These 7 stories challenge you to Believe it… or not (FREE SPEECH, APRIL 2017)

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Believe it or not… this month’s installment of Free Speech was a lil different from our usual shebang. We of course still had amazing stories and everyone’s fave wine in a can, but a few other big details shied away from the expected…

First off, our host was the one and only POISON WATERS! She brought her quick wit and positive warmth to the Wildfang stage and absolutely slayed us all. We also really committed to the theme and suspended belief by completely flipping the script of our usual storytellers. For the first time ever in Free Speech history, we featured stories from 7 kickass non-binary/non-female identified folks, and they absolutely crushed it!

Enjoy these tales of struggling with identity, defying time, gifted vibrators, and much more:

 

1. JEANNOT DJANGA: “BELIEVE IT OR NOT- I EXIST”

Jeannot spends a significant amount of time wrestling sad thoughts, but has a girlfriend who loves him, and has the comfort that comes with knowing cats exist. He talks about how words fail when he gets the question ‘where are you from?’ and the conflicting thoughts on identity that follow.

 

2. BRITTAIN JACKSON: “DON’T LET YOUR FRIENDS GIFT YOU VIBRATORS”

Brittain is a native of Washington DC and a serious triple threat: dancer/singer/actor. Brittain is co-host of VillageVibesPodcast, a killer podcast that has set out to contribute to a conversation about social awareness and justice, with a dash of pop culture and comedy. We get to hear Brittain’s hilarious account of a gift given and how quickly something super enjoyable can turn south.

 

3. KILONG UNG: “THE GOLDEN LEAF”

Kilong survived the Cambodian genocide under Khmer Rouge. He came to USA as a refugee and graduated Reed College with degree in Maths, before going on to become Royal Rosarian and successful businessman. Kilong gives us insight into his personal story of escaping harrowing genocide and turning the cards he was given into outstanding accomplishments and a wealth of positivity.

 

4. MICHAEL ELLICK: “OUT OF TIME”

OK, so he’s a minister. But it’s okay. He happens to love the gays and was one of faith leaders who founded Occupy Wall Street movement. Michael shares a distinct moment in time that has changed him forever and created a passion.

 

5. KYRAN MCCOY: “SIX YEARS IN THE MAKING”

Kyran is a seriously cool cat with long hair. When he’s not working in his current position as a Business Analyst, he is always learning about how he can be an advocate for feminism. He enjoys long walks on cement, warm chocolate chip cookies, and playing air guitar in his heart eyes pajamas. Kyran speaks on his journey to becoming truly who he is, and the people that helped him along the way.

 

6. AARON RAYBURN: “I DON’T WANT WHAT I THINK I WANT”

Aaron Rayburn is a cross-disciplinary creative director Ewok-Hobbit hybrid and Sparkle Daddy, making brands shine and humans glitter by creating art as an act of love, from his studio called Black Belt. Aaron also tears down walls built by fascists with his bare f*cking hands. and will be by your side on the front lines, always. We get to hear Aaron’s story about the long journey of actually discovering what you want, and how being interesting is far better than the alternative.

 

7. CHAZZ MADRIGAL: “THE POWER OF FAILURE”

Chazz joined us from Seattle, and is a bar manager of the soon to open Latfite’s on NW Kearney and 23rd . He is also co-founder of 86 Silence– a non profit that fights sexual harassment and sexual assault in the hospitality industry. He spills some real talk about the fierce drive and idea for success, as well as realizing failure is not the end all be all.

 

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