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 our 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 true 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.
bklyn boihood’s mission is to spread love through community-building events, music and art while sharing our journey as bois of color who believe in safe spaces, accountable action and self-care.