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Native Son Announces Landmark Partnership with Q. Digital For the Launch of A New Native Son Channel on Queerty

TV & Film| Entertainment

(Source: Native Son)

Native Son – the leading organization dedicated to championing and empowering Black gay and queer men celebrated Black Queer Excellence with its annual awards ceremony and gala hosted by journalist and anchor Don Lemon.

Held last night at the iconic IAC Building (designed by architect Frank Gehry) in New York City, the 2024 Native Son Awards gathered over 300 guests for an unforgettable evening in support of the organization’s mission and to honor an impressive collective of leaders, mavericks and change agents who are rewriting narratives and shifting the Black queer voice and how they show up in the world.

Following a star-studded red carpet and chic and festive cocktail reception, Native Son founder Emil Wilbekin opened the ceremony with heartfelt remarks that highlighted the importance and purpose of Native Son before introducing the evening’s host - renowned journalist and anchor Don Lemon, who was also part of the event’s inaugural class of recipients in 2016 further galvanized attendees with his opening remarks. 

(Source: Native Son)

The Awards ceremony portion of the evening recognized this year’s illustrious group of honorees including: two-time Tony Award winning choreographer, director, dancer and writer Bill T. Jones; Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, and two-time Tony Award nominated multi-hyphenate Jeremy Pope; internationally renowned stylist and style architect to megastars such as Zendaya and Celine Dion, Law Roach; PR and Communications trailblazer and Founder and CEO of The Chamber Group Chris Chambers; New York Times best-selling author, TV and film producer and political commentator Keith Boykin; and Activist, organizer, and CEO of TruEvolution (a nonprofit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ Justice & HIV health equity) Gabriel Maldonado.

Presenters for the evening included: Darnell L. Moore (Presenterfor Bill T. Jones); Rashad Robinson (Presenter for Keith Boykin); Isolde Brielmaier (Presenter for Chris Chambers); D'Ontace Keyes (Presenter for Gabriel Maldonado); Nicholas Ashe (Presenter for Jeremy Pope) and LaQuan Smith (Presenter for Law Roach).

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

The big news of the night came from Wilbekin who announced that Native Son has

partnered with Q.Digital, the #1 Comscore Ranked LGBTQ+ media company, to launch the

Native Son Channel set to premiere this summer on Q.Digital’s immensely popular LGBTQ+

culture and entertainment site, Queerty. The innovative new partnership signals a major

expansion for Native Son and will extend the company’s influence as the preeminent platform for the Black gay and queer voice.

With the launch of the Queerty Native Son Channel, the organization’s mission will heavily inform and be interwoven throughout the channel’s content which will include original programming intersecting politics, lifestyle, culture and entertainment to center the Black gay and queer experience.

Under the partnership, Queerty will launch the new content channel supported by social

promotion and a new Queerty Native Son email newsletter. Native Son’s Founder Emil

Wilbekin – who is also a renowned journalist and media guru - will lead content creation for the channel alongside Queerty’s Editorial team.

Q.Digital will lead sales efforts for the Native Son channel, and will partner closely with Native Son on tentpole programming including its signature event - The Native Son Awards. The alliance underscores Q.Digital’s ongoing commitment to centering underrepresented queer, trans, and BIPOC voices across its five popular platforms - Queerty, LGBTQ Nation, GayCities, Into and Outsports.

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

(Source: Native Son)

Additionally, the evening featured a rousing performance from dynamic singer-songwriter

serpentwithfeet, as well as a special auction experience with a beautifully designed custom

cabinet provided by well-known Brooklyn-based sculptor Damien Davis.

In this critical election year, the Awards ceremony program also included social impact moments throughout featuring former honorees and thought leaders speaking to the issues prevalent to the Black queer community - from voter registration to book banning to HIV criminalization.

These social impact moments served to underscore Native Son’s mission to empower its community, giving the microphone to activists, and addressing and advocating for the issues most significant for Black gay/queer men. Speakers included Rashad Robinson (President, Color of Change). George M. Johnson (Award-Winning Writer, Author, and Activist) and Rashad Burgess (Vice President, Advancing Health Equity, Gilead Sciences).

The 2024 Native Son Awards culminated with an epic afterparty to the sounds of DJ Bill


During the month of Pride, which will also mark the 55th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the Native Son Awards stands as pinnacle of the Native Son movement, community, and platform. It is a safe space, resource, and a megaphone amplifying the voices of this often-marginalized community.

The Native Son Awards are part of a larger, grassroots, multifaceted initiative throughout the year, The Native Son Awards are part of a larger, grassroots, multifaceted initiative which include empowerment workshop, panel conversations, networking events, influencer dinners, and content creation—all with the mission of inspiring, empowering, and connecting Black gay and queer men who are often misrepresented or overlooked.

The 2024 Native Son Gala Co-Chairs are Kyle Hagler and Darnell L. Moore. The Native Son Awards 2024 is presented by Cadillac and Gilead Sciences.


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