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Normal Anomaly Celebrates Six Years of Championing for Black, Queer+ Persons by Releasing Iconic, All-Black, Queer and Allied Lineup for BQ+AF

To commemorate its sixth anniversary, Normal Anomaly reflects on its past and looks towards the future to continue advancing human rights at the intersection of Black and LGBTQIA+ issues

HOUSTON, TX. Mar. 10, 2022 The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc., a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to assisting Black, queer+ people with overcoming barriers and ending stigmas and problematic narratives, is celebrating its sixth anniversary of advocacy by announcing the lineup for the Black Queer+ Advancement Festival (BQ+AF). 

Normal Anomaly supports its community by providing HIV tests, at-home tests, transportation for testing, employment assistance opportunities, sexual education classes, sex positive, liberation and LGBTQ+ affirming trainings, and events to uplift Black, queer+ persons and their culture. In the past year, Normal Anomaly has launched four new programs, including Positives Organizing Wellness and Resilience (P.O.W.R.) Project, Project Liberate, Trans Ally Collective, and the Community Burial Fund. 

The Black Queer AF Music Festival is a community-centered event that is the epitome of “partying with a purpose,” as Founder, Ian L. Haddock says. BQ+AF is Normal Anomaly’s largest event to date and will celebrate being Black and LGBTQIA+, while providing space for community development, awareness, and engagement. 

“LGBTQIA+ Pride originated from a movement that encompassed celebration and advocacy. Black, queer people have always been at the forefront of meshing these two activities together. This is no different. We are creating space for advancement while allowing people from our community to headline, be present, and celebrate,” says Haddock.

The Normal Anomaly is proud to present an all-Black, queer and allied performance list headlined by Sissy Nobby, SevnDeep, Durand Bernarr, and Dawn Richard from Danity Kane along with regionally known talents such as ShaunWes, Tre’ Ward and Vockah Redu. BQ+AF will be hosted by Krystal Smith, Brandon Sanders and Khaos Talks with sounds by DJ Rocabye. The event will also spotlight 14 Black and/or queer businesses that will be launched at the festival.

Joelle Bayaa-Uzuri Espeut, Director at The Normal Anomaly Initiative says, “It is important that we, as Black queer persons, are not only celebrating, but also are celebrated.  Pride has increasingly become focused on non-queer persons with little to no connection to our community.  BQ+AF looks to highlight and celebrate Black, queer artists that are often overlooked and overshadowed in the greater Pride and festival conversations.”

The Normal Anomaly Initiative began in 2016 in Houston through its founder, Ian L. Haddock, as a blog to tell the stories of Black, queer+ folx. Since its inception, the Normal Anomaly Initiative has significantly grown to include a team of nontraditional activists that have shifted from storytelling to directly changing the lives and stories of its community through advocacy, direct services and technical assistance. 

In six short years, the initiative’s impact has been recognized globally and through significant pop culture events that raised international awareness on dangerous stigmas for those living with HIV. Normal Anomaly has been featured on Lil Nas X’s “baby registry” to raise awareness for HIV/LGBTQIA+ organizations, has been a leader in speaking on HIV issues to DaBaby, and has worked with the Huffington Post, United States Conference on HIV/ AIDS (USCHA) and Prime Video to spread HIV and stigma awareness.

“The Normal Anomaly Initiative Inc. understood the assignment because there are disproportionate opportunities, funding, and resources for Black leaders and businesses. For instance, the Black leaders who completed Project Liberate have received leadership development to expand their business, brand, and collaborations. The future of The Normal Anomaly Initiative Inc., will continue to challenge social injustice and create innovative opportunities for the Black Queer community,” says Jordan Edwards, Director at The Normal Anomaly Initiative

The Black Queer+ Advancement Festival (BQ+AF). BQ+AF will premiere at Stampede Houston on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Tickets are available now through For more information, please visit  


About Normal Anomaly – Founded by Ian L. Haddock in June 2016 in Houston, Texas as a storytelling blog, The Normal Anomaly Initiative has grown to become a Houston staple in the community-based social advocacy world dedicated to the forward mobility of all black, queer people. In March 2021, The Normal Anomaly opened the BQ Plus Center for Liberation, a Black, Queer led center located in Houston.