In Sickness and In Health

ins_groupsq June 22
In Sickness & In Health:
Untold Stories of Queer Best Friends
S.F. LGBT Community Center – Rainbow Room
Tickets: $12-$20
Buy Tickets on-line:
Best friend pairs across race, gender, and age boundaries take the stage and tell their stories. A retelling of Queer love and chosen family as told through film, spoken word, and photography. Come celebrate the union of your favorite Bay Area artists. New work by Michelle Tea & Peter Pizzi, Meliza Beñales & J Aguilar, StormMiguel Florez & Luis Gutierrez-Mock, Terry Taplin & Alicia Raquel, Molly Raynor and Mariama Lockington, Adrienne Elias & Gentry McShane, and Yosimar Reyes. Photos by Amos Mac. Curated by Kirya Traber and Sarah Marloff. Leave your lover at home, it’s a best friends’ night out!


Kirya Traber

Kirya Traber is a 2004 Brave New Voices Poetry Slam Champion and the winner of a Robert Redford Sundance Summit Award. Her work has been featured at the Living Word Festival, SanFrancisco’s Lit Quake, The Stern Grove Festival, and the National Queer Arts Festival, and on tour across the nation with Sister Spit: The Next Generation. She recently released her first solo manuscript, black chick, and is currently working the Residency Program Manager at Youth Speaks, Inc.. (Photo credit Bethanie Hines)

Sarah Marloff

Sarah Marloff is a 20-something writer from Small-Town Northern California and a four-year stint in So-Cal where she attended UCSB. She is a regular contributor to the Potrero View Newspaper, and works as the Transgender Relationship Examiner for Sarah has released two DIY chapbooks: Unfinished Sentences and Fairy-Princess-Warrior. Her work has been read at multiple venues in the Bay Area including San Francisco City College, and Modern Times Bookstore. She has also performed in Nico Dacumos’ play Translations, for the 2009 National Queer Arts Festival. Sarah currently lives in San Francisco’s Mission district. Drawing inspiration from the color and grime of the neighborhood and finding beauty in unexpected places. (Photo Credit Lindsay Lightsey)

Michelle Tea

Michelle Tea is the author of four memoirs, a collection of poetry and the novel Rose of No Man’s Land. She has edited anthologies about such things as fashion and class, and her journalism has covered queer witches, the Venice Biennale, Paris Fashion Week, taxidermy, and other phenomena. As the creator of RADAR Productions she oversees the monthly RADAR Reading Series, the Sister Spit international performance tours and the annual Radar LAB writers’ retreat in Akumal, Mexico.

Peter Pizzi

Peter Pizzi is a filmmaker, photographer and installation artist from Boston, MA. In 1999, he formed the production company Magic Club Productions. His work explores themes of sexuality, gender and identity. His recent directed short film titles include; Sucker, The Face of God and Dream of an ex-girlfriend. His work has been described as provocative, political and comical. He enjoys working with props such as, puppets, masks and his alter ego – Mr. Bunny. His films and artwork has been featured in Art Galleries and Film Festivals both nationally and internationally; including, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, The Directors Guild Theatre, Los Angeles, CA and The Anthology Film Archives, NYC. More information about his work can be found at

Meliza Beñales

Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego writes books, sews clothes, and makes movies.  She has toured with Sister Spit: The Next Generation and Body Heat: The Femme Porn Tour.  She is currently working on a spoken-word album with Crunks Not Dead Records and another collection of short stories, Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific.  She makes art in San Francisco. (Photo Credit Missy Fuego)

J Aguilar

J Aguilar is a San Francisco based filmmaker who has written & directed four short films. Her most recent short is a collaboration with Meliza Bañales called Getting Off, a campy adventure about a boi who searches for her missing orgasm. She is currently developing her first feature as well as serving as a producer and assistant director on Mother Country, a feature film by Maria Breaux currently in production. (Photo Credit Missy Fuego)

From the Mountains of Guerrero, Mexico comes Yosimar Reyes, a Two-Spirit Poet/Activist based out of San Jose, CA. He holds the title for the 2005 as well as the 2006 South Bay teen Grand SLAM Champion, has been featured in the Documentary 2nd Verse: the Rebirth of Poetry. ( And published in Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press)

StormMiguel Florez

StormMiguel Florez is a Mexican aMaricon singer/songwriter, QueErotic performance artist, and live tranny sex show producer. Sometimes he does these things all at once.  StormMiguel’s first paying gig was at the tender age of 10, as an extra in the made-for TV-movie, Police Woman Centerfold. As a co-creator of Trans as Fuck and occasional leader of queer ritual, he is learning how to integrate trans and POC activism with sexiness and connection to Mama Earth.

Mariama Lockington

Mariama Lockington is most happy when basking in a sunspot. She calls many places home and currently lives in Oakland. A writer, transracial adoptee, educator, and dreamer, Mariama hopes to one day star in her own musical. A graduate of the University of Michigan, Mariama majored in Creative Writing and African American studies. She was a part of the Ann Arbor spoken word troupe, Wordworks, and a two time member of the U of M National Slam team. She has been published in the Comstock Review, performs spoken word around the bay, and co-founded the adoption blog: Bitch, You Left Me. She holds a Masters in Education from Lesley University and currently works at 826 National, a writing and tutoring center in San Franciso.

Molly Pershin Raynor

Molly Pershin Raynor is a teacher at Making Waves, an after school program in Richmond, CA. She has facilitated creative writing workshops in prisons, juvenile facilities, halfway houses, high schools, teen centers and summer camps and has traveled from coast to coast performing spoken word and organizing youth slams. She is a 2-time Ann Arbor youth poetry slam champion.  Molly coached the Ann Arbor youth team and the University of Michigan slam team for four years. Molly has two published chapbooks- Bringing the Beat and Occupation: Peoplewatcher and was a feature poet on National Public Radio. She co-directed U of M’s production of Vagina Monologues 2006: A Colorful Production, which centralized women of color for the first time. Molly loves the color turquoise, breakfast for dinner, and the feeling of finishing a poem.

Terry Taplin

Terry Taplin is Bay Area native and Berkeley based Spoken Word artist and educator. He has been on 3 national poetry slam teams at the youth and collegiate levels. In 2006 Terry represented the Bay Area as a member of the Youthspeaks Nation Youth Championship team and went on to become the Bay Area Teen Poetry Grand Slam Co-Champion the following year and is a member of the 2009 UC Berkeley Slam Team that placed third at the annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. In Terry’s work he aims to demystify and expand masculinity, maleness and what it means to be both powerful and human at once. By illuminating and navigating the ever exponential intersections of race, gender and sexual orientation he hopes to empower others to embrace their own humanity in its entirety. 

Alicia Raquel

Alicia Raquel is a performing artist born and raised in the Bay Area. She represents for Break tha Dawn Performance Company, Poetry for the People, Art in Action and Destiny Arts Center. She loves being queer and doing queer things with queer people.

Gentry McShane

Gentry McShane is a 25 year old filmmaker living in San Francisco. He was raised a dirty naked hippie child in Tucson, Arizona. His films have shown in  San Francisco’s Sex workers film and art festival, and Frameline Gay and Lesbian film festival. He is currently working on an experimental riot grrrl zombie film. His heroes are Dolly Parton, and Valerie Solanas. (Photo Credit Lindsay Lightsey)

Adrienne Elias

Adrienne Elias is a 24 year old “DIY til I die” kind of queer.  Adrienne has roots in Tucson, Az and works at Shanti, an AIDS Service Organization in the Tenderloin.  Adrienne is in love with her bike, named Cornelia Smith, and her dog, Oscar Pancho Meyer Weiner.  She spends her free time stenciling, playing guitar, and being a homebody Cancer. (Photo Credit Lindsay Lightsey)

Luis Gutierrez-Mock

Luis Gutierrez-Mock is a light skinned biracial transgender Xicano in a primary relationship with FancyChuco Florez-Gutierrez-Mock (aka ChochaFerosha), his mixed heritage Chihuahua, who he co-parents with StormMiguel “Fisty” Florez. Luis enjoys starting revolutions over fancy cocktails, reading OK! magazine, and chismeando with his mother.

Yosimar Reyes

From the Mountains of Guerrero, Mexico comes Yosimar Reyes, a Two-Spirit Poet/Activist based out of San Jose, CA. He holds the title for the 2005 as well as the 2006 South Bay teen Grand SLAM Champion, has been featured in the Documentary 2nd Verse: the Rebirth of Poetry. ( And published in Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press)

This event received a Creating Queer Community Commission from Queer Cultural Center funded through the San Francisco Foundation.