National Youth Pride Services is pleased to announce it’s Third Annual list of 50 Winners Who Are Helping Others Win. At NYPS we teach and believe that winners are those who help others win. We asked our members from all over the country to go out and interview 50 people, of their choosing, who they feel are helping others win.
Harrison Guy. Interview by Jamie Allen
Hi Harrison, can you tell us a little about yourself.
I am Harrison Guy, a dancer, choreographer, artistic director, activist, and community organizer. I am from La Marque, TX and I reside in Houston, TX with my partner of 8 years whom is now my fiance and our miniature poodle Onyx. Artistically I am the Founder and Artistic Director of Urban Souls Dance Company which is a contemporary dance company rooted in the Black American experience. The company is now 11 years old and serves as a staple and driving force in the Houston arts community. As for my LGBT affiliations, I am the Southern Regional Director of Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity, Inc the first Greek lettered Fraternity for gay black men. It is my desire to reclaim and reshape the narrative of the black gay male in the south. I am also a member of the GLBT Political Caucus, and the Stonewall Young Democrats. I am currently in the process of starting a new organization dedicated to black LGBT empowerment, advocacy, and entertainment in Houston.
Who is your most influential person and why?
I have so many influences running through my veins that it is difficult to chose one. Marlon Riggs is one that stands out because he was able to use his creativity in favor of black gay men while existing in all spaces as his full complete self. That is my ultimate goal for myself.
Based on your career goals, what do you plan to do next?
I plan to create a hub for community engagement that uses performing arts and creativity to build and strengthen our communities. (Black Arts Movement Houston)
What are your goals in the next 5 years?
In 5 years I would like to be running for political office.
If you can describe your personality in 5 words, what would those words be?
Sarcastic, Compassionate, Positive, Analytical, Cautious.
What advice would offer to black gay youth in regards to coming out?
Always remember that sexuality is yours to own. When, where, if, and to whom you come out to is fully at your own discretion.
What does it mean to you to be a gay black man?
To constantly be managing the fine line between pride and shame.
What message would you give to young gay men?
Learn black gay heritage. Having true examples of your reality dwelling in your mind and your spirit will help guide you in ways unimaginable.
Tell me more about Urban Souls Dance Company.
Founded in 2005, USDC is a contemporary dance company that uses dance to tell black stories and realities. We are a responsible performing arts organization that focuses on culture, creativity, and community.
How did you become interested in fine arts?
My first introduction to performing was in church. It lead me to band, choir, theater and dance in High School. My high school theater teacher really inspired me to use my talents beyond the stage. And my family always encouraged me to go for it.