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Michelle Tea collaborating with Queer Cultural Center
Award:  $34,000 Literary Arts grant awarded in 2004
Presented:  June 2005

Writer Michelle Tea and Queer Cultural Center (QCC) created, developed, and presented “TransForming Community,” based on new writings by six queer, transgender, and intersex literary and spoken word artists.  The project culminated with four free readings at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center in June 2005 during the annual National Queer Arts Festival and was featured on the QCC web site.

“TransForming Community” explored implications of , “the TransRevolution,” a surge in the number of San Francisco residents choosing their own gender identities. It sought to demonstrate literature’s potential to launch public dialogue about the complex implications of these choices.

QCC’s 2003 National Queer Arts Festival had presented work that reflected the experiences of 28 different transgender artists who employed a new descriptive vocabulary that reflected the expanding number of gender and sexual identities emerging inside the queer community. Building upon this programming, Michelle Tea invited the writers Katastrophe, Thea Hillman, Lynn Breedlove, Shawna Virago, Julia Serano, and Marcus Rene Van to participate in community forums, one-on-one feedback sessions, and group workshops to hone material for the culminating performance.

Michelle Tea is the author of novels, poetry, and hundreds of newspaper articles.  In 1999, she received an award from the Rona Jaffe Foundation given to a handful of exceptional female writers at the start of their careers.  In 2000, Tea won the Lambda Literary Award in the “Best Lesbian Fiction” category for her novel Valencia.

QCC is a multicultural community-building organization that promotes the artistic, economic, and organizational development of San Francisco’s queer arts community.  Its programs explore queer identity issues; promote the development of emerging lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender artists and arts organizations; and serve queer and non-queer audiences alike.