Curry Club NYC, Co-Founder
Richard Mohammed (he/him/his) was born and raised in San Juan, Trinidad and Tobago. Growing up, Richard realized that his attraction to men started at age 14. After separating from his then partner in 1993, Mohammed migrated to New York City in 1994 and settled in Richmond Hill, Queens.
During his time in New York City, Mohammed became a bike messenger for three years, after which he accepted a role at Seagrams. Seven years following, he later accepted a position at the Gissendanner Law firm as a Catering Coordinator. As a new queer immigrant looking to connect with LGBTQ people, Mohammed found himself at a little bar named "Uncle Charlie’s" in The Village; it was there that he met different LGBTQ men and women holding hands and living in their truth. Mohammed remembers having a screwdriver as his first drink in The Village. There he met different LGBTQ people from Trinidad, Guyana, and other Caribbean countries. In that moment, Mohammed felt safe.
Mohammed, and his colleagues Zen and Joe Armoogan met in 2002 to discuss the lack of affirming Caribbean LGBTQ social spaces in New York City.
Mohammed and Armoogan came up with the idea to launch an LGBTQ Caribbean gathering for their community. Zen suggested the name "Curry Club"—because everyone loves curry. Curry Club NYC was launched at the Malika Exclusive Indian Restaurant on 43rd Street in Manhattan.
This collaboration became an organizing effort, using mostly flyers and word-of-mouth to develop and promote Curry Club NYC. Later collaborations came with Sholay Productions, a South Asian collective that often hosts Desi LGBTQ events. This partnership led to the fusion of West Indian and South Asian cultures. Curry Club NYC would later develop into a monthly gathering of LGBTQ Caribbean immigrants and Caribbean-Americans, and would last for up to three years.
In the mid-2000s, Curry Club NYC became one of the only spaces for Indo-Caribbean LGBTQ people to exist safely. Richard acknowledges the collaboration, and help in developing Curry Club NYC, from persons such as Tina “DJ Mother Gay”Arniotis (DJ), Zen (aide), Sara Masala (drag performer), Joe Armoogan (graphic designer), Ms. Lily (drag performer), Karma Sutra (drag performer), and Skyler “Shammie” Manchoon (dancer).