Tag Archives: Orlando

WE WERE THERE: Sorority – A Queer Performance K-Hole

Thursday, June 16th, 2016
Lyric Hyperion Theatere & Cafe, Los Angeles, CA
I almost didn’t go because I’d come down with some kind of physical plague along with the emotional one I had already been feeling that week, but really thankgawd I have a girlfriend who thinks it’s important for us to show up to community events in the wake of tragedy because the opposite of lonely grieving might be cabaret.

Is there anything gayer? I think I first realized I was gay while attending a weekly cabaret at the Slipper Club in Madison, Wisconsin during my senior year of college. Until then I was very Natasha Lyonne at the outset But I’m A Cheerleader, when she’s still like, “Everyone looks at other girls all the time!” Like her, I thought “everyone had those thoughts,” but the cabaret showed me that what I desired wasn’t just a trip to clamtown (which is requisite, but maybe not sufficient for gayness) but instead a more permanent residence in the sequin-covered cabaret world where camp is the very best way to communicate pathos. I wanted to live among this cheeky and earnest community with its visible belief that desire for the spotlight was what made one deserving of it, where people cheered and sang in such familial chorus.What I remember most about that Midwestern cabaret was that for each finale, the entire cast would get onstage and sing “Que Sera Sera” in this overdone way that made the lyrics —will I be pretty? will I be rich? — seem ridiculous (how hilariously heterocapitalist!)—and yearningly anxious (but like I kind of need to be sort of rich and super pretty!) at the exact same time. At the cabaret, I learned about expressing nostalgia through mockery, about using tacky overperformance as a form of worship. I heard the language there and recognized it as my mother tongue.
SORORITY, organized and hosted by Los Angeles playwright Gina Young, has re-immersed me in that language—has reintroduced the feelings that are able to be articulated and felt when queers get onstage in front of a queer audience. The series, which launched at the Lyric-Hyperion Theater in LA in April, occurring every Thursday night during that month, has reemerged as a monthly event this summer. On its Facebook page, SORORITY is described as a “queer performance k-hole” which includes “works-in-progress,” “theatrical situations,” and “summertime short shorts.” The unfinished feel is refreshing: where LA’s performance scene can sometimes feel like its requires an art school education to access, SORORITY’s performances are playful and engaging. The series is also— with its late-night start time, availability of cocktails, variety-show vibe, and abundance of bad wigs—a true cabaret. Continue reading

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Pulse Nightclub and the Queer, Brown Space


Image via The Orlando Sentinel

Space, As in Room, Pt. 1

I tell her that if there is a horror like this that she must run.

If we are away from each other–I at the bar–she at the table–she cannot look for me. She must, instead, find the exit and run.

I cannot sleep because I do not want her to die.


Space, As in Room, Pt. 2

Queered spaces, especially when brown, are brick and moral stances. A room when kissing and dancing are acts of activism. We speak of these political outcomes first even though they are secondary. The main purpose for these spaces are for moments to reclaim a completeness; to access one’s humanity because every other place abstracts your identity magnifying the whitest, straightest, or wealthiest of learned postures.

Simply put these rooms are where people go to be people.

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Rah! Rah! Roundup


Remember their names, faces, and lives– these are the victims of the Pulse shooting, primarily queer POC.

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Poets & Educators Stand with Orlando

Poets and educators are organizing in response to the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

Poets 4 Orlando poetry reading for Orlando


Poets are gathering tonight, Tuesday June 14th, from 6–9 PM, in NYC’s Strawberry Fields Memorial in Central Park for a vigil honoring the victims.

From the event’s Facebook page:

“This crime was committed in a nightclub. Let’s bring some of that magical quality into our own VIGIL for those we never met but always knew.

PLEASE COME AND BRING YOUR SPIRIT: We want to hear your voice, and want America to recognize this for what it is.

A HATE crime, the largest to hit our community in modern times.”

For those of us who teach, educators are compiling a comprehensive list of resources for addressing the Orlando shooting in the classroom. The #PulseOrlandoSyllabus includes relevant books, articles, poems, videos and more. You can read the syllabus, and add your resources, here.

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