Welcome to the Queer Rebellion

Welcome to the queer rebellion.

A seven year-old girl flees war in Iran, escaping into a night of ancestral fairytales with the spirit of her deceased Grandmother.

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A multiracial women of color collective traverses the New Mexico desert, enacting new rituals as children of Sun Ra.

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A Latina drag queen, 6”6 in heels, screams “Stop being poor” to a San Francisco museum audience. (Image: Persia, with a map of San Francisco evictions)

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A Black femme re-imagines her life and that of Gladys Bentley – both of them gender warriors. She questions, “Dear Gladys, women like us are supposed to feel ashamed……you fat, you Black, you only one of a kind, how did you ever get your fingers to fly?” (Photo: Bethanie Hines)

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A Chinese femme documents her ancestors’ Malaysian Memories through layers of cellophane and experimental video. (Photo: Amie LeeKing)

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A Mexicana artist dons gold lame cockroach attire, her performance a “fuck you” to the colonial gaze.

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A Black Two-spirit sings and strums on their guitar, “some say it’s the end of the world, but it’s a brand new day to be….and I howl cuz I feel free.” (Photo: Epli)

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These works can be seen on the stage, the screen, on the streets and in the halls of museums through Queer Rebels.

Through queerness and art, we are hacking the Black/White racial binary. There are invisible threads weaving our lives together. We recognize the language of racism as violence – through police brutality and state violence, through war, through poverty. Our art goes beyond binaries that say some of us do not exist. We show performances and films that revere queer Black brilliance…..while grieving and fighting anti-Black racism. We deepen and carve space for Asian, Arab, Latin@ and Indigenous stories.

Queer Rebels is a production company and a space of liberation. We are artists who met and fell in love in 2008. We are a Black/Native Two-Spirit trans/butch and a Chinese/Jewish femme. We created Queer Rebels to make a home for queer and trans artists of color, forging voices and visions in QTPOC movement building. (Photo: Tinker Coalescing)

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For so long, queer people of color have been whitewashed or erased from history. There’s a deliberate absence. We are queer as in outsider, as in exile. From young Iranian refugees to Latina drag queens fighting for their homes; from Afropunk teens living out and proud in Bed-Stuy; to Korean adoptees addressing war; from South Asian radicals in Berkeley to Blasian teens raised in Brooklyn – we believe in our voices and visions, telling our whole stories.

So we create. We crack open artistic freedom in black box theaters and cultural centers, block-long warehouses and small arts spaces, libraries and museums, in parking lots and public parks. The time is now. We are creating an archive for the future. We are all in it together – audience and artists alike. (Image: MIX NYC Experimental Film Festival – Queer Rebels has guest curated for the past three years). h3-10

We are showcasing queer and trans artists of color outside the mainstream gaze. Experimentation gives us new ways of seeing and believing. Nobody will make this space for us. We are choosing to work together across difference. h3-11

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We honor the culture makers who came before us, and we create anew. We are inspired by outsider artists… from Vaginal Crème Davis to Gloria Anzaldúa, Yayoi Kusuma to Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Coco Fusco, Yoko Ono and Sun Ra….we could go on and on!

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While we hack the binary, we are not complicit in anti-Black racism. We want to give space to our differences, to our lived experiences of racial hierarchies. We want to create a queer third world liberation zone. WE ARE OUTSIDERS – AND WE ARE STRONGER WHEN WE CREATE TOGETHER.

—CITATION—
Boyce, K., Chan, Celeste., & Queer Rebels. (2015) Welcome to the Queer Rebellion. Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology, No.6. doi:10.7264/N30863KV

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Queer Rebels

Artist KB Boyce and Celeste Chan founded Queer Rebels in 2008. Their vision: to break down doors for queer and trans artists of color, connect generations, and honor our histories with art for the future. Queer Rebels has presented and curated in the SF Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, Bloomington, Glasgow, Berlin, and beyond.

KB Boyce

KB Boyce is a Two-Spirit musician whose adventures have brought them from teenage punk band appearances at CBGB’s in New York, to post-production audio for B-grade horror movies in LA, and on to solo Drag King blues performance as TuffNStuff in queer San Francisco.

Celeste Chan

Celeste Chan is an experimental artist, writer, and organizer, schooled by DIY and immigrant parents from Malaysia and the Bronx, NY. A VONA and Lambda Literary fellow, her writing can be found in As/us journal, Feminist Wire, Hyphen, and Matador. Her films have screened at CAAMFest, Entzaubert, MIX NYC, and beyond.

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Welcome to the Queer Rebellion