As part of Martin Luther King celebration week, the LGBTQ Resource Center at Bellevue College put together and presented some spoken word pieces written by their members. It was a public-speaking opportunity for members of the LGBTQ community to “speak up” about their thoughts regarding discrimination. Whether that discrimination is of gender, sexual orientation, or just how they feel they fit into society, spoken word allows this chance for individuals who would otherwise remain silent.
The performance began with a shared dialogue between five of the members, including Ali Collucci, director of the LGTBQ Resource Center. Performers introduced themselves and shared a little about themselves: their names, their occupation as a worker and a student, their interests and the discrimination that they most often deal with. Sam Crenshaw, one of the performers and an active member in the center, recited her piece in a strong voice: “If you please let me be: to my identity, to let me be me, and whatever, or whoever, that may be,” she recited.
All members of the LGTBQ Resource Center came to share their support for their fellow associates; students and faculty alike made up the audience in the cafeteria. “Everything that these members are saying is personal. It’s very hard for them to get up on this stage and perform these pieces,” said Collucci during her closing dialogue. In addition to opening the event, Collucci showed her leadership through the uniform performance of all members on stage. This performance is one of many to come. Spoken word is a movement that the LGTBQ community is hoping will stir the restlessness and eagerness of those who stay quiet. It is a change for people to indulge in the world and the art of spoken word to come up and speak their mind – where everybody is welcome and 100% free of judgment.
As a closure to the performance, Kyra Bruce, the producer of the performance, was invited on stage. “In Martin Luther King’s Letter from Birmingham Jail, he once stated that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,’” she quoted, tying the show back to the MLK celebration. “As long as there is discrimination going on, we can’t stop. It’s evolved and we need to evolve with it.” The LBTGQ Resource Center is a place to learn about different cultures and personalities, as well as sexuality and gender associations. The Center is located