Category Archives: Programs

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No Industry Without US: Meet the Artists!

Our illustrious comedian turned Emcee

EMCEE — Monisa Brown – A Tacoma Washington native Monisa Brown will take you on a comedic roller coaster with an off-beat, absurdity sure to split your sides with laughter. Combining her life experiences as a queer, black woman and a special deadpan touch, Monisa serves up comedy that toys with and deconstructs your social perceptions. Monisa has contributed her distinctive stylings in the standup and sketch comedy communities.

Monisa Brown is creator and head producer of QTPOC Is Not A Rapper, a Queer Trans and POC focused curated comedy open-mic and showcase. Monisa is a co-producer of the Comedy Nest and has appeared in the PNW Black Comedy Festival, and Seattle’s Bumbershoot Festival.

roguepinay – rogue pinay/ katrina pestaño is a force to be reckoned with, causing all types of ruckus as an emcee, cultural worker and community organizer. with a deep love of hiphop discovered as an immigrant youth, rogue pinay wrote verses as a way to reconnect with their roots and claim space as a queer filipina with a lot on their mind. since 2006, rogue pinay has been inciting love and rage with incisive rhymes and raw delivery. Their full bio can be found here. 

Jade Dynasty – I am a Queer Trans Womxn Of Color, I do a combination of Drag, Burlesque, Vogue, Contemporary, and choreographed dance. I am also a trained musician and singer. I built the ballroom scene in seattle, I am one of 3 Trans femme Seattle performers, I am a beacon for gender non-conforming femmes, Trans womxn, and Queer people in Seattle. I am the seattle queer community.

Christian Brown — Currently the reigning Queen of Hearts of the Imperial Sovereign Court of Seattle, I use my art to uplift worker issues in the work force by telling the world we are different but we matter. As a drag artist I perform to represent the STRENGTH of those in this community.

 

 

 

La Espiritista — is a Latinx American Seattle based artist originally from New Jersey. They are a multi-talented artist that expresses their creative nature through many forms of rhythm some including Spoken Word Art, Creative Writing, Colorful Sketches, Singing, and Wooden Instruments. La Espiritista uses their energy to create messages that focus on life lessons such as the art of healing, faith, love, and transformation by sharing a unique blend of their own personal story of containing multiple marginalized identities along with the universal truths of nature. Much of their art is a manifestation of their exploration of queer spirituality and sexuality. It is the purest connection to the healing rhythms embedded in all forms of life universally. They believe that one of the most revolutionary acts in this world is to “simply be, to allow oneself to be fully presente and to slow down into the moment. Their full bio can be found here. 

Smitty Buckler — Smitty Buckler is an amalgamation of grey area politicized identities. They express themselves through the intersections of being an artist, organizer, writer, performer, dancer, coder, researcher, healer, and advocate. Smitty is passionate about ending the HIV epidemic in the trans community by advocating for empowerment of trans individuals in HIV activism which includes anti-stigma work based in trauma informed care. Moreover they are deeply invested in increasing access to testing services and recruitment in HIV research. Their full bio can be found here

Queerbigan — Queerbigan is a 22 year old aquarius double leo trans nonbinary queer Filipinx named H.U.T. (but for anything art-related I usually go by Queerbigan, which is Queer + Kaibigan aka “friend” in Tagalog). Their current dream is to develop a museum exhibit dedicated to indigenous and diasporic gender identities for Asian and Pacific Islanders. Their lifelong dream is to find the best mac and cheese in the world.  

 

To support these fabulous vanguards of the queernaissance, be sure to get your tickets now!

Save the date! September 16, 2017


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Transcend: Trans Advocate Program

Category : Programs

Transcend, LGBTQ Allyship’s Trans Advocate Program is designed for trans and gender-nonconforming workers to support and advocate other trans and gender-nonconforming workers who face discrimination, hardship, and labor violations in their workplace…Read more here


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Democracy Vouchers are a tool for Social Change

By Laurie Rocello Torres

On January 3, 2017 you might have noticed an envelope that looked like this:

These are democracy vouchers that are being distributed automatically to registered voters in Seattle as part of the Democracy Voucher program that was implemented following the Honest Elections campaign win in 2015. This is the first publicly financed campaign program in the nation to help get big money out of elections and mitigate barriers to participating in democracy.  Permanent residents, US Citizens and US Nationals can apply to receive democracy vouchers and participate in the Democracy Voucher program.  

Why Does this Matter?

If we believe in building a better world where people are able to have all their basic needs met regardless of race, age, ability, gender, sexuality, education, class, or citizenship status we need to seriously consider our strategy, tools, and tactics to create that world. Democracy vouchers are a new tool to add to our tool box regardless of if your preferred approach to affecting change is to work within our existing system or outside of it.

In a time where our president elect is a representative of the white, straight, cis, male elite who benefits from and upholds white supremacy, voting has become a sore point. Many people are disillusioned with voting because our current system impels us to vote for candidates who do not represent our communities, let alone are committed to address our issues and needs. While understandable, it does not change how voting is necessary for harm reduction. But the question that remains for many folks is how can harm reduction happen when some folks can’t even access voting?

Democracy vouchers create the conditions for candidates from marginalized communities to run for office without worrying about having to fundraise. When we remove barriers to running for office, we help create conditions to build community power by supporting candidates who are from marginalized communities.

Democracy vouchers also help remove barriers for folks who are not eligible to vote. The qualifications for getting them are being 18 years of age or older, and a legal resident of Seattle. So green card holders who are not citizens but are still impacted by policies can now use their vouchers to support a candidate who is going to fight for their rights too, even if they cannot vote in favor or opposition of policies that impact them. As far as City politics goes, this is a big step in shifting the electoral process to a more equitable system.

In the time of Trump (there, I said it), it is imperative that we use any and all strategies and tactics that center on folks who are most impacted by the systems of white supremacy and patriarchy that ultimately favor and privilege the wealthy, able bodied, elite. By all means continue to have deep conversations with your family to understand why they identify as conservative, continue to provide direly needed housing, health, and employment services, and continue to do work that facilitates deep healing and creates liberatory alternatives to the oppressive systems we exist in today. AND do what you can to mitigate the impact of a system that wasn’t designed for LGBTQ, brown, working class, disabled folks to exist in anyway. Democracy vouchers are one tool of many to support the leadership of our communities and provide an avenue for people who otherwise are barred from participating in democracy in this country to voice their concerns and put their money where their values are.
If you want to know more about democracy vouchers, or get involved with doing outreach to let folks know what they are so they can use them effectively, contact laurie@allyship.org to get more information about LGBTQ Allyship’s Democracy Justice Committee and get involved.


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