WE_ARE_BLKOUT is our new campaign, building resources, capacity and partnerships as we prepare to launch an ambitious programme of investment that will enable Black queer men to come together to address shared challenges, access resources, offer mutual aid, and build personal and collective resilience against the exclusion and persistent inequalities we encounter
BLKOUT_UK has come out of the quiet, forming networks for voice, resilience, and joy – building a new kind of community among those too often let down by communities. Pre-lockdown, our research found epidemic levels of loneliness, alienation, and despair among Black bi/gay/trans men in London. Building back better means a new resolve to end this catastrophic pattern, because our Black lives matter too. Racism is still faced by Black people in the UK every day. Transphobia and Homophobia mean that too many Black queer men face it alone. BLKOUT mobilises us to create value by prizing our best assets – including each other. We invest in us, experts by experience, enabling collaborative and creative solutions. We are pathfinders to better futures for us all. We delight in our diversity and trust in the power of human relationships to build solidarity that leaves none of us behind.
WE_ARE_BLKOUT starts with the voices and concerns raised by Black Queer Men. In October we will publish In The Picture, our community led research project focused on London. We will use the report to shape a series of public discussions with decision-makers, stakeholder groups and peer groups. We will also invite BLKOUTHUB members to host a series of discussions in response to the findings. In this way, we intend to generate a live and agile discussion on our collective needs and effective responses; activating the research for the benefit of community and our partners ongoing actions rather than solely as media talking points.
During November, WE_ARE_BLKOUT will introduce BLKOUT_UK to more Black queer men, allies, and partners. Inviting new and existing members, established and emerging partners to join a movement for change; committed to collaboration and knowledge-sharing – making sure that Black Queer Lives matter becomes more than an aspirational slogan.
We are inviting a further cohort of Black queer men to work together in December and January to shape the organisation, and co-create a series of online courses and materials that will support BLKOUT to establish new ways of working so that we can offer the highest quality of intervention, and make sure that we can be held accountable for what we do in the name of our community.
After a long period of testing, researching and piloting, WE_ARE_BLKOUT will kickstart our ambitious, transformative, programme of investment that will build connections, resilience, power and joy with Black queer men across the country.
Time has come to build ‘an organisation to save our lives’.
We have planned a number of events for late October and early November that will be opportunities to share the findings of the research and engage more people with the issues raised. They will feature in a calendar that will be made available this weekend.
If you host a discussion group, podcast, vlog, or column, and would like to host a discussion about the report or interview the author or another member of the research team, please contact rob@blkoutuk
If you are a member of BLKOUTHUB and would like to host a discussion there – send a message in app to BLKOUTUK
Events start as early as October 22nd – when Rob will be discussing the report and the prospects created for progress on racial justice and Black liberation by a focus on the lives, experiences and needs of Black Queer men.