Traveling while Black, and gay, in a COVID-19 world

Traveling while Black, and gay, in a COVID-19 world

A wave of nostalgia for unfettered, unregulated and carefree travel hit me as I watched a few clips from the new PBS travel series “FLY BROTHER with Ernest White II,” which made its debut in May on KQED here in the Bay Area.

I watched as the ebullient White, 42, walked through the teeming streets of his favorite city in the world, Sao Paulo, with his friend Flavia, a chatty local guide, and thought how much I’d like to be doing that now as the pandemic rages around us, closing off the world to the peripatetic class.

I miss being able to just get up and go. To plan trips, and have several dangling out in the future, drawing me along like a carrot dangling from a fishing pole in front of a horse. But since a trip overseas is out of the question for now, I’m happy to settle in, watch and remember with shows like “Fly Brother.” (Check out the 30-second trailer for the series here.)

These days, while most Americans are stuck inside our borders due to disease and quarantines, it was easy to catch up with Ernest, who lives in the Bay Area, and learn more about the ironic timing of launching a travel show right now, American racism, what it’s like to travel while Black… and gay, and how he was able to create a job and a life doing what he loves…traveling around the world making friends.

Come on along and follow our conversation through the photos and captions below.



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