Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 6:30PM.
Kiki explores the underground ballroom scene, a larger-than-life world in which LGBTQ youths of color are empowered by staging elaborate dance competitions that showcase their dynamic choreography, fabulous costumes, and fierce attitude. It’s also a safe haven for struggling, at-risk teens who find acceptance, support, and friendship within the Kiki community. This film brings together heartrending personal stories with incredible displays of creative expression.
View the trailer.
Screening Sponsored by:
Meet our panelists
Chi Chi Mizrahi(he/him)
Francisco Gonzalez Jr., better known as “Mother Chi Chi Unbothered Mizrahi” is a Stakeholder and Community Advocate for the House and Ballroom Community. He has been an active member of the Kiki scene and Ballroom scene for over 10 years. Entering the HIV Prevention Field at the age of 19, his work with youth affected by HIV and youth advocacy has provided him with many opportunities such as appearing in an Adidas Campaign, Paper Magazine’s “Night Life” issue, the AMFAR Gala opening act, and as a principal dancer Icona Pops’ “All Night” music video. After getting his professional start as a community health specialist at FACES NY, Inc, he is currently a Program Coordinator for Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Peter Krueger Clinic. Chi Chi continues his work with the house and ballroom community and the Kiki Scene. He is the Founding Mother and creator of the House of Unbothered-Cartier and Empress of the Legendary House of Mizrahi. He has dominated the Voguing category from state to state, as one of the most popular voguers. His playful personality, endless love, and nurturing ways are a representation of how he keeps the youth of his community safe. “Live In Your Truth “ is his life-long motto for himself and for those with whom he’s affiliated.
Shepard Verbas (they/them)
Shepard Verbas joined The LOFT team in November 2015 as Program Manager for Silver Connections and Helpline. Since then, their title has grown to include The LOFT’s Intimate Partner Violence program, as well as facilitation and oversight of many LOFT groups and volunteers. Shepard also works with LGBTQ youth through their role as Program Specialist with the organization Center Lane.
Graduating in 2014 with a B.S. in Special Education/Early Childhood Education, Shepard has over five years experience working with youth and adults in educational and therapeutic settings. For two years, Shepard co-chaired GLSEN Hudson Valley’s LGBT youth outreach initiative, Shared Stories Open Minds, and was an active member of the chapter’s board.
Shepard has an unrelenting passion for LGBT advocacy and shares The LOFT’s commitment to Advocate, Educate, and Celebrate diversity wholeheartedly. They are particularly passionate about the transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary communities. Shepard presents at various trainings and forums about the importance of trans rights and visibility.
Laurel Golio (she/her)
Laurel Golio is the co-founder and photographer of We Are the Youth, an ongoing photographic journalism project chronicling the individual stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth in the United States. We Are the Youth addresses the lack of visibility of LGBTQ young people by providing a space to share stories in an honest and respectful way. Her work revolves around the examination of community and its various subcultures, with a focus on using portraiture to investigate issues of self-presentation and identity.
Her work revolves around the examination of community and its various subcultures, with a focus on using portraiture to investigate issues of self-presentation and identity. Laurel has been a contributor to The New York Times, New York Magazine, Metropolis Magazine, The Fader, Fast Company, The Oxford American, and the British Journal of Photography. She graduated from Smith College.