Wow. First of all, Columbus - around the Ohio State University campus - is so great. What an awesome college town. And Kaleidoscope Youth Center, which is a two story awesome homey space is so warm and welcoming. Started out the day saying hi to the youth at KYC. They ranged in age from 15 to 20 and they were very excited for the show! Yay. Then, I had an interview with Jarrod from TRUEFM - a streaming radio station dedicated to LGBTQ and Allies. It was a fun interview and then I did two PSA's for the station, reminding listeners that "You are Enough." You will be able to listen to the interview here: I AM ENOUGH INTERVIEW.
Then it was time to go over to the space - which was at Ohio State University in the Student Union building and this is when things started going a bit...well...southeast, say. I had been nauseated for most of the afternoon and I had to take a quick pit stop for Pepto on the way over. OSU is actually across the street from KYC, so there was a little convenience store and I popped in, got my Pepto and then continued to OSU (I was being escorted by a very kind staff member from KYC).
We arrived and the Union was buzzing. Friday night on campus. We headed up to the 3rd floor Cartoon Room and I walked in and saw 10 ten-tops. (That's catering lingo for 10 tables that seat 10 people each). I had expected to be performing for approximately 30, maybe 40 tops. This was an entirely different deal. And performing while people were eating? AND then I found out that the OSU folks who were attending were there for a QueerBall. "Great," I thought, "A party with a suicide show opener..." Nevertheless, I carried on. Set up my gear and got to my green room, which was three floors down and across the Union and in a locked office -- which only made a difference because it's difficult for me to know what's going on in the space or if Kristen needs to update me. Yes, there are cell phones, but it's hard to keep track of my phone while getting ready. Anyhow...
I got up to the space and the President of the GSA was doing an intro/welcome for the Queer Ball and getting everyone riled up. Uh-huh. And then there was my intro by Siobhan from KYC and then I got up. I had a couple of ways I could approach this sitch. I could ignore the disparity between what I was about to do and what I believe was their expectation (the basic fuck-it approach) OR I could do an intro and let everyone in on what we were about to do together. They seemed genuinely surprised, but to their total credit;
THEY WERE AMAZING.
They were generous and followed me and the show went great and at the end when I didn't have enough boxes for everyone, I asked them to pair up with someone who didn't have a box so they could see what was inside. It was great community building.
And then we took a picture -- all 100 of us:
Some notable comments: "You've convinced me to go to counseling." "Thank you for telling your story, because it's my story too." "Your show taught me it's ok for me to be gay and not choose a gender. I'm me." "I never see performers of color talking about being queer and it's so great to hear you do that." And there were a lot of tears that needed to fall.
Thanks to OSU Queerball for making space for me. Thanks to KYC for having me. Thanks to the KYC youth for being beauties.
And then....they partied!