By Heather Kim
Snaps, roaring laughter, low hums of approval – these were just a few sounds that filled Stamp’s Atrium last night at the first ever joint Queer and Asian American Monologues. This year, the month of April has been dedicated to both Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM) and Pride Month.
The office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy (MICA), SGA and the Asian American Student Union (AASU) sponsored a night full of performances and poetry to celebrate the endless intersections of both communities.
The evening began with poems and spoken word pieces from students. All works surrounded the themes of Pride Month and AAPIHM: “Strive. Thrive. Resist.” and “From Silence to Strength.” The passion was palpable in the room as each performer recited pieces that hit close to home for many in the audience, some attendees even shedding a few tears.
The night ended with a highlight performance from Kay Ulanday Barrett, a widely respected poet, author and advocate. Barrett spoke volumes with his pieces surrounding his experiences with being brown, trans and disabled. With hints of humor and unapologetic realness, Barrett captivated the whole audience with his pieces.
Overall, it was a night of resistance. A night of survival. Within this current political climate, a sense of community is a necessity. To many of those who attended this event, the space provided that necessity.
Stamp’s Atrium was packed with attendees eager to hear the work that students had prepared. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Gabriel Vallangca, a junior Computer Science major and Asian American Studies minor, shares a poem about his immigration experience. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Students in the crowd smile encouragingly towards performers. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Jagjot Kaur, a sophomore who has been doing spoken word for three years now, performs in front of the diverse crowd. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Kai Kai Mascareñas, a coordinator for the Office of Multicultural Involvement & Community Advocacy (MICA), speaks to the audience before guest, Kay Ulanday Barrett performs. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Kay Ulanday Barrett, a published spoken word poet, performs a set of poems speaking to the experiences of gender, ethnicity, and ableism. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Kay Ulanday Barrett raises his arms defiantly during a piece. Barrett, who has been published in a variety of spaces such as PBS, performed pieces relating to his own experiences with being trans, filipino, and disabled. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Items such as stickers and shirts, dubbed by MICA as “free swag” decorated the tables. The items have been given out at multiple events in the past month for AAPIHM and Pride month. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Audience members listening intently as a student performs his piece. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Kay Ulanday Barrett, listening along with audience members to the variety of works performed by students. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Barrett’s book, “When the Chant Comes,” being displayed and ready to be sold to interested audience members after the show. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Jagjot Kaur, laughing as she is being complimented on her spoken word piece. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Benjamin Beltran, Graduate Coordinator for Asian Pacific American involvement at MICA, and Kai Kai Mascareñas, Coordinator for Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) Student Involvement, pose for a photo after the performances. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Featured Photo Credit: Kay Ulanday Barrett, a published spoken word poet, performs a set of poems speaking to the experiences of gender, ethnicity, and ableism. (Heather Kim/Bloc Photographer)
Heather Kim is a freshman journalism major and can be reached at email@example.com.
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