Friday, October 19, 2012
Coming Out Through Spoken Word Poetry
This week during National coming out week I was fortunate enough to experience “The Word on Wednesday” at UCLA. Though this event takes place weekly on the UCLA campus, this event was particularly special because being national coming out week, the poems focused on queer related topics. The general topic of the evening was courage; whether it is the courage to come out and stay out or any other form of courage, the poets this night were inspiring the audience to be courageous. I really enjoyed everyone who was brave enough to pour out their inner most thoughts and feelings to a crowd full of strangers. Though everyone had an A performance, my personal favorite piece came from UCLA student Britney Armstrong, also known as Kali Breeze, and the headliner for the evening
Terisa Siagatonu. Kali Breeze came out strong with a poem that talked about having the courage to be who she is as a Black lesbian even when her family and the world around her was not accepting. Effectively using wit and humor to address topics such as lesbians who shop in men's retail and being able to support other LGBTQ identified individuals, Kali Breeze blew the audience away. While Kali Breeze focused on the coming out process Terisa Siagatonu focused on activism and having the courage to help others overcome their personal struggles as people of color and as people who identify with the LGBTQ community. Regardless of the topic, both spoken word artist did a great job with using their words to inspire others.