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Now in its fourth year, the 101 list honors leaders, mavericks, and innovators in the Black gay and queer community who achieved unprecedented cultural heights, set historic precedents, and who use their platforms to break through glass ceilings to make indelible contributions in their respective roles, professions, and areas of expertise. Additionally, the 2023 edition of Native Son will partner with The Cut for a second year.
Created by Founder Emil Wilbekin, Native Son’s mission is to “harness the collective power of Black gay/queer men with the goal of ensuring that our voices, visibility, and lived experiences are elevated in all of the communities in which we exist…”
Starting in 2020 in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and global protests against anti-Black police brutality, the Native Son 101 List originated as a way to celebrate Black gay and queer men of every age and honor individuals in the community who had done impactful work throughout the year.
“2023 has been a year of great contrasts. There have been unprecedented attacks against the LGBTQ+ community with over 500 anti-queer legislations and simultaneous assaults against Black history and culture,” said Wilbekin.
“And still, Black gay and queer men have ascended making history in politics, shifting narratives in media, TV, and film, and holding critical positions of power in business and technology. Living at the intersection of our Blackness and our queerness can be both challenging and triumphant.”
“Meet the rebels and the warriors in our community who are doing the good work to push past any roadblocks – those who are creating opportunities, acting as agents of change and who are advocates for everyone to be able to stand loud and proud in their truth. This year’s 101 List is evidence of our resilience, innovation, and bravery.”
Spanning across industries, this year’s honorees include an impressive spectrum of activists, artists, entrepreneurs, fashion designers, politicians, stylists, directors, spiritual leaders, authors, musicians, and media personalities who are the change agents elevating and amplifying the voice and visibility of the Black gay and queer community while achieving global impact.
The esteemed list includes the likes of Emmy award-winning actor Colman Domingo, singer-songwriter Durand Bernarr, and CFDA’s first award-winning stylist and image architect Law Roach. Other honorees include three-time Tony award-winning director George C. Wolfe, comic Dewayne Perkins, journalist Don Lemon, actor Nicco Annan, and television host Wayne Brady.
Gayes, we are also thrilled to share Gaye Magazine’s very own Founders Dominic Gaye & Editor-in-Chief K. Keith for making the list this year!
The list is illustrated by CJ Robinson who created the original artwork of each person. Check out the full Native Son 101 List for 2023 and gallery here.