Seeing is believing
As a child, Janal Jordan never saw gay people who looked like him. As a result, he thought they simply didn't exist. He recalls, "I thought all gay people were white" (Jordan, 2018).
As an adult, Jordan has used the power of photographs to make Black queer love visible to all, including young people who--like his childhood self--are searching for affirmation of their own emerging identities. "As a visual journalist," he asserts, "I believe pictures can connect with people in a way that other forms of media cannot" (Jordan, 2018).
Jordan's photography is part of a larger movement to affirm African American LGBTQ+ identities and represent the specific experiences of being Black and LGBTQ+. These efforts have included coining the term same-gender loving, or SGL, as an alternative to gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer. SGL came into use in the 1990s and is used by some Black LGBTQ+ persons as a culturally affirming term that best describes their sexual identity.
Explore photographs and stories of Black same-sex couples as represented in Janal Jordan's work.
Jordan, Janal. (2018, June 21). Queer Love in Color. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/queer-love-in-color.html