There is an old African proverb that says, “it takes a village to raise a child.” Our aviation industry is a small one, but it leaves a big impact on so many. My journey of becoming a pilot would not be possible without the many trailblazers who led the way for people like me and many others to earn their wings. Being black and queer presents its own challenges, but when you stand on the shoulders of giants, you can reach for anything.
For almost half of my life, I’ve always felt that I was a part of two villages. Both of whom could not mix, separating my “Black side” from my “Queer side,” one conflicting with the other. If there’s one thing I learned throughout the years, it’s to stay true to yourself and embrace your community. Through organizations like NGPA, I have been fortunate enough to meet people who look like me and do exactly that. People like Jason Israel give me the inspiration to be the best version of myself to be and true to myself. My village is a part of me.