This design thesis explored how the multiplicity of subjectivities of queer people of colour in the UK are navigated throughout the coming out process. To have multiple subjectivities means that the individual exists in a social framework that forces them to have more than one subject position. In the case of QPOC, the lived experience is affected by three different social structures.
First, they are forced to decide whether or not to assimilate with their heterosexual ethnic minority - POC -group at the expense of expressing their sexuality.
Second, they must negotiate integrating into the mainstream LGBTQ community whilst being fetishized or rejected because of their ethnicity.
Third, they have pressure applied to them to assimilate with post-colonial Britain’s dominant culture.
I investigated how these social forces affect the lived experience of QPOCs and the ways in which they assimilate or react against them. I started by looking into the different academics who discuss this phenomenon, I took this information and formed a series of questions for interviews with QPOC individuals that through a matrix generated a design aesthetic.
The research led me to develop a space that allows QPOC, specifically of African/Caribbean heritage to share their coming out stories with one another and the wider Black British community of which they are a part in order to unify the community through compassion and positive subjectivities. Located at the base of Trellick Tower in Notting Hill, the space is specifically situated to engage with the annual carnival with elements of the façade of the building transforming into parade floats, highlighting the presence of QPOC and queering the celebration of Black British history and culture.
I encourage you to donate to Rainbow Noir at this time to support Queer People of Colour, Link below: