Being visible in a community often marginalized is an integral part of leadership.

“There’s a need to empower black men to be better,” said Lorenzo Robertson.

Robertson, an emerging interventions manager for the Pride Center, said his focus is nurturing the next generation of gay and bisexual black men to live an open and authentic life.

“Too many of our men are still hiding or ashamed,” he said.

To help decrease stigma and shame in black same gender loving men, Robertson coordinates the Ujima Men’s Collective Conference and is the founder and facilitator of BrothasSpeak, a discussion group that meets regularly in West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

Diagnosed with HIV in 1997, Robertson works tirelessly to advocate on behalf of those living with the virus. He often uses his creative skills as a coping mechanism, writing poetry and acting in a one-man show that weaves the themes of sex, drugs and love into a compelling story.

His newest work, “Eclectic Essence,” are words, Robertson says, “that will speak to your soul.”

Robertson, who holds a B.A. in Public Administration and Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, resides in Coconut Creek with his husband, Derald.