Greetings earthlings --
You may have noticed there was no call this year for models for our annual calendar. That’s because, for the first time since the beginning of bbh, we elected to not do one this year.
Each year our calendar has brought something special and perfect. Each year we hear stories of its impact. As we grow and evolve, we want the calendar to grow and evolve too. So over the next 12 months, we’ll be curating doing a 2017 multi-media calendar project. We’ll share more details but it’s going to involve various platforms (video, print, possibly audio) and ways to connect with the models of this and past years.
In 2010 the calendar was a icy hot snowball that got thrown out into Brooklyn. To be a boi was not a rarity, but to be a boi unabashedly celebrating one’s presence in the world, to be handsome and beautiful, to participate in a photoshoot dedicated to affirming your place in the world--that was revolutionary and unique. We didn’t know it then, but the work was built upon generations of elders and ancestors who were doing their own types of affirming and organizing.
As the years went on, the calendar spread to dozens of states, several countries and a few continents. Tumblr wasn’t really poppin’ yet. Instagram didn’t exist. Buzzfeed hadn’t featured bois. We were not in fashion. We were, as we continue to be, in danger, misunderstood, hyper-generalized. We were, as many of us continue to be, unaware that being a boi--being gender non-conforming, transmasculine, masculine-of-center--all those things--is not married to a particular brand of masculinity that teaches us violence, possession, fear. Our calendars were an attempt to become unafraid.
Since 2010 there are many, many more ways for bois of color to see themselves represented in the world. Some of them are shallow; others extra problematic and others are amazing. But it’s not enough. A one-dimensional calendar is no longer enough. We are dreaming bigger and can’t wait for what’s going to come.