Make the yuletide gay!(Hugh Martin)
There is greater uncertainty about what it will be possible to do together over the end of year holiday period due to the latest twists in managing COVID-19 and its variants. At the same time there is more and more evidence that we both want and need to find ways to stay connected to each other. Approaching two years since the first weeks of pandemic lockdown, we have learnt the psychological and physical benefits of both generosity in giving and of being vulnerable enough to receive support. We also know that the Christmas holidays can be a significant challenge for some of us, making the midwinter bleak – some alone, others constrained, whether back home or away from loved ones – loneliness and isolation can hit a bit differently amidst the yuletide traditions and festive expectations.
One of the ways in which BLKOUT contributes to Black Queer men’s connections is through Black Men Who Brunch. So, without adding risks to physical health, we are keen to find ways to get together and to continue the momentum gained from re-establishing Brunch as an end of month staple for our networks since we returned in September.
We will host a live digital event on Monday 27th December and release a suite of specially created content that you’ll be able to access on demand throughout the holiday period on 23rd December
If you have attended Brunch this autumn, you will have noticed me tinkering with ways of using digital tech. If not, you may have viewed some of the going’s on from Regent’s Place live or recorded in the app. The aim is to share some of the recordings and insights from For Black Men Who Brunch this December we will adopt a digital first/virtual approach. We may offer a physical meet up if conditions allow but won’t count on it. We should be able to pool our learning and get over the ‘you’re still on mute‘ phase quickly. At the same time, we can start working on the January and February 2022 editions of BMWB, with greater confidence that we can be flexible enough to deliver adaptations to either face-to-face or digital formats in ways that generate the most joy and enable the most meaningful connections between us.
We’ve been in conversation with a number of organisations whose values align with ours about building partnerships that would make the delivery of BMWB more sustainable – time for these discussions was enabled by a small grant from the National Lottery Community Fund. We are looking forward to making some announcements before Christmas about what these partnerships will mean for 2022.
It’s Holiday Brunch – Pitches!
If you, your team or organisation would like to contribute by performing, or leading a skills, development, or arts workshop use the linked form to send us your pitch for a virtual series of events in December, or IRL events on the last Sunday of January or February (LGBT History Month). What do you think we need to know?
Whether you are in a band that is finally ready to get out of the rehearsal room and on stage; or one that is tired of playing to thousands in stadiums and want to play a more intimate gig, get in touch.
We want to make Black Men Who Brunch more than a good square meal; we want a platform for talent, a beacon for shared learning, and a reliable source of fun and support.
Success will all depend on how willing we are to share our talents, knowledge, and networks with each other.
If you have been able to make it along to Brunch recently, you’re starting to understand the vibe. Brunch is our intentional creation of space for ourselves and each other – not just to survive, but to thrive. . . and even to flourish.
Alongside pitches for workshops and performances, we are keen to receive pitches for participation in a marketplace from Black queer men who have relevant retail or services businesses – if you are interested, get in touch.