How Black Gay and Queer Men Want to be Seen: ViiV Healthcare Presents a New Podcast About the Power of Being Seen

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Ten-episode series available October 6th features conversations with leading cultural figures and influencers discussing how Black gay and queer men want to be seen.

Artwork by Ronald Jackson

ViiV Healthcare announces its new weekly podcast Being Seen, an in-depth exploration of the role culture plays in resolving how we see ourselves and how we are seen by others. Hosted and narrated by Darnell Moore, award-winning writer and activist, the first season explores current cultural representations of the queer and gay Black male experience and the impact on their lives and society. Being Seen is available October 6th wherever you get your podcasts and at www.beingseenpodcast.com.

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Through conversations with leading artists, writers, activists, entertainers, and community leaders including; writer, director, and producer Lee Daniels and Ben Cory Jones; Samira Nasr, Editor-in-Chief at Harper’s Bazaar, and activist, writer, George M. Johnson, ViiV Healthcare hopes Being Seen encourages the creation of more accurate cultural portrayals of the queer and gay Black male experience in order to reduce stigma and change perception – impacting everything from HIV to institutional inequality.

“There is nothing else like Being Seen in the podcast universe for Black gay and queer men – it’s a safe space and platform for them to express themselves, share their experiences, and bare their souls and identities freely and uncensored,” said Marc Meachem, head of US External Affairs for ViiV Healthcare.  “We think it will reduce stigma and bring hope to Black gay and queer men who may find their story in the stories being shared on the podcast and know they are not alone, they are being seen – and we hope it encourages them to write or tell their own story even if it’s just for themselves.”  

The project has been enriched and informed by creative consultants and partners Emil Wilbekin founder of Native Son; DaShawn Usher founder of MOBI; Emmy winning producer Darius Brown; Photographers Gioncarlo Valentine and Texas Isaiah – both of whom served as curators for Being Seen photography. As well as the incredible group of illustrators and photographers who either licensed work or created original work to help bring the project to life visually and through sound.  Theme music for the podcast is Colouour by Moses Sumney. 

“Being Seen podcast is another medium through which the lives of Black queer and trans men are uplifted and centered. Our contributions to culture matter. The work that so many of us do on behalf Black people matters” said Darnell Moore. “And we have to share our stories, as different and complex as they may be, to push back against the erasure of our work and voices. I hope that audiences end every episode a bit more committed to co-creating a world where the lives of all Black people matter.”

ViiV’s evolving commitments to communities in the US most disproportionately impacted by HIV, and the reality of current times have motivated support of this new cultural collaboration.  

“Our sole focus on HIV and the HIV community for more than 10 years has given ViiV clear insights into the importance of listening and hearing the community – and we are committed to amplifying those voices through our work” said Lynn Baxter, Head of North America, ViiV Healthcare. “Being Seen brings awareness to the impact of stigma on every aspect of these individual’s lives and spotlights the obligation everyone has to end discrimination against marginalized communities, including people living with HIV.” 

Being Seen expands on the insights and findings from landmark ethnographic research conducted by ViiV Healthcare, exploring the lives of Black gay men in Baltimore, Maryland, and Jackson, Mississippi.  This research uncovered that these men wanted the freedom to create their own experiences and live without labels. It also gave life to the ground-breaking experiential theater piece As Much As I Can, created and produced by Harley & Co and presented by ViiV Healthcare.

Being Seen is produced by Harley & Co. and Darnell Moore and created in partnership with ViiV Healthcare.



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