San Francisco Celebrates a Century of Queer Asian Activism

By Jase Peeples

Originally published on Advocate.com May 02 2013 6:09 PM ET

Queer Rebels—a production company showcasing queer artists of color—is celebrating the history of LGBT activism with Spirit: A Century of Queer Asian Activism in San Francisco May 10 and 11.

From the Asian avant-garde and 1960s activists to Angel Island poets and slam champions, the two-day festival in the City by the Bay will highlight the queer Asian diaspora through performance, films, and discussion by featuring over 23 queer Asian movers and shakers.

As described on the event’s website, “Spirit aims to show the diversity of Queer Asian and Asian American perspectives, aesthetics, history, and experience. ‘Spirit’ defies a narrow definition of Asian America, by prioritizing experimental work, Transgender and mixed-race artists, community activists/researchers/historians, and seeks to build bridges between Diasporic Asian cultural workers. By uniting the work of many groundbreaking Queer Asian American artists, we create history and space for our full existence.”

Performances will take place at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (2868 Mission St.,) beginning at 8 p.m. May 10. Tickets range from $12 to $20 and are available at BrownPaperTickets.com.

The event’s panel will take place May 11 at the Brava Theater Center, Dance Studio, second floor (2781 24th St.) at 3 p.m., and admission is free.

Spirit’s featured films will also be screened May 11 at the Brava Theater Center beginning at 7 p.m. with tickets ranging from $7 to $10.

Featured acts include:

PERFORMERS:
Eli-Coppola award winning poet Ryka Aoki
Slam poet pioneer Regie Cabico
Radically classical musician Sarah Cargill
Performance artist Genevieve Erin O’Brien
Lambda Literary Award winner and Asian Arts Freedom School cofounder Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Genderqueer love warrior Tonilyn Sideco
Spoken-word performer and Peacock Rebellion founder Manish Vaidya

PANELISTS:
Conscientious objector and Veteran Artists founder Stephen Funk
QWOCMAP founder Madeleine Lim
Film studies doctoral candidate Munira Lokhandwala
Scholar, mentor, and activist of 40+ years Trinity Ordona
Post-humanist feminist scholar Margaret Rhee (moderator)
Dragonfruit oral history founder and ethnic studies dean Amy Sueyoshi

FILMMAKERS:
VONA literary fellow Celeste Chan
Golden Golden filmmaker Erica Cho
Experimental storyteller Yvette Choy
Feminist fabulist filmmaker Miki Foster
Poet liberationist Vanessa Huang
Absurdist artist Laura Hyunjhee Kim
Activist/-filmmaker-femme fatale So Yung Kim
Experimental artis, Jai Arun Ravine
Award-winning filmmaker-scholar-performance artist Tina Takemoto
Shut Up White Boy and Kieu filmmake, Vũ T. Thu Hà

For more information visit QueerRebels.com.