Say It Loud Club
Say it Loud Club is the community of LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. We engage with our members through one-on-one mentoring, workshops, social events, peer support, and referral to partner organisations for legal, financial, health and housing support. Our vision is for a world where LGBTQ+ people can express their sexuality and gender identity safely and with pride. Until this is possible, we believe the UK should provide a place of safety for LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers, providing an environment in which everyone can flourish as their true self.
Through this artwork, we wanted to represent what being part of the LGBTQIA+ community is about – it’s about acceptance, love, equality, and being part of a community. The most powerful part of the artwork was when the five of us came together and finished the artwork. The workshop facilitators understood our vision and helped us finish it. The most powerful part of the discussion was when we talked about how each of us coped during COVID-19. It was interesting to see the similarities in how we dealt with the pandemic. When people see the artwork, we want them to see that love is love regardless of your sexual orientation. This is important: that we exist and we’re here to stay. Statement from the participants.
“Whilst months of isolation has obviously been difficult for everybody, in some ways, the Say It Loud Club community has become stronger than before. They had online socials every day during the harshest parts of lockdown, and when possible, organised support for their local communities by delivering food parcels. I wanted to use our discussion of ‘The New Normal’ to explore how communities were capable of pulling together in times of difficulty, drawing strength from each other to face new challenges. Over the course of two discussions, we talked about our experiences of lockdown and the ways we stayed connected with one another. We asked what defined community, and why they were important. We also asked what the Say It Loud Club community wanted to say with this artwork, and hopefully, you will listen”. Statement from a workshop facilitator.