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Friday, April 19, 2019

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Black Like Us: A conversation on the Black LGBTQ experience


Michael Arceneaux serves as the face for Black Like Us, a conversation about the LGBTQ experience in the Black community held by the Graduate College of Social Work. l Courtesy of Graduate College of Social Work

Author Michael Arceneaux will be visiting the Student Center Theater on Feb. 6 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Black Like Us, an event put on by the Graduate College of Social Work addressing the Black LGBTQ+ experience with religion and church.

Black Like Us began in 2017 when then co-chair of Mayor Sylvester Turner’s LGBTQ Advisory Board Harrison Guy “approached the GCSW about partnering on an event with the goal of creating a space for a community-wide conversation on the LGBTQ experience within the Black community,” said Graduate College of Social Work Director of Communications Connease Warren.

The GCSW wants to put on the event to keep with their vision of achieving social, racial, economic and political justice, Warren said.

Following the positive response to their first event in February 2018, the GCSW decided to host the Black Like Us event annually during Black History Month. This year is special not only because the event is focused on Black Like Us but also because it is a part of the GCSW 50th anniversary. The theme of this anniversary is “moving social justice FORWARD.”

Since the publication of his New York Times bestseller “I Can’t Date Jesus” in July of 2018, Houston native Arceneaux has created buzz within the LGBTQ community. The book is a collection of essays discussing what it’s like to grow up in a world that is constantly trying to diminish LGBTQ individuals’ humanity.  

“The themes he explores in his work serve as a timely and insightful way to engage the community for the discussion,” Warren said.

In addition to hearing from Arceneaux, the event will be opened up for audience participation and questions.

“I want people to have a safe place to reconcile their past triumphs and disappointments with the church as Black LGBTQ people,” Guy said. “It is my hope that speaking truth will lead us back to hope as it relates to faith.”

Black Like Us is open to the public, and admission is free. You are able to get tickets here or at uh.edu/socialwork. 

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