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    Sunday
    Jul032016

    America, my g, don't nobody want to come to your birthday party.

    America, if you were a reality tv show character (and you kind of are), you'd be the one no one liked. Not the one people loved to hate, but the one none of us can stand because of the foolishness you continue to bring into our daily lives. Is this person really this terrible? We ask ourselves week after week. Meanwhile, your birthday is coming and no one is here for it.

     

    Instead, on July 4th--come hang out with bklyn boihood for our Bois Day on Riis Beach! Everyone is welcome. Games, goodies and good times. Come get wet. 

     

     

     


    Tuesday
    Jun142016

    Our Family, Our Pulse

    As a collective that has spent the last six years building and growing spaces where our community can feel safe and free and inspired, we are sitting very heavily with the deep loss of lives at Pulse in Orlando.

    Often, when we think about safety and safe spaces we think about mismanaged masculinity removing opportunities for our community to feel comfortable. We think about our young, ratchet asses doing too much and perpetuating all the problematic shit. We think about how often we have been challenged to do better by our community--by you--and how we sat down one day, quite literally, and committed to a different type of life. For us that means constantly striving to prioritize the health and well-being of ourselves and our communities.

    That commitment means we have had to evolve.

    Our conversations, ideas and ways of thinking have had to evolve. The way we party certainly evolved too.

    Deciding to take the big jump into "venues" was an effort to embrace the hundreds of people who showed up to our tiny spaces and partied with all their heart and soul. We needed more room. We quickly realized venues--especially in gentrified/homophobic Brooklyn, so often mean opening our community to unknowns we can't control: shitty bartenders, lying managers, violent bouncers, random attendees dragging the vibe. So we stepped up our work to really engage those spaces and to hold them accountable for their actions. In both senses we have had tremendous success (and def some colossal failures).

    Through everything we have had our family.

    As we figured out how to even throw parties, you've been there. We have sought freedom together on dance floors, in back yards, galleries, basements, lofts, warehouses, bars, beaches, community centers and more. As we trained with community leaders and learned how to facilitate safe(r) spaces, sometimes still dropping the ball, you've shown up. You've sent us affirming messages the next day. You've whispered to us about shady revelers, helped identify and ban bigots and thieves, together we have prevented police involvement...all the beautiful, important things communities should do for each other. We are the most loyal, the most vulnerable and the most resilient: black, brown, latinx, native and mixed heritage queer and trans people of color.

    That's us. That's our family. The people at Pulse are our family too. Our family who began their night the way we try to live our lives: together, proud, and celebrating the work of our heartbeats--our pulse.

    There is no way to prevent people hell bent on murder.

    There is no way to prevent hatred.

    There is no way to build up enough fortresses around our bodies and lives to truly feel safe. This world has made clear its feelings of fuckery for those of us whose identities, bodies and love don't fit.

    There is no way to train or plan for unbelievable violence.

    But what we do have is the commitment that we have had every year since we started:

    We will celebrate
    We will remember
    We will create
    We will laugh
    We will cry
    We will transgress
    We will take flight and make the sky open for us
    We will protect
    We will live on and on and on
    in every corner
    on every dot of land across this imperfect earth
    We will be there.

    We will BE there.

    Family, we invite you to continue your courageous act of being.

    We love you.

    Always,

    bklyn boihood

    Sunday
    Jun052016

    2016PRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDEPRIDE2016

    We don't standby on sidelines and wait for laws to affirm our lives; we live and we make room for each other to live--that's pride.

    We endure physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and sexual violence, coercion and social pressure--and still show up as who the fuck we are, demanding what the fuck we need and want--that's pride.

    We build community resources, connections and affirming spaces because we know we deserve them--that is pride.

    We honor our black, brown, indigenous and mixed-race queer, trans and gender non-conforming ancestors and elders because we know how amazing a community our existence comes from, we know we didn't start shit--we are simply committed to continuing it. Our history is our pride.

    We step fly cause we blessed and we know it. We got that Black pride all up and through us. That unshakeable walk pride. That, "who us? we good." pride.

    We are building connections and sharing our hearts and minds around the world. We are proud of our stories and work. They belong everywhere.

    We are proud of you.
    We are proud of us.

    We are a collective who is proud to be uplifting the healthy embodiment of masculinity in queer, trans, intersex, masculine of center, doms, studs, AGs, butches, tombois, machas, third gender, gender non-conforming people around the world.

    Pride is 

    our commitment to a full and principled life that sets each other free.

    Ashe.

     



     

    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