Black History Month through a Queer lens and leading with love with Mariat Jibril





Mariat Jibril leads with love and her leadership is infectious. 

In our latest episode of Hey, Cis! Isaac and Cyn join Mariat Jibril from Vancouver, British Columbia and have a coast-to-coast conversation about being a black, queer advocate and financial professional working in equity, diversity and inclusion.

“I think we can love and we can lead with love. You just like being a leader in any organization. You’ve got to have empathy. If you can’t lead with empathy, then you can never be a leader.” Mariat

Perspectives, insights and resources we loved talking about, include:

  • the intersections of coming out as a black person from Nigeria, who’s lived in the UK, Ireland and across three provinces in Canada;
  • the importance of ensuring equitable access to financial institutions within the queer community and what’s at stake when institutions get it wrong;
  • top tips for individuals working in the finance who want to create safer spaces for employees and 2SLGBTQ+ clients;
  • unpacking nuances within black culture and the importance of QTBIPOC connections and vulnerability;
  • importance of empathy, active listening and respect in intentional allyship and what that means;
  • PLUS a whole lot more!  Tune-in here and join the conversation.

“I always believe that a first impression is the last, right,? says Jibril. “So I respect and think about how I ask those questions…My advice is that inclusion should always be intentional and it shouldn’t be more about, ‘Oh, I have to do this.’  Let your conversation be organic and get to learn more about allowing people to speak to learn more about them.” Mariat Jibril, TD Bank Group

“It’s really going in with intent and not making assumptions or jumping to conclusions, asking questions, coming in with an open mind, because I know there’s been certainly certain situations for myself as a trans person. I walk into a room as soon as people know I’m trans, they assume what I struggle with. They assume how I’m going to react to certain situations. It’s it can be frustrating because, you know, each individual trans person, each individual queer person has different experiences and different needs. So making sure you’re meeting folks where they’re at is is vital.” Isaac Cook, Hey, Cis!

Progress is fragile, because if we stop working, then we go back to where we started, or even worse than where we started. So we have to keep moving forward.

And that is a key ‘WHY’ behind Hey, Cis! and going beyond binary to build better humans. We’re glad you’re here!


Across Canada, February is a time to celebrate Black history.

Our friends at Pflag Canada created a social media series for the month of February, highlighting black queer voices throughout history. These individuals are great to know if you’re an educator, a history buff, or simply interested in expanding your knowledge of game changers and advocates within the queer black community.

One individual in particular that I looked up online was Ravyn Wngz. In 2021 she was recognized as a Top 25 women of influence and they identify as a Queer, Two Spirit Transcendent.

Ravyn is the founder of Toronto based Nana Diversity Dance Company, which was created to create a safe space for black queer artists after facing a lot of racism and homophobia. As an artist herself, we can put some links in the show notes, but merit thinking along that lines.

Do you have anyone that might jump out to you as an LGBTQ2+ Black Game-Changer? Email us at 

Mariat shared with us someone she’s celebrating, and that is Dr. Shamira Rahim. Dr. Rahim is a chiropractor in Vancouver, British Columbia and you can hear why Mariat chose her on episode 37 of Hey, Cis!: The Intersections of Identity and Financial Security with Mariat Jibril



Learn more: