Carlton, 54

What advice do you have for young black gay men today? “First, love yourself, and be around supportive people who will help you. I learned to have an extended family. I had to learn what I was going to accept and what I wasn’t going to accept.”

Why did you found the Center for Black Equity? “Some people didn’t feel that in the gay community we experience racism, but it is an issue. Not everyone is like that but there are some prominent elitist types who don’t want people of color and trans individuals around. I had that experience, so we founded the center. There were members of the community who supported me and others were expecting us not to succeed. But we’ve been around for 15 years.”