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    Friday
    Feb262016

    bklyn boihood’s guiding principles.

    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.

     

     

     

    Thursday
    Dec102015

    The bklyn boihood calendar 

    Greetings earthlings --

    You may have noticed there was no call this year for models for our annual calendar. That’s because, for the first time since the beginning of bbh, we elected to not do one this year.

    Each year our calendar has brought something special and perfect. Each year we hear stories of its impact. As we grow and evolve, we want the calendar to grow and evolve too. So over the next 12 months, we’ll be curating doing a 2017 multi-media calendar project. We’ll share more details but it’s going to involve various platforms (video, print, possibly audio) and ways to connect with the models of this and past years.

    In 2010 the calendar was a icy hot snowball that got thrown out into Brooklyn. To be a boi was not a rarity, but to be a boi unabashedly celebrating one’s presence in the world, to be handsome and beautiful, to participate in a photoshoot dedicated to affirming your place in the world--that was revolutionary and unique. We didn’t know it then, but the work was built upon generations of elders and ancestors who were doing their own types of affirming and organizing.

    As the years went on, the calendar spread to dozens of states, several countries and a few continents. Tumblr wasn’t really poppin’ yet. Instagram didn’t exist. Buzzfeed hadn’t featured bois. We were not in fashion. We were, as we continue to be, in danger, misunderstood, hyper-generalized. We were, as many of us continue to be, unaware that being a boi--being gender non-conforming, transmasculine, masculine-of-center--all those things--is not married to a particular brand of masculinity that teaches us violence, possession, fear. Our calendars were an attempt to become unafraid. 

    Since 2010 there are many, many more ways for bois of color to see themselves represented in the world. Some of them are shallow; others extra problematic and others are amazing. But it’s not enough. A one-dimensional calendar is no longer enough. We are dreaming bigger and can’t wait for what’s going to come.

    -the bois

     

     

    Wednesday
    Dec092015

    Our 2015 bklyn boihood annual retreat

    Winter 2015 

    *Throws open the curtains*

    Good morning, world :)

    Over the last few months, we have been underground. Changing jobs, making music, entering relationships, creating art, traveling and so much other shit. As a collective we gave each other permission to pause, regroup and reconnect in December at our annual bklyn boihood retreat.

    We came out with soooo much to do and an OFFICIAL new collective member--even though he been down (the good doctor Van Bailey). Our work this weekend was about plugging back in and making tangible plans for how to transition to the work of visibility to the work of sustainability.  2016 will be all about sharing and building the resources we need to create opportunities for ourselves and our community* to do work creatively, spiritually, politically, artistically and entrepreneurially. (*When we say our community, we mean you. We mean us.)

    In the next few weeks we will share a revised mission and principles and plans for next year. We’ll consistently be reaching out for new connections, volunteers, projects and collaborators who are down to make excellent work that uplifts bois of color all over the world.

    We’re excited to finish this year with you (see below), to start next year with you and to elevate.


     

    Luh’you!

    the bois 

     

    PS - We’re also throwing a party. On New Year’s Eve. Until 7am.

    PPS - Lit.


     



     

    Friday
    Aug212015

    VERGE: NY's Queer Fashion Show

    What is Queer Style?

    dapperQ, bklyn boihood, DYDH Productions, and Posture Magazine present VERGE, the largest New York Fashion Week runway show showcasing queer style. Hosted at world renowned Brooklyn Museum, Verge will feature eight designers whose work is systemically rooted in notions of gender nonconformity and its intersections with race, ethnicity, and culture.

    The vision is to become a platform for the un-defined and the conceptually minded while maintaining a prominent level of accessibility to the LGBTQI and allied communities.

    Acclaimed designers, including Fabio Costa of Project Runway Season 10 and Project Runway All Stars, will reveal new Spring/Summer 2016 designs at this highly anticipated event. Featured collections were selectively chosen to embody the enigma of a vastly diverse aesthetic that is simultaneously chaotic and orderly. The viewer is invited to explore the question "What is queer style?"

    RSVP TODAY

    REGISTER TO BE A VOLUNTEER FOR THE DAY. (Closes 9/1.) 

    Details:

    Thursday, September 17th

    The Brooklyn Museum

    200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11238

    Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor

    7:30pm – 9:30pm

     

     

     

    Friday
    Jul312015

    Vulnerability: What do you need right now?

    Vulnerability is the act being transparent about weakness or need. But how? In a world that is violently disinterested in the struggles and needs within our black and brown queer and trans communities, expecting to think of vulnerability and need in positive ways feels backwards.

    WHAT DO YOU NEED RIGHT NOW?

    In bklyn boihood, we ain’t nothin’ but a bunch of needy bois who are committed to showing up for each other. Like, no joke, that’s our entire thing. We love each other, we are family but more than that, we are really invested in trying to give what we can to one another. We are an ecology. At different points, members of the collective carry distinct resources, ideas, connections and we offer them generously.


     

    There are layers upon layers of why it feels better sometimes to just eat the shit that is eating us and keep soldiering forward. Specifically for bois, the pressure to “man up” and pretend as if the things that we lack or that ail us are enemies on a battlefield rather than potentially cancerous seedlings inside of us makes it feel hard to be comfortable in our feelings. So many of us don’t make room to struggle. And when masculine-of-center folk struggle, often we default to some of the unhealthiest ways “masculinity” manifests: denial, ownership, machoism, violence-as-communication, and the need to pretend like whatever is fucking with our existence isn’t really shaking us. It’s just a thing. We ain’t phased. But we are phased. In some ways we’re all suffering. And to own that is to be vulnerable.

     

     

    It’s not like these challenges are made up. Very often, when we do put ourselves out there and name/share a need, it doesn’t get met or we get clowned. Or someone tops our story on some oppression olympics shit and we just think, “forget it”. We get left assed out and are have to deal with the fallout of having to figure how to save face, temporarily patch up the hole and keep it moving. So much of this feels exhausting because it is a cycle that is impossible to sustain. But breaking cycles is some of the most important work that we can do in our lives. We don’t have the answers but there are always ways to be in resistance to the things that don’t serve us.

     

     

    bklyn boihood has been thinking and talking about the importance of naming the things we need out loud. Abstract, concrete--whatever. The foundations of who we are come from a place of sharing and creating space together. Producing our annual calendars came out of the need to feel un-invisible and attractive. Our parties came out of a need to have space that allowed us to feel at home and safe and free. Headquarters and the infamous couch (and loveseat--omg our backs) that hosted so many of us through transitions and visits and revelations and cryfests was a need. Connecting ourselves to elders in our community who have been doing this work since before we were alive is and continues to be necessary.

     

     

    Recently we’ve been thinking about how vulnerable need makes us feel. As individuals we’re each going through a lot right now. Transitions often happen to us all around the same time and this era is no different. Most of our lives is spent trying to offer what we have to the world. Right now, we’re asking for the world to listen, to hold our needs with gentle hands and to take some time to say your own out loud. Tell your family what you need from them. Tell your friends how you feel vulnerable. Talk to someone on the train about it. Keep it real with your partner about what’s missing. Be honest. Be as needy as you need to be. Say it. Ask for help.

    Open yourself to it.

     

    (look at Jckee tho...)

    love,

    the bois

     

     

    all pics by king texas.