Colman Domingo, Ncuti Gatwa, Dewayne Perkins and more named Native Son 101 honorees

Native Son, Emil Wilbekin’s groundbreaking platform for uplifting the voices of queer Black men, has officially released their Native Son 101 honorees. The star-studded lineup honors the Black queer creatives who have made a thrilling and lasting impact during a year full of strife for the queer community. And it’s no surprise to see that many INTO favorites, from Rustin star Colman Domingo to Barbie and Sex Education icon Ncuti Gatwa are among the many talented Black creators getting their flowers this year.

Wilbekin’s opening manifesto, which serves as an introduction to the series, opens by recounting the suffering the Black queer community has endured in the past year. “In 2023,” he explains, “there were unprecedented attacks against the LGBTQ+ community with over 500 anti-queer legislations and simultaneous assaults against Black history and culture. It was as if we were being stripped of our own humanity.” Recalling the murder of New York City dancer O’Shae Sibley earlier this year, Wilbekin writes that Sibley “became a martyr for us—a symbol of freedom and tectonic tenacity. His memorial turned into a celebration of living.”

That celebration of living is on full display throughout the star-studded Class of 2023 listing, starting with Colman Domingo’s Oscar-worthy turn as queer Civil Rights icon Bayard Rustin in Rustin, a biopic from legendary director George C. Wolfe, another honoree. Actor and comedian Dewayne Perkins also made the list for his star turn in The Blackening, a horror movie that upends the anti-Black tropes that have plagued the genre since its inception. Tony Award-winning nonbinary actor J. Harrison Ghee made the list for their show-stopping, binary-busting performance in Broadway’s “Some Like It Hot,” while filmmaker Ashton Pina also received a nod for Nana’s Boys, his first feature film.

That’s not all: choreographer Sean Bankhead, who created the heartstopping videos for Victoria Monét’s “On My Mama” and Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B’s “Bongos” also made the cut, and the extra-charming “Great British Bake-Off” finalist Sandro Farmhouse won a spot on the list as well. Capping off the Native Son 101 Class of 2023 is legendary comedian Wayne Brady, whose pansexual coming-out announcement this year reminded us that coming out is far from a one-and-done deal.

As usual, the Black queer creative community shone bright through a year of incredible heartbreak and sorrow. As Wilbekin reminds us, 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,” and that’s just what they’ll keep on doing.

For the full list of honorees, visit Native Son.

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