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3.10.16

Beautiful, carefree & unapologetic

L.GOLD.BT Open Mic was a relaxed event with choreographed dance, visual art, poetry, song and music by young, queer, black artists. "To look around and see a room full of beautiful, carefree, unapologetic and artistic qpoc and allies was all I ever wanted from this project." Maya Williams - Performer, choreographer, teacher, nitroBEAT Intern and L.GOLD.BT creator.

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Maya Williams

I started L.GOLD.B.T out of frustration, I was tired of feeling like my sexuality was a burden. I was tired of simultaneously resisting white-washing alongside racial discrimination.  I was tired of seeing people of colour being continually dismissed and neglected until it's time to score diversity points. I wanted to create a night where we can exist as artists, as creatives, as genuine diverse people and by showing up and showing so much love you all made that possible. It still hasn't sunk in - I couldn't have asked for anything more.

The host, Xana, did an amazing job and carried the whole night, the programmed acts were beautiful to watch and to interact with. A huge thanks to Ama Josephine Budge, Cher Ho, Shamel Mashatte, Abigail Rose, Rebekah Ubuntu and the open mic artist’s - you all killed it.  I was expecting it to be good but we had actual Gods and Goddesses on the mic. Just know that I did this all for you - I live to uplift queer people of colour and in return you all gave me life.

nitroBEAT, Ovalhouse, Westway Trust and Vinspired trusted and supported me when all I had was a pitch. As a young qwoc I have faced institutions that not only don't want to engage or cater to me, but have denied me entry or asked me to leave their premises on the premise that they've “already filled the black quota" and won't be accepting anymore of us, whilst continuing to play our music, mimic our dancing and wear our identities like fancy dress.

To have a group of organisations that didn't just accept me as a queer, black artist, but genuinely engaged, understood and uplifted my cause, has been a privilege I've never known before. To look around on the night and see a room full of beautiful, carefree, unapologetic and artistic qpoc and allies was all I ever wanted from this project. I never ever say this, but for the first time I'll admit that I am proud of myself and I am proud of us. Thank you so much for making that possible.

Read a Q&A with Maya here.

"A brilliant evening of live performances and incredible talent. I only wish it was a regular event! When is the next one?" Kamara Gray

"Great night spent at L.GOLD.B.T event. Ovalhouse, nitroBEAT so much great talent! An eve of Unity and expression! Please repeat this event!" Antoinette Lester

"Drenched in love, celebration and style" Angela Hurst

"Eye opening and inspiring with a lot of love and fun! " Cher Ho