A burst of applause erupted from the eager crowd as local singer/songwriter Queen Earth finished her opening song. This was just the first performance at Stevenson University’s debut LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual/ally) focused talent show that took place on Feb. 13. The night featured performances from all ends of the spectrum, but each with common themes: perseverance, courage, and self-worth.
The Q group, an SU organization focused on supporting the LGBTQIA community and promoting acceptance campus wide, organized Queer Talents. Junior Q group president Kara Stone (also the MC for the evening) explained how much this event meant to those involved.
She said that a key part of the show was to “support each other and also enunciate the fact that we aren’t just gay. That isn’t who we are; we are also artists, we are also performers…” She added that the Q group even chose to name the talent show “queer” in order to make it an open event to all walks of life regardless of sexual orientation or identity.
Many performers shared stories of their inspirations/obstacles/journeys to make it to where they were. While the talent of the participants was clear, they also made it known that it wasn’t the quality of their work that was the main reason for the discrimination they received in their field; rather, it was their sexual identity. During the event, there was a strong sense of community and support.
It was a judgment-free zone that invited all to share their talents freely.
Following Queen Earth’s act, poet Danielle Thomas, took to the stage with her passionate spoken word. After several of her pieces, students Emily Rigenbach and Malia Rollins sang a duet with Rigenbach on the guitar and Rollins with vocals.
After the pair, another professional singer came to the stage. Couture brought a higher level of excitement to the audience. As a queer Baltimore rapper, he brought a unique style to the event. By the end of his set, he had the audience out of their seats and singing along with him.
Refreshments were served in the lobby during the intermission. The formal part of the show concluded with a group performance from All Natural Glee and the Improv troupe of SU alums, HotSauce Sandwich, both of which brought great comedic relief to viewers.
The night ended with several students taking over the mic and a warm thank you from Kara Stone.
To get involved in the Q group, interested students should like their page on Facebook, Stevenson University’s The Q group. Meetings are held every Wednesday evening in the SOBL, room 301. The regular meeting is from 8-9 p.m., and there is a “Safe Space” meeting from 9-10 p.m. for those individuals struggling and wanting to talk. All are welcome.