Pearl's Return


Pearl's Return



"We are coming home with our heads held high" - (Joseph Beam)

This September, BLKOUTUK is hosting Pearl's Return - The Black Queer Men's ‘Homecoming’ Festival (re)creating space in the heart of Brixton, London's internationally iconic Black neighbourhood, for a celebration of Black queer joy, connection, and liberation.

Pearl Alcock’s legendary basement bar first opened in the 1970s in a Railton Road basement, on Brixton's ‘Frontline'. It quickly became the vital space for black queer men in London to meet, connect, where they could be free to be themselves. 

The underground bar closed in 1981 in the wake of the Brixton uprisings. 40 years later, BLKOUTUK, with support from our friends and allies across communities, is honouring Pearl’s legacy, with a programme of events to bring people together, re-connect struggles for black liberation with those for queer liberation, inspire joy, laughter and conviviality, and establish foundations for Black and queer futures. 

The events are a celebration, and a reminder that Black queer lives have always been integral to Black communities. Through them, we are challenging the silences and the erasure of a proud legacy and asserting confidence in our future potential. 

We invite Black queer men, our friends, accomplices, and all committed to a future in which our differences are a cause for celebration rather than division, to join us for Pearl's Return.



We are stronger through our diversity and consciously work towards inclusion. Our venues have step-free access. Our online platforms include captioning where possible. If you have particular needs that we can meet, do not hesitate to contact us. We recognise that we operate in an unequal society and therefore offer events free of charge, or when a fee is required, offer subsidised tickets to those who may find it harder to pay, and give those who can afford more an opportunity to buy a ticket for others via our ‘pay it forward’ scheme. In order to enable us to effectively address persistent inequalities and shelter from the racisms and homophobia that we face, it is necessary, on occasions, to host spaces exclusively for those who identify as Black gay, bi and/or trans men. We thank our allies for their understanding in this regard and look forward to the day when this will no longer be necessary.

We depend on the voluntary support of our communities and allies, for the smooth running of events, to deliver behind the scenes operational support, and for effective governance. We seek to make the experience of volunteering in support of BLKOUT an enjoyable and enriching one on both sides, offering travel expenses and volunteer benefits where appropriate. click here to see how you can volunteer to support PEARL’S

We are conscious of climate change and its projected impact on us all - especially those already at the margins of society. We work with all our suppliers to encourage environmental sustainability and, even as an ‘online first’ organisation, seek to implement best practice for the planet

We could definitely do with the support, but We also recognise our responsibilities as local and global citizens - one of the ways we can do this is to do unto others as you would have done unto yourself . . so we will be making digital and IRL collections for two external organisations throughout PEARL’S Homecoming festival – Stonewall Housing, and Rightify Ghana. Please give generously

Different outcomes are required as we start in different places, Foe Black Queer Men - Stronger peer networks Greater access to opportunities to enact social change For Civil Society institutions - Unleash new voices and talents previously obscured through intersections Opportunity to develop new models for delivery and challenge exclusion The movement to end white supremacy and maladapted patriarchy - Access to a new pool of support and solidarity Improved insight into what works in addressing persistent challenges

We are a charitable organisation and donations are always welcome! If you visit our website, you can make a direct donation If you identify as a bi/gay and/or trans queer man of African descent in the UK, then join us on the BLKOUTHUB and encourage others to do the same - we believe we all have something to give. It is not enough to declare 'Black Queer Lives Matter' and then do nothing to show that you believe that by what you do both with your own life and in support of others. We are seeking support from charitable foundations and philanthropists to build an organisation that can marshall our collective resources and generate community assets that will build resilience against the patterns of exclusion, alienation and despair experienced by too many Black Queer Men in the UK. We are keen to develop equitable partnerships with relevant organisations across civil society in the UK and beyond. Similarly we'd appreciate conversations with commercial organisations seeking meaningful brand partnerships or to fulfil CSR aims by engaging with communities that are less privileged or poorly represented in their workforce. Let's talk.