LGBT Profiles in Black: The Dawning of the HIV Epidemic


The church has been a cornerstone of the Black community and served as a site of hope during much of the Civil Rights movement. For Black LGBTQ people, however, many of those religious, “safe” spaces are the same ones causing them to suffer.

Reverend Duncan Teague, founder and minister of the Abundant Love Unitarian Universalist, wants to change all of that. For him, the fight for LGBT people to “bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart” has been a journey and a message he shares regularly with his congregation. He believes this is the work of the church as well.

Rev. Teague enjoyed a long and storied career in HIV/AIDS education, advocacy, and research coordination when he accepted this specific call to ministry. He is an activist, among many others, who has been at the forefront of the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Atlanta and beyond. And despite his 30 years of fighting, he remains part of the battle to this day.

In the video profile above, he recalls a time of HIV panic—a time when threats were made of quarantining gay men during the height of the epidemic. He reminds us why it was important to fight to bring an end to the HIV epidemic (and social stigma associated with it) and why it is vital to do so today. CASSIUS honors Rev. Teague for his commitment and we celebrate him as a cherished leader this Black History Month.