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Trans Voices lifts up incredible talent in the trans community

San Francisco entertainer Pearl Teese, the current guest host and curator of Trans Voices, shares the importance of events that lift up talent in the trans community.

Every few months, entertainers in the trans community come together to host an evening cabaret show at Strut. By and for the trans community (and open to allies), the show’s unique offering—and incredible talent—brings out a crowd for every event.

Local San Francisco entertainer Pearl Teese, the current guest host and curator of Trans Voices, answered our questions about this event series and the importance of events that lift up talent in the trans community.

Pearl Teese
Pearl Teese (Photo: Jose A. Guzman Colon)

What happens at a Trans Voices event?

Pearl Teese: Trans Voices is a variety show. All of the artists are trans people, and the acts range from comedy, to spoken word, to poetry and singing. There are usually a mix of four to five different artists who participate in each show. The event is by and for trans people, but the event is open to everyone as an audience member. 

Trans Voices was created in 2015 when Baruch Porras-Hernandez, the community events manager for Strut, reached out to local comedian Kay Nilsson and writer Julian Shendelman (who are both part of the trans community). Baruch asked them to collaborate to create an ongoing community event at Strut that focuses on the trans community, they said yes, came up with Trans Voices, and the shows have been happening ever since.

How did you get involved with Trans Voices?

PT: I first got involved maybe a year ago when two SFAF staff members reached out to host the event. I hosted the event and then they asked me to host a few other QTPOC at Strut events. I kept participating and then eventually was asked to help curate the show!

Why did you decide to use your time to support this event?

PT: I thought it was an important opportunity to highlight and bring to the stage other trans people’s talents. I’m an entertainer who has done cabaret, who lip-syncs and dances—but I’m not vocally talented. I’m not a comedian. I face a lot of dysphoria around my voice. To be able to highlight trans people who use their voice as part of their talent is very inspiring. And it’s something that I think really needs to be shared.

What’s unique about Trans Voices?

PT: I’ve only heard of one other type of event that’s similar to this. A few years ago there was an open mic night for trans people in Oakland. And I work at AsiaSF, which is a trans cabaret and dinner show, but that’s very different than Trans Voices. There really aren’t many (or any) events that highlight trans people and their voices in this way. It’s a very unique event!

Join us for Trans Voices!

Snacks, wine & moving performances.

February 27, 6:30 pm – 9 pm, at Strut (470 Castro Street in San Francisco)

Testing and PrEP appointments from 5 pm to 6 pm

Trans Voices welcomes you at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7 pm

Don’t miss the next three Trans Voices Shows in 2020! March 22, April 29 and May 28.