Miami Community Leaders For Nike's BeTrue Collection
We’re highlighting LGBTQIA+ voices from the city of Miami alongside the launch of Nike’s BeTrue Collection. Proceeds from this collection will benefit local and national charities selected by our featured community leaders in Miami. Shop the Nike BeTrue Collection on Monday, June 22nd at UNKNWN.
Le Poodle: Introducing physician assistant, doctoral graduate of medical sciences, singer-songwriter, producer, visual artist, and creative director Le Poodle.
I’m a Miami artist and healthcare provider advocating for marginalized communities in Miami. The creative scene and culture here would not be what it is without the black and queer community. Period.
The community here is unique as many folx share history stemming from places with a colonialist mentality that perpetuates hate. This ability to relate upbringing in a “maschista” culture is important in the sense of solidarity we have here. I stand in support with those who have suffered and have strained or nonexistent family relationships due to their identification.
[The charity] I would like to [partner with is] the Homeless Black Trans Women Fund because these are one of our most vulnerable and marginalized people. There are little to no resources for them. We will not be free until black trans women are free.”
Queef Latina: Self-described as the “Housewife of the Future” Queef Latina was named Miami’s Best Drag Performer by the Miami New Times and is the creator of South Florida’s biggest queer festival WIGWOOD.
“My perspective on Miami's LGBTQIA+ community is that its diversity is its strength. When I began gaining notoriety for my drag, I realized the importance of being a voice for Miami's LGBTQIA+ community. It was then that I started WIGWOOD with friend and mentor Adam Gersten. Since then, we have been advocating for safe queer spaces in Miami and have seen many other venues and events follow suit.
Something that has been a positive experience to me has been the support I have received for my drag sewing classes. My sewing classes have been a huge hit and I find it incredibly gratifying when I see a student beam from excitement when they finish a sewing project.
The charity organization which I will be partnering with is the Unity Coalition / Coalición Unida. Founded in 2002, the Unity Coalition is a local nonprofit organization focused on advancing equality and fairness for the latinx LGBTQIA+ community through education, leadership, and awareness. They also organize educational events throughout the year such as Orgullo and TransArt festival, which are integral to the future of our LGBTQIA+ community of Miami.”
José Atencio: Next we introduce José Atencio who’s a Miami-based business owner, event producer, the founder of West Kendall Zine Fest, and the founder of Wynwood Pride.
“Miami’s LGBTQIA+ community has often had its strong community roots and queer movement overlooked, solely being cast as a nightlife party driven community. There was a big disconnect between the Pride celebrations in Miami which happen in April and the national platform of Pride events in June. I found this to be a unique opportunity to finally bring emerging queer talent, strong allies and organizations addressing queer youth, health and justice to the the forefront during national pride month.
[My organization] Wynwood Pride went digital to benefit organizations working in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Using four Twitch channels that served as digital stages, Instagram stories and Zoom, Wynwood Pride 2020 has raised nearly $19,000 to date for these organizations. Wynwood Pride is working to once again bring it’s 48-hours of programming to the global internet audience before Pride month is over. We hope to once again re-engage and motivate viewers to donate to these important organizations that are paving the way for justice reform in our systems.
Miami’s LGBTQIA+ community has shown its resiliency to adapt, organize and create in time of peril. We are all family.
[With UNKNWN] I choose [to donate to] the Wynwood Pride x Plus 1 Fund for Black Lives. This fund centers on organizations that are invested in spreading information, empowering black communities, keeping people out of the criminal justice system, and dismantling it more broadly. Beneficiaries of this fund include The Bail Project, Equal Justice Initiative, Impact Justice, and Contigo Fund.”
Emani Castillo: Introducing local Miami artist and activist Emani.
“As a black trans woman my perspective of Miami’s Local LBGTQIA+ scene is vibrant and multicultural. What makes Miami’s queer community unique to me is that many folks here live in camouflage in order to sustain and survive Miami’s polarizing culture of performing gender binary. When in reality there are many of us and WE ARE HERE!
One thing that everyone should know about Miami‘s LGBTQIA+ community is that queer event spaces are our safe haven to come together and celebrate one another and we need more of them for folks of color. I continue to extend my involvement in creating and sharing spaces with many Miami based organizations that cater to my community.
I’m partnering up with The Erzulie Fund which is my charity of choice that centralizes housing justice initiatives for the thriving of black trans lives in Miami!”