Features

When someone’s mission is radical healing and brilliant growth, it’s time to take notes.

Briyana D. Clarel’s The Starfruit Project moved to Philadelphia in 2018 from Austin, Texas and crafts LGBTQ-focused writing workshops, blog hubs and performance classes centering on queer and trans people of color.

Andrea Gibson said poetry allows a space “open to fall apart if we need to.”    
    A prolific genderqueer writer and spoken-word artist, Gibson performed poetry to a crowd of over 400 (nearly all LGBTQ) at Philadelphia’s The Foundry.

Longtime M*A*S*H fans will recognize the headline, but for those too young or too old and forgetful, it was the title of the final two-hour episode that wrapped up the series in 1983. This farewell won’t be nearly as dramatic, funny or heart-wrenching, but it is my personal farewell after 11 “seasons” at PGN.

I pondered what the final Scene in Philly should look like. For instance, which bars to shoot in, who should be included, should it be the usual suspects from executive-director positions or just random people like in past Scenes? How could I be fair to an entire community and yet celebrate this special last Scene?

Before this job, I wasn’t truly involved in the LGBTQ community. I’d volunteered at a couple of nonprofits, attended a few block parties, went to a few films at festivals, some readings at Giovanni’s Room and an occasional bar party.

What an education I have gotten since then.

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