A kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer with a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, Ericka Hart has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for the past 10 years. Her work in sexuality education was catalyzed by her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia from 2008-2010.
Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May 2014 at the age of 28, she realized that neither her identity as a queer black woman, nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment.
Ericka is shifting ingrained cultural modes and attitudes on chronic illness and posits visibility as a sociopolitical stance, one vital to any radically inclusive progressive movement toward equity. From framing desire and pleasure as political to dismantling the ways that systemic patriarchy and anti-black standards of beauty affect our everyday lives, her work is part of a larger conversation on healing that forces us to see our institutions and systems of care as complicit in the perpetuation of illness in marginalized communities; unabashedly centering and sentient such that queer, trans black, brown and femme voices aren’t lost among the drone of scholarly research less skilled than Hart in bringing academia to the places it refuses to go.
Audiences around the world admire Ericka for her ability to use what has swelled to a cult following on social media among young QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) cancer survivors, activists, artists, medical professionals alike to assert the personal as political and challenge anti-blackness everywhere it rears its head–from the front pages of magazines, runways to the university; white supremacist patriarchy does not stand a chance.