Who are we?
The Trou De Balle (TDB) is a queer and feminist squat.
Squat : It is a grassroots, autonomous space, outside of the utility, hierarchy and control system where everyone takes part of the autonomy of the space, within respect of those who live here.
Queer : Not only a gender or a sexual identity, it is a political identity. We refuse to integrate the heteronormative system and fight against its oppressions : sexism, homo-lesbo-trans-bi-intersex-phobias. We also refuse to assimilate with the mainstream Gay system that reproduces sexist and capitalist norms. We work toward a visibility of different bodies and identities. We question hygiene, age, weight, hair norms. We invent new forms of self-expression and claim collective identities on the edge of dominant categories. We strive to build solidarity inside our community on material, creative, emotional and political fields. We know we don’t all have to deal with the same oppressions nor face the same realities: born male or female, being white or of color, more or less “able”, worker or not, documented or not, old or young, big or skinny etc. This space is available for different struggles.
Feminist: For us, being queer means being feminist. We fight against heteronormativity and its basis: sexism, patriarchy and male domination in all its forms. We are a feminist squat, a space of solidarity between those oppressed by patriarchy.
Why do we need this space?
This space was born of our anger against the straight world, a world we don’t want and that doesn’t want us. We claim the words Trans, Fag, Dyke rather than LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans) because we don’t want to try to be normal or invisible, because we don’t want to participate nor to negotiate with the institutions, first of which the State. We build this place because we need a space to meet and break isolation. To organize, to get motivated, to visibilise ourselves, to resist, to fight. A space where our problems are a struggle on their own, because we can’t always find solidarity in alternative spaces, including squats.
This place is also a living house for queers only. We squat both for political reasons and because we are poor. Some activities or times can also be queer only, or women only, or trans only, or fags only, or people of colors only. Don’t hesitate to ask before you come here.
This space has to stay safe.
Safe means a place where we all feel good, where we want to come to, where we don’t face physical or verbal aggressions, where you don’t get hit on insistently, where everyone cares for the others, where everyone’s boundaries are taken into account, where we don’t assume anyone’s identity (yes, we can ask what someone’s favorite pronoun is to refer to them!), where we don’t want to get asked “are you a girl or a dude?”, where you understand that it is not because a woman is half naked that she wants to have sex with you, where boys can wear dresses without being stared at, where you’re not afraid of passing for a fag, where when a woman is doing something technical, no man comes to teach her how to do it, where bands having shows are not insulting minorities, where it’s not always the same persons who do the dishes, where you’re allowed to stop a party in order to collectively take care of a conflict, where you don’t drink if you turn into a violent asshole when you get drunk, where slut or whore or fag are not insults, where you don’t have to show to everybody that you are straight, where everyone keeps the space safe.
We want this space to be welcoming. We are open to a lot of questions, even the most naive ones. We don’t pretend to hold the truth and our positions can change! We welcome you to submit propositions of workshops, discussions, events, shows, etc. If you want to do so, you can send an email to the collective: email@example.com