“Queer Voices” showcases performance art by queer students
A small classroom tucked into a corner of Sam Carver Gymnasium became an intimate venue for queer students to share their stories through art during the Thursday, Nov. 16, “Queer Voices” event.
What started as a class activism project for students from Carol Guess’ queer literature class, eventually grew into this gathering space. Poetry, music and various visual arts all graced the stage.
“[Queer art] was something we really wanted to showcase and a way we could get a lot of people interested and involved,” Casper Gemar, one of the students who organized the event, said. “It took on it’s own life from there.”
Sophomore Andrew Boedigheimer performed first in the evening, and sang the song “My Immortal” by Evanescence.
“That song in particular is really special to me, I listened to it a lot when I was initially starting to come out as bisexual,” Boedigheimer said. “It’s just a testament to time of the person I used to be. I like to look back on the person I was versus the person that I’ve grown to love.”
In total, eleven artists performed and displayed their work at the event, in front of a crowd of around 50 students. The positive atmosphere and performances even inspired some students, including student Ireland Kelly, to perform at upcoming Queer Voices nights on campus.
“It was a lot bigger than I thought it was going to be, and the vibe was really nice,” Kelly said. “It made me want to do this next time, at the winter quarter one, or at least help with the development of it.”
Though organizers were mostly satisfied with how the evening played out, Gemar noted that the group is planning on proactively working to make any future events more representative and inclusive.
“One of the things we’re working on was that we had no people of color that were artists, and as that’s a subgroup that’s marginalized even within our community, that is something we want to change for the next event,” Gemar said.
Gemar said he was ecstatic with how everything turned out and with the feedback, good and bad, they received. An anonymous comment board set up after all the performances reflected the feelings of those on the stage and in the crowd.
“Thank you for accepting me, and giving me the space and support to perform,” wrote one anonymous commenter.
While future Queer Voices events are not yet scheduled, the group is planning on hosting the next one sometime around the end of winter quarter.