October 1, 2014 at 11:00 am EST | by Steve Charing
Speak Fire panel series launches with ‘House’
Speak Fire, gay news, Washington Blade

The Speak Fire panel series will take place at Chase Brexton Health Services, 1111 N. Charles St. in Baltimore. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

The Center for Black Equity Baltimore and the FreeState Legal Project partnered to host a Speak Fire panel series for black LGBTQ folks and allies. Its purpose is to reflect on histories of great resistance and love.

The first of these panels on “house” will take place on Oct. 9 from 6-7:30 p.m., and from 8-9 p.m. there will be a vogue class by Boom St. Laurent. These will take place at Chase Brexton Health Services, 1111 N. Charles St. in Baltimore.

“We’re excited to introduce the Speak Fire! panel series during this year’s Baltimore Black Pride,” Carlton Smith, executive director of the Center for Black Equity Baltimore, told the Blade. “The series is designed to promote conversations between advocates in the community without dictations from other sources. We welcome the communities input and participate.”

The panel consists of leaders within the African-American LGBTQ community. Besides Smith they include: Saida Agostini, director of LGBTQ Resources at FreeState Legal Project and Speak Fire series coordinator; Rev. M. Moses Moises, Old Catholic Priest, Apostolic Catholic Church in America; and Vann Michael, president, Black Transmen Incorporated, Maryland/DC Chapter, among others.

The idea for the Speak Fire! Panel Series came about through a partnership between FreeState Legal Project and Center for Black Equity Baltimore. “We recognized that it was vital to bring together Black LGBTQ leaders in Baltimore City and County to talk about the issues that were relevant to our lives,” said Saida Agostini.

In addition to these events, HIV testing by Chase Brexton will be available onsite.

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