Equality New York hosts a monthly series spotlighting LGBTQI+ culture creators in an effort to showcase the diversity of our community & support local organizations working on behalf of LGBTQI+
100% of proceeds will fund Equality New York programming.
Equality New York (EQNY) is an advocacy organization that unites and amplifies the social and political voices of the LGBTQI communities throughout New York State. We work to advance equality and justice for LGBTQI New Yorkers and their families. EQNY uses an intersectional lens to ensure equitable outcomes for our community.
Emerging Queer & Trans Voices in Fashion
Desmond Napoles (They/Them)
Thursday, May 13, 2021 from 7:00PM-8:00PM
Desmond Napoles (stage name: Desmond is Amazing) is America's teen drag superstar. They are an awarded LGBTQ advocate, outspoken gay youth, editorial and runway model, public speaker, performer, designer, actor, and published author. They are the founder of their own youth drag house, the Haus of Amazing. Desmond is the author of "Be Amazing: A History of Pride" for Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Their motto is "Be yourself, always."
They live in New York City with their Mom and Dad, cat, and parrots. Hobbies including coding, scripting, and playing video games, 3D modeling, experimenting with makeup, costuming, creating videos to share with their fans, taking flying trapeze lessons, and hiking. Desmond's favorite subject in school is math. In the future, they would like to be a roller coaster engineer or video game designer.
LGBTQI Visibility in Hip-Hop
Cakes Da Killa (He/Him)
Thursday, June 10, 2021 from 7:00PM-8:00PM
Rashard Bradshaw, better known by his stage name Cakes Da Killa, is a Brooklyn-based rapper and writer. Cakes is a leading figure of the queer hip-hop explosion in New York that took place in 2011. His witty flow and unapologetic delivery helped push him to forefront of discussion as the media’s interest in LGBTQ+ visibility and themes in hip hop heightened.
His presence in music and media championed the acceptance of openly gay artists in hip-hop but Cakes journey in music began as a fluke. While being enrolled in Montclair State University Cakes would record videos of himself rapping just for fun. The idea of an openly gay artist in rap was still a farfetched concept at the time. His love of rhyming and wordplay was first discovered in High School when he would participate in rap battles in the cafeteria but a career in music never crossed his mind.
Cakes recently released his latest hip house ep MUVALAND with Classic Music Co/Defected AT THE END OF 2020.
Master Class in Storytelling & Authenticity
Kevin Carr O’Leary (He/Him)
Thursday, July 8, 2021 from 7:00PM-8:00PM
Do you want to write a book or essay? Are you curious about the experience of pitching a book proposal or working with a book collaborator? Kevin has a passion for working within the formulas of big-money book proposals to help people share unexpected, impactful stories with mainstream audiences. He declines all interviews about the process of writing proposals and memoirs, but is making an exception for the Equality New York audience.
Kevin Carr O'Leary is a sought after book collaborator and writing coach who has co-written or helped craft 6 bestsellers, including Jessica Simpson's Open Book, Chrissy Metz's This Is Me, Gabrielle Union's We're Going to Need More Wine. His most recent book is All the Young Men, Ruth Coker Burks' memoir of caring for people with HIV in rural Arkansas at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic.