BOL Presents: Behind the Mask

by Benjamin Ohene

At the height of the pandemic, face masks became difficult to locate. Individuals turned to protecting themselves with bandanas, scarves and other makeshift items as face wraps. Grocery stores, pharmacies and businesses around the world adopted a “no face mask, no entry” policy – thereby further increasing demand for the coveted items.

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Here is where our two LGBT heroes step in. Believe Out Loud had the opportunity to interview Allen Ryde and Talia singer, an LGBT duo who have been creating face masks since the COVID-19 pandemic ramped up in the United States in March 2020. Allen identifies as a gay man and Talia identifies as a pansexual woman. The two are producing a variety of masks with different colors and prints, thus enabling people to express their individuality and personality while protecting themselves and others.

Creating the face masks required a large amount of focus and energy, but Allen and Talia pushed through. Materials and fabrics were becoming more scarce as the world moved deeper into the pandemic. With additional support from the community and friends, the duo has created over 1,400 face masks that have protected countless individuals and communities ranging from families, to shelters, to hospitals.

We thank Allen and Talia for stepping forward to do their part.

The Center for Disease Control supports the usage of cloth face coverings and urges individuals to wear respiratory protection in order to prevent the spread of the virus from person to person.

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