Queer Migrant Takeover

Axelle talks about the impact of going to Queer Migrant Takeover in Leeds, and how it felt to be in the majority for once.

Duration 02:09


So the only event for queer and trans people of colour that I’ve ever gone to is called Pussy Palace. In fact, so Pussy Palace are a collective in London and their primary focus are trans and queer women of colour, and non-binary people of colour as well. They did an event in Leeds called Queer Migrant Takeover. This was the first of its kind that I've ever been to and it was just life-changing. To step into a room and to have both of those two core identities validated because everyone in the room was queer, and most in the people in the room were of colour and for once I was in the majority... I can’t even put into words how humanising that is, for you to see yourself in someone else, that’s so validating. Especially after years of LGBTQ+ representation being just white people, and primarily just white gay males. That’s why for the longest time I didn’t think I could be gay, I was like, I’m black, black people can’t be gay.

Also religion plays a huge part into it as well. I think that’s why these spaces are important because a queer or trans person of colour is going to experience oppression very differently because they’ve got the cultural and religious side tied into it as well. So I’m Cameroonian and, in the West African community, Christianity is very pervasive, and most people are going to be Christian, so that’s where the homophobia stems from. And when you’re asking them to accept you, you’re asking them to challenge their cultural and religious beliefs, their traditions. Whereas I guess, in the white community it’s not the same because there isn’t really that tie of culture and religion, of coming out to your parents when you’re white. I’m not saying for all experiences, but it could be different for, when compared to coming out to your parents when you’ve got this religious and traditional and cultural mess to navigate, so yeah.