BGD Queer Mama Space Takeover

We still have expenses to cover, so give if you can and share if you can't (or both!) Happy Mother's Day!

The story:

About a year ago, when our son started walking, our downstairs neighbor started banging on the ceiling every time our kid walked across the floor. The neighbor, a white cishet man, told us--a Black, queer woman and a queer brown Latina--that our 20-pound toddler's walking was "too loud".

We try to be good neighbors, so we put down cushiony floor mats and a thick rug to muffle some of the baby's heavy footsteps. The neighbor responded by sending us a schedule with days and times when our kid was allowed to walk around. We obviously told him we wouldn't strap our kid to a chair, and that his steps would get lighter as he learned to walk better. The neighbor continued banging on the ceiling every time our baby walked. When I told him to stop, to leave us alone, he called me "abrasive". *He* was banging on the ceiling, but *I* was "abrasive" for telling him to stop.

Since then, the situation has been very, very stressful. We have felt tense and unsafe in our home. When our kid plays, instead of feeling only happy, we feel scared and anxious. But moving, with everything we have going on, has also felt incredibly stressful, so we've had to suck it up.

A few days ago, our landlord told us that the neighbor is moving out (due to rent increase). We felt relief, and then stress that the next person who moves in there will be just as bad. WHERE CAN QUEER MOTHERS OF COLOR REALLY FEEL SAFE?

And then we had an idea: what if we could take over that space and use it for programming for our communities? What if BGD could raise enough funds so that a space that was for so long a source of stress and oppressive energy for us became a space for people like us to gather and learn and share with each other?

We thought about it, and when we asked the landlord if we could see the space, so we could really consider it, the neighbor said that HE WOULD CALL THE POLICE ON ME (just me, not my non-Black co-parent) if I entered the apartment while he still lives there. 

I have never done anything to this man besides tell him to stop banging on the ceiling when our 1-year-old walked.

I'm not the first Black person to be threatened with the police by a white person with a grudge. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't fill me with fear to the point of tears. It did. As a Black woman, I consider being threatened with the police to be a threat on my life.

In my fear and anger, I decided to give this a try. To reach out to our communities and ask for help, to see if we can feel less victimized and more powerful in this situation. To see if it's possible to raise the money we'd need to TAKEOVER THE SPACE and use it for programming for:

1. Get Free, BGD's queer and trans youth of color project
2. Radical Mama, BGD's programming for queer mothers and families of color
3. all the stompy, fresh-legged Black babies we can fit! :)

Maybe this is impossible. But I've MADE SPACE for our communities before, online, when I created Black Girl Dangerous. So, I have to at least try.

Can you help? We need to raise $16,000 to be able to tell the landlord that BGD is taking the place, before someone else does, and then additional funds to cover costs of operating the space, such as utilities, running programs in the space, and the fees that GoFundMe/Paypal will take from this campaign. The more we raise, the more we can create for queer mamas and families of color! And then we can feel safe in our home like we haven't in a year, and look forward to creating more great stuff for our communities.

$20, $40, everything will help. Will you join us and help TAKE OVER this space?


Mia McKenzie
Jamaica Plain, MA
Bgd Press Inc
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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