Our Founder

Meet BGM's Founder and Creative Director, Nalo A. K. Zidan (Formerly Tia Banks)


Nalo A. K. Zidan

Founder & Creative Director #BGM

To change is to be vulnerable, and to be vulnerable is to be alive.
— Dr. Alexis De Veaux

Nalo (she/they) is a 29 year old Queer Black word artist with an overzealous spirit for sunflowers, Black folk and almost anything made with potatoes. Growing up a Washingtoniyorker, Nalo quickly learned that she was made for city culture, falling in love with the fast paced, never ending pulses of light, energy and people. As a child with an innate ability to navigate new, unfamiliar spaces with considerable ease, Nalo would grow to recognize her blooming extroversion as a super power, ultimately becoming her best tool for survival.

I don’t know that I’ve ever stopped talking. Even when my lips were sealed, my walk, my heart, my eyes always had so much else to say.
— Nalo A. K. Zidan

Nalo recognized a love for women at age 6, but would not appreciate the colors of her queerness until 25, when she finally found the courage to break free from a seemingly interminable war between her sexuality and her love for God via the Black Apostolic/Pentecostal church. After years of trauma and no safe spaces to heal, Nalo dedicated her time and energy to writing and unlearning, to heal her wounds and completely recreate her life. Nalo's fervor for safe spaces for queer, Black masculine-identified women & non-binary people is how #Blackgirlmasculine was born.

BlackGirlMasculine is where creativity meets identity and falls in love. It’s the safe space we create to preserve ourselves, to hide when the world is too much, to cry when we don’t want to be seen. It is the space where your shoes come off and your bra is undone. It is the home of our most authentic selves, the place where performance ends.
— Nalo A. K. Zidan

Nalo is currently a Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Major at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA. When she isn't creating with BGM, she loves spoken word, basketball, open mic nights, live music and creating across a plethora of artistic mediums. She is the oldest of 6 children and plans to be the first in her family to obtain a Doctoral degree. Nalo has been loved so abundantly by so many people this lifetime, but sends a very special thank you to these gentle spirits, who have inspired her to overcome fear and adversity to become her best self.

A Special Thank You...

  • K'La Jackson

  • Zuri & Kweli Russell

  • Sokari Ekine

  • Dr. Alexis De Veaux

  • Adrienne C.

  • Be Steadwell

  • Dr. Amber Johnson

  • Kei Slaughter

  • Dr. K. T. Ewing

  • F. Indigo Ife

  • The entire BGM community!