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Affirmative Laughter

Affirmative Laughter May

  Come celebrate Elsa Waithe‘s 30th bday the only way she know how… WITH LAUGHTER!!! On May 25th @ 7pm, Bureau of General Services-Queer Division is gonna be packed as we ring in Elsa’s new decade with this hot lineup:   Beth Maria Margo Reiss Shelly Colman Sarah Hartshorne Norah Yahya Mamoudou N’Diaye   $10 [...]

Fri. May 25, 2018 7:00 PM


May 23, 2017

Save The Date: Tim “Toaster” Henderson (workshop and feature)



Nationally-acclaimed performance poet Tim “Toaster” Henderson is dropping in to host a writing workshop and feature at Union Square Slam!!

SAVE THE DATE: May 23rd, 2017

6:30pm: Writing Workshop w/ Toaster
7:30pm: sign-up and socialize
8:00pm: Feature and Show

Suggested Donation:
Workshop or Show: $5-$10
Workshop and Show: $10-$20

All Ages // Wheelchair Accessible

About our Feature:

Toaster, a performance poet, mural artist and musician, Toaster uses a kaleidoscope of artistic vision to create, express and teach. Toaster is an accomplished slam poet as well, competing for the Berkeley, Bay Area Unified and Mental Graffiti slam teams at the National Poetry Slam. Toaster was also crowned grand slam champion in Berkeley (2012) and Chicago (2016), ranking 9th in the world at the 2016 Individual Poetry Slam. He has been featured on many stages across North America including Lexus Versus and Flow, National Public Radio, and in front of the most cutthroat audiences of all – teenagers. Aside from pursuing his own craft, Toaster works in Chicago schools as a teaching artist for Young Chicago Authors, as well as facilitating his own workshops in elementary schools, high schools, universities and other educational settings. You can find Toaster’s work on youtube, in your local dive bar and by following him on social media:

Facebook- Facebook.com/ToasterPoetry
Twitter -hewhotoastsbrEd
Instagram – toastersmodernlife


Start: May 23, 2017 6:30 PM
End: May 23, 2017 9:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
Phone: 212 620 7310 ext. 300
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: Suggested $5-10 donation

May 20, 2017

Martin Duberman Reads from Jews Queers Germans


Martin Duberman returns to the Bureau for a reading from his latest novel, Jews Queers Germans.


Jews Queers Germans recreates the intimate milieu around Kaiser Wilhelm II of pre-Weimar Germany, a time period during which queer life flourished —albeit secretly—throughout the major cities of Germany. The story revolves around three men: Prince Philipp von Eulenburg, Kaiser Wilhelm II’s closest friend, who becomes the subject of a notorious 1907 trial for homosexuality; Magnus Hirschfeld, a famed Jewish sexologist who gives testimony at the trial; and Count Harry Kessler, a leading proponent of modernism and the keeper of a famous set of diaries that lay out in intimate detail the major social, artistic, and political events of the day and allude as well to his own homosexuality. Adhering closely to the historical record, Duberman portrays the gay life of a very upper-crust intellectual milieu at a time when old-world mores still mattered, and yet art and the social sciences were spiraling quickly toward the modern.


“Riveting. Stunning. By turns exhilarating and harrowing. At the height of his imaginative and interpretive powers, award-winning author Martin Duberman elaborates the rich, complex promises and perils of German life and politics in advance of World Wars I and II, with ghostly echoes reverberating across the Atlantic to this very day.” —John Howard, author of White Sepulchres and Men Like That

“With a bold, grand vision and an unparalleled grasp of the endless details that make up the arc of history, Martin Duberman elucidates and illuminates how sex, art, hatred, violence, and intrigue shape a national politic. His sprawling canvas here—populated by Kaiser Wilhelm II, Isadora Duncan, Magnus Hirschfeld, and Ernst Röhm among many others—is late nineteenth century to pre–World War II Germany. The implications and resonances of this story are, however, frighteningly contemporary. Sweeping and poetic, minutely observed and realistic, Jews Queers Germans is a brilliant window to the past that shows us the present and possibly the future.” —Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States and Professor of Practice in Media and Activism at Harvard University

“In the new and daring novel/history Jews Queers Germans, Martin Duberman unleashes his awesome powers to tell a story of friendship, friction, and the flourishing of homosexual relationships during the belle époque.  Focusing on Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany and his closest friends, Duberman’s creative narrative allows us to eavesdrop on some of what might have been their private conversations while we also witness rising public intolerance toward Jews and queers in Germany. As always, Duberman engages and illuminates the past brilliantly while providing guidance for the present.” —Marcia M. Gallo, author of “No One Helped”: Kitty Genovese, New York City, and the Myth of Urban Apathy


Duberman copy
Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus, CUNY, MARTIN DUBERMAN is the author of some two dozen books, including Paul Robeson; CuresBlack Mountain; the novel Haymarket (a Seven Stories book); Howard ZinnStonewall; and Hold Tight Gently. Duberman is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Bancroft Prize, the Vernon Rice Drama Desk Award (for his play In White America), three Lambda Literary Awards, a Special Award from The National Academy of Arts and Letters for his “contributions to literature,” the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Historical Association, and the Whitehead Lifetime Achievement Award in Non-Fiction. He has also been a Finalist for both the National Book Award (for James Russell Lowell) and the Pulitzer Prize (for The Worlds of Lincoln Kirstein). In 2012 Amherst College awarded him an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters.





Start: May 20, 2017 7:00 PM
End: May 20, 2017 8:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: 646-358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

May 18, 2017

Fierce Hearts: a reading of fierce and heartfelt poetry by Cheryl Boyce Taylor, Joy Ladin, and Lesléa Newman



The poets will read both published work and work from soon-to-be released collections. A book signing will follow the reading.



Cheryl Boyce-Taylor is the recipient of the 2015 Barnes and Noble Writers For Writers Award, and the founder and curator of Calypso Muse and the Glitter Pomegranate Performance Series. Cheryl earned an MFA in Poetry from Stonecoast: The University of Southern Maine, and an MSW from Fordham University. She is the author of three collections of poetry: Raw Air, Night When Moon Follows, and Convincing the Body. A poetry judge for The New York Foundation for the Arts, and The Astraea Foundation, she has facilitated poetry workshops for Cave Canem, Poets & Writers, Poets House, and The Caribbean Literary and Cultural Center. Her poetry has been commissioned by Jacob’s Pillow, The Joyce Theater, and the National Endowment for the Arts for Ronald K. Brown: Evidence, A Dance Company. Her work has been published in Callaloo, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Pluck!, Killings Journal of Arts & Letters, Adrienne, and Prairie Schooner. Her fourth book Arrival, is forthcoming from Northwestern University Press in 2017.




Joy Ladin is the author of seven books of poetry, including Lambda Literary Award finalists Impersonation and Transmigration; her eighth book, Fireworks in the Graveyard, is forthcoming in fall 2018 from Headmistress Press. Her memoir of gender transition, Through the Door of Life, was a 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist. Her work has been recognized with a National Endowment of the Arts fellowship and a Fulbright Scholarship, among other honors. She holds the Gottesman Chair in English at Yeshiva University. Her poems and essays are available at joyladin.com.




Lesléa Newman is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, children’s book writer and anthologist whose 70 books include the children’s classic, Heather Has Two Mommies and the poetry collections, Still Life with Buddy, Nobody’s Mother, Signs of Love, and October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard (novel-in-verse) which received a Stonewall Honor from the American Library Association. Ms. Newman’s literary awards include poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation; the Burning Bush Poetry Prize; and second place runner-up in the Solstice Literary Journal poetry competition. Her poetry has been published in Spoon River Poetry Review, Cimarron Review, Evergreen Chronicles, Lilith Magazine, Kalliope, The Sun, Bark Magazine, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Seventeen Magazine and others. From 2008-2010 she served as the poet laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts. Her most recent poetry collection, I Carry My Mother, received the 2016 Golden Crown Literary Society Poetry Award (“Goldie”) and was named a “Must-Read” title by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.








Start: May 18, 2017 7:00 PM
End: May 18, 2017 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: 646-358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

May 14, 2017

Queer Collage Party


It’s time for another Queer Collage Party! We provide the glue sticks and scissors, you provide the pictures and paper/cardboard. Everyone who attends should bring at least one magazine or book or a bunch of pictures that you’ll contribute to the group. Each person can make their own collage(s), or team up with others! You can keep your own collage(s), but don’t expect to walk away with your magazine intact! The spirit here is fun and sharing. Attend for part or all of the afternoon. You are encouraged but not required to bring a little snack to share — chips, tangerines, grapes, hummus, whatever.

Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.







Start: May 14, 2017 3:00 PM
End: May 14, 2017 6:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
Phone: 212 620 7310 ext. 300
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: Suggested donation of $10 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

May 13, 2017

TELL 34: Beginnings


TELL is an evening of story telling from the mouths and minds of queers in NYC hosted by Drae Campbell at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division since February 2014.

BEGINNINGS is the theme of the thirty-fourth installment of TELL. Featuring Dorrell Clark, Matthew K. Johnson, and Justine Williams.


$10 suggested donation to support the Bureau and the performers. No one turned away for lack of funds.


Drae Campbell

Drae Campbell is a writer, actor, director, story teller, dancer, and nightlife emcee. Drae has been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and on stages all over NYC. Drae’s directing work has appeared in Iceland, NYC, Budapest and in the San Francisco Fringe Festival. The short film Drae wrote and starred in with Rebecca Drysdale, YOU MOVE ME won the Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Short at OUTFEST 2010 and has been shown in festivals globally. Drae won the grand prize at the first annual San Miguel De Allende Storytelling Festival in Mexico. She once reigned as Miss LEZ and also got dubbed “the next lezzie comedian on the block” by AfterEllen.com for her comedic stylings on the interwebs. Campbell hosts and curates a monthly queer storytelling show called TELL at BGSQD. Check her out online!  www.draecampbell.com.



dorell clark_TELL

Dorrell Clark was born in New York City (Harlem Hospital) and grew up in Winsor, North Carolina. She received her A.A.S. degree, at Bronx Community College; majoring in Chemistry. Dorrell joined the US Army ranking as Private First Class. After 26 years of employment with NYC’s MTA, she retired in 2011. Without a breather she jumped right into volunteering her services with:{BAAD} Bronx Academy of Arts & Dance, SOUNDVIEW COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM, MISTAH COLES PRODUCTION COMPANY and Susana Cook’s Co. Dorrell understands the rhythm and importance of preparation, hard work, and respect. Applying these values to her endeavors by making an inventory of resources, planning activities and working on her goals daily. Her past experiences has completely supported her development and she is thankful for it.



matthew k johnson_TELL 2017

Matthew K. Johnson is a playwright, poet, storyteller and fiction writer originally from Honolulu, Hawaii. He has been a featured performer at numerous venues around New York City, including the Bowery Poetry Club, the C.O.W. Theater and Dixon Place, and was the creator and host of “Tongue Lashing”, a literary series at The Phoenix in the East Village that ran from 2007 to 2010. He lives in Brooklyn.


justine williams_TELL

Justine is a performer-creator-educator working across disciplines and fields of study. She is founder and current Den Mother to Queer Scouts, a civic performance project that takes up the traditional Boy and Girl Scouts, re-imagining their handbooks, histories and practices through a queer, and creative/critical/activist lens. Her work as a creator-performer has been presented at the Public Theater, Ars Nova, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Queens Museum, and her film work has presented at Maryland Film Festival, MOMA’s New Directors/New Films, Rotterdam Film Festival and others. She was a 2016 Queer Arts Mentorship fellow in Performance, and is currently an Artist-in-Residence at Abrons Arts with the Queer Scouts. Justine teaches clown, play, games and creation at Yale School of Drama, as well as within traditional and alternative learning spaces around the globe. MFA: CUNY/Brooklyn College in Performance and Interactive Media Arts





Start: May 13, 2017 7:00 PM
End: May 13, 2017 9:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division @ The Center
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the performers and the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.