Call for LGBTQIA performers / contributors for Notts Pride 2013

28 June 2013 by Jennifer

Please pass this on to anyone you think might be interested, especially if they’re in or near Nottingham!

Notts Pride Community Stage organising team is open for offers from LGBTQIA* performers who would like to contribute to our stage, the Co-operative Community Stage, at Nottinghamshire Pride on Saturday 27 July 2013.

* LGBTQIA = Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual.

We aim to create a welcoming, accessible, family-friendly space, where the diversity of the community is reflected on the stage. To help us create this space, we’re selecting not only for quality of work, but for a wide variety of entertainment flavours and social backgrounds.

If your demographic is often under-represented or not represented at Pride, we’d especially like to hear from you, even if you’re not an experienced performer or could only do one poem or one song. Beginners can count on gentle no-pressure encouragement.

(At the moment, we’re concentrating on performers, but we’ll also be interested in speakers who would like to take a few moments to tell the crowd about their LGBTQIA-related group or project. Details for that will come shortly – save the date of Pride if you’re interested.)

Expectations for performers & speakers

We want each member of the audience to feel welcome in our space as a whole person. We want what’s on our stage to reflect – or at least respect – all audience members, creating a space where no one feels left out.

To this end, we’ve put together some points for consideration. Although we imagine that you do already think about these things, raising these same points with everyone is part of creating shared expectations for the space.

  1. Because our stage is intended to be family-friendly, we are not hosting sexually explicit material.

    If in doubt about whether non-sexual material would count as family-friendly (for instance, if it mentions abuse), please consider talking it over with us.

  2. When you name categories of people, please be inclusive. For example, it’s common to say “Lesbian & Gay” and stop there, leaving bi, queer & trans people wondering if the speaker excluded us intentionally. Likewise, if you say “Ladies & Gentlemen” or “black people & white people”, remember some people listening won’t be any of these.
  3. We respect each individual’s gender identity and use the pronouns they prefer.
  4. We want people who are currently questioning their gender or sexuality, or who are LGBTQ-friendly & straight, to feel welcome.
  5. We suggest you don’t ask people to out themselves in public (e.g. “are there any lesbians in the audience?!”). Not everyone feels safe to be 100% out, and some may be feeling unsure of what label they’d call themselves. If you want to get the audience involved, consider other ways (e.g. “Is there anyone here from Nottingham?!” :-) )
  6. We expect that the audience will include some people very comfortable with politics/academia, and some who will feel excluded if they start hearing lots of long words they don’t know. We encourage you to use everyday language to explain any complex words or ideas.
  7. We’d prefer to miss out on a witty comment if to some people it would be hurtful rather than funny.

    Mainstream culture often uses words like “fat”, “lame”, “retarded” or “crazy” in a put-down way (as with “ewww, that’s so gay!”), but these all refer to real things affecting real people. Please make sure you have a good supply of non-dodgy put-downs lined up in case you want one!

    Likewise, please leave out jokes based on stereotypes, unless you are in the stereotyped group yourself and your joke is clearly aiming to make fun of the stereotype (not the people).

  8. We especially welcome art, music and words from people who often remain invisible or unheard. If you have material about aspects of your own life which are often misrepresented, we encourage you to include it.

Next steps

If the points above agree with you, we would be delighted to hear from you.

We are sorry that we can’t afford to pay performers, and this is not meant as any disrespect to your work, but only as a practical limitation. However, we may be able to cover your transport costs.

If you’re interested, please send email

  • To: jennifer [at] uncharted-worlds [dot] org
  • Subject: [Your Band Name or on-stage name] – Pride

    (you can leave out the stage name if it’s the same as your ordinary email one! but do still put “Pride” somewhere in the subject line, so the email gets filtered into the right place.)

In the email please put:

  1. If possible, link(s) to video, audio or text online that shows what you do.

    If you don’t have material online, please just describe what you’d like to contribute to Pride – that’s fine too :-)

  2. What your travel costs would be, if any, and whether you’d be able and willing to cover these yourself if necessary. (We hope to get sponsorship for performers’ travel expenses, but can’t confirm this yet.)
  3. Maximum and minimum amount of time you’d want to play for.

If you have any questions for us, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Many thanks!

Notts Pride 2013 Community Stage organising team
(Jennifer, Angela, Kat, Maryam, Becky, Natasher & Leigh)

Appreciation, criticism & new ideas all welcome...

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