I’m pushing about ten years here in Los Angeles doing the community based queer Latina/o arts organizing thing that continues to move, baffle, inspire, exhaust me. Me da vida. I believe in making space for queer Latino/as living in Los Angeles to share creative work at an emerging level that often goes unseen and unheard. Oftentimes that’s the least of our troubles in the cacophony of violence that surrounds our realities as either gender-non-conforming outlaws trying to make a home in the communities we are from. We remember Gwen Araujo. Lawrence King, presente.Â Sakina Gunn, RIP. These youth did not have the chance to spit their truth and so we, as poets and artists, render their struggles poetically to remember.
I hope L.A. Eastside readers can pause and think about the LGBT gente in their lives–have you ever thought about the struggles that they face as they remain true to themselves while occupying spaces with family, friends, and institutions like church and school. Have you ever stopped some bullshit language flying around the schoolyards or did you let the slap in the face go unpunished? Did you ever not talk to somebody because the gender line was crossed in such a way that…ni porque decirlo?
If you’re new to this struggle, then welcome. I hope we can become the best of allies. If you’re at all interested in learning more about young brothers and sisters currently trying to fight it out in the name of self-determination and puro empowerment whilst having a good time then check it: BOCA ESCUPIENDO SANGRE // MOUTH SPITTING BLOOD: Queer Latina/o Writers Under 30 is going to break it down and break it hard like many of our queer corazones when too little is never enough. This is the generation that spits blood like truth. Boca Escupiendo Sangre comes from Matriz Sin Tumba O: “el baÃ±o o de la basura ajena,” a poem by the ferocity that is Gloria
Anzaldua from her ever important text, Borderlands. This poem tells us that even as we die we crave and dream ourselves into a world worth our beauty, that sees us as we should see each other.
This weekend I’m happy to announce that San Jose-based slam poet, Yosimar Reyes, will be sharing work from his totally DIY-style chapbook, For Colored Boys Who Speak Softly. Yosi holds the title for the 2005 as well as the 2006 South Bay teen Grand SLAM Champion, has been featured in the Documentary 2nd Verse: the Rebirth of Poetry. (2ndversefilm.com) and is published in Mariposas: A Modern Anthology of Queer Latino Poetry (Floricanto Press). His words have open up concerts for Carlos Santana in his latest endeavor Architects of a New Dawn, a multimedia project launched earlier this year. (Aoand.com).
I have organized two chapbook parties in two counties where Yosi will share the platform and microphone with a stellar line-up of young queer latina/o writers in the Los Angeles area:
Lils Pancha Gonzalez
Emmanuelle Neza Leal-Santillan
+MAS MAS MAS
BOCA ESCUPIENDO SANGRE / MOUTH SPITTING BLOOD –> OC Edition
April 3, 2009, FRIDAY | 8pm
@ BREATH OF FIRE LATINA THEATER
310 W. 5th Street (2nd Floor)
Santa Ana, CA 92701
BOCA ESCUPIENDO SANGRE / MOUTH SPITTING BLOOD –> DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
April 4, 2009 SATURDAY | 8pm
105 E. 6th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90014
These events are free but please make it a point to support the young artististic endeavors by purchasing a chapbook and donating to both these amazing art spaces in both counties. Nos vemos here and forever.