SAY MY NAME! began life in 2006 as a 5 minute play at the Royal Court Theatre where it was a winner of the “Angry Now” competition, a joint initiative between the Royal Court and the BBC. As a short film it has been screened at many film festivals around the world, notably the acclaimed “Outfest” film festival in Los Angeles.
However, it wasn’t until 2008 when renowned and leading club promoter and gay activist Thomas Muket screened it at ‘Bootylicious’; the UK’s internationally famed premier urban gay club that its true resonance and impact came into being. It had in a sense come home.
Such was the overwhelming response and hunger from the crowds pouring out of the make shift cinema that it became apparent that SAY MY NAME! was a story whose time had arrived. SAY MY NAME! was then put online and for over a year developed a loyal and supportive fan base from all over the world. We have also taken into account the thoughts and wishes of the many who wrote in asking for more.
SAY MY NAME! has since developed and expanded into more just a short film and we are delighted to have returned with a new and completely revamped user friendly website. Please avail yourselves of all we have on offer and say YOUR name on our “SAY YOUR NAME!” link. We sincerely wish you enjoy all we have to offer and look forward to receiving your comments and feedback.
Homophobia is undeniably an extremely blatant and prevalent force within the Black community. Many are still in total denial about the validity and naturalness of its existence and blame what are seen as external negative influences such as Euro- centricity, mental illness and satanic possession as its cause.
A direct result of such open hostility and degradation for Black gay men is often an overwhelming entrenched feeling of insecurity, self loathing and alienation. These negative internalized emotions can and do in many instances cause Black gay men to suffer feelings of self hatred, depression and even suicide. Another serious consequence of being Black and ‘out’ can be the ever pervading threat of violence and even murder from other Black people who feel threatened, ashamed and degraded that such practices exist within their own community.
Culturally this abhorrence of Black gayness is openly manifested in most black art forms such as music, comedy, film and theatre where gay people are attacked and ridiculed. A recent award-winning Channel 4 documentary directed by Paul Blake and presented by Stephen K. Amos called ‘Battyman’ painfully depicted these attitudes and beliefs. ‘Battyman’ highlighted the ignorance and myths held by the black community and the desperate need for positive genuine black gay perspectives to be presented. In so doing positive representation will assist the process of education and tolerance by promoting the humanity of individuals black gays as well as the collective Black gay community.
Recognizing the complexities and challenges that can and do face many Black Gays “SAY MY NAME!” is dedicated to flying the flag of tolerance and promoting seeds of understanding in the hope that it furthers a conversation that we in the Black community need to keep constant. Not until each and every one of us is free to walk, bop or sashay down any of our streets, in the fullness of all our glory, without fear, ridicule or ostracization that we can lay claim to being a truly embracing and cohesive force. We sincerely hope that you enjoy our offerings and make the site one where all peoples of whatever origin or sexuality can engage and pursue a dialogue forwarding the well being and happiness of our planet.
We achieve ‘real’ and effective results, facilitating change to ‘our’ lives and community using the mediums of film, theatre, photography, poetry, dance, exhibitions, workshops, social events, outreach teams of volunteers, forums and meetings. We take our message right to the heart of the matter and onto the ‘streets’ advocating and generating awareness through healthy, constructive non aggressive though meaningful conversations amongst our own black gay community and our wider non gay community leaders and members alike with special focus upon vulnerable and also young gay people.
Special thanks to the following for their unwavering support and belief in SMN ideals & mission