The Only Way Out is In: The Black, Brown & Queer Performance of Escape proposes escape as a critical paradigm for reimagining social and political thought in the present. Much cultural analysis is rightfully invested in resistance as the primary method for enacting social change. Veering away from more traditional modalities of engagement for queer and minoritarian subjects, my book manuscript looks at performances of escape that might not initially be read as politically pragmatic. I argue for a critical activist engagement through the forms of escapism, exit, defection, and withdrawal. Such an attention to degraded forms of “resistance” illuminates the potential for alternative modes of social transformation. Intervening into the fields of Performance Studies, Gender Studies, Literary Studies, and American Studies, I argue that escape should be more closely considered as a distinct form of political engagement, a different kind of pledge to the larger social body.