Meet the Boi Society Mogul: Brooklyn Wright
Brooklyn Wright is the Creator and Executive Director of Boi Society, the largest and most diverse platform for the queer, androgynous and tomboy community. Brooklyn lives up to this intention by enforcing “We are not here to label. We honor and represent the entire queer community.“
Earlier this year fellow writer Evolve Benton, shouted out Brooklyn in their Black Bois to Look Out for in 2018 piece and look out we did! With over 51,000 followers on Instagram, Boi Society is a mecca for entrepreneurship, social diversity and physical diversity. Boi Society has hosted events, panels, meet ups and even brunches nationwide. In March 2018, Brooklyn launched @QueersinBusiness, another platform that gives shine to Queer identifying creatives, entrepreneurs and business minded individuals.
Brooklyn currently lives in Oakland, California with very black and southern roots: born in Tennessee and raised in both North Carolina and Delaware. Brooklyn’s mother was an Alumni Director for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Each of the states Brooklyn resided had an HBCU. This shaped Brooklyn’s black identity very positively growing up.
What are your pronouns & how do you identify?
I love all pronouns and will answer to what most people call me as long as it’s respectable. I identify as a fluid and an ever evolving human being. This is true in regards to my gender and sexuality. I am actually quite interested in how others see me and in some ways enjoy honoring their perception and what they may see in me at the time. This only works because I really do identify with such fluidity.
What inspired you to create Boi Society?
Five years ago I found a friend that could create a magazine online. This was before the internet and Instagram were what they are today, and I thought it was so cool! I told them I want to do a magazine issue for people who look and live like us. They said, “You mean like a Boi Society?” My response was “Yeah, absolutely, let’s call it that, I’m going to make it!” That is what we did. I made an issue and released it on Tumblr and Instagram and the response was overwhelming so I decided to keep going. Five years later, here we are.
Did you go to college?
I did not go to formal college. I am a continuous learner however and will take classes at a community college when I want to learn something specific. I am a huge believer and advocate for education however it comes to you!
You left a well-paying full time job to put your all into Boi Society. What gave you the guts to do that?
I was a general manager at a used car dealership when I created Boi(s). Although I was 30 and making more money than I had ever made ($92K that year), I hated that job and didn’t believe in the company. But I didn’t immediately leave that job. When Boi(s) began to really grow, I wanted to chase the momentum and see where it would take me. So I took the money I saved, paid off all of my debt (I had no student loan debt because I never went to college), and some other items, and cultivated a strategy for Boi(s). I walked out on faith, but I definitely mitigated my risk by having the best plan I could think of at the time, while simultaneously believing in what I was building.
Who was your biggest supporter in that major transition?
My wife continues to be one of my biggest supporters. Also my dear friend Dr. Tara Smelt. Both continue to remind me that I can do anything.
Speaking of your wife, how long have you two been together?
I am blessed to be married to my wife. We have been together 18 years (since I was 17 years old) and married for 7 years. Both my wife and I currently engage in an ethical polyamorous expression.
Are you in a space where you explain your identity to people anymore? If you do, what does that sound like for you?
I just try to stay true and authentic to me at all times. I give myself permission to say what I believe to be true and express myself, even if others are resistant to my truth.
Outside of being an internet based community, what else does Boi Society offer?
We are mostly internet based, but we do have meet ups and events. We continue to grow organically and look forward to partnering with people with other communities to throw discussions and panels in their area.
Your platform does a great job at highlighting that Boi(s) are not monolithic. What’s a common misconception or misrepresentation you see of queer or non-binary folks in the media?
I am not so concerned by what I see as much as I don’t see enough variety in our representation. We all exist in soooooo many different ways! I believe there cannot be too many stories and forms. I want everyone to have the opportunity to see themselves.
What advice, would you give someone that wants to leave their job to pursue their passion like you did?
Believe in what you are building, but make a plan. Pay off as much debt as possible, because that extra overhead will really kill your business. Also, make sure you have an income plan since businesses take time to build and they take longer than you expect.
Can you shout out some dope Bois who are doing incredible things in the community?
Be on the lookout:
Brooklyn is curating and shipping out a limited amount of Boi(s) Boxes containing exclusive swaggy items set to be shipped out this Christmas! We’ve so far been teased with socks, fanny packs and you’ll only know what the final selections are if you purchase a Boi(s) Box! For prices and shipping information, please contact Boi Society directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via direct message on Instagram @boisociety. You don’t want to miss out!