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Embracing an Outrageous & Lovely Scene: Not-To-Miss Queer Events

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Stories of the Spectrum Photo Exhibit hosts a reception June 22

As spring gives way to summer and the days grow warmer and longer, thousands around the Bay Area will be gearing up for Gay Pride and tons of other opportunities to celebrate our outrageous, lovely and creative queer community. From trans women of color sharing hilarious tales, to queer men and women telling stories of migration from the Dirty South through performance art; there is no shortage of accessible, engaging events to check out.


This list of such events, however, is certainly not comprehensive, but serves as a highlight of who, where and what folks should experience this June. Many of the events listed here are free or affordable, and I’d be shocked if anyone was turned away for lack of funds. Also, most of them provide scent-free seating areas, language interpretation and the best of what our queer community has to offer.

 Miho Aida's  “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins” screens at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival
Miho Aida’s “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins” screens at the Queer Women of Color Film Festival

11th Annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival

June 12-14
Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project
Tickets and Information

One of the most anticipated Bay Area film events is the 11th annual Queer Women of Color Film Festival in San Francisco. For three days, audiences will have access to documentary films covering a variety of topics ranging from interracial coupling, body love, immigration and everything in between. The festival also features comedies, dramas, experimental film and more. With a total of 39 flicks, the festival is the best deal in the Bay as it’s completely free!

Gary Edjukated Rebel Brice performs at "Y'all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration"
Gary Edjukated Rebel Brice performs at “Y’all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration”

Y’all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration

June 13
San Francisco LGBT Community Center
Tickets and Information

There is an assumption that the South is full of scary, right-wing bible thumpers, but if you think about it, not all of the queer community in San Francisco were born near The Bay. Y’all Come Back: Stories of Queer Southern Migration hopes to expose the rest of us to the “real queer” South through a visual art show (June 1- July 17) and two performances on June 13. Also, the event is not just tales of getting out but includes stories of queers heading to the South as well. It is sure to be an educational experience for all.

Black Don't Crack flyer
Black Don’t Crack flyer

Black Don’t Crack

June 18
African American Art & Culture Complex
Tickets and Information

Congregation of Liberation composed an interdisciplinary musical theater production that uses humor and drama to shed some positive light on the alliances between marginalized communities of color and the queer community. The performance serves as a healing tool as well as an act of resistance against racism and homophobia, using art as a path to collective liberation and community building.

Jackie Wang reads at RADAR Production's #QueerFail Festival
Jackie Wang reads at RADAR Production’s #QueerFail Festival

RADAR Productions #QUEERFAIL Festival

June 15-21
Various locations in San Francisco
Tickets and Information

If the literary arts are your cup of tea, you won’t want to miss this fabulous Queer Fail series in June. Themed around “queer failure,” or as RADAR puts it, “the unique history of queer anti-assimilation and also just straight-up FAILURE to be polite, to be a tool, to be on time,” the festival offers a series of readings. The June 17 Superstar event features Jackie Wang, Maggie Nelson, CAConrad and Christopher Soto (aka Loma). Other events feature Sarah Fontaine, Lovewarz, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Brontez Purnell, Cooper Lee Bombardier, Manish Vaidya, Cate White and more!

Example from <i>Stories of the Spectrum</i>
Example from Stories of the Spectrum

Stories of the Spectrum Photo Exhibit

June 22 reception (exhibit runs June 1 – July 17)
LGBT Community Center
Tickets and Information

While the “coming out” story of Caitlyn Jenner has been inspiring, it is certainly not representative of many trans people’s experiences. An upcoming exhibit in San Francisco offers a peak at some of the varied experience local youth have in the Bay Area. The Chinese Progressive Association and the Queer Cultural Center hosts Stories of the Spectrum, a photography exhibit which documents queer and gender non-conforming people of color and their allies in the Bay Area at San Francisco’s LGBT Community center. The youth-led project defies stereotypes and is free of charge.


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