Stories of Queer Diasposa



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

In partnership with Bay Area community organizations such as LYRIC, The SF LGBT Community Center, RAW Talent, Streetside Stories, and The Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), we have also invited 10 local LGBTQQ youth of color to take part in a paid 8-week writing workshop series leading up to this final showcase. The workshop series, as facilitated by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, takes place once a week from April–June in order to cultivate a welcoming space for local im/migrant and 1st generation youth to write, reclaim, and proudly articulate their experiences. For more information on how to support this writing workshop series please contact Erika at callequmbia(at)

Guest Artists include: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Yosimar Reyes, Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene , La Loba Loca, Amir Rabiyah, Terisa Tinei Siagatonu

Curated by: Erika Vivianna Céspedes

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qdleahPushcart Prize nominee Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer disabled Sri Lankan writer, teacher and cultural worker. The author of Consensual Genocide and Love Cake and co-editor of The Revolution Starts At Home: Confronting Intimate Violence in Activist Communities (South End, 2011), her work has appeared in the anthologies Persistence: Still Butch and Femme, Yes Means Yes, Visible: A Femmethology, Homelands, Colonize This, We Don’t Need Another Wave, Bitchfest, Without a Net, Dangerous Families, Brazen Femme, Femme and A Girl’s Guide to Taking Over The World.

She co-founded Mangos With Chili, the national queer and trans people of color performance organization, is a lead artist with Sins Invalid and teaches with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People. In 2010 she was named one of the Feminist Press’ “40 Feminists Under 40 Who Are Shaping the Future.”   Her one woman show, Grown Woman Show, has toured nationally, including performances at the National Queer Arts Festival, Swarthmore College, Yale University, Reed College and McGill University. She has taught, performed and lectured across the country, including appearances at Columbia, Oberlin, Texas A&M, Sarah Lawrence, Swarthmore, UC Berkeley, USC, and the University of Toronto. She co-founded Toronto’s Asian Arts Freedom School.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, focusing on creative nonfiction and community-based teaching by writers of color.

qdyosiFrom 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.”

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) His words have open up concerts for Carlos Santana in his latest endeavor Architects of a New Dawn, a multimedia project launched earlier this year. (


etaghenesqdYvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene is an Ijaw and Urhobo Nigerian dyke performance activist, poet, dancer, essayist, playwright and actress who was born with a mouth full of dynamite and sugarcane. She uses her poetry to chisel a verbal sculpture of her soul for listeners while addressing issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, war, imperialism, love, self-esteem and family. Etaghene has self-published three collections of poetry, toured nationally and performed in over 30 u.s. cities. She was interviewed by and is a Contributing Writer to None on Record: Stories of Queer Africa, a sound documentary project that collects the stories of QLGBT Africans from the African Continent and the Diaspora. Her one woman show, Volcano’s Birthright{s}, will debut at the Brooklyn Museum in June 2011. Etaghene is a mixed-media visual artist who has produced 4 solo art exhibitions.  For more information about her work & future performances please visit Her performative work can be found at:


qdanabelLa Loba Loca, also known as Ana.Bel, is a Sudaca born in Peru and raised in Maipu, Santiago de Chile. La Loba Loca believes on “improvised, reusabled art”, most of the materials for the chucherias she makes are found, recycled or donated. She is also a traditional tattooist, photo-documentarist and is beginning to do documentary/filming work. La Loba will soon be graduating from UC Berkeley with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree. Her thesis is on Population Control in the Andes and the forced Sterilization Campaigns implemented during the racist dictatorship of Fujimori forty years ago. She is planning to return to her native Peru and document the creation of a Healing Center by the forcedly sterilized native womyn. La Loba is also a School of Unity and Liberation(SOUL) alumni and a former member of the QPOC collective Voz de Lucha. She is currently based in the Bay Area and soon relocating to LA.

qdamirAmir Rabiyah lives in Oakland, California. He received his BA in Women’s Studies from Portland State University and his MFA in Writing and Consciousness from the New College of California.  He was a finalist in the 2008 Joy Harjo Poetry Contest sponsored by Cutthroat Magazine.

His work has been featured in Mizna, Tea Party Magazine, the Kearny Street Workshop’s anthology: I Saw My Ex at a Party, 580 Split, Left Turn Magazine, Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation, Collective Brightness: LGBTIQ Poets on Faith, Religion and Spirituality, the Asian American Literary Review and more.

Amir participated in the Men’s Story Project at UC Berkeley, a performance and dialogue performance project which explores social ideas about masculinity. In 2012, he received a award to be an artist in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City.

qdterisaAt the age of 24, Terisa Tinei Siagatonu has already established herself as a poet, spoken word artist, and arts educator. Born and rooted in the Bay Area, her emergence into the spoken word world as a queer Samoan womyn and activist has granted her the opportunities to perform on stages ranging from San Francisco’s historical Herbst Theatre to the Womyn’s Stage at the 2010 Oakland PRIDE Festival, sharing the mic with artists such as Beau Sia, Ise Lyfe, Mayda Del Valle, Shihan, George Watsky, and Chinaka Hodge. Throughout her journey, she has performed at events ranging from Youth Speaks’ 13th Annual Bringing the Noise for Martin Luther King, Jr. and Life is Living Festival to San Jose’s Polynesian Heritage Festival and UC Berkeley’s 3rd and

4th Annual Queer and Asian Conference. She is the 2011 UCSC Kinetic Poetic Grand Slam Champion and is the co-champion of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s 5th annual poetry slam competition, The Anthem. An alumni of UC Santa Cruz, she was also a member of the 2010 and 2011 UCSC Kinetic Poetic Poetry Slam Team, helping her team take 2nd place in the nation at the 10th annual College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in 2010.

In 2012, she was awarded the “Champion of Change” award on behalf of President Obama’s Winning the Future Initiative for her video submission in the “What’s Your Story?” video challenge put on by the White House Initiatives on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

qderikaErika Vivianna Céspedes is a 24 year old Colombian jot@ artist, organizer, childcare provider, and long-term community college student. She has been actively involved with numerous Bay Area arts education and youth development organizations including Precita Eyes Muralists, Intersection for the Arts, and QWOCMAP (Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project). She enjoys all things related to cumbia and Spanglish, and currently mentors high school youth with 67 Sueños and as a poet mentor and Program Associate for the literary arts organization, Youth Speaks. Stories of Queer Diaspora is her first independent curatorial arts project. ( (