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.

Featured Content

Explore photographs and stories of Black same-sex couples as represented in Janal Jordan's work.

Queer Love in Color


Jordan, Janal. (2018, June 21). Queer Love in Color. New York Times.

Gender Identity Gender identity icon Our core sense of who we are as a man, a woman, a mixture of both, or neither.

Gender Expression Gender expression icon How we show up in the world through choices like clothing, hair style, mannerisms or tone of voice.

Attraction attraction icon How we feel toward others sexually, romantically and/or emotionally.

Biological Sex Biological sex icon Physical attributes such as reproductive organs and genitalia, chromosomes, genes and hormone levels.

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