September 2014 Queens Pride House newsletter
Dear Queens Pride House friends,
We held our first Book Fest at Queens Pride House on Aug. 5, featuring several different authors discussing multiple books – both fiction and non-fiction – representing multiple LGBT-related perspectives and concerns. In October, we’ll be hosting a number of significant cultural events, including: a New Perspectives Theater performance of “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” on October 1; a National Coming Out Day reception on Oct. 10 and a resource fair on Oct. 11; a special screening of a 2013 documentary film about the life and work of the award-winning Latina transgender activist Bamby Salcedo on Oct. 13; and ”Beyond ‘Diversity,” a conversation among artists, activists and neighbors about the dreams, divisions and direction of Jackson Heights, on October 25.
I hope you can join us for these important events~!
President & Acting Executive Director
Queens Pride House
“Dog Sees God” performance on Oct. 1
Queens Pride House will host a New Perspectives Theater performance of “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 1. The play is an unauthorized parody of the Peanuts characters, portraying Schultz’s classic characters as teenagers dealing with drug use, teen suicide, eating disorders and sexual orientation and identity issues.
Founded in January 2014 by Jaime Zahl and Summer Medina, New Perspectives aims to produce theatrical productions with powerful messages while raising money for a related charity. All the proceeds for “Dogs Sees God” will be donated to Queens Pride House and to the Trevor Project, a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth. Tickets are $7 for all Queens College students or faculty with valid ID and $10 for the general public. All tickets will be sold at the door. The show stars a cast of Queens College students, directed by Summer Medina with Nathan Marcus as CB, Chaya Sprung as CB’s Sister, Joshua Mitchell as Van, Jaime Zahl as Tricia, Dorothy Yeung as Marcy, Jessica Altieri as Van’s Sister, Neal Kleinman as Matt, and Javier Rosero as Beethoven.
50+ support group starts in October
Queens Pride House will host a new support group for LGBT community members who are 50 years and older. The group will meet every first and third Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8 p.m. and will be facilitated by Dina Mann, M.Div., CASAC. The first meeting will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 7 and all LGBT community members who are 50 years and older are welcome to attend~!
Beyond ‘Diversity’: a conversation among artist, activists & neighbors
Queens Pride House will host ‘Beyond ‘Diversity’ on Saturday, October 25 from 5-7 p.m. Local writers, photographers and artists will present their work about the value of diversity in Jackson Heights at an event that is intended to help create dialogue about social issues important to residents of the neighborhood. Ranging from a superficial buzzword to a valued concept, the word diversity also represents complex dynamics in the neighborhood that aren’t always voiced, involving core social issues of race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, age, psychology, and physicality. Diversity is a factor in how we as Jackson Heights residents understand ourselves and ‘others,’ conduct our daily lives, and share space. The event will feature contributions by Nancy Agabian (the lead organizer of the event), writer/organizer Amy Paul, poet Claudia Narvaez-Meza and digital media/theater artist Krystal Banzon, artist/advocates Beatriz Gil and Carlos Martinez of Hibridos Collective, and Pauline Park (acting executive director of Queens Pride House). The event is free and open to the public and is made possible in part by a grant from the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
Bamby Salcedo documentary screening
Queens Pride House will host a special screening of “TransVisible: Bamby Salcedo’s Story,” a 2013 documentary film about the life and work of the award-winning Latina transgender activist, on Thursday, Oct. 16 from 7-9 p.m. We will be joined by Dante Alecastre, the Peruvian-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and activist who directed the film and who will facilitate a question-and-answer session following the screening of the film, which has just won the award for best documentary feature at the 2014 Long Beach Qfilm Festival in California.
National Coming Out Day reception & fair
Queens Pride House will host a reception by the Queens Pride Lions Club for National Coming Day on Friday, Oct. 10 from 7-9 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 11, to commemorate National Coming Day, Queens Pride House will host a resource fair from 3-6 p.m.organized by the Queens Pride Lions Club at which organizations that serve the LGBT community of Queens will be on hand to describe their programs and services to community members.
Book Fest 2014 (from left to right): Pauline Park, Mariette Pathy Allen, Laura Erickson-Schroth, Lance Ringel, Leslie L. Smith & Nancy Agabian
Queens Pride House Book Fest 2014
Queens Pride House will held Book Fest 2014 on August 5, with multiple authors and editors discussing their LGBT-themed books. Among the authors who participated at Book Fest was Leslie L. Smith, who read from his new book, “Sally Field Can Play the Transsexual,” a serio-comic tale of sex, loss, redemption and medication in the age of AIDS — the first novel about the anti-HIV treatments PEP and PrEP. Also participating in Book Fest was the renowned photographer, Mariette Pathy Allen, who introduced the audience to the book, “TransCuba,” which includes her photos and a text by Mariela Castro Espín that focuses on the growing visibility and acceptance of the transgender community in Cuba. Another author who participated in the event was Nancy Agabian, who read an excerpt from “Me as Her Again,” her memoir about coming of age as bisexual in an Armenian family; the book was published in 2008 and has just been re-leased as an e-book. Along with his partner, veteran journalist Lance Ringel enacted a scene from his first novel, “Flower of Iowa,” a bittersweet saga of World War I in which an American soldier and a British soldier unexpectedly fall in love behind the battle lines in France. And Laura Erickson-Schroth, M.D. introduced Pride House members to “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves,” a resource guide for transgendered and gender-variant people that she edited. The Queens Tribune previewed Book Fest (Jackie Strawbridge, “Queens Pride House Holds Book Fest,” 7.31.14) and the Queens Chronicle covered the event (“LGBT authors share their written stories,”); the Tribune also included a photo on the TribPix page of its Aug. 14 issue.
new social work interns join the Queens Pride House staff for AY 2014-15
Our new crop of social work interns — three students pursuing master’s degree in social work (MSW) — have joined the Queens Pride House staff to offer free mental health counseling for individuals and couples as well as to facilitate meetings of our support groups under the direction of Dr. René Vázquez del Valle, our director of programs and services. Jesus Baez and Jeffrey Belford are MSW students at Hunter College and Ysamar Matos is an MSW student at New York University (NYU). For an appointment or for more info. on our counseling program, just call the office (718-429-5309) and speak with Andrés Duque (our health referral assistant & volunteer coordinator) or e-mail him (ADuque@QueensPrideHouse.org).
Halloween at Queens Pride House
This year, Halloween falls on Friday, Oct. 31. Come join us for our annual Halloween party from 7-9 p.m. and come in costume if you have one~!