Queeriosity – Youth Speaks 2010

queriosity June 18
Qcc and Youth Speaks present:
Queeriosity XIII: Legends on the Map
S.F. LGBT Community Center – Rainbow Room
Queeriosity XIII: Legends on the Map

On train tracks and light rails, bus routes and skateboards, underground and in airplanes, we are making tracks, paving paths. Moving toward moments and places near and far, familiar and otherwise. Marking the sites of loss and triumph, life and death. Uganda: where legislation may make homosexuality punishable by death. Jamaica: where queer people marched openly for the first time without fear. Mississippi: where a high school canceled prom to prevent two girls from dancing. California: where 11,000 same sex couples took city halls by storm with marriage in mind after years and years of waiting. This is about space. This is about time, and it’s about time we put ourselves on the map.

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Photo: Bethanie Hines Photo: Bethanie Hines

In the most “progressive” place in the so-called United States, in the wake of Proposition 8, caught between a dominant culture determined to pave the world over and our own aching hearts, we are. We are our own heroes. We are a living iconography. We believe in spirit. We believe in flesh. We fall in love with loving openly. We emerge from impossible spaces. We bloom from secret things. We wade through mainstream to find pure water. We change the channel when commercials come on. We are not for show. We are not for sale. We could not be more serious. We are queer, questioning, bi, critical, allies, artists, and activists.  We are not to blame. We are not ashamed. Some revolutions begin carefully. Sometimes the quiet ones are brave. Not all united voices are the same. Call us by our truest names. Queeriosity for the curious and courageous.

Queeriosity, an essential part of our Bringing the Noise reading series, is a literary arts and performance event that creates a safe space for LBGTQ youth to speak their truths without having to conform to the ideals of others, which often revolve around an oversexualized or generic vision of “empowerment.”  Queeriosity was created to give youth a place to simply be, speak from the places they are here and now, and have their emerging artistic and activist voices celebrated and validated.  Special emphasis is placed on providing safe space for queer youth of color, a tremendously underserved population whose struggle is doubly silenced.  Queeriosity features 15 – 20 young performers—queer and queer allies—80% of whom are of color, consistently attracts 300 audience members, and presents outstanding multi-genre performances in spoken word, song, dance, and theater. www.youthspeaks.org

Photo: Bethanie Hines