1. On Friday morning, Mike Mason, known to his Twitter followers as @Mikey_Talks, tweeted a few stellar selfies of himself along with the caption, “If you came to slay tonight, say I slay!” Afterward, #BlackGaySlay was born.
Mason is 18 years old and lives in Kalamazoo, MI. He told BuzzFeed News that he’s a writer, and that the idea for his much-talked-about hashtag came from listening to Beyoncé’s “Formation”. The album led him to think of a way that black LGBT people could express their truths and be proud of themselves.
2. According to his Twitter, Mason wanted to highlight black queer people since “It’s way too many white gays in #BoysKissBoysSelfies,” another tag that caters gay people, though it’s overwhelmingly white.
“I think a problem that I have with the LGBT community publicly as a whole, is they don’t do a good job of representing LGBT people of color,” Mason said. “I was only seeing LGBT people who were white and it just really bothered me.”
3. Mikey also noted on his account that “gay” was used as an umbrella term for the tag, and he welcomes all types of LGBT-identifying black people to celebrate themselves in the hashtag.
4. Soon after Mikey’s initial tweet was sent out, several people began blessing their respective timelines with incredible selfies — and to say that they ~delivered~ would be an understatement.
5. People posted their most fire selfies, exuding confidence and killing it in flawless fashions.
6. They slayed in makeup.
7. They slayed in glasses.
Come through, million dollar smile.
8. And they slayed in different hairstyles.
Just radiant in every way.
9. Queer people of all shapes and sizes dominated the tag, too.
10. Mikey created an inclusive trend for black LGBT people to unapologetically be themselves.
11. Naturally, there were tons of people who looked on and praised the beauty of the movement.
12. Folks could not get enough.
13. And some were a little shook.
14. In a word, it was fierce.
15. Mason added that seeing people take to his hashtag made him “really emotional.”
“And that just shows you that it was necessary because so many people were reposting it and blogging — even people who weren’t black and LGBT were sharing it,” he said.
16. They came.
20. Per Mason’s Twitter, the hashtag is something that he’d like to make a regular occurrence.
He told BuzzFeed News that he hopes to get the tag to trend at least once a month and he compared the movement to Black Out Day, which is another trend that celebrates blackness. “I have T-shirts avaliable and I also have some other things so the community can feel a little more unified,” Mason said while discussing upcoming ventures.
21. “For everybody that has been harassed or attacked in this tag, I want them to know they’re valid in loving themselves … I just want them to stay strong and do their best to keep slaying,” Mason said.
Black History Month 2017 is off to a fine start.
This post has been updated to include quotes from Mike Mason, the creator of the hashtag.