When Kareen “Mr. Bake” Queeman began his career as a baker, he noticed there were not a lot of queer, Black bakers in the industry. Now a James Beard semi-finalist and owner of Mr. Bake Sweets, located in the Food Hall in Riverdale Park Historic District, Maryland (until December 17, 2023). Queeman’s very presence and visible accomplishments have definitely opened up space in the cooking world. He has competed on a number of baking shows on Food Network, Netflix, Cooking Channel and won Discovery Family’s Bake It Like Buddy Show. When he’s not in the kitchen, Queeman teams up with Us Helping Us, one of the largest non-profit Black LGBTQ resources for HIV/AIDS and housing in the country, and the Wilton Cake Company to create space for other openly Black gay and queer people. Through this initiative, he teaches cake-making skills to at-risk Black men battling drug addiction, homelessness, HIV/AIDS, and mental health issues. —G.E.
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