LGBTQ Immigrant Voices Take The Stage

BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Staff Writer

Next Saturday, Flushing Town Hall and Jackson Heights café Terraza 7 will stage LGBTQ Immigrant Voices, a concert in celebration of Pride Month.

The trio Mahina Movement will headline a two-set lineup, which features veteran performers and students alike, whose roots span the globe from Peru to Ireland to Jamaica to China.

For Sami Shumays, Flushing Town Hall deputy director, the value of the LGBTQ Immigrant Voices concert is twofold. He said that he hopes it will showcase both “the diversity within the LGBTQ community and the possibility of the diverse sides of that community coming together to support each other.”

“In general, we at Flushing Town Hall are trying our best to address all the different communities that are around us in Queens, and in New York City, but in Queens especially because that’s our home,” Shumays added.

Musician and activist Nadia Bourne, who studies at St. John’s University, will perform original pieces about life, love and revolution.

“I am looking forward to performing in such an important cultural center and forum, learning lessons and telling my story, our story,” she said.

“I have performed in other cultural hubs and worked with other immigrant and queer-identified artists in similar capacities,” Bourne continued. “However, this [concert] offers an ostensibly inclusive space. We are inviting all immigrants and allies to come and listen in. I sincerely hope that those who need to hear what we have to say are present.”

“I hope that the audience enjoys the performance and is able to celebrate the common identities and struggles that make us stronger as a collective unit,” Bourne added.

Jackson Heights resident Brad Bradley, who has appeared on Broadway in several productions, including “Spamalot,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Billy Elliott,” will perform a set from his one-man show, “B Squared,” at the concert.
“My set consists of songs about marriage equality, loving someone while still in the closet and boys playing with Barbies,” Bradley said. “Getting to perform these messages to a crowd that can relate is a very special opportunity.”

“I’m also looking forward to representing my Borough, a proud Queen from Queens,” Bradley added.

LGBTQ Immigrant Voices is sponsored in part by Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) – it was at his request that a specifically LGBTQ-themed event was added to the Flushing Town Hall programming.

“I am proud to be able to fund such a unique and important event that shines light on the LGBT community, immigrants and on our home borough of Queens,” Dromm said.

Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for Flushing Town Hall members and students. LGBTQ Immigrant Voices begins at 7 p.m. on June 21.

Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, jstrawbridge@queenstribune.com or @JNStrawbridge.