Youth Speaks Announces 15th Annual “Queeriosity” Literary Showcase on June 15

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Free spoken word poetry event creates safe place for LGBTQ youth to speak their truths.

Joshua Merchant

Queeriosty illustrates the mission of our organization almost better than any other event we do

San Francisco performing arts nonprofit organization, Youth Speaks, in partnership with the 15th Annual Queer Arts Festival, presents Queeriosity at 7 p.m. on Friday, June 15, at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center (1800 Market St.). Admission is free.

Queeriosity, a literary arts and performance showcase that creates a safe place for LGBTQ youth to speak their truths without having to conform to the ideals of others, addresses personal struggles with sexuality, identity and community while simultaneously offering an opportunity to incite change in the national conversation.

Queeriosity features 15 to 20 performers consisting of LGBTQ youth and their allies, who have developed powerful poems in a workshop series leading up to the event. Since its inception in 1998, Queeriosity has become a vehicle for an empowered, evolving cohort of LGBTQ youth to push through the margins and articulate their experiences as they live them.

“Queeriosty illustrates the mission of our organization almost better than any other event we do,” said James Kass, executive director and founder of Youth Speaks. “Queeriosity was created to give youth a place to simply be, speak from the places they are here and now, and have their emerging artistic and activist voices celebrated and validated. It’s hard to really feel like you matter if you’re being ignored, if you’re being silenced. When you recognize that your voice has power, you realize you have power.”

Queer youth of color, an underserved population whose struggle is doubly silenced in mainstream culture, have historically been Queeriosity’s primary participants. Poet Joshua Merchant, Grand Slam Champion of the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam in 2011, represents this constituency eloquently.

To RSVP for Queeriosity and for more information please visit

About Youth Speaks Inc.
Founded in 1996, Youth Speaks is the leading nonprofit presenter of Spoken Word performance, San Francisco art education, and youth development programs in the nation. Presenters of local and national youth poetry slams, festivals, reading series, San Francisco poetry readings, and more, Youth Speaks also offers a comprehensive slate of literary arts education programs during the school day and after school, and provides numerous publication and youth development programs. All together Youth Speaks works with 45,000 teens per year in the Bay Area and has created partner programs in 60 cities across the United States. For more information, visit

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James Kass
Youth Speaks
(415) 255-9035 x12
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