Stories of Queer Diaspora



Join us in celebrating how Queer im/migrant and 1st/2nd generation folks unapologetically navigate their bodies, gender, culture, sexuality, and history through a night of intergenerational performance art, dance, music, mixed media, and spoken word!

In 2012, this intergenerational series premiered and successfully sold out The Mission Cultural Center to a crowd full of beautifully fierce jotatistas. Last year, SQD also launched a paid 8 week creative writing workshop for youth led by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, published an anthology, and showcased a total of 22 local artists of color. All resources raised through this grassroots organized series go directly to paying artist stipends and developing independent arts education spaces for Queer/Questioning youth of color.

Buy your tickets early, this event will sell out!

Guest Artists include: La Chica Boom, Taijhet Nyobi, Yosimar Reyes, Jean Melesaine, Amir Rabiyah, Kat Evasco, Jamaesori, Vai Fuatino Alefosio, Julio Navarrete, Enajite Loicy Pela, Lindsey Adams & Celeste Chan!

June 9
Stories of Queer Diaspora
Erika Vivianna Céspedes
MCCLA Doors, 6pm/ Show, 6:30pm
$8-$15 sliding scale




Xandra Ibarra is an Oakland-based performance artist, ecdysiast and community organizer from the El Paso/Juarez border that performs under the alias of La Chica Boom. La Chica Boom is a neo-burlesque project that Xandra began in 2002 to performatively question sexual/racial representation, queer formations, and compulsory whiteness. La Chica Boom Photo: Hannah Quevedo

ssqd-taijhet-nyobiTaijhet Nyobi is an artist of African descent, trained specifically in script writing and dramatic verse. Zhe has found home and healing through arts education and sees artistic expressions as a platform for the reclamation of culture and the manifestation liberations. For six years zhe has worked within education and is now creating curriculum that utilizes the process and practice of art expression to aid emotional and social justice.  Hir poetry has been published by Saul Williams, MTV books, and several literary journals. Hir short film, “The Dancer’s Room”, will premiere at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival, June 2013. Hir recent work has been accepted by the Exit Theater, where she will perform hir first One-person show, “Blackberry Stains”, May 8th. Zhe hopes to continue to create many more firsts and is excited to explore cross genres in artistic expressions.



From the Mountains of Guerrero, Mexico comes Yosimar Reyes, a Two-Spirit Poet/Activist Based out of San Jose,CA. His style has been described as “a brave and vulnerable voice that shines light on the issues affecting Queer Immigrant Youth and the many disenfranchised communities in the U.S and throughout the world.”



Jean Melesaine
is a queer Samoan artist and one of the founding members of One Love Oceania, a queer Pacific Islander womyns artist/activist collective. She studied photo consciousness with Charisse Domingo and Raj Jayadev of Silicon Valley De-Bug, a media, community organizing and entrepreneurial collective based out of San Jose, California, and is now a community organizer and associate editor for the organization. She was born and raised all around the Bay Area, from East Side San Jose to the Bayview in San Francisco, and currently resides in Oakland. She has taught workshops on using media arts and consciousness all over, from McAllen pueblas to Brazil favelas. She is the recent 2013 Tautai Artist in Residence in Auckland, New Zealand, and will be working with the Pacific Islander communities there. Her parents are from the villages of Moamoa and Falealili, Western Samoa. She is named after her grandmother Elia Melesaine.


Amir Rabiyah lives in Oakland, California. His work has appeared in Mizna, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality, the Asian American Literary Review, Enizagam, Troubling the Line: Trans and Gender Queer Poetry and Poetics and more. His poem Orb of Ash has been nominated for the 2013 Pushcart Prize. To read more about Amir, visit his website at Amir Rabiyah’s photo: Talya Husbands-Hankin

kat-evasco-200x300If Margaret Cho and Ellen Degeneres conceived a lesbian love baby, she would have nothing on this hilarious Bay Area actor and stand-up comic. Kat Evasco is a proud lesbian Filipina American and co-created and co-produced the BAKLA SHOW I & II (2007, 2010), highlighting experiences of queer Filipinos. Kat competed in the 2010 San Francisco International Comedy Competition and has performed at venues including the Haha Cafe, San Jose Improv, the Purple Onion, Humboldt State University, Napa Valley Opera House, and the Mont Blue Casino. Since January 2011, Kat has been developing her comedic, autobiographical one-woman show titled Mommy Queerest, which focuses on her relationship with her recently outed lesbian mother. After a successful workshop run in December 2011, Kat was invited by the Asian American Studies Department to do a workshop performance at UC Irvine in March 2013. Mommy Queerest is scheduled to premiere in the Fall 2013, embarking on her first national tour. Kat holds a BA in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University and currently serves as Managing Director of Guerrilla Rep and as the Production Associate at Youth Speaks Inc.


ssqd-jamaesoriJamaesori is a collective of women and transgender people of Korean descent who use traditional Korean drumming to support social justice movements. They are a diverse and intergenerational group of Korean Americans, including Korean adoptees, mixed-race Koreans and Korean nationals, queers, community activists and artists. Jamaesori uses Pilbong style Pungmul, a participatory folk art tradition, to coalesce around the expression of communal hopes and to overcome sorrow and hardship. Since being founded in 1991, Jamaesori has taken inspiration from the spirit of Pungmul and contributed to the vitality of our community by participating in numerous events, celebrations and protests. We play to reclaim our culture, honor our history and rally in shaping our future.



Vai Fuatino Alefosio practices dance to embody the transformative properties that sit within movement. There is power within all forms of expression and what she chooses to do with that creative power is to kinesthetically liberate the body, mind, spirit and environment. Just as her Samoan ancestors used the stars to navigate the open ocean at night, she chooses dance/movement expression to navigate the unpredictable tides of being a first generation Samoan Queer Womyn.
Thank you to our ancestors for reawakening my soul and allowing me to remember that there is knowledge that thrives within our bodies, knowledge which I want to share, one siva at a time!


tre-natroTre Natro is a MC/poet desde las tierras fronterizas de arizona. With ancestral roots from Chihuahua MX, Cuba, Wales and the desert lands of AZ, he is a mix blood GV rebel, steadily cultivating consciousness and radical masculinity as a method of bangin on colonial legacies.



Enajite Loicy Pela is a Queer, Nigerian and Black, disabled, musician, filmmaker, and storyteller. While primarily a musician, she navigates art mediums to tell stories that break down systems oppression and show the beauty of black bodies, disabled bodies, and queer identities. She has been blessed with opportunities to preform through Bay Area organizations and events such as Krip-Hop nation 2012 tour and Oakland Pride. Enajite volunteers with Bay Area Girls Rock Camp, in hopes to empower young women through music. Their first film “Your Kiss” will be screened at this years QWOCMAP and Frameline film festival. And they are currently working on finishing thier English degree at Cal, along with various music projects.



Lindsey Adams is a queer Black-Korean writer, and a newcomer to Stories of Queer Diaspora. Oakland born and Vallejo raised, Lindsey has drawn much of her inspiration from her experiences of growing up as mixed in the shadows of bridges. She writes to carefully position her/self among the stories of her family that have been entangled and cast into silence, and to make her own meanings of a Black-Korean identity that carries legacies of language, immigration, and militarism. Lindsey is excited to share her words through SQD to honor her late father’s urging to always tell your stories. Lindsey has recently moved back to the Bay Area after receiving her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in African-American Studies from UCLA, and she has been hella happy to be back on home turf ever since. She is a member of Hella Organized Bay Area Koreans (HOBAK) and Jamaesori. This year, she hopes to self-produce a zine that will feature personal poetry and other writings to give voice to the struggles and spiritual strivings that have always meant survival.

ssqd-12celestCeleste Chan creates work born from Queer Diaspora through wit, words, and film. A Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA) fellow, she has studied under revolutionary writers, and her films have screened at Vancouver Queer Film Festival, MIX NYC, Queer Women of Color Film Festival, and National Queer Arts Festival, among others. She’s honored to be the co-founder of Queer Rebels.www.celestechan.comand Celeste Chan photo: Amie LeeKing





About the curator


Erika Vivianna Céspedes is a 25 year old first generation Colombian artist, writer, youth worker, and organizer. She enjoys all things related to cumbia and Spanglish, and currently mentors high school youth with the Oakland migrant youth collective, 67 Sueños, and as a Program Associate of Youth Development for the literary arts organization, Youth Speaks. Since last year’s SQD showcase, Erika has been invited to lecture and share this project on panels at The Allied Media Conference in Detroit, The AJAAS Conference at The University of  New Mexico, and The University of San Francisco. She is ecstatic to see the community support gathered around this series and is constantly inspired by the migrante, mujeres, jota, & youth communities around her.

You can email Erika directly at [email protected] and also follow this series at