MADAMENOIRE is celebrating pride month with Say It Loud: Black, Queer & Proud, a new original series that spotlights members of the LGBTQ community and the beautiful differences that make all individuals unique.

In episode one, rising hip-hop star Saucy Santana, Bishop Oliver Clyde Allen, and singers Tanya Nolan and MK xyz sit down for an in-depth conversation about their coming out experiences.

The trio gets candid about some of the challenges they experienced coming out to their families and the roadblocks they encountered navigating their professional careers as members of the LGBTQ community.

For Santana, coming out to his mother and grandmother wasn’t easy.  The 29-year-old rapper was outed by his cousin after confiding in them about his identity.  At first, his mother did not take the news so well.

“It was hard on her because I started to dress feminine. I’ve been wearing makeup since I was like 17, “ the “Material Girl” artist said.  After some prayer and a whole lot of church, Santana said that by the grace of God, his mother learned to love and accepted him for living in his truth.

Hot newcomer MK xyz appeared to be unapologetic about her truth. The popular artist admitted that she was open about her crushes and about who she was.

Bishop Allen, who runs the Vision Cathedral in Atlanta, said he started his church to help people like himself that struggled to balance their religious faith with their sexual identity. The LGBTQ advocate encouraged his co-hosts to think differently about the term “coming out” because of the agency that it holds.

“I don’t typically use the term coming out anymore. I really believe that we are to invite people in,” he said. “When I invite you in, I’m reclaiming my agency. I’m bringing you into my power. I’m bringing you into my truth.”

For Nolan, coming out has been an up-hit battle.

Her mother doesn’t necessarily understand why she chooses to date women, but over the years, the singer and songwriter has learned to accept that her mother may never be able to understand her identity.

“It’s exhausting trying to convince someone. What I’ve learned is this is your life. Live it how you want. That is your path, but respect mine,” the R&B star added.

Hear more from the incredible guests above.  How are you celebrating Pride Month this year?

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