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How Black Trans Artists Are Fighting To Achieve Racial Justice & Amplify Queer Voices

Peppermint at Los Angeles Pride 2019

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

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How Black Trans Artists Are Fighting To Achieve Racial Justice & Amplify Queer Voices

GRAMMY.com speaks with performers Neverending Nina, Peppermint and more about the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement—plus the myriad microaggressions they've faced within the music industry at large

GRAMMYs/Jun 23, 2020 - 08:12 pm

Throughout the past month, one would be hard-pressed to not come across the worldwide uprising against racial injustice. A casual scroll through Twitter soon turns frightful upon seeing explicit videos of Black people being killed at the hands of police and the everyman. Or take a quick peek on Instagram, and you’ll discover colorful infographics that lead to educational resources.

In America, the publicized battle for equality dates all the way back to the civil rights movement in the mid-'50s. It continued with Black Lives Matter in 2013, as social media made it easier to share events of police brutality. Only now (due to the uneasiness of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic), the modern-day protests feel even more revolutionary.

But despite the nationwide assemblage to protect Black bodies, there has been an integral voice missing from the conversation. Among the overwhelming support for targeted Black cishet men and women, the cries from Black trans people have been predominantly silenced.

"It’s telling because Black Lives Matter was started by Black queer women," independent singer Neverending Nina tells GRAMMY.com. "Now, its leaders are sort of being co-opted by the normalcy of cishet imagery [that now represents the movement]. Don't forget that it has to include all Black lives; we can’t push [equality] if not."

The Black community is already marginalized as is, yet their queer, trans and non-binary members have historically been shut out from the conversation—or even fallen victim to it. In 2019, approximately 22 transgender people and gender non-conforming people were killed, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). A majority of those deaths happened to be Black transgender women.

On May 3, 28-year-old Nina Pop was reportedly stabbed to death in Sikeston, Mo. A few weeks later, 38-year-old Tony McDade was shot and killed by police in Tallahassee, Fla. On June 1 (ironically the start of Pride Month), graphic footage surfaced of Iyanna Dior being beaten inside and out of a convenience store in St. Paul, Minn. LBGTQ activists like Janet Mock spoke in outrage against the incident, with Dior ultimately surviving. The following week, two Black trans women—Philadelphia’s Dominique "Rem’Mie" Fells and Riah Milton of Liberty Township, Ohio—were killed within days of each other.

As these deaths fall under the radar, the queer roots of Black Lives Matter (as well as Pride Month) become more homogenized. Pride was birthed from the 1969 Stonewall protests, led by transgender activists of color Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. Fast-forward to 2020, and it is now led by white faces, filtering the very essence of why it started in the first place.

"Here we are 50 years later since Stonewall," says Nina, "and we still don't have prominent Black trans voices at the head of these organizations that our ancestors put their bodies on the line for. When we do speak on that, it's a pushback from the same community that we’re fighting for."

The recent Black Lives Matter protests have stemmed from the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor (whose name also succumbs to overshadowing due to her womanhood). Yet the stipulations for impartiality among Black people begin to quake when presented with trans issues. The violence-based attacks against them hasn’t faltered: HRC reports that 15 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed in 2020 thus far.

"If it’s not a literal murder, it’s oppression. But that oppression has many effects," drag queen and RuPaul's Drag Race alum Peppermint tells GRAMMY.com. "It squeezes so many Black folks into this corner that doesn't allow space to recognize the queerness and womanness that’s among us. Black Lives Matter only seems to focus on the men who were so egregiously taken from us. There isn’t a strong enough cry about Sandra Bland or Breonna Taylor, in my opinion."

These ongoing deaths, whose numbers may be higher due to unconfirmed reports, lead to questions of how much Black trans people matter in comparison to cishet people within the same community. The conversation trickles into the music industry, as successful artists still deal with prejudice firsthand.

"I was biking home a few years ago at about three in the morning after leaving the bar. There were all these cops pulling over a guy on the side of the road," Kaycee Ortiz, a Black trans rapper recalls. "When I rode by I heard them yell something at me, but I had my headphones so I just kept going. The cop started following me and they were like, 'Yeah we know you a man like we know you’re a n*a.'"

She continues: "When I was telling my manager about this she was like, 'You should have said something back.' But as a white woman, she wouldn't understand what I was going through in that situation. As a Black trans girl, they could have beat the crap out of me and it would have been my word against two men."

Black trans artists have to protect both their musical aspirations and personal livelihood as they try to make waves in an industry that doesn’t serve them. They are often placed in a box that is meant to cater to non-mainstream audiences in order to lessen the initial "shock" of their identity.

"We can’t say, 'My woman parts are gonna stay here and my Blackness is gonna go in first. Then I’ll leave my trans parts at the door.' There’s no separating the two," Neverending Nina says of the white, male-dominated music industry. "Because you're heteronormative, you’re gonna always lead with that and no one questions it. I'm just trying to get in this space so I can amplify my voice because I know I’m dope as fk. But I keep getting pushback from the gatekeepers where they say, 'You're talented but you’re trans. So I don't know how society is going to take that.'"

The death of Floyd resulted in a worldwide outcry, with the music industry itself also springing into action. June 2, better known as "Black Out Tuesday," saw a flood of record label executives, artists and others in the music space mobilizing to take a day to educate themselves on industry racism. While the cause (which was initially founded by Atlantic senior directors of marketing Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas) had solid intentions, there wasn’t much clarity on specific steps companies would take to achieve equality for all members of the Black music community.

Read More: #TheShowMustBePaused Creators Brianna Agyemang & Jamila Thomas Talk Vision, Next Steps

"I feel like 'Black Out Tuesday' came from a good place but it wasn't executed well. What did it do exactly?" Ortiz ponders. "If I'm Nicki Minaj or Drake, of course I can afford to go a day without promoting my music. But for some of us [independent artists], we’re scraping every day for exposure. I've seen people where a black square was the only thing they posted through this whole ordeal. It gave people an easy way out."

"There’s the fear that someone being out and proud could affect their career. And I think it's definitely better now than it ever was, but we still have further to go," says Peppermint. "There’s a tradition of finding obscure artists and turning them into a product on the conveyor belt. If you can do that with a Britney Spears, for instance, you can do that with a Shea Diamond or Kim Petras [Editor’s note: both artists identify as transgender]. It's definitely high time to just go ahead and put us next to all these other mainstream artists. We don't have to be independent to have an appeal."

From being turned down in music executive boardrooms to combating injustice within their community, Black trans people's endurance has become ingrained into their very being. But that permanence may have been avoided if more allies were on the frontlines. "You have to deal with the racism from the white people and the homophobia and transphobia from the Black people," says Ortiz.

"A lot of times when you hate something about yourself, you prosecute other people because you can't kill it in yourself. So you try to kill it in them." Despite being booked for various LGBTQ-friendly showcases on Chicago’s South Side, she doesn’t feel as acknowledged compared to other, "safer" performers: "There’s a scene in [FX’s Pose series] where they say Black trans women are at the bottom of the hill. Everything rolls down on us."

Read More: Shea Diamond, Keeana Kee, MUNA On Life As Out LGBTQ Artists

To constantly have to watch your back both on and off the stage grows tiring, no matter how hard you try to keep pushing. With the pandemic and protests occurring simultaneously, anxiety and burnout are now felt tenfold. Thus, the importance of self-care is crucial.

"The trans community has always been in survival mode. I think what’s included in that is trying to find things that replenish and uplift you," says Nina. "I was making a joke earlier like, 'Oh I've always lived in quarantine' because most of the time Black trans women have to come to terms with walking this journey for themselves. But with this shutdown, I had to turn within myself to figure out what other ways to enhance what I normally do. So that’s taking a walk around my neighborhood, listening to music and calling upon my creativeness."

Music is also a natural healer for Peppermint, who has been working on a new album. She's partnered with GLAAD and NYC Pride to launch the inaugural "Black Queer Town Hall," which took place from June 19-21 and helped raise awareness for queer melanated voices.

"I know there can be some guilt from putting out [your art] in a time when a lot of people are still going through a grieving process," Peppermint, who jokes about unapologetically enjoying an extra slice of pizza or fried chicken during quarantine, explains. "But it is important that we have something to look forward to. We should have the option to easily indulge in Black art in a way that we never had before and should also invite others who aren't Black to engage with it. We can celebrate [Lady Gaga’s new album] Chromatica and also celebrate Black artists, you know?"

The current state of the world has forced society to amplify communities that were previously ignored, but Black trans people should not endure this fight alone. Fortunately, progress is steadily being made at the hands of allies. Two days after the Trump administration revoked nondiscrimination protections for transgenders seeking healthcare (which was announced on the four-year anniversary of Orlando’s Pulse nightclub shooting), thousands of protesters gathered in front of the Brooklyn Museum for a Black Trans Lives Matter rally.

Organized by NYC Anti-Violence Project director of communications Eliel Cruz, Brooklyn drag queen West Dakota and former Netflix queer content creator Fran Tirado had a simple request for attendees: wear all white. The dress code honored the NAACP's Silent Protest Parade in 1917, where approximately 10,000 demonstrators donned white as they rallied against Black violence.

The government also had a long-awaited call to action. On June 15, the Supreme Court ruled that sexual orientation and sexual identity are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, forbidding discrimination in the workplace. The pledge for equality has also grown numerically: the Public Religion Research Institute cited that 62 percent of Americans support trans rights more now compared to their views five years ago.

While this increase should be applauded, the fight is far from over. Celebration cannot be fully embraced until all marginalized people are equal. "Now we know that the machine is actually dismantling," says Nina. "All of these things are going to get aired out. We have not been given chances for so long, and somebody still has to open that window."

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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Beyoncé Has Empowered The Black Community Across Her Music And Art
Beyoncé

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Black Sounds Beautiful: How Beyoncé Has Empowered The Black Community Across Her Music And Art

In the debut episode of GRAMMY.com's Black Sounds Beautiful series, learn about the many ways in which Beyoncé's words, music and initiatives have celebrated and elevated the Black community

GRAMMYs/Jun 12, 2021 - 11:40 pm

Beyoncé doesn't only loom large in American culture just because of her hits. Although her musical accomplishments are staggering—at 28 GRAMMY wins, she holds the record for most GRAMMYs won by a woman—Beyoncé's ongoing commitment to uplifting and celebrating the Black community has become a key part of her legacy.

This goes beyond her empowering songs—it's in her public statements and art, too.

In the debut episode of GRAMMY.com's Black Sounds Beautiful series, a special series honoring Black music and culture in all its forms, learn about the many ways in which Beyoncé's words, music and initiatives have celebrated and elevated the Black community and how she remains a steadfast fighter for the accomplishments of Black people everywhere.

"It's important to me to show images to my children that reflect their beauty, so they can grow up in a world where they look in the mirror—first through their own families as well as the news, the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the White House, and the GRAMMYs—and see themselves and have no doubt that they're beautiful, intelligent and capable," Beyoncé said in an acceptance speech at the 59th GRAMMY Awards in 2017.

She doubled-down on the sentiment at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show when she won the GRAMMY for Best R&B Performance for "BLACK PARADE," which she originally released on Juneteenth last year.

"As an artist, I believe it's my job, and all of our jobs, to reflect the times," she said in her GRAMMY acceptance speech this past March. "... So, I wanted to uplift, encourage and celebrate all of the beautiful Black queens and kings that continue to inspire me and inspire the whole world."

She's continued to do exactly that throughout her entire career.

In 2018, Beyoncé headlined Coachella, becoming the first-ever Black woman artist to headline the festival. She used the history-making moment as a platform to celebrate Black culture, inviting performers from historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to the Coachella stage and mixing in vocal snippets of Black icons like Malcolm X and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her 2020 GRAMMY-nominated music film, Black Is King, is a "love letter" to Black men. The film is the visual counterpart to The Lion King: The Gift, a 2019 soundtrack album curated by Beyoncé that spotlights African and Afrobeats artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi and many others.

Check out the strengthening clip above and watch out for more episodes of Black Sounds Beautiful as GRAMMY.com's Black Music Month celebrations proceed throughout June.

Inside The Visual World Of Beyoncé And 'Black Is King,' Her "Love Letter" To Black Men

Dyana Williams On Why Black Music Month Is Not Just A Celebration, But A Call For Respect

Dyana Williams 

Photo: Caliph Gamble

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Dyana Williams On Why Black Music Month Is Not Just A Celebration, But A Call For Respect

The radio legend and Black Music Month co-founder tells GRAMMY.com about the plight to make the month official and who she admires in music’s new generation

GRAMMYs/Jun 10, 2021 - 01:02 am

Black music is the foundation of the music industry, and Dyana Williams isn’t going to let you forget it. Born in the Motown era, the music journalist and veteran radio personality’s musical love affair began by listening to predominantly Black, New York-based radio stations like WABC and WWRL. The Bronx native started building the blocks of her legend status in the early ‘70s, beginning with her first radio gig at Washington D.C.’s 96.3 WHUR in 1973, where she fused her love for jazz with R&B and reggae. When she moved to WRQX-FM in 1978, she made history by becoming the first Black woman rock DJ.

At that time, radio personalities were non-existent, and Williams had to program music she did not feel belonged to her. "I distinctly remember my first show at WRQX: five hours of playing music that was not culturally mine,” she tells GRAMMY.com over Zoom. “I knew some of it, like James Taylor and Carly Simon, because obviously, I listened to the radio growing up."

The job, Williams says, made her more well-rounded as a DJ in the industry, but she wanted to do something to amplify Black music. Williams’ yearning led to the birth of Black Music Month in 1979. Co-founded with radio DJ Ed Wright and her former husband, Philadelphia soul legend Kenny Gamble, the month is meant to be a vibrant celebration of all the genres that thread America’s cultural fabric. But the month also educates and provides resources for those wanting to learn more about Black people’s impact on the industry, which has led to Williams serving on the board of Nashville’s National Museum of African American Music.

"Black music should be celebrated every single day, but it's a concentrated period of time for us to observe the legacy, and mothers and fathers, many of whom never got paid properly or recognized or credited for their contributions," Williams continues, noting that Black music educators, writers and journalists should be celebrated, too. "It is an economic engine for America to the tune of not a million or several million, but billions of dollars."

At the end of the day, Williams just wants credit where it’s due. "[Music] is one of our greatest exports. That's how we need to look at it,” she says. “I want us to be celebrated. I want us to be respected. I want us to get what we rightfully deserve."

GRAMMY.com spoke to Dyana Williams about the origins of Black Music Month and why Black creators still deserve a big chunk of the industry’s money pie.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

What are your thoughts on how the new generation, including myself, are interpreting Black Music Month? 

I love them. My core business is artist development and media coaching. So I work with a lot of young artists. That's how I saw your Saweetie article in Harper’s Bazaar. I was working with her around that time. I have great regard for artists like Elaine, Joyce Wrice, Masego, Giveon, Lucky Daye, who I worked with as well. Jazmine Sullivan, one of my clients from Philly. I met her when she was a little girl and now she is all grown up and she is bringing it, okay?

We missed her voice so much.

She needed a break. Sometimes it can be daunting, the industry and the expectations and all of that stuff. I'm a huge H.E.R. lover, I was listening to "Damage" last night. H.E.R. to me, [is] very important because she's a musician as well. She's a songwriter, producer, just [won] an Oscar. She's going to be a GOAT probably before it's all over. But she represents the finest of what young people are doing and [how they are] paying homage. I love the artists of this time that recognize what transpired before them. Now there’s some artists who have no reference. They have no foundation. And probably we'll just hear about them for a quick flash and then they're gone. I'm interested in the artists that are going to have —like with H.E.R.—a legacy that they will be able to leave for the next generation.

What was it like being on the radio in the ‘70s? It’s not as prevalent anymore because of streaming. 

Well, my experience in the '70s was heavenly. To have the opportunity to program music was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn matching sounds and vibes and energy. Plus, I interviewed everybody, and I was on the radio in the nation's capital when it was Chocolate City—so any and everybody that came in to perform at Howard [University] and at the Capital Centre. One of the big first concerts I MC’ed was in the Capital Centre, it was Curtis Mayfield. I mean, major acts. I MC'ed Earth, Wind & Fire. Richard Pryor was their opening act. It was wonderful because I got an opportunity to not just play the music, but to speak with the people who were creating all of this innovation. At that time in the ’70s, we had a lot of bands: the Ohio Players, Parliament-Funkadelic. It was exciting for me. I was a young girl. I was 19. 

I know you went to Philly in 1980. Was it just a next career move?

No, actually I fell in love with Kenny Gamble. [Laughs.] Initially, when I left BLS to go on maternity leave with our first son Caliph Gamble, I moved back to DC for a period of time and then moved to Philadelphia full time in 1980. At that time, I was blessed to hold down a spot at WDAS, which is the heritage station and very similar to WBLS in New York in terms of the adult contemporary format. Not only did we play the current music of the day, but we were entrenched in the community. And for me, that's everything. I'm the radio personality who’d go to the senior citizens’ home, the daycare center, the church, wherever I was invited in the community to talk about music. I would always do and still do to this day.

Even before Black Music Month was formed, I read that you initially co-founded the Black Music Association chapter in Philadelphia, is that correct?

Well, here we go. The Black Music Association was founded by my ex, Kenny Gamble. We were a couple, we lived together so I became a member of the local chapter and I was in the leadership. However, it is Gamble’s conception. We went to the White House for the first Black Music Month event on June 7th 1979. We sat with President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.

But years later, I was producing a celebration[ for] Black Music Month [in June]. I wrote to Bill Clinton: "Can you hold some similar events?" The White House said, "Well, we see that President Carter hosted the Black Music Association. We know that you were his guests." But he unintentionally did not write a presidential proclamation, which would've meant that every president following him would have done similarly.

What was your reaction when you heard that news?

It was official to us because we were the creators. For all those years, there were activities around the country. We celebrated it in Philly. So, when I got that piece of information from the White House, I was blown away and shocked. But as far as the American government and American presidents are concerned, it did not become official until I was asked by the White House to go get legislation. I remember I called Gamble: "Can you believe this?" It just gave a higher level of official recognition or celebration. It's just like Juneteenth. Black folks have been celebrating Juneteenth for a long time, but now it's becoming more in vogue and more well known.

So 2000 was when the bill passed?

To be recognized by Congress and the American people is right, but I had been petitioning for several years. I had even written an op-ed, in Billboard, about why it was significant for us to celebrate it. So yeah, several years of me knocking on congressmen and senators’ doors. I knew nothing about the process of lobbying. So I became a natural lobbyist, just passionate about the music and the cause. And at that point, it was significant for me to get the president to acknowledge us. Not just because of the cultural dynamics, but the economic value and potency of our music. We don't tend to think of it in those terms, but the reality is Black music is big business.

It's still the No. 1 genre and is literally keeping the industry afloat.

Girl, the No. 1 genre in the world. As you know, Bianca, Black music is hip-hop. It’s the music that they thought would go away, and we are about to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop.

Isn't that something? A genre that was once shunned has transformed to be the pillar of what so many artists look to for success. 

Well, the reality is Black music is for everyone. While it is created by Black people, it is a universal language overstood by billions. I have traveled to most of the continents: South America, Asia, Africa, Europe. Europeans know more about our music than we do in many cases. They're very well-versed in the history [of it]. We sometimes as Black folks take it for granted because it's our natural asset and gift. But the reality is that Black music has always been an inspiration, a source of influence for countless musicians. Come on, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, all those major white rock groups.

There’s also the country and the EDM scene, which has become a huge power player that’s built on the backs of Chicago house. 

We are the wellspring, we are the resource and then it is imitated and appropriated. We, the people who create it, are not righteously compensated. This is also one of my issues that we need to address because it's foul. Let's take rock and roll. No, Alan Freed, you did not invent the DJ. You were one of the DJs that played it, but the reality was there were Black DJs playing Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. These are the mothers and fathers of rock music, period. And then you have white artists.

The prime example being Elvis Presley. Even those hip shakes came from us.

A lot of his songs were written by Black people. Clearly, you can look at him and see that he was biting on Little Richard. But they don't want to acknowledge it. And then it is our responsibility to say it. My thing is, don't try to take credit for something that you did not create. I want to make sure that in that process, the songwriters, the producers, the engineers, the people who make the music, are credited, acknowledged and compensated. That's critical and part of the issue of what's missing in today's modern music industry.

I'm so glad that you brought that up because it’s important to have those conversations about what's going on behind the scenes. 

And it's not even an adequate piece of the pie. I don't know if you've ever seen, Bianca, what artists get from streaming? It's like a percentage of a penny.

It's super dismal.

But meanwhile, billions of dollars are being generated by these streaming companies. And the creators of the music are simply not being [compensated]. I'm in The Recording Academy as a member, I'm a past president of the Philly chapter. And part of our advocacy has been to change the antiquated copyright laws that do not serve today's music industry. So we've had some level of success. I really think, Bianca, they need me to go in there and get that st fixed.

You'll set them right, for sure.

Exactly. And I'm an OG at this point. Even when I was younger, I was fearless in my convictions, and I respect everybody's right to their opinions. I saw somebody write a comment on social media the other day: "Well, we need white music month." My attitude was like, "Well, white music month is just about every month but June." I was listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young the other day. And Steely Dan and Michael Franks. I love white music too. But my agenda is to elevate and recognize the forgotten, the deserving of the legacy foundation people. Just to your point, we're the flavor.

We add the salt.

I mean, we are it girl. We the hot sauce, the salt and the pepper.

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Black Music Month: Celebrating Black Fashion At The GRAMMYs Throughout The Decades
Black Music Month: Black Fashion

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Black Music Month: Celebrating Black Fashion At The GRAMMYs Throughout The Decades

As Black Music Month winds down, bring that love and appreciation into the rest of the year with a rundown of Black fashion moments and vibrant looks throughout GRAMMY history

GRAMMYs/Jun 30, 2021 - 12:33 am

Black Music Month is about the whole package of human expression—both audio and visual. 

And from a GRAMMYs perspective, Black artists of all persuasions have consistently stepped out with eye-popping looks and unique threads.

As Black Music Month winds down, watch how leading Black artists and visionaries in music and culture, from Beyoncé to Stevie Wonder to Lil Nas X, have pushed the boundaries of fashion on the GRAMMYs stage throughout the decades.

Watch the celebratory clip above and click here to enjoy more GRAMMY.com offerings in honor of Black Music Month.

Dyana Williams On Why Black Music Month Is Not Just A Celebration, But A Call For Respect

Can't Cancel Pride: Billy Porter, Big Freedia, Ricky Martin, Kim Petras, Sia & More Tapped For iHeartRadio Livestream

Billy Porter at the 2020 GRAMMYs

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

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Can't Cancel Pride: Billy Porter, Big Freedia, Ricky Martin, Kim Petras, Sia & More Tapped For iHeartRadio Livestream

Airing on Thurs., June 25, the star-studded LGBTQ+ Pride special will also feature Adam Lambert, Melissa Etheridge, Katy Perry and more, co-hosted by the one and only Laverne Cox, with Z100's Elvis Duran

GRAMMYs/Jun 17, 2020 - 12:53 am

On Thurs., June 25, Billy Porter, Big Freedia, Ricky Martin, Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, Adam Lambert and more LGBTQ+ icons will celebrate Pride 2020 during a special livestream for a good cause.

Can't Cancel Pride: Helping LGBTQ+ People In Need, produced by iHeartMedia and Procter & Gamble, will fit a whole lot of fierceness into one hour, with the help from trans actor/activist Laverne Cox and Z100's Elvis Duran, who will co-host.

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Katy Perry and Sia are also slated to join the event, as well as more surprise guests.

"The COVID-19 pandemic combined with the fight for racial justice have exposed the complex and significant obstacles marginalized communities face," Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer of Procter & Gamble, said in a statement. "We must continue to speak up against hate and intolerance in all its forms and redouble our work to create substantive and meaningful change in our communities. One way we are doing that for the LGBTQ+ community is through this event by showing them they're not alone, even when stay-at-home orders have closed community centers and support systems that millions of LGBTQ+ people rely on every day."

Read: Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, Ne-Yo, Saweetie & More To Play Rock The Vote Livestream

"There's no question COVID-19 has impacted the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, and at this time in the U.S., the struggle for equality and inclusion has never been more important," iHeartMedia Chief Marketing Officer Gayle Troberman added. "Now is a time we need to come together to support the organizations that help bring critical resources to LGBTQ people in need and Can't Cancel Pride aims to do just that. Like always, Pride will continue to represent the resilience, beauty and strength of the LGBTQ+ community around the nation and the globe."

In addition to many corporate sponsors, iHeartMedia has partnered with non-profit the "Greater Cincinnati Foundation to distribute financial support raised by the event to LGBTQ+ organizations with a track record of positive impact and support of the LGBTQ+ community, including the National Black Justice Coalition, GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, CenterLink and OutRight Action International."

Can't Cancel Pride will air on Thurs., June 25 at 9:00 pm local time via iHeartRadio's Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, PrideRadio.com, iHeartMedia radio stations and on the iHeartRadio app June 25 at 9 p.m. local time. For more info, including on how to donate, visit the event's website.

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