Powerful Queer Voices

Kiera Lindner, Staff Writer

What does it mean to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community? What is the LGBTQ+ experience today? These difficult questions were considered through the lens of poetry and song at the English Department’s Queer Voices Coffeehouse event, “The Rules Do Not Apply,” on November 8th at 7:30 p.m in Ellis Ballroom. More than fifty attendants sat under strings of light to enjoy and be challenged by both original poetry and the poetry of others, as read by students and professors. All works discussed issues central to LGBTQ+ life. Original works were presented by Alison Kohne, Amily Buenrrostro, Kaden Zellers, W. David Wilkins, Alex Bressler, Hannah Griffith, Dawn Hayes, and Grace Fala. Dr. Fala also presented an original song and accompanied herself on the guitar and harmonica.

Junior Al Hove served as master of ceremonies, speaking at the introduction, the brief intermission, and the closing of the event.

Attendees enjoyed desserts, coffee, and tea while they listened to poems such as Zoe Leonard’s “I Want a President” and Regie Cabico’s “Queerification.” Some attendees were brought to tears by powerful pieces such as Simon and Garfunkel’s, “A Dangling Conversation” and Jameson Fitzpatrick’s “Poem for Pulse.” “Love can’t block a bullet,” Fitzpatrick wrote, “but neither can it be shot down…We will be everywhere, always; there’s nowhere else for us, or you, to go.”

Dr. Fala spoke to the importance of this when she said, “Growing up when there was hostility [towards the LGBTQ+ community], you learn you have to rely on your creativity.” She expressed her happiness that an event celebrating queer voices could take place on campus, to which the audience responded with applause. PRISM President Amanda Mingus said of the event, “It is always great to see more representation of the LGBTQ+ community on campus. I hope that the  people who attended left realizing that they can create positive change as allies and friends to the LGBTQ+ community.”