I’ve tried to spare you. I really don’t want to say it. But here’s the thing: We are in unprecedented times. Everything we planned at Filoli this year has not been able to go accordingly. Filoli Pride has been no exception. When we started planning our 2020 celebration this winter we were ecstatic to bring Pride back for the second year in a row; we wanted to try new things and bring new experiences! We had learned so much from the year before, and we were ready to have Pride back and better than ever.
Obviously things changed and we had to adapt. We knew that we could use this time to remember the past year and celebrate the future with images and writing that could be accessed from home. We planned to fulfill our mission of creating a culture of access and inclusion with the tools and resources we had available. I was amazed at the quick response my co-workers had to our unfavorable circumstances. Everyone worked hard to make sure Pride was not pushed to the back burner.
An exciting new feature we planned for 2020 Filoli Pride was our Queer Student Art Show. We wanted to amplify the voices of young LGBTQ+ people who we knew were often left in the margins. Kevin, Brittany (read their blogs here!) and I had discussed a challenge we faced along with many other organizations celebrating pride: ours had been very white, very male centered, and tended to historicize Pride and the celebration of being queer.
We had big plans to bring in breadths from a collection of queer Bay Area students and showcase them here. Though we weren’t able to feature these artists in the same capacity or physicality of our original intention, we hope you will celebrate them by checking out their social media and listening to their voices everyday.
We are so honored to virtually feature six amazing LGBTQ+ artists for Filoli Pride! This is a small collection of shared stories that without a listener threatens to disappear into the margins. They are biographies that are integral to the causes of history and our understanding of the present. We remember those powerful words: “Silence = Death”, and remind ourselves that the struggle for equity, freedom, and safety is not just history; it is here and now. As a cultural institution that (like most) often caters to the center we hope that our celebrations of diversity, inclusion, access and equity can give a voice to the periphery.