Meet the Fresh Meat
By Peter Frost
For the eleventh year in a row, the freshest talent of the transgender and queer community will come together for a weekend of performance and celebration.
From June 15-17, the annual Fresh Meat Festival, held in San Francisco, will bring together acts from around the country to dance, sing, and perform, raising money and continuing to break down barriers for the transgender community. The event began as a one-off party after many of the LGBT events in the city had been cancelled. However, after selling out the festival and receiving such a strong response, founder of the non-profit behind the event, Fresh Meat Productions, and artistic director of the festival Sean Dorsey decided it had to become an annual happening. “We received such an outpouring from the community about the event, we knew it had to do it again,” he says.
The festival, the only one of its kind in the country, brings together
performers from all corners of the LGBTQ community, giving them a forum to share their artistic pursuits. This year, The Glee Project alumni Emily Vasquez will be
performing alongside dance troupe Vogue Evolution of America’s Best Dance Crew fame. The diverse list of performers also includes Los Angeles Drag Queen Miss Barbie-Q, trapeze artist Cohdi Harrell and same-sex ballroom dance champions Willem DeVries and Kumu Keali’I.
However, the festival’s diversity extends far beyond the performers. “The crowds we draw are really unique,” says Dorsey. “There’s a beautiful mix of communities at the performances. We see people from the LGBT community and the straight community, older and younger people. There really is something for everyone.”
This year, the event is even getting a facelift. After selling out for the past few years, the event will be moving to its largest location yet, the historic Brava Theater, allowing the performers to share their work with more people than ever. “When the festival began a lot of the events for transgender artists had been cancelled. There was the talent, but not the venue” says Dorsey. “Through the festival, we’ve been able to provide these artists with a voice, an audience, and a stage worthy of their talents and abilities.”
Check out some of the acts scheduled to perform in the trailer below! Tickets for the festival can be purchased online by clicking here.