Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-09-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Queeriosity open mic kicks off 'Louder Than a Bomb'
by Kelsey Hoff
2019-02-26

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


More than 20 of Chicago's LGBTQ and questioning high schoolers gathered Feb. 23 for the annual Louder Than a Bomb ( LTAB ) edition of Queeriosity, a monthly open-mic series presented by Young Chicago Authors ( YCA ) for these youths and their friends.

YCA's smallest, most intimate program goes beyond standard "safe space" principles to provide an environment where young people can openly speak their truths and explore their identities with a supportive audience. About 12 teens and a few YCA staff members performed spoken word and read poetry onstage interspersed with jams by DJ Cash Era, followed by a feature performance by multi-genre singer, pianist, composer and arranger Akenya.

Usually Queeriosity's LTAB event is held after the festival with the goal of recruiting performers. Although it took place during preliminaries this year, the majority of attendees were first-timers. Louder Than a Bomb is the world's largest youth poetry festival, to be held this year Feb. 20 through March 17 at Columbia College Chicago. During these five weeks, 120 teams from high schools, middle schools or community organizations compete in slam-style poetry bouts. The next Queeriosity open mic is on Saturday, March 30.

Performer Cyn Juarez pointed out that Queeriosity "allows people to express themselves without anyone hearing," citing her own experience exploring her sexuality in secret. A 17-year-old from Noble Street College Prep, this is her first school year attending Queeriosity and competing in LTAB. As a rule, attendees are usually not allowed to take pictures or post about others on social media. The hosts made it clear that the LTAB edition was a rare exception, with a photographer and a reporter present to document the event.

Hosts Dominique James and Ari Appleberry began the night with introductions, encouraging everyone in attendance to share their name and pronouns and answer one of two questions: What's your astrological sign and do you agree with it, or what is your favorite pair of shoes and why? Doc Martens dominated, along with Sagittarians and Capricorns. James, a YCA teaching artist, noted that the conversation portion of the night gives all attendees an opportunity to unpack and explore emotions.

Safe-space rules were shared via call and response, with audience members shouting, "No racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no transphobia, no ableism, or any other derogatory language allowed," with the clarification that performers may reclaim language that has been used to oppress them.

In an interview, James stated that this particular group "has a different understanding of what it means to be harmed," and the focus of Queeriosity's safe space policy is not to shut down dialogue, as it unfortunately happens in other "safe spaces," but to make it easier for participants to share.

Poem topics ran the gamut from true stories to imaginative situations, a meditation on the word "gay," a politically engaged bus ride down Western avenue, racist violence, abuse within families, crowdsurfing, racism and rage-crying at a punk show, menstruation, body positivity, sex and many, many first loves. Performers showed a wide range of emotions in the face of their personal hardships; the audience snapped, gasped and vocalized affirmations throughout the night.

After a snack break, world-famous artist and Chicago native Akenya performed four original songs to musical tracks, most of which she produced herself. She has performed in Europe, the Middle East and North America, and worked with many other prominent Chicago musicians such as Smino, Saba, Chance the Rapper, Noname and Mavis Staples. She is currently working on her debut LP, Moon in the 4th.

According to James, Queeriosity is the most open format of YCA's programs, freeing the group to focus on specific content and modes of sharing outside the norms of a standard slam poetry workshop. Featured artists have included reiki practitioners and yoga instructors leading interactive experiences in addition to more typical poets and musicians.

Find more information about Queeriosity, LTAB and other programming on the YCA website at YoungChicagoAuthors.org .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Champaign County holding virtual Pride event Sept. 25-27 2020-09-21 - Champaign County-Uniting Pride of Champaign County announced the theme for the 2020 Champaign County Pride Celebration, taking place virtually Sept. 25-27: "Staying Apart—Rising ...


Gay News

Howard Brown breaks ground on new Broadway Youth Center location 2020-09-12 - Officials from the Howard Brown Health organization, public officials and community supporters gathered in Uptown Sept. 10 to break ground on a new ...


Gay News

Looking at implementation of an LGBTQ+ curriculum in state public schools 2020-09-02 - On Aug. 9, 2019, Gov. JB Pritzker signed Illinois House Bill 246 into law, amending the school code to include contributions of LGBTQ+ ...


Gay News

MUSIC Trans singer Kyler O'Neal debuts music video, talks poetry 2020-09-01 - Kyler O'Neal is a transgender contemporary, folk artist. She officially released her debut music video for her single Satan's Tears on Sept. 1, ...


Gay News

MAP report: Religious exemptions in child welfare would harm millions 2020-08-21 - On Aug. 19, the Movement Advancement Project ( MAP ) released "The High Stakes in the Fulton Case: Undermining the Vital Role of ...


Gay News

30 Under 30 postponed until June 2021 2020-08-19 - Windy City Times has made the difficult decision to postpone its annual 30 Under 30 Awards until next June, citing the coronavirus pandemic. ...


Gay News

'One Poem: A Protest Reading in Support of Black Lives' Aug. 18 2020-08-13 - On Tuesday, Aug. 18, at 7 p.m., the Poetry Coalition—a network of 25+ literary organizations that includes Lambda Literary and Young Chicago Authors—will ...


Gay News

A peek inside The Crib's new location 2020-08-08 - The Night Ministry is now operating The Crib in a new location at 1735 N. Ashland Ave. The previous location in the ...


Gay News

WERQ! LGBTQ Job Fair on Sept. 18 2020-08-07 - EDITOR'S NOTE: Information on this event has changed. See updated information at http://www.windycitytimes.com/lgbt/WERQ-LGBTQ-Job-Fair-now-online-Sept-17-18-/69098.html . Center on Halsted and Brave Space Alliance ...


Gay News

Virtual OPALGA+ scholarship gala slated for Oct. 24 2020-08-06 - OPALGA+/Oak Park Area Lesbian & Gay Association will hold a virtual scholarship gala Saturday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. The event will feature ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.