Part of Grand Park’s ongoing PROUD Series celebrating LGBTQ L.A., the PROUD Story Slam presents narratives about how Los Angeles connects us no matter who we are or whom we love. From L.A. gay rights pioneers to Angeleno trans comedians, hear amazing stories that transcend geography, generation, gender, race and background. Be prepared to laugh and perhaps even shed a tear.
NEW LOCATION Rain or Shine: Do not think for a second a few drops of possible weather will deter OUR L.A. VOICES to be heard. The PROUD Story Slam will take place at an adjacent indoor location at The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Come share some space.
The Road to Equality from San Gabriel Valley Pride – a multi-year community art project inspired by the AIDS quilt will be displayed for the first time in its entirety. Add to the already 500 personal illustrations honoring the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Share your own with Q Youth Foundation: add to the collection of L.A.’s LGBTQIA+ experiences and voices.
LGBTQ L.A. history revealed in a 25-foot illustrated timeline by The Lavender Effect
HOSTED BY: D’Lo
BEATS BY: AkikoLUV
12:15-1:15PM: Martin Matamoros, Calpernia Addams, Amanda-Faye Jimenez, Pip Lilly, Justin Sayre, Ryka Aoki
1:30-2:30 PM: Scott Turner Schofield, Deadlee, Alexandra Grey, Coral Lobera, Corey Saucier, Mia Yamamoto
3-4 PM: Kristina Wong, Bitsy, Jade Phoenix Martinez, Miss Barbie-Q, Noel Alumit, D.M. Collins
D’Lo, a Tamil-Sri Lankan-American actor/writer/comedian whose writing includes solo theater, stand up, poetry and plays.
You’ve seen D’Lo in your favorite shows like Looking (HBO), Transparent (Amazon), and Sense 8 (Netflix). He also can be found in the documentary based on his life/work called Performing Girl and the film Bruising for Besos. Lastly, he’s featured in Buzzfeed videos and on the web series Eastsiders and Dyke Central, and in two soon-to-be released webseries: Issa Rae-produced Minimum Wage and his own series.
D’LO is the PROUD Story Slam host!
FOLLOW D’LO: dlokid.com
AkikoLUV is a bonafide “skratch nerd”. Deeply passionate about the art of DJing, she had dedicated her life to the skills-intensive subgenre of turntablism.
AKIKOLUV IS THE PROUD STORY SLAM DJ!
Justin Sayre, described by Michael Musto in The Village Voice as “Oscar Wilde meets Whoopi Goldberg,” and hailed as one the “Funniest People in Brooklyn” by Brooklyn Magazine and among “LA’s 16 Most Talented LGBT Comics” by Frontiers Magazine, is best known as the creator and host of The Meeting at Joe’s Pub. He currently works as a staff writer on the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls and has appeared opposite Lisa Kudrow on HBO’s The Comeback. His first young adult novel, Husky, was published by Penguin Books in 2015 and a sequel will hit stands in 2017. Stage credits include: Rite of Water (Queer Pop Up) The Boy Sonata (The Wild Project) Love’s Refrain (La MaMa).
JUSTIN’S PROUD STORY: A high profile moment at a Hollywood fundraiser gives Justin his first taste of the glitz and horror of the Hills.
FOLLOW JUSTIN: Twitter @JustinSayreCHM
Calpernia Addams is a musician, actress, author and activist from Nashville, Tennessee who has made Hollywood her home for over 15 years now. Calpernia has toured the US and Europe playing original acoustic music, most recently in London, Ukraine, Germany and more across four continents. Her work has been recognized at the Oscars, the Golden Globes, the Emmys, by GLAAD, Oxford University, Harvard University and many others.”
CALPERNIA’S PROUD STORY: Calpernia volunteers with the Reading to Kids charity in the early-morning- hours-post-late-night-WeHo-club-gigs. Moments of kindness and strength ensue.
FOLLOW CALPERNIA: calpernia.com
Amanda-Faye Jimenez is a Blaxican queer fat femme dyke writer and performer. She has performed at SORORITY at The Hammer Museum, the Radar Productions Queer Readings Series, and the McDonald’s in Silverlake next to her favorite gay bar. She was repeatedly referred to as “very engaging” by the interview panel that ultimately rejected her from the 2017 PEN Emerging Voices Fellowship, so even though she made it to the final thirteen, she’s not exactly sure if that’s a compliment. She can be found engaging her followers and making semi-relatable memes at @failureprincess on Instagram and Twitter.
AMANDA-FAYE’S PROUD STORY: Amanda tells of the first queer reading materials she managed to awkwardly obtain when she was first coming out.
Deadlee joined the Homo Revolution movement and was featured in Pick Up The Mic, a documentary highlighting open LGBTQ rappers. He released a successful second CD called ASSAULT WITH A DEADLEE WEAPON. He followed that with a 20 city tour with fellow LGBTQ artists HOMO REVOLUTION TOUR and pride shows in Mexico, Canada and USA. This led to appearances on CNN, The Tyra Banks Show and Howard Stern. He has always been in the forefront of marriage and LGBTQ equality, having worked with gay youth for over 20 years.
DEADLEE’S PROUD STORY: ALL POETS STEP FORWARD IN THE R3VOLUTION. With Respect, Peace, and Passion we stay on message to complete our Love Revolution.
A writer and actor, single and a Scorpio, Pip is a former member of The Second City National Touring Company. Pip appeared on Frank TV (TBS), viral video hit Gay Hunt, and the feature film, Butch Camp. He co-wrote and co-starred in the comedy web series Failing Upwards. Stage credits include Showboat, Joe’s Garage, Schoolhouse Rock Live! And Women Behind Bars.
PIP’S PROUD STORY: Amore, Hollywood Style is a humorous and romantic short story about how a Midwestern American man and an Italian Irish man meet in fall in love in Hollywood.
Bitsy is an LA-based performance-activist and entertainer electrifying the minds of anyone willing to recharge their social-justice hard-drive. Her topics have included bisexual visibility, street harassment, and rape-culture. In 2013 she established More than “NO,” a performance-fueled, consent-culture nonprofit, and quickly began “Cabaret Con-Sensual,” a live show where survivors of sexual assault and allies can heal in a supportive atmosphere. Bitsy holds a BA from UCLA and performs at sex-positive events across the country.
BITSY’S PROUD STORY: Bitsy tells about dating LGTQ people in LA as a “B” person and constantly being questioned about where she falls on the spectrum.
Jade Phoenix Martinez is a Queer, Trans Femme, Woman of Color, First Generation Filipinx-American, Parent, LA based Performance Poet and Activist/Educator. Jade’s work is a poetic expression rooted in the multiple identities she holds and how they intersect with her day-to-day fight for liberation while creating and navigating our current social and political systems and structures. Jade Phoenix is a fierce story and truth teller, a vulnerable and engaging performer, a passionate parent and informative educator, organizer and activist.
D.M. Collins can’t decide what he wants to be when he grows up. In recent years, he’s been the Music Editor at LA RECORD, founder and co-host of the A Rrose in a Prose literary salon, curator at the Pickle Factory art gallery, and performance poet in the avant-classical band WORDS. Yet these days, you’re more likely to see him busking on a street corner downtown, or at a Farmer’s Market, strumming his heart out on autoharp, Guitaro, or zither, either alone or with his new psych-folk-country project, the Children of Jack Acid.
D.M.’S PROUD STORY: D.M. discovers and accepts his bisexuality as a teenager through loving David Bowie, Lou Reed, and the music of glam rock. D.M. culminates his performance with a Velvet-Underground-esque song that, like all good glam songs, seems to be about love and relationships but is actually about a tree frog that lives at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
FOLLOW D.M.: A Rrose in Prose
Kristina Wong was recently featured in the New York Times’ Off Color series “highlighting artists of color who use humor to make smart social statements about the sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious ways that race plays out in America today.” She is a performance artist, comedian and writer who has created five solo shows and one ensemble play that have toured across North America and the UK. She’s been a commentator for American Public Media’s Marketplace, PBS, Jezebel, xoJane, Playgirl Magazine, Huffington Post and a guest on Comedy Central’s The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, FXX’s “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” Her newest solo show “The Wong Street Journal” navigates White Privilege as an Asian American “Mzungu” in East Africa.
FOLLOW KRISTINA: kristinawong.com
Alexandra Grey is and actress and singer best known for her role as Denise Lockwood on NBC’s Chicago Med. Grey a trans woman, has since guest-starred on Amazon’s Transparent, CBS’s Code Black, and Comedy Central’s Drunk History. She also joined the cast of the upcoming ABC mini-series “When We Rise” directed by Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black. On the music side, she has opened for artists such as Zara Larsson, Todrick Hall, and Kesha!
ALEXANDRA’S PROUD STORY: A glimpse into the journey that has helped Alexandra become the proud trans woman she is today.
MISS BARBIE-Q’s PROUD STORY: I Never Knew – a story of epiphany, self-realization and a new knowledge of how the universe works.
Martin Matamoros is a Cuban American artist and playwright based in Hollywood.
MARTIN’S PROUD STORY: Martin Matamoros will be recounting his childhood memories of his mother’s best friend, Cecilia.
FOLLOW MARTIN: @juanmartinmatamoros
Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people.” Ryka was the inaugural performer for the first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, and Ladyfest South. Ryka also appears in the recent documentaries Diagnosing Difference and Riot Acts. She has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College
FOLLOW RYKA: rykaryka.com
Scott Turner Schofield (SKO-feeld) is an award-winning actor and diversity speaker. His purpose in life is to inspire Hollywood, your school, your job, and your family to embrace gender diverse people. He is a consultant, coach and spokesperson, and one of the top speakers in the nation on transgender issues.
One of his generation’s trailblazers in the movement for transgender liberation since 2002, Schofield has used a successful mix of storytelling and advocacy to change policies at educational institutions, corporations, and spiritual centers.
In 2015, Schofield married his twin passions of advocacy and art at a high level, becoming the first openly transgender actor in daytime television, in a recurring role on CBS’s The Bold and the Beautiful.
As a part of the “Transgender Tipping Point” in Hollywood and beyond, Schofield uses his celebrity platform and his gift for building bridges in traditional and conservative communities to take action in the movement toward full civil rights and social acceptance for transgender people.
SCOTT’S PROUD STORY: A transgender babysitter gets caught up in honest kid questions and figures out to answer honestly about exactly what is a man or a woman.
As an HIV positive queer person of color, Corey Saucier celebrates the intersectionality of his many identities and strives to give them equal space in the world. Through workshops and performance, he has cultivated his own personal histories into a public voice that echoes themes of gay minority identity, queer faith, and concepts of the “taboo”. In addition to his theater work, he is a prolific writer: A Lambda Literary Fellow in Fiction and Non-Fiction, a UCLA Writing Program Fellow, and a Columnist for A&U Magazine.
COREY’S PROUD STORY: Corey will perform My Brothers’ Story – a modern retelling Of Cain and his fabulous brother Able as they travel from the magical lake in the middle of Downtownto the dark dangerous forests of WeHo!
FOLLOW COREY: facebook.com/csaucier3
Mia was born in Poston Relocation Camp, Arizona, 1943, graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles, B.S. Government 1966, served in the U.S. Army 1966-68, 4th Infantry Division, USARV, awarded National Defense Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal. Mia graduated from UCLA School of Law and co-founded Asian Pacific Islander Law Student Association.
Mia is also the past president of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, a statewide organization of 2,500 private and public defenders; co-founder and past chair of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance (coalition of minority, women’s and LGBT bar associations of Los Angeles); immediate past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance and past president of the Japanese American Bar Association.
Mia served on the California Judicial Council State Task Forces on Jury Improvement and Access to Justice, co-founder of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Southern California, on which she currently serves on the board, along with the boards of the Criminal Courts Bar Association and International Bridges to Justice (a human rights group providing Due Process education to the judicial systems of China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa), served on the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity for the American Bar Association, previously served on the boards of the L.A. County Bar Association, Korean American Bar Association, and ACLU of Southern California. She is also associated with other organizations, such as the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, National Lawyers Guild, Philippine American Bar Association, and several others.
She is a frequent media commentator on issues relating to criminal law and a variety of related issues for: (print) LA Times, LA Daily Journal; (radio) KPFK, KPCC; (television) KCAL, Fox, NBC, KCET, MSNBC, CNN, Court TV and other cable and foreign media.
She is a recipient of the Rainbow Key Award from the City of West Hollywood (2011); “Sisters Standing Up For Love” API-Equality 2012, The Harvey Milk Legacy Award, LA Pride and Christopher Street West 2012; and the Liberty Award LAMBDA Legal 2012. She was one of three recipients of the inaugural Stonewall Award from the American Bar Association on February 9th, 2013. She received the Good Neighbor Award from Equality California on September 20, 2014. She was a featured speaker in Trafalgar Square for “Pride in London”, June 27, 2015, as well as for the “Interlaw Diversity Panel”, June 29, 2015, London, England.
FOLLOW MIA: miayamamoto.com
Noel Alumit was born in The Philippines and was raised in Historic Filipinotown, Los Angeles. He wrote the novels Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon, a Los Angeles Times Bestseller. His performance pieces “The Rice Room: Scenes from a Bar” and “Master of the (Miss) Universe” played to sold-out performances on both coasts. In addition to writing and performing, Noel Alumit is a Buddhist Divinity student at the University of the West.
NOEL’S PROUD STORY: Noel will perform an excerpt from “Master of the (Miss) Universe,” a show about his (and other Filipinx’s) obsession with beauty pageants.
FOLLOW NOEL: noelalumit.com
MORE ABOUT CORAL SOON!
ABOUT GRAND PARK’S OUR L.A. VOICES: Grand Park’s PROUD Story Slam is a part of Grand Park’s Our L.A. Voices, a season-wide celebration of Angeleno expression.
Other OUR L.A. VOICES events:
Grand Park’s LUNCHTIME! Concerts // EVERY THURS MAR 2 thru MAY 25 // 12:15PM – 1:15PM
Grand Park’s LUNCHTIME! Writers’ Meetup // EVERY TUES MAR 7 thru MAY 30 // NOON – 1:30PM
Grand Park’s DOWNTOWN BOOKFEST // SAT MAR 11 // NOON – 5PM
PORTALS PROJECT at Grand Park // MON APR 10 thru SUN APR 23 // check webpage for daily hours
Information subject to change.
METRO RED or PURPLE LINE TO CIVIC CENTER/GRAND PARK STATION, GOLD LINE TO LITTLE TOKYO/ARTS DISTRICT STATION
Grand Park is an LA County park powered by The Music Center.