Peace family! Welcome back to The Tea! October, 11, 2022 was National Coming Out Day. For so many reasons, this day is loaded with complicated emotions. On one end, coming out is often an acceptance of self, a declaration of freedom, and an unapologetic statement that you are who you are, and proud of it. On the other end, for lots of Black LGBTQIA+ folks, coming out is terrifying. Depending on your situation, being out just isn’t safe. So many of us are in living environments that are not supportive and affect our physical and mental health. In many parts of the country and abroad, being outed, or coming out is a catalyst for violence and can cost you your life. Today we want to acknowledge those who can’t come out, or choose not to. Folks who are protecting themselves at all costs, and finding joy no matter what. We see you.

Peace family! Welcome back to The Tea! We are so excited to share this issue with you. At M4BL, we believe the future is in great hands: Black queer and trans kids are changing the world for the better. Even in the face of hostile politicians taking away their rights to play sports, school systems denying the celebration of queer history, and losing access to gender-affirming care and support, young folks are staying grounded in their identities, telling their stories, and organizing to fight back.

Today’s generation of young people have been courageous in their expression and unapologetic in holding adults accountable, as they lead movements and carry the torch of our ancestors toward a liberated future. In honor of their brilliance and tenacity, this issue of The Tea features Black queer youth voices from all over the country.

Read on to learn about the positive impacts they are making, the art they are creating, and their dreams for the future of Black folks! And don’t forget to check out our What We’re Vibin’ To section, which features youth-inspired picks this month.

Thanks so much for reading!