Our Dance of Revolution

What was the first story you can remember hearing? Did it shape your life in any way?

Stories are central to how we experience our existence. As children, probably one of our first remembered experiences was hearing a story. Either it was read to us from a book or we heard it being told by our peers or by adults. Stories and story-telling are powerful tools. They help us define who we are, preserve our history and shape our future. For Black folks and Black queer and trans folks, preserving and telling our stories is even more important because our history and our very presence is under constant threat of erasure.

For over three decades, members of our Black queer and trans communities here in Toronto have been coming together to create spaces that respond to our unique needs and aspirations. For almost forty years, individuals have been stepping out of their private comfort zones and creating community where there was none; creating activist, social and spiritual spaces where there were none reflecting the fullness of who we are. 

Those of us who have been a part of Toronto's Black queer and trans communities know the power of community to affirm our identities, helping us on our journeys of discovery and in reclaiming many parts of ourselves. For many, myself included, involvement in Black queer community is transformative and life-altering. 

We therefore have stories to tell. Stories about individuals and grass-roots groups and organizations like ZAMI, Black CAP, the Black Women's Collective, Da Poonani Posse, AYA, GLAD, Blockorama, Sunset Service...and so many more. I chose to capture these stories in a film before they slip away from us.

Our Dance of Revolution is a feature-length documentary telling the stories of our history in Toronto as Black queer and trans folks. It is the culmination of three and half year’s work driven by passion and the desire to give voice to, and celebrate, our traditionally marginalized, but vibrant community. Three and a half years of interviewing, researching, digging through personal and institutional archives, scanning hundreds of photographs and of course the production and post-production processes.

There is one inevitable reality throughout this process: filmmaking is a costly undertaking. So, even with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Community One Foundation, there is still a $42,000.00 shortfall in funding for this story-telling project documenting the rich history of Toronto’s Black queer and trans communities. I have covered this shortfall from my personal line of credit. (To be clear, all funding from all sources has gone towards the production costs of the film. I have not been paid any amounts personally.)

We know that stories inform and inspire change. Documentaries inform and inspire change. They challenge us to think differently and move us to action long after the credits roll.

I hope you will consider giving to support this storytelling project.


  • Lee Eisold
    • $40 
    • 27 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 30 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $25 (Offline)
    • 31 mos
  • Emily Urquhart
    • $50 (Offline)
    • 31 mos
  • Heather Smith
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 32 mos
See all


Phillip Pike
Toronto, ON

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