For the past 5 years Washington, D.C.’s gay magazine, METROWEEKLY, has been “honoring the achievements and potential of LGBT leaders under the age of 30” with their Next Generation Awards. This year’s winners are Alexander AJ King, who works for Northern Virginia AIDS ministry; Michael Komo, who worked to make George Washington University more Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Positive; Joseph Lewis, who is involved with overseeing equal-opportunity hiring guidelines for federal contractors; and Je-Shawna Wholley, who mobilized Spellman College’s LGBT group, Afrekete, to become more visible. From METROWEEKLY:
It hit Alexander AJ King when he was only in high school.
”I was getting calls back to back to back from my friends saying, ‘AJ, I just found out I’m positive,”’ he says. The calls came from fellow gay, African-American boys in their teens. ”I was like, ‘Wow, there’s clearly a disparity going on in this community.”’
That disparity helped push King to choose a career focused on HIV prevention and care, particularly among gay and bisexual African-Americans, as well as queer youth empowerment and social justice.