The cool thing about having a crazy broad/deep memory, is being able to keep multiple shows in my head simultaneously. So, while I'm on tour with I AM ENOUGH, I'm also doing a smattering of shows called HOMO-sapienism: Learning to Mind Our LGBTQ's. It's a compilation show of all sorts of pieces I have about living out, loud and proud and explores issues like coming out, identity, labels, dating, gender roles, self-love and community. Here's the logo for the show:
It's pretty gay, if you ask me. :-) And I LOVE it that way. So, last night I got myself invited to the GALA Youth of North Texas group. There were five mostly queer (some ID'd differently and one was questioning) youth there and they were so fucking awesome. Super present and fun to perform for. I performed parts of HOMO-sapienism -- the organizer, Mike, said they try to keep it at PG-13 so my piece about match making on the Internet was out and I had to edit a few of my other pieces. Of course, in I AM ENOUGH there's a part where I talk about realizing that sex was supposed to be FUN????!!!!?? And none of the youth I've performed for have even blinked at that, so referencing online dating might have been ok.
I stopped between every few pieces to ask the group if they had any thoughts to share. A couple of them spoke up. One said that they understood the beginning of Box (a piece about coming out), but not the end of it. They got the part about being internally locked down, but not the part about finding freedom. I wished for them that they could understand that part soon.
Another who was there was silent the whole time, but then facebook messaged me later asking me for a poem about people who don't accept you the way you are. I forwarded them a recording of ER (at Kristen's suggestion...I was having a tourdyke moment, couldn't remember what I have) from I AM ENOUGH. They're having trouble getting acceptance and they're not out. I've been Facebook messaging with them for the last few hours.
There was another youth there who was not sure how they identified. They were coming to their first meeting and gave one name when they came in and another in the introduction circle. Totally understandable. They said they were getting a lot out of the poems I was sharing -- but at the end they blew out of there. I turned to Mike and asked if he thought the youth would return. Mike said yes. He thought the pieces I did were good for them to hear.
I asked them if their high schools had GSAs. About half did. Programs like GALA YOUTH North Texas are so important. And I'm so honored to be able to connect with some of these youth on this tour.
Here's our group photo. A number of the youth aren't out, so they didn't want to be in it. Totes ok. :-)
And on our way out, we saw one of the youth putting one of the bumper stickers on their car! Yay. Longevity in TX!
Thank you, GALA YOUTH! You ALL Rock. And I'm honored to have met you and connected with you.