Many of us have that one person who we can openly speak to about sex, and for almost half a million people on social media and in real life, that someone is Ericka Hart. When Hart isn’t teaching sex education (she’s an award-winning sexuality educator), she’s either writing, modeling, or speaking publicly. No matter what she’s up to, people know and love her for the Black, queer, femme activist she is. Not to mention, she’s also a fearless disruptor and breast cancer survivor.
In 2016, Hart gained recognition for going topless at a music festival and showing her double mastectomy scars in public. Since then she has used their platform to speak out about human sexual health as it intersects with race, gender, chronic illness, and disability. And she doesn’t just talk the talk. Most recently, Hart spoke out on social media about the racism and gas lighting they experienced at Columbia University School of Social Work (CSSW), where they were an adjunct professor for four-and-a-half years before being pushed out after speaking out against a transphobic and anti-Black student. In their Instagram post about it, they said, “CSSW administration has attempted to silence me, push me out quietly and punish me for being unwilling to teach a gender course from an apolitical basis or hide the fact that I’m queer and non-binary.” Their experience has called attention to larger issues of institutionalized racism, and their story will undoubtedly continue to be a catalyst for change.
Hart is a devoted thought leader whose voice has impacted not only their social media audience, but students at over 20 colleges and universities across the country, including Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality, their alma matter, where they are currently faculty. Those interested in race, social justice, and gender trainings by Hart can visit her website for more information.
For a more intimate peek inside their world, POPSUGAR spoke to Hart about everything from how she’s handling living with her partner, EB, during the pandemic to how we can inform ourselves to be better allies to people of color, people with chronic illnesses, and people with disabilities.
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