Layla Chabhar, strategic advisor

Safe spaces for queer people of color

Layla Chabhar, strategic advisor

My name is Layla Chabhar, and I have been on the core team since June 2019 and have been co-chair of colored Qollective's board since January 2020. I'm 25  years old, Lebanese, and I identify as bi/pansexual and queer.

I have come into contact with this collective since the beginning of CQ, at the time as a visitor. There I found a place where I finally saw people who were just like me, and where I didn't have to hide part of who I am. I didn't really feel safe in mainstream queer spaces.. In queer POC spaces, including CQ, I can be completely myself. Despite challenges, such as my battle with chronic physical and mental health issues, I feel accepted and embraced by the community. I am aware that mental health problems, loneliness and exclusion are common among people in this community, and have personal experience with them themselves. Because I have been able to find my own strength through CQ, I would like to commit myself to my community and pass on a sense of love, recognition and safety. I also think it is very important that everyone is able to be their most authentic self, and that the conditions for being able to do so are fulfilled.

Contact Layla at layla@coloredqollective.org

Foto credit: Henri Verhoef