Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Black America, USA

Taking Freedom Home – 2 years in the life of the Welfare Warriors

Taking Freedom Home is a truly powerful film which documents the many challenges faced by low income LGBTGNC (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender nonconforming) residents of New York City and their daily survival strategies.. The stories are full of daily encounters with prejudicies, exclusionary language and frustration at a system which cannot see anything beyond the one dimensional. At the same time the film is a celebraton of the vibrancy and diversity of life and the power of collective action which insists on the right to live in their bodies and to live in the city.

Our findings show that the majority of low income LGBTGNC people are strongly involved in their communities and use many strategies to fight for justice. We deal with continual discrimination and violence at the hands of police – as well as staff and guards at government and nonprofit institutions.

Those in our research also create personal and community projects that make their lives richer and stronger. Still, the struggles low income LGBTGNC people face are harsh and isolating – 69% of survey takers have been homeless at some point in their lives and 40% use isolation as a means to avoid being targeted. Our work shows how racism, transphobia, and homophobia entangle with economic injustice to create such conditions.

I love this film! “This excerpt features members of the Audre Lorde Project’s, Safe OUTside the System (SOS) leading a chant at the April 17, 2008, Community Day of Action for Social and Economic Justice.”

“Taking Freedom Home” excerpt: Safe OUTside the System (SOS) chant at Community Day of Action from Kagendo Murungi on Vimeo.

Taking Freedom Home
Directed & Edited by Kagendo Murungi Co-Produced by The Welfare Warriors Research Collaborative, QEJ
& Wapinduzi Productions