Dim lights and a quiet atmosphere set the stage in the Grand Ballroom of Stamp April 21 for Queer Monologues. The accepting crowd offered a welcoming space for members of the LGBTQA+ community at this university to express their experiences and feelings through spoken word, music and essays.

Topics ranged from coming out stories, growing up gay in rural areas and acceptance—whether that acceptance comes from within or from family and friends.

Emotions ran high as performers recounted their coming-out experiences in Hispanic families and in more traditional countries like Sri Lanka. They discussed breaking the mold of the heteronormative society we live in and how breaking free of  assumptions has helped them find themselves.

Many of the performers said since coming to the Washington, D.C., area, they’ve found a community and acceptance.

“I got to learn a lot about other people’s experiences, but during that I got to reflect on my own,”  Tyler Clifford, a senior English major, said.

Midnight Madness funked up the night with their original jazzy songs. Their passion for the music was evident in the way they played off of each other. Their loud presence livened the night and cut the tension.

Other performers utilized hand drums, acoustic and electric guitars, basses and even a trombone.

Shaina Destine, MICA’s graduate coordinator for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Student involvement, hosted the night. She praised each performer, knowing how difficult it can be to pour your soul into a crowd of people.

Destine’s wife took the stage, reading a poem she wrote a few hours earlier about meeting Destine, their relationship and being saved by their love.

I don’t know about the rest of the crowd, but I couldn’t help but tear up listening to the depth of love the two women shared.

“It was taking bits and pieces of everyone’s work and applying it to different sections of your own life,” said Phil Evich, a sophomore horticulture major. “I think that’s the cool thing about identify, it’s such a personal thing but you can pick from other’s identities and learn more about yourself.”

The event offered a safe space for students in the LGBTQA+ community and a creative outlet for emotions and memories.
Pride Month will continue with Pride Prom April 30 in Stamp.

Featured Photo Credit: Senior Sociology Phd student Rhys Hall reads Nas lyrics during Queer Monologues in College Park, Md. on April 21, 2016. (Jack Angelo/Bloc Reporter)

WritersBloc_Headshots_14Katie Ebel is a sophomore English major and can be reached at katieebel@gmail.com.

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