Kai Wright of Brooklyn, NY is a writer and editor whose work explores the politics of sex, race and health. Kai has reported from all over the world for independent and community-based media, ranging from Mother Jones to Essence magazines.
He is the author of a new book titled Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York, as well as two previous books on African-American history. Kai also writes and edits a series of monographs, published by the Black AIDS Institute, that explore the AIDS epidemic among African-Americans.
Kai grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., went to college in Atlanta, Ga., and then headed to Washington, D.C., to start his journalism career. After a short-lived attempt at mainstream journalism, Kai took an old saying to heart: Write what you know. As a young, black, gay man, he joined the staff of the city's gay newsweekly, the Washington Blade, and has been writing about LGBT issues ever since. One of his most exciting projects to date was a 1999 fellowship that allowed him to spend time reporting on the burgeoning gay human rights movement in southern Africa.
Today, Kai's journalism is rooted in his life in New York City. His new book, Drifting Toward Love, follows a handful of young, queer men of color as they search for life's basic necessities: homes that provide more than shelter and security against more than violence or disease. As these teenagers navigate the rocky waters of adolescence, they wade through pains and passions that are typical of any young person coming of age. They do so, however, with few resources—material or emotional—in a world where the cards are stacked against their success.
You can read more about Kai and follow his work on his Web site, at www.KaiWright.com.
[Editor's note:] This post is part of a series celebrating Black History Month and the Black LGBT experience. The information in this profile was gathered by the National Black Justice Coalition.