Monthly Archives: November 2010

Queer Memoir: Family

Ah family! In this special holiday edition of Queer Memoir, storytellers will share about about the folks we call family…and the families we make ourselves.

Saturday, December 4 · 2:30pm
LGBT Community Center [Room 410, W/C accessible]

208 w 13th street
New York, NY
$5-7 suggested donation. Includes tasty snacks!
With our amazing storytellers….
Kelli Dunham and (her sister) Elizabeth Dunham Toner
Paris Harris and Eshey Scarborough
Glenn Marla
Genne Murphy and (her pop) Frank Murphy
YaliniDreamPlease note this special edition of Queer Memoir STARTS IN THE AFTERNOON – plus there will be special snacky treats!

We are featuring several collaborative memoir duos, and one storyteller will include an edible/food portion to his memoir!


ARUN is an Irish-Trinidadian mixed-media and performance artist who has contributed to Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community arts in Canada and the United States for over a decade. An arts scholarship recipient, he studied at the University of Toronto and graduated with a degree in gender studies and visual arts. His mixed-media work reflects his larger interest in social justice, specifically LGBTQ rights. His current “urban installation” pieces address the simultaneously hypervisible/invisible nature of queer sexuality “Bad Habit,” a collaboration with with internationally known lesbian author, comic and former nun Kelli Dunham, reflects his interest in the relationship between trauma and humor in queer narratives and the interplay between visual media, text and performance. In his spare time, he enjoys fashioning absurdly fabulous performance costumes as well as writing and illustrating short stories for his partner and friends. He is currently based in New York.

KELLI DUNHAM and ELIZABETH DUNHAM TONER – Kelli Dunham and (her straight sister) Elizabeth Dunham Toner are both writers and nurses and the last two of seven children who share various different mother/fathers configurations. Elizabeth has run more than two dozen marathons…voluntarily, ie while not being chased by wild animals or other predators. She works in long term care as a nurse and has a fulltime corporate writing job in the financial services industry. She has had stories published in various Star Trek anthologies and is raising three children as nerdy and wonderful as she is. Kelli Dunham is a comic, author of four books, and the co-producer of Queer Memoir.

PARIS HARRIS and ESHEY SCARBOROUGH – New York natives Paris and Eshey are the founders of Positive Encounters an L.G.B.T. community based organization. Their mission is dedicated to supporting those gays, lesbians, bisexuals and Trans-gendered who seek to have more positive encounters and honorable relationships with their partners and others. Paris and Eshey as writers create and perform works that are directed at educating, energizing, uplifting and entertaining the lesbian and gay community. Using their “Moving in Love” concept, they design and facilitate relationship-centered workshops that promote safer and healthier encounters. Two of these, “The Lost Art of Flirting” and “Cheating…Why Do We Do It?” received rave reviews at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in NYC. They both held positions for award nominated SABLE Magazine for Lesbian Women of Color. Eshey also has written a popular column for the Sable Silver section where she focuses on the concerns and interests of senior lesbians. They are performance artists as a couple and they write and perform their original poetry and comedy within the NYC L.G.B.T. community. They were well received presenters at the 7th Annual A.A.L.L.U. [African, Asian, Latinas Lesbians United] Conference of 2004 and The 8th Annual AALLU Conference where they introduced their workshop “De-mystifying the Roles: The Butch, Femme, Androgynous Mystique” in 2005. And in 2007 the presented a couples workshop at The 10th Annual AALLU Conference in Newark, New Jersey.

Paris is the Founder of “Sophisticated Aggressive Gents” a support group strictly for women who identify as Butch, Aggressive, Stud or Male of Center. The group meets monthly to serve the local lesbian community at the LGBT Center. Paris and Eshey are currently both state certified host parents for the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. They have also been certified by O.C.F.S. (Office of Children and Family Services) and began as foster parents by hosting transitioning incarcerated teens. Paris and Eshey have invested in the L.G.B.T. intergenerational community and through their visibility as agents of change have shown that they are passionate about their life’s work making a difference in the community. After a three year courtship they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Annual International Butch Femme Conference on Oct.5, 2003. They currently reside in the Bronx, New York with two of their own daughters.

GLENN MARLA (performer/writer) is a Brooklyn-based performance artist, tranny superstar and beauty pageant queen (Miss LES 2006 and the reigning Mr. Coney Island). The Portland Phoenix calls Glenn Marla’s work, “performance art that pushes the envelope without pushing the audience away,” Time Out New York Calls Glenn a “downtown prophet” and The New York Times calls Glenn “an obese transvestite in tights.” Glenn Marla is a firm believer that if you don’t fit in anywhere you can fit in everywhere. Most recently you may have caught Glenn touring his solo piece Tragic Magic. This year he has also been seen gracing the stage as a giant gay flower both in Dave End’s F.A.G.G.O.T.S the Musical playing Pansy or in Taylor Mac’s Obie Award winning epic play The Lily’s Revenge as Poppy. This Fall Mr. Marla got to collaborate with Mx Justin Bond again along with some of New York’s finest performance witches to play the Queen of the Underworld in Galli Blonde:Re A Sissy Fix. Glenn is thrilled to be sharing new work at Queer Memoir.

FRANK MURPHY and GENNE MURPHY – Frank Murphy is a Philadelphia native, community organizer, and educator, serving as a school teacher and principal in Philadelphia for over 35 years. He recently retired as the principal of G.G. Meade Elementary School in North Philadelphia. He currently blogs for the Philadelphia Notebook ( – an independent forum for educators, parents, students and friends of the Philadelphia public schools), and is the creator of – a blog devoted to telling the story of urban public education in America today. His site provides a forum for sharing real life stories from the perspectives of the principals and teachers who daily work and live in city school communities. Frank is also the father of Genne Murphy, the co-founder of Queer Memoir. Genne is a playwright, queer person, arts educator and Philadelphia native.

YALINIDREAM; Sri Lankan Blood, Manchester Born, Texas bred and Brooklyn steeped, YaliniDream is a Queer artist, activist, and facilitator. She conjures spirit through her unique blend of poetry, theater, song, and dance– reshaping reality and seeking peace through justice in the lands of earth, psyche, soul, and dream. One of the South Asian American community’s most prominent performance poets, YaliniDream has toured nationally throughout the US as well as performing in Canada, England & Sri Lanka. As a director & facilitator, YaliniDream works to bring under-represented voices to center stage through community based theater productions. Through experimental collaboration she seeks to build artistic work that reflects the strength of communities while cherishing difference. YaliniDream was the director and facilitator of Andolan’s Sukh aur Dukh ki Kahani–a storytelling project with Bangladeshi and Indian domestic workers in Queens, NY. She has been a long term volunteer with the Audre Lorde Project’s SOS(Safe Outside the System) Collective in Brooklyn working to address homophobic and transphobic violence against people of color. YaliniDream is also a trained aerial dancer in corde lisse who loves to fly– challenging notions of the seemingly impossible.

Queer Memoir: Subway

With storytellers: Danielle Abrams, Kelli Dunham, Michele Hunt, Shareef Hadid Jenkins, Bryn Kelly, Genne Murphy and Charlie Vázquez

Saturday, November 13 & 8:30pm. $5-7 suggested donation. Please note there was NOT a wheelchair accessible room available this day, so for this ONE TIME ONLY this is not a w/c accessible event, although it is all ages.

RSVP on Facebook HERE.

DANIELLE ABRAMS is an interdisciplinary artist who works in performance and video. She is a monologist, talk-show host, ballroom dance teacher, ballerina, and a stand-up comedian of yesteryear. Family and social histories are the material Abrams kneads to create contemporary moments with people and places. She channels a multiracial cast of family members, and incites participatory extravaganzas. Abrams’ characters wax poetic from park benches, barbeque “butch burgers”, and lead Conga lines through a Borscht Belt mirage. She utilizes the tropes of personae to inquire about social relationships and cultures, challenge our reliance upon origin and biography, and reveal the frolic, poignancy, tensions, and revolutionary potential that is created at the intersection of diverse communities.

KELLI DUNHAM is a ex-nun, butch-identified stand-up comic and author of four books of humorous non-fiction, including two children’s books being used by a conservative home schooling association in their science curriculum. She has appeared on Showtime, the Discovery Channel and was once asked to emcee a livestock auction. Her website is She is the co-founder, with Genne Murphy, of Queer Memoir. To celebrate her 15 year anniversary of leaving the convent, her one woman show “Bad Habit” ( which premiered at the Fresh Fruit Festival will be returning to New York on 10/23 as the Bad Habit Brunch. This time there will be dancing girls.

SHAREEF HADID JENKINS has been writing plays since the 2nd grade but never finished a single one. One day in his senior year at Temple University, Shareef woke up at 5am from a dream of 3 Women telling their stories of mothering one boy whom they loved and raised the best way they could. When Shareef woke up from that dream the women were still talking and his first play “The Three Mothers of Zachary”, was born. Shareef currently lives and writes on Harlem, New York, and is Artistic Director of Gladys Productions. His latest play, Crystal-meth, 2 boys and a Tranny It’s all about “Getting Your Life” debuted in last years Philly Fringe Festival and you can “FOLLOW” Shareef’s work every day on his blog

MICHELE HUNT Michele Hunt lived in NYC from 1999-2007, experiencing the wonders of the subway pretty much every day while working in the jewelry district of Manhattan (along with a brief period of working on the Upper East Side). Now living in Portland, Oregon, she works in a new career as a banker (!) and practices on her photography.

BRYN KELLY is a theater artist, producer, writer and musician living in Brooklyn, New York. She recently wrapped a production of ANTIGONE with an all-transgender cast (Theater Transgression); played Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT at the Nuyorican Poetry Cafe with a cast of Manhattan Community College drama students; and, most recently, will have played Shelby in a very emotional presentation of a scene from STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Sugarland under the direction of avant-auteur Heather Acs. Though she has given public memoir readings before, this is the first time she has presented in the dramatic idiom *(with the exception of that piece about sucking dick in the stacks of the Ohio State University library system, which received rave reviews) Let’s just hope for the best, shall we?

GENNE MURPHY is a Philadelphia native, playwright, and arts educator. She is the co-founder, with Kelli Dunham, of Queer Memoir ( She’s passionate about the intersection of the arts, social change, and community-building. Genne works for Philadelphia Young Playwrights, a local arts education non-profit, and is involved with initiatives to expand new play development in her hometown.

CHARLIE VAZQUEZ is a radical Bronx-bred writer of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. His fiction and essays have been published in various anthologies and have appeared in print and online publications such as The Advocate, Chelsea Clinton News, New York Press, and Ganymede Journal. Charlie hosts a monthly reading series called PANIC! (in the East Village), which focuses on unusual and original fiction and poetry. He is a former contributor to the Village Voice’s Naked City blog and a retired experimental musician and photographer. His second novel Contraband, was published by Rebel Satori Press in spring 2010, and his third, Corazón, is wrapping up for future publication. He is also working on a short story collection and co-editing a gay Latino fiction anthology with novelist and cultural producer Charles Rice-González. Info: