Do you regret losing your virginity to the person you lost it to? How old were you when you first had sex, and did you use protection? While we’re being candid, what’s your best relationship advice? And how would you describe Black gay love?
The answers to these and many more questions await in the short film Stepping Into Control (click on the image above to watch). It’s the first in a series of three by Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI), a New York City–based group that aims to elevate the voices of queer communities of color as they pertain to issues mental health, sex and LGBT experiences.
The videos, about 15 to 20 minutes long, transform the popular MOBItalks live series into an artistic digital format, making it available to the public in the process.
Stepping Into Control explores facets of sex through vignettes, dance sequences, discussion groups, profiles and more, shot by videographer LaQuann Dawson. A delightful narrative element arrives in the form of “Can You Feel What I’m Sayin’?” a short story written and narrated by James Earl Hardy (of the popular B-Boy Blues novels) and illustrated and animated by Khalid Rosemin and LaQuann Dawson.
Other segments include playwright Donja R. Love, gay adult film actor Deangelo Jackson, model Isa’ah, rapper Regi Angelou and a range of advocates and community members who discuss everything from overcoming shame to advocating for yourself in sexual relationships—including as a fat Black person or as a femme or transgender person.
If you want to learn more about MOBI, read the Out magazine profile from 2018 titled “Mobilizing a Black Queer Community: NYC’s New Initiative Is the Talk of the Town.” You can also find out more about the initiative, which is funded by the New York City Department of Health, on MOBI-NYC.com. The three videos in the MOBItalks digital series will premiere on Fridays, May 1, 8 and 22.
In related news, you can read about Love’s recent play, penned while he marked 10 years of living with HIV, in the POZ article “Black Gay Men and HIV Take Center Stage in ‘one in two,’” which includes video clips and interviews.