Monthly Archives: August 2012

QUEER MEMOIR: TEACH/PREACH

In September, Queer Memoir is back to it’s ol’ stomping grounds…the QEJ space in Chelsea!

Hear the latest about this event and RSVP on facebook

Saturday September 8th at 8 PM(5-10 bucks sliding scale no one turned away)

QEJ 147 W. 24th St., 4th Floor NYC

QUEER MEMOIR is NYC’s community based LGBT storytelling event: documenting queer stories, celebrating queer lives.

ALLISON GRILLO
ANDRE AZEVEDO
DW SHANLEY

JADE FOSTER

LENNY ZENITH

M. TAURET DAVIS
SARAH SCHULMAN

WITH YOUR HOST KELLI DUNHAM

ALISON GRILLO
Alison Grillo is New York City’s Woman Trapped Inside a Woman’s Body. A stand-up comic with a unique story and an offbeat style, Alison has been seen on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and cited by The Advocate magazine as one of “Seven LGBT Comics You Should Not Have Missed in 2011.” Her work has been featured as TimeOutNY’s “Joke of the Week.” Alison is a regular at the Broadway Comedy Club and the creator/host, with Mike Motz, of the recurrent Jokes ‘n’ Gender: A Variety Show,
and the host of Up on the Roof, a weekly stand-up show (during summer months) at the Colonial House Inn, NYC. She appears frequently at clubs, colleges and festivals in the northeast United
States and in Canada, as well as in improv shows at the People’s Improv Theater. The holder of degrees from Drew University, Emerson College and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she has also completed the American Comedy Institute’s one year program. She teaches expository writing at Kean University in Union, N.J., and has published fiction in numerous literary magazines.

ANDRE AZEVEDO
Bio to come

DW SHANLEY
DW Shanley has been described as having “the soul of a teacher”. He works tirelessly to bring love and learning to his kids in the South Bronx, despite a ridiculous daily three hour round trip commute from Brooklyn. When not commuting, prepping, grading, or mentally plotting how to rev up his 7th graders, Devon rests by reading lots of James Baldwin, spending time with his amazing cat Tifa, and strengthening his soccer knowledge (despite only getting into the sport last year). He is currently working on his memoir.

JADE FOSTER
Jade Foster is a writer and producer of queer women poetry tour, The Revival. Her poems and articles have appeared in “Words, Beats, and Life,” “make/shift,” “SWERV Magazine,” “Clutch Magazine” and other publications. She’s also a castmember of queer women of color webseries, The Peculiar Kind.

LENNY ZENITH
Lenny Zenith is a writer and musician from New Orleans, who currently lives in NYC with his wife, Anne and their cat, Seymour. He works as a web manager, and still performs his music. He identifies as a Latino queer transman and is often featured at NYC’s “Loser’s Lounge”. “The Car Song” by his 90’s band Jenifer Convertible was featured on the Trans-Genre CD compilation. Over the years he’s shared the stage with Gang of Four, Iggy Pop and U2 among others. His latest band is Minor Planets (http://myspace.com/minorplanets), and he is currently completing his memoir “Before I Was Me” due out in 2013.

M TAURET DAVIS
M.Taueret Davis is a Brooklyn-based artist, performer, and queer femme body liberationist.

SARAH SCHULMAN
Sarah Schulman is the author of the novels: THE MERE FUTURE, THE CHILD, SHIMMER, RAT BOHEMIA, EMPATHY, PEOPLE IN TROUBLE, AFTER DELORES and THE SOPHIE HOROWITZ STORY and the nonfiction books: THE GENTRIFICATION OF THE MIND: Witness to a Lost Imagination, TIES THAT BIND: Familial Homophobia and Its Consequences, STAGESTRUCK: Theater, AIDS and the MArketing of Gay America, MY AMERICAN HISTORY: Lesbian and Gay Life During The Reagan/Bush Years. Plus the plays Carson McCullers, MANIC FLIGHT REACTION and the stage adaptation of IB Singer’s ENEMIES, A LOVE STORY. She is co-director with Jim Hubbard of The ACT UP Oral History Project (www.actuporalhistory.org) and co-producer of UNITED IN ANGER: A History of ACT UP, a feature documentary directed by Hubbard. Sarah is co-author with director Cheryl Dunye of two films: THE OWLS and MOMMY IS COMING, both selections of the Berlin Film Festival. She was co-ordinator of the First US Tour of Leaders of the Palestinian Queer Movement and the first LGBT Delegation to Palestine.

WITH YOUR HOST

KELLI DUNHAM
Kelli Dunham is everyone’s favorite ex-nun genderqueer nerd comic and the co-founder and co-host, with Genne Murphy of Queer Memoir. This September, she will be releasing her third comedy CD “Freak of Nurture: Why Is The Fat One Always Angry. (kellidunham.com)

Even as LGBT characters and “out” celebrities become more common in pop culture and mainstream media, the richness and complexity of real queer lives is still undervalued and often invisible. Queer Memoir attempts to provide an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building value of storytelling.

QUEER MEMOIR: DOCUMENTING QUEER STORIES, CELEBRATING QUEER LIVES

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Queer Memoir: BEFORE I AM QUEER

In collaboration with the POP-UP Museum of Queer History, Queer Memoir, NYC’s community based storytelling show is producing this one night event.

Storytellers will share on the theme BEFORE I AM QUEER.

Even as LGBT characters and “out” celebrities become more common in pop culture and mainstream media, the richness and complexity of real queer lives is still undervalued and often invisible. Queer Memoir attempts to provide an avenue to share queer lives and celebrate the ritual and community-building va

lue of storytelling.

OUR STORYTELLERS

KAY ULANDAY BARRETT
A CAMPUS PRIDE 2009 Hot List artist, Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, educator, and martial artist navigating life as a disabled pin@y transgender queer in the U.S. empire. K has featured in classrooms, stages, and audiences internationally; from the Musee Pour Rire in Montreal, UCLA,and The Brooklyn Museum, K’s bold work continues to excite and challenge audiences. K’s published works include: make/shift, Kicked Out Anthology, Windy City Queer, and Filipino American Psychology. Recently, K.’s collaborations have also featured at NQAPIA, Philly Trans Health Conference, The Brown Boi Project, and FIERCE! Follow K. twitter: @kulandaybarrett or see some of K.’s food swerve at: www.recipesforthepeople.com

RED DURKIN
RED DURKIN is the managing editor of PrettyQueer.com. She is a writer, comedian, and vlogger. She has toured extensively as part of the Tranny Roadshow, performed at Camp Trans and the Transgender Leadership Summit, and hosted events nationwide. She has written 9 zines and was featured in the final issue of Punk Planet magazine. Her work on Youtube has been shown in college classrooms, played at various events internationally, and translated into German. Most recently, she she co-starred as part of the all-trans women cast of “the Fully Functional Cabaret” in San Francisco. ”

STEPHANIE SCHROEDER
STEPHANIE SCHROEDER is a queer feminist writer and activist for social and economic justice. Her memoir, Beautiful Wreck: Sex, Lies & Suicide will be published on September 10th, which is also her 49th birthday. You can find more info about her book at www.beautifulwreck.com. Stephanie’s political essays have been anthologized in That’s Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation and Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage. She is a freelance journalist and currently a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine as well as a full time publicist. Stephanie lives in Brooklyn with playwright and actor Lisa Haas, but no cats.

KELLI DUNHAM is everyone’s favorite ex-nun genderqueer nerd comic and the co-founder and co-host, with Genne Murphy of Queer Memoir. This September, she will be releasing her third comedy CD “Freak of Nurture” (kellidunham.com)

QUEER MEMOIR: DOCUMENTING QUEER STORIES, CELEBRATING QUEER LIVES

For more information about the Pop Up Museum of Queer History, check out http://www.queermuseum.com/

The Seven Traditions of Queer Memoir

Genne and I [Queer Memoir co-founder Genne Murphy] have been trying to figure out what has made Queer Memoir so popular. Queer Memoir evolved in a city where EVERYONE. IS. ALWAYS. LOOKING.FOR.THE.NEXT.BIG. EXCITING. THING:

“Look, it’s a bear doing burlesque juggling cupcakes covered in glitter with a spoken sorry music video starring a Laverne and Shirley drag duo playing in an all harp band.”

Yet, Queer Memoir is about one person standing alone on a stage (mostly without a stage present) and saying “I have a story I’d like to tell” and people come out, in droves, and stay out, and put up with our temperamental venue heating and sitting on horrible five buck bucket chairs from Ikea (not to discourage you, we do actually have regular seats as well). Perhaps it’s because while we Respect The Glitter, we are not glittery, not at all.

What has evolved over these past two and a half years is an event with certain characteristics we’ve started calling the Queer Memoir Traditions. We’ll probably add to this over time, but for right now they are…

#1. We always start the show with “welcome storytellers.” Sometimes we try and do it in unison (when Genne’s in town, that is) and sometimes we say it one at a time. Stage awkwardness aside, we start begin each event this way because we want to remind the audience that truly, we are all storytellers.

#2 We introduce each storyteller by first name only. Because we want to hear a range of voices, we don’t discriminate against the Well Connected And Well Accomplished Queers, but everyone gets the same intro. “And now, we’ll hear from [insert first name here] After storytellers share, we encourage them to tell us all about their latest project, book, show, pet or whatever it is they’d like the audience to know about.

#3 We don’t do “trigger warnings.” We don’t ask our performers to give any kind of special advance notice about the content of their stories. Our performers share first person, true stories in other words, stuff that really happened to them. Sometimes these are intense, sad, scary and sometimes they’re funny and oftentimes they’re both. Sometimes these stories can make those of us listening uncomfortable and we think that’s AWESOME because it’s at the edge of discomfort that healing and change can happen.

As for a story itself serving as an actual clinical trigger of a post traumatic experience, we are assuming that folks who attend Queer Memoir are adults in charge of their own emotional health. We encourage stepping out of the venue if things become overwhelming and there are always folks present to talk with afterwords if you need support.

#4. We trust our audiences to support our storytellers. Just say “I’m nervous” and you’ll see what we mean! (edited July 2017 to add: we recently found out that our friend Bevin Branlandingham borrowed this “I’m nervous (they say awkward) ” + participant applause for her Fat Kid Dance Party video that has over a million hits!).

#5. Queer Memoir is cheap and, if possible, free. Most of our events are 5-10 bucks sliding scale to cover expenses, but no one is ever turned away for lack of funds. Sometimes when we have a collaboration with another arts org, we don’t have this flexibility, but if you want to come and don’t have the cash, always email us. We’ll make something happen.

#6. Queer Memoir doesn’t happen in a bar.

#7. Queer Memoir is an event of deep honesty. That doesn’t mean you’ll always hear dramatic or traumatic stories, although sometimes that might be the case. It just means you’ll be hearing people sharing just a level or two deeper than they normally might and that the audience supports our storytellers in this. And it almost always means you’ll be actually LOLing at some point, since humans seem to be funnier the more honest they are!