Mangos with Chili


Mission, Vision, Impact: “Mangos With Chili is a North American touring, Bay Area based arts incubator committed to showcasing high quality performance of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond. Our goal is to produce high-quality multi-genre performances reflecting the lives and stories of queer and trans people of color (QTPOC) and speaking out in resistance to the daily struggles around silence, isolation, homophobia and violence that QTPOC face…Mangos With Chili’s multi-genre productions present work in the disciplines of dance, theater, vaudeville, hip-hop, circus arts, music, spoken word and film. More than a performance incubator, we are also a ritual space for queer and trans communities of color to come together in love, conversation and transformation. Our goal is to present high quality performance art by QTPOC, but so much of our work is also about creating healing and transformative space through performances that are gathering places for QTPOC community.”

Funding: “We feel that it is important to be very transparent about the fact that we have had very little core funding over the years and operated on a very sparse budget. Our work does not neatly fit into the visions of funders who operate under the white supremacist hetero ablest patriarchy. We refuse to be tokenized. We refuse to filter or tame our work. We refuse to shift our message or description about who we are or who/what we are here for to appease those with power…We are also deeply thankful for our beloved community members, who have filled passed hats and Paypals, given us venues, videography and places to sleep, given us hugs and encouragement when we felt like giving up, and been our most consistent source of support. We have always said that capitalism doesn’t love us, but our communities do. We have been able to keep operating due to this support, as well as the support of countless community members.”

Throughout the semester, we have learned about various forms of oppressions against transgender people and specifically transgender people of color. We have also discussed various forms of resistance. I related Mangos with Chili with our reading for today, “Performance as Intravention: Ballroom Culture and the Politics of HIV/AIDS in Detroit,” because Bailey argues in their piece that communities “at-risk” (of HIV/AIDS, in this example) are also communities “of care” whose members support each other in various ways (intravention). For the members of the ballroom culture in Detroit, community support meant creating a counter-discourse, providing social support for its members and producing prevention balls in order to reduce Black queer people’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection through competitive performance.

Mangos with Chili also provide similar support for each other by providing spaces of healing, transformation, dialogue, visibility and centering of queer and trans people of color.

Both forms of transformative community spaces serve as a form of resistance to the contrasting oppressive social and political contexts that members live in.


Upcoming Event
Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy: A Ritual in Corporealities: “In Blood Story, Bone Memory, Skin Legacy, artists explore the queering of ancestral memory, navigating these living moments mapped in our bodies, in queer blood and bones. Bearing witness to the stories held in our queer bodily experience, we heal and transform through the power of embodied truth.”

Upcoming Event at Brava Theatre:





IGLYO-International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Youth and Student Organization


Sylvia River’s 

Sylvia Rivera, a veteran of the 1969 Stonewall uprising and a persistent voice for the rights of people of color and low-income queer and trans people, SRLP started providing free legal help to trans New Yorkers in 2002. Since then, SRLP has used precedent-setting litigation, policy reform work, public education and direct services to address the myriad issues facing trans communities and provided help to thousands of people in crisis. SRLP’s work has changed the conversation about trans rights, putting poverty and racism at the center, and building awareness about the dangers trans people face in prisons, jails, immigration systems, foster care and homeless shelters.


IGLYO is the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organisation. IGLYO is a network gathering LGBTQ youth and student organisations in Europe and beyond. It is run for and by young people.


Their Vision:

IGLYO’s vision is a world where we, young people in all our diversity, are able to express and define our own sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions without discrimination, violence or hatred. We work for a world where we can participate without limitation in our lives and communities, so we can rise to our full potential, enjoying respect, celebration and Positve Recognition.

Their Mission:

Run by young people, for young people, IGLYO is an international membership-based umbrella organisation that aims to empower and enable its Members to ensure representation of LGBTQ youth and student issues. IGLYO’s approach promotes cooperation and joint strategies, and often advocates on behalf of Members to international bodies, institutions and other organisations.

What I liked about this organiztion is that in 2007 IGLYO started publishing a quarterly periodical called IGLYO On… which provides thematic information for LGBTQ youth and students organisations in their fight for equality and justice.

The fact that IGLYO On is written by volunteers it enables young people across Europe to contribute their perspective to the LGBTQ movement. The publication is distributed to all member organisations and partners and is published online and in print four times a year.

Undertaken on the occasion of its 25th anniversary in 2009, the IGLYO memories project is an initiative to celebrate the organization’s unique and vibrant history of LGBTQ youth activism.


Blog Post #2: Fresh Meat Productions

Our reading of Jackie Kay’s “Trumpet” reminded me of the Fresh Meat Festival, which is based here in San Francisco and founded in 2002 by artistic director and choreographer Sean Dorsey. Fresh Meat is a production that consists of multiple transgender and queer artists and performers ranging from musicians, dancers, poets, and poets. Fresh Meat Productions “builds community through the arts by creating, presenting and touring year- round transgender arts programs”, and they are the first organization of its kind in the nation. Fresh Meat Productions presents a wide range of transgender and queer arts, including dance, music, theater, and poetry. As stated in their mission statement, “Fresh Meat’s programs empower transgender artists and audiences, expand the repertoire of original work authentically exploring transgender experience, bring visibility to transgender and gender variant communities, connect transgender artists with diverse audiences, promote the artistic development of emerging and established transgender artists, empower voices, stories and bodies that have historically been excluded from the arts, promote dialogue and build community”. The Fresh Meat Tour in 2012 featured Shawna Virago, a transgender musician and Sean Dorsey Dance, The Barbary Coast Cloggers, as well as a number of other transgender and queer artists and groups. 


Shawna Virago is a transgender musician originating from San Francisco, and her music is known to combine folk, punk, and roots music to create her own style. Virago’s music is known for her “raw observations about survival in a predatory world, sticking up for the underdog, queer love and gender outlaws”. Virago has been mentioned in such publications as Curve Magazine, OUT, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Shewired Magazine has even named Virago one of the nation’s “Top 25 Hot Femmes”. Virago is also the artistic director of the San Francisc Transgender Film Festival, (SFTFF). Virago’s own music video “Transsexual Dominatrix” has been screened in more than 25 film festivals around the world, including such places as Berlin, Copenhagen, Prague, London, New York, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Bologna, Italy. Virago is also a published writer, and has work that appears in “Gender Outlaws: Next Generation” and in anthologies such as “Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love, & Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary” and “Take Me There”.

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Sean Dorsey is an award- winning choreographer, dancer, and writer here in San Francisco. He is recognized as the U.S.’ first acclaimed transgender modern choreographer, and his work is generally looked upon as a fusion of contemporary dance, storytelling, and theater. Dorsey’s new concert “The Secret History of Love” is currently touring in 20 U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Tampa, San Antonio, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, and Washington D.C. Dorsey is currently working on a new concert, titled “The Missing Generation”, which investigates the contemporary impact of the loss of almost a whole gay and transgender generation to AIDS in the 1980s. 


Fresh Meat Home Page:



National Center for Transgender Equality


This week following the reading I chose to do my report on two different organizations, one more closely tied to the reading, and another more closely tied to not only myself, but the bay area LGBTQ community as well. When doing research for a relevant cultural aspect related to the text I found numerous organizations and outreach programs that aid the community in a local, direct and much more personal way. This being HIV or other STI testing, counseling and asylum services, among many others. Given my personal interests, and of course my major, I wanted to touch a little more on the litigious aspect of the social injustices the trans community faces.

The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) is a “social justice organization dedicated to advancing the equality of transgender people through advocacy, collaboration and empowerment.” It was established in 2003 by a group of trans-identifying activists who recognized the severe underrepresentation of this community in the federal, state, and county levels of government. They are essentially a trans focused lobbyist group hoping to educate, influence, and inform congressional members during the lawmaking process.

Another great function of the NCTE is to essentially rally the Transgender movement and help the various organizations and communities to better push their agendas and goals within the government. This includes keeping such parties up to date on social justice laws and regulations, changes in government and leadership which directly affect these communities, and keeping everyone on the same page for rallies, protests and other trans related events. Ultimately their mission is to “end discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people.”

What I like about this group is they are head quartered in Washington and their primary objective is to take action and spread awareness on a federal level to invoke change by specifically working with and building relationships with members of congress. It is a great group to get involved in if politics or social activism in Washington DC is something you are passionate about. They offer several different career opportunities, including internships.


The second organization I wanted to shed some light on is one I have a personal connection with (as many in the LGBTQ community in the bay area do) is Magnet. Magnet is a non-profit organization in San Francisco, conveniently located in the heart of the Castro, and supported by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It’s core mission is to “promote the physical, mental, and social well-being of the LGBTQ community.” The most core function this organization offers are health related services. Not only do they provide rapid, and free, HIV testing, they also test for a myriad of STIs, including Hepatitis C—I specifically mention this STI because it requires blood to be drawn and sent to a lab to be tested which takes about a week to do. These tests are all offered free of charge. In addition to STI testing, the center also offers free medication for any curable infections on the spot.

The center is much more than an STI testing center. It plays a huge role in the LGBTQ population in San Francisco. Each time you go in to be tested they partner you with a counselor who walks you through the process and prepares you for your test results. If you test positive for HIV, they have the resources to aid you in living a healthy, productive, and full life with the disease. Aside from this, they have a book club which meets regularly, self defense classes, art exhibits, town hall forums and, in general, help cultivate a community where members, or allies, of this community can come together to support each other, and spread awareness both on issues on sex and social justice programs.