In bklyn boihood, we all share the belief that community and personal empowerment should be rooted in principles that we clearly articulate. We will consistently strive to embody these beliefs in our work as collective members and individuals. The people, places, things and spirits that lift us up and guide our work are infinite. While we know it would be impossible to name them all, here are some of the core principles that guide bklyn boihood.
We believe first and most deeply in the power, impact and resources of our queer and trans black and brown communities. This means as we build projects, collaborations, art, music, media and capital our focus of development and investment has been, is and will continue to prioritize queer, black and brown collaborators, vendors, contractors and contributors.
We believe that our lives and presence are only possible because of the work of our elders and ancestors. As a result, we will invest in our black and brown queer and trans elder community by volunteering, supporting, and holding them in the highest dignity and respect.
We believe our impact and relevance is only as strong as our connection to the next generation. We commit to investing in and collaborating with youth in our families and communities, especially black, brown and queer youth.
We commit to redefining masculinity in ways that do not center/champion possession, violence and misogyny (aka “the hatred of women, femmes and girls”). We know that conventional masculinity embodies and uplifts dangerous and violent acts and beliefs that place so much of the world in danger--especially women (both trans and non trans), the poor and youth. We actively build outside of these frameworks and encourage lgbtq bois and transmen to redefine masculinity in ways that uplift and center the well-being of ourselves and our communities. Masculinity is not an excuse to commit acts of physical, emotional or societal violence.
We commit to the cultivation of “safer spaces” for our community, in our events, gatherings, homes and lives. While we know that “safe spaces” are at best a goal, bklyn boihood commits to the ongoing work of building and maintaining a safer space for our community. This involves being actively trained by our community in conflict de-escalation, communication, maintaining active presence, specifically to de-escalate conflicts (especially those misogynistic in nature). We also commit to sharing our principles with all collaborators, venues, and sponsors. (For our specific “Party Principles”, go here).
We commit to building a collective that is a healthy home for self-identified genderqueer, gender non-conforming, two spirit, trans and transmasculine bois of color. Our identities--that may or may not embody these “labels” overlap and live in unique spaces and that is beautiful. We commit to building a collective in which we all are affirmed through honoring our complexity and need for space that may or may not include the entire collective.
bklyn boihood respects and appreciate our healthy allies and explicitly names that our mutual work is a space where the empowerment and visibility of qtpoc is centralized. We feel most supported by our allies when they share opportunities to grow/find/acquire resources, visibility and advance the work in which we are already engaged.
We celebrate and uplift the courage and presence of our international community of bois and supporters. Since our inception, bklyn boihood has been supported and held by queer family in countries that are not the United States. In some cases these environments treat queerness as criminal, illegal, or immoral. We commit to maintaining and growing international connections that bring a larger context and purpose to our work. We commit anonymity (when needed) and consider their safety in our curation of safer spaces. bklyn boihood also challenges their home countries to explore and connect to their rich history of queer and trans people (because we have been everywhere, for all time).
We believe fiscal stability is an attainable reality within our collective and community. While none of us have come from traditions of familial wealth--we understand that we have the power to build our financial lives in ways that allow for us to reach our short and long term financial goals. While our preferred methods of equity-building range from skill exchanging to bartering, we understand that being able to support ourselves, families and communities with resources and a strong knowledge base is revolutionary--especially in black and brown queer spaces.
We believe in improving and considering our health and well-being physically, spiritually and mentally. Each of us is on an individual journey towards achieving our goals of health and well-being. Using practices that are rooted in self-love, as a collective we engage in harm reduction, wellness promotion, and make room for the ways we individually care for own bodies and lives. All of our bodies, challenges, illnesses, addictions, strengths and weaknesses in their current form are lovingly received. We believe in asking for conditions that allow us to live and exist more healthfully in our work, travel and projects.
We believe in our inalienable right to be fly as shit. Since the beginning of time black and brown folks--especially those of us not accepting/living on the conventional spectrums of gender and identity have been fly. We believe in that. We invest in it. It is a core part of how we show ourselves love and provide personal affirmation. Fashion, for us, is part-politic, part-storytelling and part-survival.
We actively support queer and gender non-conforming families. As parents (present and future), uncles, aunties, fathers, and caregivers, bklyn boihood believes in the power and critical need of queer families. We actively commit to creating spaces where all types of families can participate and look forward to being affirmed...also, we are a queer and gender non-conforming family so...yea.
We believe in the commitment of generating work. bklyn boihood’s community of queer and trans black and brown folks are always doing the most groundbreaking, dynamic, experimental, real ass good quality work. We commit to engaging in the generation of new work that includes: producing media and events, sharing the work of others, and building the vast network of makers who are creating out of their experiences everyday online and offline.
As a community, a collective and as individuals we commit to embodying these principles in and through bklyn boihood.