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Welcome
QWOC+ Boston is a group that promotes diversity by creating and sustaining safe spaces for LGBT people of color in the Greater Boston area.
Posted By QWOC+ Boston on April 19th, 2012

Submit! Nearly There is a zine project meant to address the serious absence and silencing of stories about the experiences of queer people of color.

 

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Harvard and Wellesley Host Dance Party for Queer Women & Trans Students of Color and Allies

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on September 30th, 2011

Attention Queer Women & Trans Students of Color + Allies:
Wellesley blackOUT and Harvard GLOW invite you to our second annual LightsOut! party!

Saturday October 1st
10am-2am!

It will be a fun social/party held at Cabot House Dorm at Harvard College.

Come prepared to dance to reggaeton, hip-hop, and top 40 hits!

If you get lost or need directions please contact the host, Miguel Garcia at 313-421-1959 or garcia9@fas.harvard.edu.

QWOC Week Closing Ceremony and Spectra Events Dance Party w/ DJ RIZZLA and DHANA (8/6)

Posted By Lina Torres on August 6th, 2011

Saturday, August 6th @ 8 p.m | The Midway Cafe

Register for OUTSPOKEN -- The BLACKOUT EDITION: Queer Women and Trans People of Color Spoken-Word Showcase in Somervillae, MA  on Eventbrite

 At the end of a week filled with new friends, great performances and important discussions, it’ll be time to let loose at the QWOC Week Closing Party!  We’re eager to have you join us in recognizing the hard work of everyone who made yet another QWOC Week a thriving success. All of our volunteers, organizers, and collaborators will be there, ready take off their thinking caps and simply enjoy the night with the rest of the community. And this year we double the reason to celebrate!

We’re Turning FIVE Years Old!

Not only has the team of organizers outdone themselves again with such an eclectic calendar of events, but QWOC + Boston is turning FIVE YEARS OLD this year! An organization that started because of one person’s vision to connect a community has turned into a loving family that continues to grow stronger and larger every year.

But none of that work would be possible without all of you, the members of that family – friends and supporters who keep us going- so we are excited to share this big birthday with you. In honor of these momentous occasion, we will be hosting an early reception to say THANK YOU to all of the individuals that have made these milestones possible. There will be some reflecting and sharing of (tear-jerking) words from volunteers and organizers and a roster of great speakers.

Who Will Be Speaking?

Poet and friend Letta Neely whose ingenious work inspired our founder to start QWOC+ five years ago will be making the closing remarks. We’re delighted that Keri Aulita, and Sylvain Bruni from Boston Pride will be present (as they have been these past five years) to support and celebrate with us. Our 2010 Summer Intern, and Point Foundation scholar, Erika Turner, will share a few words about her personal journey with QWOC+ Boston before she heads off to Japan for her year long study abroad. And, last but not least, we will hear a few words from QWOC+ Boston organizers themselves.

When Does the Party Really Get Started?

Once all the tears have been shed, and the tissues handed out, the closing party hosted by Spectra Events will be in full effect, with music from DJs Rizzla and D’hana playing international house, African rhythms, reggae, soca, and latin music. And if that wasn’t enough to get you going, you can look forward to a mind-blowing closing performance from MICAH!

You won’t want to miss any of this.
The Midway Café on Saturday, August 6th at 8 p.m. Get there early!
Get your advanced tickets here!

QWOC Week International Film Screenings: Spotlight on LGBT AFRICA (8/5)

Posted By Lina Torres on August 5th, 2011

Film is a powerful form of media that allows us to connect with the personal stories of those we may otherwise never encounter. They often highlight important issues and struggles that mainstream media practically devotes no attention to. For this year’s QWOC Week Film Night, we have chosen some fantastic films to do just that. As queer and transgender individuals living in the United States, many of us have privileges that are rare worldwide. We can reach out to resources and communities within the country that allow us to freely express ourselves without fear of harm. This is certainly not the case in the majority of the world. In our crazy and hectic everyday lives, it can be easy to put this out of our minds.

What are the experiences of queer and trans individuals in remote communities in South Africa? How does the LGBTQ community overcome their persecution in Kenya? As part of QWOC+ Boston’s mission to create a diverse social space, we believe it is important to give a voice to those that are rarely heard. The goal of this event is to honor the struggles and experiences of our siblings abroad and to recommit ourselves to learning about and helping these movements. With this goal in mind, we are bringing you two short films and a feature, all of which shed light on the lives of queer or transgender people in African nations.

7 Years
Country: Kenya
Sponsor: NCDO, Hivos and Youth Incentives, 2007, 26 min.

Borders do not bound homosexuality, this is a fact of life that every community has to deal with. Kenya’s rapidly modernizing society is still heavily influenced by tribal, religious and neo-colonial values and practicing homosexuality is punishable with 7 years of imprisonment.

7 Years explores the realities and history of this punishment and provides a glimpse into how gays and lesbians manage to live in this hostile environment. Finding a job, family relationships, going out and sex are daily issues Kenyan gays and lesbians must work through. From a pastor to a male sex worker, 7 Years gives a voice to a group of people who are accustomed to keeping quiet.

Check out the trailer!

Night Star (Inkanyezi Yobusuku)
Country: South Africa
Dir. Kekeletso Khena 13 min.
(Zulu w/English Subtitles)

Traditionally, Zulu woman were barred from household chores during menstruation, and the maidens were isolated in the girls hut, a time for rest and contemplation called Ukuya Enyangeni, “going to the moon.” Lindiwe’s dreams are disturbed by her desire for the Amamqhikiza, her “guide” during this time.

The Sisterhood
Country: South Africa
Dir Roger Horn. 2010. 72 min.

Hazendal Wine Estate farmhands Pietie, Hope, and Rollie are not your typical South African vineyard workers. Hope aspires to winning the local drag queen pageant, Rollie dreams of a husband and retaining the local drag queen crown, and Pietie struggles with his religious upbringing while obsessing over his roses, chickens, and pigeons. These trans gender vineyard workers confront prejudice at every turn, from their own farming community, city trans genders, and the world at large, yet Roger Horn’s film manages to find the fabulous in the fraught and offer a portrait of triumph in togetherness rather than loneliness in victimization.

Check out the trailer!

So join us for a Friday afternoon of relaxing with friends and supporting great causes. The event is free and open to everyone!

EMERSON College

150 Boylston Street (Multipurpose Room, 1st Floor)
Boston, MA

Building Bridges: Queer Asian Experiences in LGBTQ Communities of Color (8/2)

Posted By Lina Torres on July 29th, 2011

As part of QWOC Week’s mission to provide welcoming and affirming spaces for marginalized groups within the LGBTQ people of color community, QWOC+ Boston is hosting a discussion about the experiences of Asian/Asian-American people in the LGBTQ community.

This event, happening in collaboration with the Massachusetts South Asian Lambda Association (MASALA), Queer Asian & Pacific Islander Alliance (QAPA), and MAP for Health, and its exclusive focus on Asian/Asian-American people within the LGBTQ community, will be a first for QWOC+ Boston, but the idea has been on the table for a few years.

“Spectra and I have long wanted to have a QAPA/QWOC+ collaboration… We both understand the strength of QPOC collaboration,” says Maxwell Ng, a member of the planning committee and steering committee member of QAPA. The main purpose of this event is to create an open dialogue for members of this particular community to bring to light their experiences, especially in regards to the inclusion/exclusion of Asian/Asian-American people from mainstream organizing and social spaces. We want to explore how this ultimately impacts the larger community of queer and trans people of color.

How do queer white people perceive queer Asian people? How do other queer POC perceive queer Asian people? Touching upon sensitive issues in any rich and diverse community such as this one can be a slippery slope. Discussing the perceptions and stereotypes associated with any group can be a reminder of what so many have fought to disprove. However, through this moderated conversation, we hope to use our dedication to increasing QPOC solidarity to propel us through this critical and much-needed conversation.

“Putting together this event has been refreshingly challenging,” according to Spectra, “I kinda wish we could post the transcript of all the intense, passionate conversations that have happened as we were fleshing out this event. We’ve all learned so much about each other already. It gives me a lot of hope that we can replicate this same conversation in the different and overlapping communities we care about.’

Alyssa Kwan, a new QWOC Week organizer echoes these sentiments: “The skill with which everyone [on the committee] has navigated difficult issues bodes very well for the future of the entire queer POC community… Come prepared to have your minds opened!”

We welcome people of color from all cultural backgrounds to join us for this crucial conversation, with the understanding that we will be focusing on queer and trans Asian/Asian-American experiences. Since space is limited, RSVP is required. Attendees are strongly encouraged to sign up ASAP online.

The event will take place on Tuesday, August 2nd from 6-8 p.m at MIT Fairchild Building | 50 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA. It will be followed by a gathering at NU-LIFE (Zuzu Bar) hosted by DJs Dhana and Rizzla. Mention “QWOC Week” and get in for free!

RSVP is required in order to attend the event so follow this link to register for this groundbreaking discussion and other QWOC Week events!

QWOC Week Brings Family and Youth Together at Stony Brook Park (8/6)

Posted By Lina Torres on July 29th, 2011

Saturday August 6th
12 PM – 4PM @ Stony Brook Park
Jamaica Plain, MA

After a week of new connections and invigorating discussions, we have just what you need – a relaxing day under a shady tree at the park!

Join us for what has always been a gorgeous day of sunshine and fun! This event is part of the QWOC + mission to create spaces that support and affirm the many different kinds of families that exist within the queer and trans community of color. Some of us have two moms, two dads, transgender grandchildren, gay uncles and nieces, multiple queer parents, PFLAG parents, multi-racial families, and of course, pets! So bring them all along for QWOC Week’s Family and Youth Day at the Park!

QWOC + values this rare opportunity to bring our families together and share in this loving and supportive network so we look forward to it every year! We know that having children or other family to care for can often times alienate individuals from the queer community with whom they wish to connect. Many LBGT social events often take place on weeknights (or late nights) and thus, aren’t convenient for whole families to attend. This is why the Family and Youth Day in the Park is so important.

The day at the park will also be the very last day to contribute your donated item to our Survivor Drive for The Network/La Red. This wonderful organization works to provide support services and address partner abuse in LGBTQ and polyamorous communities. It’s a fantastic cause so check out our list of items and don’t forget to bring yours by!

Old School Meets New School: An Intergenerational Summer Patio T-Dance (Sun 7/31)

Posted By Lina Torres on July 29th, 2011

Sunday July 31st, 3 pm – 7 pm
REDD’s In Rozzie
4257 Washington Street
Roslindale, MA 02131

What a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than dancing to everything from the Isley Brothers to Beyonce? Join us at this one-of-a-kind social that brings the old school and the new school together! This event has been such a hit in the past that it has now become a QWOC Week staple!

The intergenerational T-Dance is a unique opportunity for QWOC of all ages to get together and have a great time. The social scene that dominates the queer community makes it especially challenging to create strong connections between members of different age groups. For instance, nightlife — which some could argue as being the focal point of mainstream gay culture — often blocks younger people (who are under 21) from accessing community, and, in the same vein, fails to be inclusive of older generations who prefer socializing of the ‘tamer’ sort. It’s hard to get around the 21+age requirement in a city like Boston, but even within the demographic that is of legal age, nightlife and most LGBT social spaces often fail to consider the needs of parents with family responsibilities.

In the words of new QWOC Week organizer, Chareese Allen, “We tend to see the same people hosting parties and doing various activities together.” The QWOC Week T-Dance is designed to bring LGBTQ women of color together across age brackets, neighborhoods, and other various pockets, and the event committee is optimistic about its outcome. “Last year was crazy,” says Spectra, “We had a soul train going at one point, and each person in it was of a different age, ethnic background etc. It was kind of amazing.”

Speaking of music, we will have it all — from Al Green to Aaliyah to Adele. Our playlist will include the greatest hits from way back when all the way up to this summer! And all this inter-generational goodness will be taking place on a beautiful outdoor patio, complete with the delicious tastings of Redd’s, a southern cuisine restaurant in Roslindale Square. If it sounds perfect it’s because it will be.

The Intergenerational T-Dance is being hosted in collaboration with the Power Lesbian Network and Boston Black Women’s Health Initiative. Tickets are available through the QWOC Week online registration. $5 in advance, or $5-10 sliding scale at the door. Hope to see you there.

And now, for a teaser song… (it’s Spectra’s new favorite):

 

Call for LGBTQ Women of Color Performers for OUTSPOKEN: Spoken-Word & Live Music Showcase

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on June 15th, 2011
QWOC+ Boston and Spectra Events would like to invite local LGBTQI performers and spoken word artists of color to submit their profiles, bios, and experience for performance consideration at OUTSPOKEN, our annual queer people of color spoken word and performance showcase, which takes place this year on Wed August 3rd @ OBERON during our 4th Annual QWOC WEEK.

Past performers at OUTSPOKEN include Letta Neely, Kit Yan, Zili Misik, Ignacio Rivera, Yalini Dream, London Bridgez, and Rajdulari Jazz Project!

Please submit any materials that will help us learn about your amazing work and we will reach out to you if we foresee an opportunity for you to perform/be involved this year.
Please Note: OUTSPOKEN is not a paid gig. This is an annual community event intended to raise awareness of issues pertaining to queer women and trans people of color, celebrate our diversity, and build community. SUBMIT YOUR PROFILE FOR CONSIDERATION HERE.
You will be asked to provide the following HERE:
  • SUBJECT: Performer for OUTSPOKEN*
  • Full Name + Stage Name (if applicable)
  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Link to online profile/website
  • Some past performances
  • Brief Bio or Summary of Work
  • Please mention how you identify with or support the LGBTQ community of color
Live Music Bands Needed: We are also looking for one or two live music bands to book as entertainment for the evening.
MC Needed: Think you would make a great MC for the event? Please let us know by submitting the information above as well!
Collaborators Needed: We are interested in collaborating with local organizations or producers (of art, music, and theater events) to help make this event a success! If you’re interested in helping us prepare/plan OUTSPOKEN please feel free to reach out to us as well!
OUTSPOKEN Video Project
We have a very special video project this year that we’re also recruiting artists for. All artists that are invited to perform during OUTSPOKEN are eligible to participate. However, if we are unable to feature you during the live performances, we’re still very much interested in showcasing you during QWOC Week via a special video project we’re embarking on.
Again, if you have any questions, please email spectra AT spectra-events DOT com. We look forward to hearing from you!

The NERDY CABARET Features QWOC Nerds on Wed June 22nd!

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on June 14th, 2011

The NERDY CABARET will feature a diverse line up of entertainment from secretaries, sluts, songstresses, and a sultriness of the intellectual sort. We’ve finally created a space where hipsters are encouraged to sport their fake wide-rimmed glasses and your came-after-work-didn’t-have-time-to-change ensemble could even pass as kinky. Nerdy science jokes, political sattire, hip-hop storytelling, and sexy role-play involving inanimate objects are all encouraged.

Wednesday June 22nd
MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS
472 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA

AUDIENCE: You are encouraged to wear wide-rimmed glasses, lingerie, or a combination of the two! :)

ADMISSION: Sliding Scale $8-10; RSVP on this site to get in for $8 that day.

 

MEET YOUR HOSTS

SPECTRA is the intellectually artsy mastermind behind Spectra Events (and their new show, the Nerdy Cabaret). This creative nerd, introverted socialite, and femme-lovin’ Naija boi digs video games as commentary for the human experience and multivariable calculus as a metaphor for relationships. When s/he’s not making love to a piano (or other inanimate objects), s/he’s blogging about more serious stuff at www.spectraspeaks.com, espousing un-proofed formulas for optimizing polyamorous connections, and pondering the science of love at @iqwoc on Twitter.
Brand of Nerd: ARTSY


IDIALIA is a fierce Puertominican poet; a proud nerd, and a lover of safe words like pancakes, hickies, and sugarmelt. She began writing for herself, until she looked around only to realize the scarcity of voices like hers — queer brown artsy and kinky — in the media, so now she writes for everyone else; for the kid in kindergarten who cried after someone made fun of his accent, for her little sister who asked her to pass the “people colored crayon” (peach), for the transgender girl who smiled after putting on lipstick for the first time, and to the people privileged enough to ignore the injustices that exist in the world. Follow her on Tumblr and @idaliapoetry on Twitter, and maybe she’ll blow you a kiss.
Brand of Nerd: FLIRTY

 

INTRODUCING: YOUR NERDY PERFORMERS!

Erika Musicmaker is a Boston-based performer, dancer and musician.

Erika is also the beloved host/MC of TranScriptions, a queer-themed (always ally-friendly) open mic every 2nd Thursday of the month that features poets, writers, musicians, performers, activists, and unique creative expressions of all kinds. Learn more about Transcriptions HERE. You can follow Erika on their truly nerdy Twitter handle @vectorial.
Brand of Nerd: CLASSICAL

 


Boy Baret a.k.a. Pampi a.k.a. Aparna Das
enjoys experimenting with video, poetry, movement and installation, though her forte is pen and ink. There is a marked obsession with blood, bones and goddesses. Saraswathi Jones a.k.a. Tanya K. Palit is a singer, song writer, and ukelele player in a local library-themed pop rock band. She fantasizes in her cubicle about potential dissertation topics. In their work, this dynamic duo critically engage issues of identity, gender, sexuality, and the body politic. You can follow their work at www.thirdeyefell.com, Twitter, and Youtube.
Brand of Nerd: BOLLYWOOD

 

J Mase III is a Black, Trans, Queer, Rowdy-as-Hell Poet with a capital [P] based in Philly. An organ donor, Mase is author of If I Should Die Under the Knife, Tell My Kidney I Was the Fiercest Poet Around and creator of the annual multi-city performance event Cupid Ain’t @#$%!: An Anti-Valentine’s Day Poetry Movement. A bit of a public intellectual (not in the snotty way, though) Mase can also be found contributing to various publications on the issue of gay teens in the church, gender (and genitalia), and a plethora of othe issues. You can stalk him at Facebook, GigMaven, and Youtube.
Brand of Nerd: REAL

 

Sapphira Cristàl , 22, with her bubbly personality and killer smile, reigns from Houston, TX. Often called the “Gospel Diva,” she is a wild energetic entertainer who captures her audience with her “unflinching Focus”. She can be found locally at Jacques Cabaret and Machine Nightclub in Boston. This Fabulous Ebony Diva is a classically trained singer and actor and can also be seen in the Ryan Landry original, ” Peter Pansy,” in Provincetown, MA. For the NERDY CABARET, Sapphira will be both singing and performing drag. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube!
Brand of Nerd: DIVA

Queer People of Color Duo Serve It Up for Cinco De Mayo: Spoken Word Meets FUNK

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on May 3rd, 2011

THE BASEMENT w/ London Bridgez and Live FUNK Band
Thursday May 5th | 7-11PM
19+ (no exceptions)
Church | 69 Kilmarnock Street, Boston MA

On Thursday May 5th, Spectra Events Basement Series, a monthly live music showcase of artists who push against boundaries (followed by a strictly non-mainstream international dance party), will feature London Bridgez, a nationally-touring local artist, who fuses music with poetry, and is embarking on a summer tour across the country. Many Boston-based artists jump ship to New York the minute they see traction, but London has remained loyal to her beantown fan base for years. It is no surprise that she chose Boston as the city to host her summer tour kickoff show, and a roster of talented local artists (including Micah Domingo, HipHop MC and the founder of Interseqtion, a newly launched networking platform for queer artists) to join the roster of performances.

While many Bostonians will be celebrating Cinco de Mayo with shots of Tequila, London Bridgez will be spitting poetry to live FUNK music at CHURCH, Kenmore square’s infamous live music venue. Known for her interactive performances, London is asking her fans to submit one-liners in response to the question, “What is Poetry”, during the ticket purchasing process, in order to create a one of a kind piece, “Poetry is…”, which she will perform during her show on Thursday.

The show is 19+ and starts promptly at 8PM. Tickets cost $12 in advance online at http://londonbridgezkickoff2011.eventbrite.com/ and $15 at the door. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Email spectra@spectra-events.com for more info.

A limited number of press passes are available for media professionals. Press inquiries can be forwarded to spectra@spectra-events.com, or call 617.682.6482.

Annual Spring Social for Women and Trans People of Color and Allies

Posted By QWOC+ Boston on March 30th, 2011

Calling all fierce femme’s, posse bois, sexy studs, proud trans, genderqueer and non-conforming friends and all! The sun is peeking out, the layers are coming off, and the time to strut back into the social scene and be seen is upon us…

  • Are you interested in being part of a social space where you can bring ALL of yourself to the table?
  • Are you tired of having not many options besides nightlife to meet people?
  • Are you new-in-town and seeking a multicultural/multinational queer community in Boston?
  • Are you looking to add more members to your already tight-knit posse just in time for the summer?
  • Do you like the color, purple?
  • Do you dig diversity?
  • Do you dig QWOC+ Boston?

If you nodded at any of those questions, then our 2011 annual spring social is for YOU.

Saturday April 30
Time: 5PM – 8:30PM
OM Lounge (Harvard Square)
92 Winthrop Street | Cambridge MA

Attendance FREE w/ RSVP b4 5:30PM: http://qwocspringsocial2011.eventbrite.com/

RSVP on Facebook:


IMPORTANT REGISTRATION INFO

This event is free before 5:30PM ONLY WITH ONLINE REGISTRATION at http://qwocspringsocial2011.eventbrite.com/.  Otherwise, admission is $10.

Wanna volunteer? Volunteers get to attend for free too! We need greeters, registration/door attendants, listserv managers, schmoozers, photographers, and videographers. No experience necessary — just an eagerness to make others feel welcome.

Email volunteer@qwocboston.org for more info.

Admission is $10 otherwise; capacity is limited to 75 so reserve your space and register early.


TWEET! TWEET!

Are you on twitter? Follow us at http://www.twitter.com/qwocboston / @qwocboston!

More importantly, start buzzing about this event with your friends using the #qwocspring hashtag.  See you at the event!