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Searching for Safe Spaces When You’re Black and Queer in the Bay

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Sadie Barnette, Rodney Barnette, Aria Sa'id, and Nenna Joiner

There’s a dream of the Bay Area as a place of liberation: queer liberation, Black liberation, trans liberation, liberation for all. It’s a reputation that has pulled young people to the Bay Area for decades. But when Corey Antonio Rose moved to San Francisco from Jacksonville Florida in 2021 and searched for places that would embrace a young, gay Black man like himself, he was disappointed. In a series for the KQED podcast RightNowish, he looked at the history of those spaces in the Bay Area and the role of anti-blackness in the Bay Area’s queer community. We’ll talk with Rose about whether the Bay Area fails to live up to its reputation as a queer haven and how to find spaces that foster community and belonging.


Corey Antonio Rose, producer and host of "Searching for a Kiki," a three-part series on the KQED podcast Rightnowish, KQED.

Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director, National Black Justice Coalition - a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ people and co-sponsor of the Lavender Book, a directory of safe spaces.

Don Romesburg, professor, Sonoma State University - whose expertise includes sexuality and gender in U.S. history, childhood and adolescence, transgender studies, race and sexuality, and queer performance and popular culture.