In the fall of 2017, I made my way to Denver’s underground art space, the Underground Underground.
There, I sat with a group of fellow artists, artists who I’d been following for years.
These artists are known as Underground Underground artists, and they’re known for creating and sharing work that often touches on topics of race, social justice, and sexuality.
I had just recently joined the Underground for its inaugural show, “Black Lives Matter Denver,” which was a celebration of all black life, the first underground art show in Denver.
In the course of the show, I met some of the artists who would go on to create murals in my hometown.
The Underground Underground was a community of black artists, which, while not as numerous as the black communities in my own city, is a real testament to the art of black art.
As a black artist, it’s been my home since 1999.
So, it was natural that I had a few stories to share with my fellow Underground Undergroundists.
For example, in 2001, a black man was arrested for the rape of a black woman in the Denver area.
The police were called, and the man who had raped the woman was immediately taken into custody.
The man, later identified as 25-year-old Jody Lee Brown, was sentenced to life in prison, but he was freed from prison after serving only 15 years.
As an artist, I was also a part of a community that made strides toward equality and social justice through the Underground.
I was a part the Underground as a black queer artist, working with young women and men of color to create work that challenged social hierarchies.
I also had my share of struggle in my personal life.
I came out as bisexual in 2007, but I remained in my white heterosexual male identity for the better part of my adult life.
In my early teens, I struggled with depression, anxiety, and a variety of other mental health issues.
I struggled to find acceptance in my community, and I struggled in my relationships with my parents.
I wanted to change, and that meant finding other ways to express my art.
Through my own work, I’ve learned how to create art that celebrates my queer identity and my experience.
The art of Underground Underground is diverse.
Some of my Underground Underground paintings include women in drag, an interracial couple in the desert, a man wearing a wig, and black men, and white women.
Other Underground Underground art features women in makeup and a headdress.
One mural features a black lesbian couple in a bar in a Colorado city.
I’ve also painted several pieces that depict people of color, including a white man who wears a black and white headdress in front of a white woman in a Denver bar.
Underground Underground also features women and non-binary people, queer people of all genders, and other marginalized groups.
These pieces are part of Underground’s mission of providing art that’s inclusive, but is also celebratory.
As I’ve come to learn through my work, Underground Underground’s art is also very much about personal identity.
I often find myself in conversations with queer people who have experienced racism, and sometimes that’s something I’m uncomfortable with.
For instance, when I was in high school, my mother had a conversation with me about how I was perceived as a lesbian in her household.
I said, “Well, if you were a lesbian, you’d be called a lesbian all the time.”
And she said, “‘But if you’re a gay, you’re called a gay,'” and she got really upset.
She said, ‘Because it’s the same thing you call black men.
So I thought about this for a while, and then I thought, well, this is so offensive to me.’
“I know it’s not a particularly good question to ask, but if you are queer and you’re dealing with prejudice, then I think it’s important to understand the difference between what I’ve been doing and what some of you might feel.
There are people out there who feel that I’m trying to be racist.
And that’s absolutely not the case.
The majority of Underground artists are not white, and many of them are black, as well.
I’m proud of my work because it’s a celebration, not of a specific race or ethnicity, but of the diversity that we have in our community.
I think this is an important message to be sending to young people, to all queer artists, that we’re all people and that we can all be beautiful, that our art can be something more than the sum of its parts.
I hope that I can give you some inspiration on how to use your art to make a positive difference.
I would encourage you to look into the work of other Underground Underground Undergroundist artists, including those who are trans, non-monogamous, and queer.
I’d also like to encourage you all to be honest about the work you’re doing, especially if you want