You Should Go: Reading, Dialogue and Q&A with Andrea Gibson in San Francisco

Attention Bay Area ‘Straddlers! The California Institute of Integral Studies Public Programs & Performances recently opened their 2014-2015 Performing Arts season, and next week, they’re hosting noted spoken word artist Andrea Gibson. On Thursday, October 16th, they’ll be at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center doing a dialogue and Q&A facilitated by Ahmunet Jordon. If you, like me, can’t make it out on a Thursday, they’ll also be performing on Friday, October 17th at the Nourse Theatre.

If you are a person who experiences emotions, perhaps you’ve already heard of Andrea Gibson (perhaps you’ve considered, for a long time, exactly which Andrea Gibson quote you want tattooed on your body), but for the record:

Andrea Gibson is not gentle with their truths. It is this raw fearlessness that has led them to the forefront of the spoken word movement — the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam — Gibson has headlined prestigious performance venues coast to coast with powerful readings on war, class, gender, bullying, white privilege, sexuality, love, and spirituality.

For me, Gibson’s frantic, unapologetic lyricism was one of the few queer voices I knew of when I was coming into my own gayness. I clung to recordings of her performances like a lifeline until I learned to write my own words and had the strength to speak them out loud. It was a wild and emotional time in my life, and maybe I’m a weirdo but I’m excited to revisit it with all the impact of a live performance. I’ve included my Andrea Gibson root video below. Sorry not sorry in advance for the rabbit hole you will probably fall down once you watch it.

Tickets for the dialogue on Thursday as well as the performance on Friday are available now. That’s two chances to see some rad-tastic spoken word and feel things!

Robin doesn't lean in, she spreads out. Her skills include talking up the movie Spice World to strangers. In any situation, she would prefer to get campy. She's a hedonist, lady dandy, and lazy academic. She has a twitter and a tumblr.

Robin has written 43 articles for us.


  1. I’m going to the one on Friday! I was introduced to their work when someone danced to ‘Andrew’ at our college talent show. It blew me away to know someone else felt those things too. Their words helped me get through a really difficult time in my life.

    The last time I got to see them perform live I waited in line after the show to get a poster signed, extremely emotionally raw, and when I tried to thank them for helping me I ended up bursting into sobs. Not missing a beat they got up, asked me if I was okay with hugs, and hugged me. It was simultaneously one of the best moments and most embarrassing moments of my entire life.

    But anyways, SO EXCITED

      • Yes, that was me, hello! It’s funny that we’re both AS readers. Are you in the Facebook group?

        I talked to Andrea after the show too, I was shaking and told them some really personal things … And they thanked me for everything. I left the venue enamoured with everyone in there and with life in general. The fact that everyone in that room felt so free to just feel things, was absolutely incredible.

        If any of you ever have the chance to see Andrea live, please do it.

        • Yeah, I am! I checked after I saw your comment here and I think I liked your post before the show as well. Small (queer) world.

          And yeah, everybody around us who was talking to them was just so open and vulnerable and it was really really overwhelming but some kinda beautiful.

          Maybe I’ll see you in 8 years’ time when they’re back in the UK! (Or at an AS London event. We should have more of those.)

  2. Long time lurker, and this is only my second time commenting, but I really wanted to splurge. I just got back from Andrea’s show in London and I’m reeling. My best friend and I didn’t know how to thank them when we finally got to meet at the end and so just kept saying ‘thank you,’ to which they just said ‘no, thank you’ back and it went round and round.

    But, yeah, the whole night was so raw. And so funny. And just so fucking incredible. People all around us were crying and hugging and laughing and wooping. I was worried beforehand that I’d just have emotional dissociation but I didn’t and ahhhh. I just wanted to share and OFC Autostraddle had something relevant where I could post a lot of feelings.

  3. Ah, I wish!

    I’ve seen them twice, the most recent time being last year where Nicole Reynolds and MARY LABERT opened for them! I felt like I leveled up in gay that night, it was amazing and emotional and electrifying.

    Semi-related side note: has anyone heard Mary Lambert’s cover of “Jessie’s Girl”? I’m completely obsessed and her new album hasn’t even come out yet! Maybe its relevant to some of your interests…

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