Grand Park’s social media coordinator edited together this amazing video of Proud Stories. I am so honored that I was part of this inclusive and affirming event. My hairy mug makes an appearance at 1:26.
Tag Archives: Black and coming out
The Q Youth Foundation curated the SOGIE Human Library at Grand Park’s Proud Stories on October 3, 2015. At Proud Stories, the community was invited to hear stories of love, acceptance, and joy through the powerful voices of L.A.’s LGBTQ and ally community. The PROUD Series celebrates the LGBTQ experience with readings, kids’ activities, and theater performances.
During the SOGIE Human Library experience, guests were invited to flip through the catalog, read book summaries, check out a human book, and learn more about them. The human books’ role was to engage the reader to start a dialog in hopes to gain better understanding about alternative perspectives in the SOGIE/LGBTQIA+ community.
Aaron Saenz, a founding board member and current President of the Pasadena Pride Center, was one of the human books. Along with Amaury ‘Ketzal’ Reducino (behind East LA Art Walk), Claudia Rodríguez (writer/performer), Omowale Oniyide, Juan Castillo Alvarado (Latino Equality Alliance), Jesse Gutierrez (film director), Kyle Sawyer, Karene Daniel, Arturo Hernandez, and myself.
There was also a SOGIE Stories Recording Booth, were guests and human books recorded thoughts about, “Who they are proud to love?”
The event just happened to take place on the same day as Amber Rose’s “Slut Walk” and a sign language event. Therefore, the attendance was larger than normal.
Q Youth Foundation is a start up non-profit organization dedicated creating environments of Safe/Brave Spaces for LGBTQIA+/SOGIE community in Los Angeles.
Writers and performers from In The Meantime, Eastside Queer Storytelling, Asian Pacific Islander LGBTQ, Writ Large Press, Gender Justice LA Theatre, and Better Brothers LA shared their stories on the main stage.
Breaking out into a sweat, from running, into the auditorium is how my reading started. I was late for the sound check. Actually, I was the last person to arrive. I sat in my seat in the front row and listened to the first reader read the first five sentences of her piece. Then it hit, it was really happening. I was reading in the ALOUD series at the Downtown Los Angeles Central Library.
I had known about it for about five months and I pushed it to the back of mind. Work (my numerous gigs) came first. Turning in my thesis project for school was a priority as well.
When I sat in the seat, my nerves tightened and made me question everything I had practiced for my performance. I stood when it was time for my sound check and everything came rushing out.
What follows is from later that day. Continue reading
For my Diary of a Natural Gal Style Files interview, I worked with an amazing crew to shoot the pictures. The photographer was Garen Hagobian and the stylist was Rico Cherry. I can’t wait to post the full interview here. Here is an excerpt:
Kisha Roby: I would describe your style as sultry school boy, where do you draw inspiration?
Victor Yates: Is that a good thing (laughs)? I use to only wear black and gray. That’s it. Then my best friend started picking out clothes for me that I wouldn’t normally wear. I went from school boy realness to wearing cowboy boots, with khaki linen cut off shorts, and shirts and sweaters from the 80’s. I love 80’s Adidas shorts, vintage designer clothes, and conversation pieces. Today so many things inspire me. I like patterns, textures, and bold colors and mixing things together that the average person might think is strange. Since moving to Los Angeles my thrift store obsession has grown. Buffalo Exchange and Wasteland are my top thrift stores in L.A. But out here thrift stores are like coffee shops.
Kisha Roby: When did your passion for writing begin? What is your ultimate dream for your writing career?
Victor Yates: I started writing poetry at 14, after reading Maya Angelou’s work. I loved libraries and would read a lot. Also, my mother loved books and she would buy books for me as well. I remember trying to read The Firm, by John Grisham, and not being able to understand it. I hope to write quality fiction books and venture into short stories and writing plays.
Photographer: Garen Hagobian
Stylist: Rico Cherry
Email: rico243@yahoo dot com
Interviewer: Kisha Roby for Diary of a Natural Gal