Tom Cat (she/they) is a writer and performance poet based in Brooklyn, NYC with dreams of soon opening a publishing house called Object Defy a publishing house that prioritizes black, trans and non-binary creatives. This Thursday October 22nd from 5pm to 12am at Mood Ring NYC, members of the black queer Brooklyn community are coming together to celebrate their souls and to support and donate to Object Defy. Dj sets by some of Brooklyn's finest music selectors: Ava Puke, Rob Mazz, Why Angel, Stankgirl, Princess Peggie, Sydfalls, MarleyMarl, Pushpin, Pauli Cakes & Sxylk. Here's how to support: Venmo @OBJECT.DEFY - GoFundMe Fundraiser here.
We spoke to Tom about the origins of Object Defy, the work that needs to be done in the community, creating safe spaces for black queer folks and much more... Object Defy began as a solution to a problem that I’ve been facing since my first aspirations of publishing a book in 2013. I first thought that my motives for wanting to own a printing house were purely self-indulgent. I was tired of rejection, I was tired of having to prove the worth of my words in their potential income. I believed that believing in myself would save me.
Object Defy grew into an aspiring community resource when I began to think about the universal lack of accessibility within the publication world. I want to abolish the idea that your work is only worth printing if it meets a capitalist criterion. I want to put honest, intriguing artists and writers on pages and give others like myself the physical resources and clerical knowledge to make publishing and print accessible to them as well.
Tom Cat, Founders of Object Defy
I'm running a 6 month campaign to ethically fundraise for the resources and space to realize my dream of creating a Brooklyn based publishing house, prioritizing the needs of trans black creatives. Object Defy Publications will be an upstart print studio and community resource, helping eradicate the elitism and inaccessibility within the publications world. I want Object Defy to exclusively publish local black queer writers and artists, while still offering bookmaking and print resources to the greater community.
What work needs to be done in the community:
We need to spend more time encouraging, pouring into, and being inquisitive about, endeavors outside of the nightlife/party scene. As my early 20s roll past me (I’m only 23 but yikes) I realize that sustainability is the main objective.
We need to turn our attention and support towards the real work that’s being done for the betterment of our futures. Talk to the writers, the painters, the queer mathmeticians, the lesbian scientists. We need to support queers in the daytime as much as we support our sisters in looks at night.
I spent a long time getting skirted by in clubs because being a “writer” was not an interesting or appropriate answer, but now in this time of heightened social crisis, people are recognizing artists as living historians. And we are the only ones who should or can tell our stories.
Finding safe spaces for black queer folks:
We have to create these safe spaces, unapologetically. If there’s one thing that the Object Defy journey has taught me, it is this: Nobody will believe in your dream or yourself more than you do. That applies to black queer folks as well. Nobody will believe in us or care for us as much as we do ourselves. With that in mind, we can’t wait for people to wake up and realize that they need to allocate spaces for black queer voices. We have to take it. We have to create it. If there’s something already there, knock it down. If there’s nothing there, build it up.
Support and Donate!!!