Cornelius Joy says growing up in St. Louis, he felt the pinch of a dearth of gay resources that would have been helpful to him. So now as a Washingtonian, he’s committed to helping where he can.
Joy is on the board of the Equality Chamber of Commerce and has volunteered for other organizations as well. He helps the chamber plan events of all sizes.
“My goal is to support the LGBT business owners in the DMV area and make sure I do everything I can to make sure they have the support they need and help them with resources,” he says. “I just want to make sure they know black queer people have a voice and that diversity is here, despite what someone may think or say.”
He says it’s important work that someone has to do.
“I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would always live my true self and do my best to help others,” he says.
Joy is a social butterfly who loves networking and meeting new people, a trait he says he got from his father.
“I’m just not afraid to say, ‘Hi, I’m Cornelius’ and go from there,” he says.
He came to Washington five years ago after stints in Minneapolis and New York. Career and a chance to grow professionally drew him to the District. He finished a degree this year from George Washington University and has worked at Marriott Hotels, currently as operations manager, off and on for 15 years.
Joy is “single and looking for Mr. Right.” He lives in the U Street area, Northwest and enjoys tennis, cooking, social justice, traveling, friends and diversity building in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
I’ve been out since I was 17. My mom.
Who’s your LGBTQ hero?
What LGBTQ stereotype most annoys you?
People still have issues with interracial relationships.
What’s your proudest professional achievement?
Just being true to myself knowing that I’m gay and still a professional no matter and I’m not going to let someone talk differently to me because of that.
What terrifies you?
Feeling that I’m not good enough.
What’s something trashy or vapid you love?
OMG potato chips! You don’t want to see me when they don’t have the kind I like!
What’s your greatest domestic skill?
I love being in control. I’m a planner.
What’s your favorite LGBTQ movie or show?
What’s your social media pet peeve?
Overuse of: #WTF
What would the end of the LGBTQ movement look like to you?
I think it will never end.
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Overuse of: #OMG #GURL
What was your religion, if any, as a child and what is it today?
Grew up Baptist. Now I’m non-denominational and affirming.
What’s D.C.’s best hidden gem?
D.C. has so much history that we see every day just walking and driving around.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
My first Beyonce concert in 2014.
What celebrity death hit you hardest?
Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin
If you could redo one moment from your past, what would it be?
I was in an LTR once and was told I would never be good enough. I should have ended it right then.
What are your obsessions?
Working hard and saying yes. Sometimes it’s hard for me to say no.
Finish this sentence — It’s about damn time:
… the Blade featured me! LOL
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
To listen more to my mother and never be afraid to live my truth.
I feel like hubby and career are here, so everything else will fall into place.