Dominique Jackson
Advertisement

In its milestone 50th anniversary year, The National LGBTQ Task Force is hosting its 27th annual Gala in South Florida. The Gala’s theme, Forever Strong, Unapologetically Queer, speaks to the organization’s determination in uplifting the LGBTQ community and creating spaces for queer people to be their full, authentic selves. The night will feature a red-carpet entrance and cocktail reception, an expansive high-end silent auction, a formal dinner, live entertainment, an awards ceremony over dessert, and an afterparty with dancing and a live DJ. Red carpet is at 6pm with the gala beginning at 6:30pm, and the after glow party starting at 10pm.

Actress, model, and activist Dominique Jackson, best known for her lead role as Elektra in the hit show Pose on FX, will receive the 2023 National Leadership Award, an honor awarded each year to an advocate who has helped further the Task Force’s mission.

It was a pleasure to sit down with Dominique for this exclusive Hotspots interview:

Were you always an entertainer even as a kid, or when did it start?

I have always been an entertainer from the time I knew myself. My family was into music, but I was always told I count carry a tune, so my love was dance. I always danced and I always loved the stage but didn’t think the stage would be receptive of me.

At what point did you realize you were Transgender?

The thing is I had to fit into a category. I was always this girl. I looked at other people and they were confused. Later on, I looked at body parts and realized maybe they were right, and I thought that I could never possible be the woman I am now. I was always a girl.

How did your family take it?

Of course, I was scolded and told I was incorrect, but survival kicks in and it was a matter of me accepting who I was on the inside and knowing that eventually I would find that person one day. Once I finally presented who I am, is when they really took it hard, and I suffered for that as I went through homelessness and a lot of violent situations. It’s hard to accept the truth when the truth is hard to accept as the norm.

When did you move to the US?

When I was 15 years old.

How did modeling start for you, and what was the best runway/show you modeled for?

My favorite show is always going to be Mugler as that is my everything. I started with Brooklyn fashion week and my friends told me to never give up even with all the obstacles. They said I was destined to be a model. Eventually the doors opened for me. It was nice and validating to have people believe in me. After all this is when Mugler called, and I even modeled for Valentino. I am honored when any Couture designer calls and books me, and I am forever grateful.

How special it is to you to receive the 2023 National Leadership Award, at the Task Force Gala?

That is something that I am still in shock about because I never really understand getting an award for something we are supposed to do. It is our duty to work and help our community by standing up. So, it’s odd to be recognized for this. But then I realized that being honored means my sisters are being acknowledged. It is for everyone who taught me how to survive and for my sisters who are no longer with us. And I am very humbled by it.

What does the future hold for you?

I just made it into Hollywood and then there was a pandemic and now we are on strike so hopefully something will be great soon. I hope for a future where I can be working alongside many more of my sisters and brothers telling our stories and being supported.

For more information on Dominique Jackson, follow her on Instagram.com/Dominiquet.a.r.jackson

Latrice Royale

Constance Collins, the Founder and President of the Sundari Foundation, Inc. (also known as the Lotus House Women’s Shelter), will be honored with the 2023 Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award for their efforts in establishing and supporting a network of women’s shelters and programs nationwide.

Emcees of the evening include iconic drag performer Latrice Royale, crowned “Miss Congeniality” of RuPaul’s Drag Race: Season 4 and award-winning actor, singer, and filmmaker Dyllón Burnside, best known for his role as Ricky in the FX series Pose.

I asked Latrice her thoughts about hosting the Task Force Gala and she said: “I am so thrilled to be asked to return as a host of the National Task Force Gala. This is an organization that has been fighting for our rights for years, and we need them more now than ever. Like everyone, I am just one person. But I am determined to use my voice as loudly as possible to remind everyone We’re HERE and not going ANYWHERE. I hope everyone can join us at the gala, and make sure to bring your purses!!!

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to: Thetaskforce.org.