Janaya Future Khan has been named the recipient of the GAY TIMES Honour for International Community Trailblazer.
As the International Ambassador for Black Lives Matter, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, and former Campaign Director for Color of Change, the work Janaya Future Khan does is crucial in the fight for equality and justice for marginalised communities.
They are a true inspiration and, as Reeta Loi puts it in the introduction for their conversation together in the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine, they are “the leader we have all been waiting for”.
“I think the kind of activism that we need is two-fold,” Janaya Future Khan says. “One, we need to move from critical mass to critical connection.
“I think that particularly in the social media and digital age there is this belief that the ability to mobilise and organise people in their physical bodies is activism. What we’re being called to do is to organise people’s minds. To arrange and organise political thoughts, a sense of purpose, a sense of responsibility. It’s not about what you stand for it’s about who you sit with.
“We spend so many resources trying to understand bigots particularly establishments. I have this question, is it so much easier to sit down and try to empathise with bigots than it is with Black people? As a society we have to ask ourselves that question.
”The second thing is to be really clear about what we’re fighting against. There’s this idea that you’re fighting a president or an administration or a specific set of policies. I hope that this time has clarified that what we’re fighting is a belief system that informs these realities that informs a president, that informs an administration that informs these policies.
“We need our own belief system to counter it, because revolution is not just the ending of something it’s the beginning of something new.”
GAY TIMES Honours 2020 is taking place between 25-26 November across our digital and social channels.
We are celebrating the individuals and organisations who have had a profound effect on the lives of LGBTQ+ people in the past 12 months.
Interviews with GAY TIMES Honours winners feature in the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine, which is in stores, available online and on Apple News+ from 27 November.
GAYTIMES+ members get the new issue of GAY TIMES Magazine first, along with exclusive digital content and membership benefits. GAYTIMES+ membership is available globally, and starts at just £3.50/€4/$5 per month. Find out more here.