Queer Heartache has been featured in the first annual NYC Trans Theatre Festival, the San Francisco and Chicago Fringe Festivals (where it garnered five awards), published as a book, and performed at dozens of schools across America. So far in 2017, it’s been featured in the American Repertory Theatre’s I.D. Festival at the Oberon, submitted to the Lambda Literary Award, and was excerpted in The Civilians Let Me Ascertain You Cabaret at Joe’s Pub.
Here's what colleges are saying about Queer Heartache:
“Kit has a way of approaching very difficult topics with a perfect balance of humor and candor.” -Washington University in St. Louis
“The students who were able to attend had nothing but positive feedback. A few of the students from the writing workshop said they had never been challenged to write like that before, and plan on continuing their writing. One our our students even started a blog just for their new found passion for Spoken Word.” -Rutgers University
“One student asked if we could bring Kit back every semester! :)” -Reed College
in HBO's Asian Aloud, Kit Yan is a queer, transgender, and Asian American Brooklyn based slam poet from Hawaii. Kit’s work has been recently featured in Flickr and Sparkle and Troubling the Line two new queer and transgender poetry anthologies and has a forthcoming book with Transgenre Press.
Kit’s poetry has been reviewed in New York Magazine, Bitch, Curve, and Hyphen. His poetry has been taught all over the world and he has been seen on the SF Pride mainstage, National Equality March stage, and numerous international slam poetry stages. Kit's poetry has been commissioned by the Census Bureau and national queer visibility campaigns such as OUTmedia and Campus Pride's joint "Be Queer Buy Queer" and "Queer It Up" campaigns.
Kit has toured internationally with Sister Spit, The Tranny Roadshow, and Good Asian Drivers. He is on both the Advocate and Campus Pride’s lists of recognized LGBT speakers. Some fun facts: Kit is the first ever Mr. Transman! And when he isn't performing he is eating ramen, playing ukulele, and talking story.
“Knockout spoken-word!-New York Magazine
“Incredible slam poetry”- Curve Magazine
“The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together.”- Bitch Magazine
“Fierce Stories!”-Hyphen Magazine
Queer Heartache is Kit Yan’s award-winning one-person slam poetry theater show that explores his identity as transgender, queer, Asian American from Hawaii, while asking what queer hearts and families are made of and interrogating the forces that are constantly working to break them apart. Queer Heartache is a testament to the resilience of queer love in all its forms—between cis and trans siblings, lovers, pride parade attendees, and many more—in the face of heartbreaking barriers everywhere from the dating pool to the medical establishment. If you’ve ever had your heart broken, wondered how your pets self-identify, or wanted to tell someone your gender is none of their business, this show is for you. So wrap yourself in a rainbow and enjoy the ride!
Here’s what a few other campuses are also saying about Queer Heartache:
"Having Kit come to our event was a truly amazing experience. Kit was able to connect with our audience and our students in a very meaningful way. It was so wonderful to watch him engage with students and perform for them."-MBLGTACC
“Personable, engaging, provocative, and powerful!”--True Colors LGBT Youth Conference
“The students from the writing workshop said they had never been challenged to write like that before, and plan on continuing their writing. One of our students even started a blog just for their new found passion for Spoken Word.”-Rutgers University
Some of the questions Kit considers as this piece unfolds are where do his queer and immigration stories connect? What does it mean to be intentionally queer? And what does love look like for him as a Trans Asian American? He speaks about the intersectionalities of these identities in his poetry.
The author of the novel, Christ Like, the poetry collections Pier Queen, Americano: Growing up Gay and Latino in the USA, If Jesus Were Gay & other poems, Nefarious, Radiance and the spoken word/music collaboration album, Legendary- The Spoken Word Poetry of Emanuel Xavier, which inspired a choreographed dance presentation and a music video, Emanuel Xavier was named an LGBT History Month Icon by the Equality Forum, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance national and international gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights through education.
A former homeless gay teen, Emanuel Xavier transitioned himself from a street hustler and drug dealer to become one of the most significant, daring, and unlikely voices to emerge from the spoken word poetry movement using political, sexual, and religious themes throughout his work. He survived an abusive childhood, abandonment, homelessness, addiction, and violence to speak openly about his experiences in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest. He has been a longtime gay rights activist and homeless youth advocate.
Reaching to his Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican roots, he curated a successful monthly spoken word event at El Museo del Barrio and edited the anthology Me No Habla With Acento- Contemporary Latino Poetry with their collaboration. He is also editor of Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry and Bullets & Butterflies: Queer Spoken Word Poetry.
He appeared twice on HBO’s Russell Simmons presents Def Poetry and performs regularly throughout the country and around the world as a spoken word artist.
He is recipient of the Marsha A. Gomez Cultural Heritage Award, a NYC Council Citation, a World Pride Award, and a finalist for Lambda Literary Awards and International Latino Books Awards. He has appeared as a cover story for A&U magazine and been featured in the New York Times and on CNN. His work has been translated into Spanish, Romanian and Serbian.
He also selected finalists for Studs: Gay Erotic Fiction and his work appears in the books For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough, Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay (based on the popular blog) and Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity.
In 2014 he was invited to speak at The United Nations as part of The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the USA and in 2015 he was selected as a featured speaker for TEDx Bushwick.
Learn more about Emanuel Xavier on Wikipedia.
J Mase III is a black/trans/queer poet currently based in NYC. Creator of the traveling performance event Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement, J Mase has shared his special brand of poetry on stages around the U.S., the UK. & Canada. He is author of, And Then I Got Fired: One Transqueer's Refelctions on Grief, Unemployment & Inappropriate Jokes About Death. In J Mase’s other life as an educator and activist, he has worked with thousands of community members and service providers across the country on the needs of LGBTQ youth and adults in spaces such as faith communities, elementary schools, domestic violence shelters, medical agencies, juvenile justice organizations, and foster care programs, among others. He is an advocate of really fierce scars and queering scripture. He spends his offstage time blogging on the Huffington Post and teaching poetry as a tool of social justice. To find out more about J Mase III, feel free to stalk (follow) him on Twitter @jmaseiii, Facebook.com/JMaseIII, or track him on his website at jmaseiii.com.
In addition to performing his poems in the US and beyond, J Mase has built a solid foundation of workshops, curriculum development, coaching and consulting work for universities/colleges, faith institutions, k-12 schools, non-profits, individuals and more. Below, please find a list of his current available services.
1. It Is My Duty to Spit (solo)
2. The #BlackTransPrayerBook (collaboration)
3. Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement (collaboration)
1. Even My Poems Are Revolutionary
2. Write Me Where It Hurts: Healing from Body Trauma Through the Written/Spoken Word
1. The Solidarity Framework: An Intersectional Approach
2. How I Survived the Gay Rights Movement as a Trans Person of Color
1. Social Justice Curriculum Development
2. Multi-day in person training and remote support
3. Interactive Keynotes
4. Uniquely designed multi-day teach-ins
1. The Bible: The Queerest Book I Ever Read (scripture based trans/queer liberation theology work)
2. A Multi-Faith Theology on Moving Beyond Intimate Partner Violence (using Koran & Bible stories to heal from trauma)
3. In the Image: A Poetic Trans/Queering of Divinity Stories (an interfaith writing/performance workshop for trans & queer folks)
1. Liberation Theology Based Sermons
2. Trans Competent Naming Ceremonies
1. But Can I Pay My Rent Tho?!: Surviving as a TQPOC Artist
2. Solidarity Ain't @#$%! Without Reparations
1. Ongoing individual consulting for artists’ resource development
2. Ongoing support for individuals and organizations invested in the redistribution of resources
Here are some details on selected workshops:
1. Even My Poems Are Revolutionary
-performance and writing exercises
-tools for rooting creative work in social justice
2. The Solidarity Framework:
-providing a specific framework on how to engage in solidarity work that dismantles the concept of allyship and focuses towards a disrupting of power (includes heavy racial justice and anti-transphobia lens, etc...)
3. The Bible: The Queerest Book I Ever Read
-trans/queerness in scripture across the Abrahamic traditions
-tools for creating trans/queer safe(r) spaces within faith communities
-tools for organizing with faith communities for secular queers
-defining defensive vs liberation theologies
4. Write Me Where It Hurts: Healing from Body Trauma Through Art
-interactive storytelling/discussion group workshop on healing from various types of body trauma as trans/queer folk, and folks of varying body experiences around surgeries/scarring/weight stigma/assault/dysphoria/etc
5. How I Survived the Gay Rights Movement as a Trans Person of Color
-looking at the intersections of identity within queer community
-tools for addressing power & privilege dynamics
-for LGBTQIA folks and those seeking to be in solidarity
6. But Can I Pay My Rent Tho?!: Surviving as a TQPOC Artist
-creating financial & marketing plans for professional artists or those looking to sustain a career in the arts
-for trans & queer folks of color
Sinclair Sexsmith is an educator, coach, and writer specializing in sexualities, genders, and relationships. They produce the award-winning personal online project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top atwww.sugarbutch.net since 2006. With works published in various print anthologies and online, they are the editor of Best Lesbian Erotica 2012and Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica, both published by Cleis Press. They prefer the pronouns they/them.
In addition to leading workshops, Sinclair is an experienced performance poet. Add the “Sweet & Rough” 30-minute poetry set and a 45 minute open mic for the workshop participants, hosted by Mr. Sexsmith, showcasing the voices of queer, genderqueer, and trans students on your campus. Book both the performance and the writing workshop together for a showcase of queer voices on campus!. SEXSMITH’S
SINCLAIR IS AVAILABLE FOR:
Mr. Sexsmith loves teaching and facilitating ideas; Here are his presentations for 2014-2015:
Sinclair’s signature class. Presented at Drew University (NJ), Brown University (RI), Northwestern University (Chicago), Smith College (Northampton, MA), Swarthmore University (Philadelphia), Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), and more.
Gender is an aphrodisiac. As Tara Hardy says: “When I took my real gender out of the closet, it was like the second coming of christmas.” Let’s explore gender expression, identities, labels, transcending the mutually exclusive binaries, queer culture, and hot sweaty sex. Academics love deconstructing gender—and yet, the world is still gendered, so how do we navigate it? How do you build your gender intentionally? Are there ways gender can “hurt” less? And how do you develop your gender in ways that enhance and sustain a satisfying sex life? (‘Cause really, don’t we all want better sex?)
Developed explicitly for students of gender studies, sexuality studies, and queer studies who want to put their theory into practice, this workshop covers Sinclair’s Best Sex Secrets and Gender Tenets and an interactive Q&A to discuss your burning questions.
No, this isn’t about sex work, nor is it about landing the 6-figure executive position at a gay rights non-profit. This workshop focuses on tools of confidence and authenticity to help you see a path to your dream job, and help you start making advances toward the job now, while you’re a student. You have an amazing gift to contribute to the world beyond these college campus hedge walls—what is it?
Premium option: Add 2-3 small group (7 people max) 1-hour breakout sessions for individualized guidance for students from Sinclair, or up to 10 individual coaching sessions to sculpt the path into your ultimately successful future.
Staceyann Chin is a full-time artist. A resident of New York City and a Jamaican National, she has been an "out poet and political activist" since 1998. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off- Broadway to poetry workshops in Denmark and London to co-writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Chin credits the long list of "things she has done" to her grandmother's hard-working history and the pain of her mother's absence.
NYU, Pace, Willamette, Holy Cross, Harvard, Cornell, University of Illinois, University of New Hampshire, University of Miami, University of California at San Diego, Boston University, Grinnell College, these are only few of the "institutes of higher education" at which she has shared the stories surrounding her coming.
Chin was the winner of the 1999 Chicago People of Color Slam; first runner- up in the 1999 Outright Poetry Slam; winner of the 1998 Lambda Poetry Slam; a finalist in the 1999 Nuyorican Grand Slam; winner of the 1998 and 2000 Slam This!; and winner of WORD: The First Slam for Television. She has also been featured by cable access programs in Brooklyn and Manhattan as well as many local radio stations including, WHCR and WBAI. The Joseph Pap Public Theatre has featured this young poet on more than one occasion, and Staceyann has enjoyed great success internationally, with much lauded performances in London, Denmark, Germany, and New York's own Central Park- Summer Stage.
In 1999, Staceyann took the American Amazon Slam title in Aarhus, Denmark. Denmark so loved the young writer on her American Amazon Tour that her personal history, photo and work graced the cover of the national Newspaper The Politiken as well as the controversial, and spicy, Ekstra Bladet. Since then, many more Danish Newspapers have voiced their opinion of the poet from Montego Bay, Jamaica: The Information, Retorik Magasinet, and Berlingske.
Various American publications, including the magazines A, Everybody, Mosaic, Curve, Venus, The New York Foundation for the Arts' (NYFA's) FYI, and Jane, as well as the newspapers, the New York Newsday, The Village Voice, and Drum Voices have featured Staceyann. The myriad of journals and Newsletters in which her work has appeared also include, The Shades Newsletter, GMAD magazine, the New York Blade, The Monsoon, and the Black women's magazine, Personal Personals.
Her individual performances warranted her work being published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Pittsburgh Daily. Her work was also featured on "60 Minutes." Her poems can be found in her first chapbook, Wildcat Woman, the one she now carries on her back, Stories Surrounding My Coming, and numerous the anthologies, including Skyscrapers, Taxis and Tampons, Poetry Slam, Role Call, Cultural Studies: Critical Methodologies. Staceyann's voice can be heard on CD compilations out of Bar 13- Union Square, Pow Wow productions and many more.
"Hands Afire", Staceyann's first one-woman show ran for ten weeks at the Bleecker Theater in the Summer of 2000. The same Off-Broadway Theater welcomed the 2nd Show, "UNSPEAKABLE THINGS" in the summer of 2001 before she took it to Copenhagen for a week long run. London, Helsinki, Sweden and Norway are in the line-up to see the new generation of the show.
Chin has also been the subject of on-screen ventures; from clips and interviews on NBC, CNN, VH1, and BET to performances on the CBS aired Tony Award show. The film Staceyann Chin was released in theaters in Denmark in 2001. It was also aired on the Danish National Television station. Between the Lines, a documentary that explores the notion of being Asian and woman and writer, is the latest to feature Staceyann.
In 2002, Staceyann was nominated for the Rolex Mentor and Protege Art Initiative where she was considered as a possible protege for Toni Morrison. She was also featured on the second and third seasons of the Peabody Award winning HBO series, Def Poetry Jam. She has since then gone on to co-writing and performing as one of the original cast members of the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed, Tony Award winning Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway.
Summer 2003 brought a remarkably successful whirlwind tour of South Africa: Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg and a quick visit to Soweto. October found her playing at dancer when she was asked to be the first poet commissioned to write and perform a piece with the prestigious Dance Africa Chicago. In short, be it Australia, Jamaica, Altoona, or Hawaii—Staceyann will pack her poems and travel there.
Still fighting for time to finish all the other projects she has begun: her much-anticipated memoir, the new one-woman show, CDs, the books of unfinished poems, The poet/performer/activist/entertainer is desperately trying to create some room to travel to see her sister and to breathe.
Perfect powerful choice for African-American History, Women's History and Diversity Months, not to mention any month where raw power and brilliance will blow your audience away. Staceyann received enormous critical acclaim with her off-Broadway run of Border/Clash.
C.C. Carter is a Chicagoan with national prominence on the performance poetry scene. Her first book, Body Language, a collection of poetry, was nominated for a 2003 Lambda Literary Award. She is the winner of a host of poetry slams including winning the Fifth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Competition and the First Annual Behind Our Masks Poetry Slam. She has created and maintained several traditions in the poetry community, including national and local poetry slams for people of color, and the women of color night at Mountain Moving Coffeehouse. She has participated in hundreds of women’s music festivals, and has sold out performances on both coasts. She is a guest performer on Olivia Cruises, and received standing ovations for all three appearances. Her performances have been earned her opening credits for Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Cheryl Clarke and Dorothy Allison and headlining credits on bills with Staceyann Chin, Alix Olson, and Andrea Gibson.
On Becoming Woman or Living Large in a Shrinking America:
A one-woman show that examines the effects of body profiling in America. Views, stereotypes and discrimination toward full size women. Emotionally moving and hysterically funny. "C. C. Carter started out the second act with a piece she recently wrote, about women and their body sizes. She shattered stereotypes and we witness her self-esteem grow and her character come to terms with her new body image and what it means to be a woman. She was funny, perfectly timed, and as always, a treat to watch."
- Tracy Baim, Editor, Windy City Times - Outlines Magazine
"C. C. Carter, a seasoned Chicago Slammer, brought the house down with,The History of My Hips," a diva inspired ode to big-bottomed girls everywhere."
- Wendy Johnson, The Washington Blade