap with her partner Ebony Donnley where they discuss situations ranging from current events to political issues to personal interests and experiences.
“Part of what we do at the SAGE center is kind of raising the voices and educating others about the LGBT community, there’s a lot of figures within the Black community that have been monumental in creating change in the work that they do for both the Black movement and LGBT movements,” said Morabito in an interview.
Last week, Morabito hosted their livestream and dedicated it to Barbara Smith who is a black lesbian who has influenced black feminism in America and is a scholar, author, publisher, professor and critic as well as an activist.
The SAGE Center has hosted other events in the past for SCSU students such as giveaways, Trans-ally workshops and food drives.
They have helped and showed support by hosting a variety of events such as Transgender Remembrance Day, Intersex Awareness Day, Pronoun Day, Women’s Day, Worlds Aids Day and much more.
“We definitely try to include as many people as possible,” said communications disorder major
, Sam Gontarz, a freshman.
Gontarz emphasized the importance of the SAGE Center trying to make sure that students understand they are supported and that there are resources available for them.
“We wanted to spread awareness and educate some people about important people,” said Morabito on why they chose Black Queer figures to focus on throughout the duration of Black History Month.
The SAGE Center’s website offers a variety of easily accessible resources for students such as LGBTQ research, holistic health and media as well as identity resources and support and peer-led groups. They also have a live chat available to students that you can find in their Instagram bio that students can use to reach out to a member from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday.
The SAGE Center will be hosting two more events throughout the month of February that you can find on their Instagram, celebrating and honoring Black Queers who have had a major and positive impact on our society.
Ericka no longer a professor at Colombia. She was pushed out of the institution due to racism and the transphobia of staff. The university also failed to back Ericka against a racist and transphobic student. There is much more about this situation on Ericka’s Instagram page. There is also a link on their Instagram to a petition. I urge everyone to sign and show their report for Ericka. There is no room for this type of treatment and what is especially horrifying is that it is even happening in the world of social work where inclusion and human decency are fundamental. Please be a fellow human and show your support!