From the time he was 17, Andre knew he wanted to pursue a profession that would allow him to help people. He’d already suffered through years of rejection and sadness from family and friends because of their disapproval of his sexual orientation. As a gay man of color, Andre has faced insidious discrimination for decades. Even when he served as the Executive Director of The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, Andre still noticed that he was often treated differently because he’s black or gay. He hopes that through his continued visibility, especially in his role at the Gay and Lesbian Center, he will be able to reduce the frequency of this kind of discrimination.
“As a black man you’re faced with many challenges – just because of the color of your skin and all the biases, bigotries, prejudices, stereotypes and discriminations that comes along with it,” Andre said. “You add the identity of gay and it brings up additional bigotries, prejudices, stereotypes and discriminations. And on the job, while navigating one’s career and intersections can make for a dizzying journey. At times I’m digestible, other times I’m dismissed, but ultimately, I am supported by individuals and a community that are rooting for me and the success of The Center.”