Art Screen Shot 2012-07-02 at 11.12.43 PM

Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by Wild Gender


“Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance” are Center Stage

SAN FRANCISCO, C.A. — In a vibrant call to visibility by modern voices and icons of African-American artistry, “Queer Rebel Productions” (QRP) aims to embody black identity and queer culture in the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance. As per the 15th annual “National Queer Arts” month in San Francisco, the Queer Rebels took center stage as the June art celebrations drew to a close last week.

For those of you that were unable to attend the Queer Rebels renaissance fandango last week, here’s a snapshot video of the group’s sold out 2011 performance in the same festival:

A Queer Rebel Background:

Celeste Chan and KB Boyce (aka “TuffNStuff: Drag King of the Blues”) created Queer Rebel Productions out of a reaction to a dwindling San Francisco African American population and burgeoning economic recession.

“(QRP) asserts the presence and critical contributions of LGBTQ African Americans and Queer People of Color,” writes QRP of their mission on the QR website. “The production company emerged out of Kali Boyce’s solo performances as TuffNStuff, Drag King of the Blues. TuffNStuff evokes the spirit of cross-dressing Blues performers, alongside the history of the Blues as an art form that emerged from slave spirituals sung in the fields. Co-directors KB Boyce and Celeste Chan see the past and experience of our queer ancestors as absolutely vital to informing our future.”

Griot Noir

In honor of this queer legacy, the creators and cross dressers of Queer Rebels perform artwork through poetry, film, music, performance art and dance. Today, QRP is led by and dedicated to showcasing the work of queer artists of color. The group hopes to honor queer history and artistry by connecting generations.

“Most things of beauty have been born from necessity. Queer Rebels of the Harlem Renaissance is a celebration of our beautiful community, a testament to the power of creating and building with each other, then and now,” said Co-director Chan to the SF Weekly. “We invite everyone to join us.”

For a complete list of QRP artists click here.

For more queer inspiration, watch “3 hour man” by TuffNStuff productions:


KB aka Kali Boyce is a Two-Spirit musician whose adventures have brought them from teenage punk band appearances at CBGB’s in New York, to post-production audio for B-grade horror movies in LA, and on to solo Drag King blues performance as King TuffNStuff in queer San Francisco. In collaboration with Celeste Chan, Kali Boyce is the Artistic Director of Queer Rebel Productions. Find out more at


Celeste Chan creates work born from queer Diaspora through wit, words, and film. A VONA fellow, her experimental film about Angel Island, Bloodlines screens June 10 at the 2012 Queer Women of Color Film Festival.

Celeste Chan

Celeste Chan

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About the Author

Wild Gender

is an online magazine and creative hub born out of gratitude for the gift of full expression. We are dedicated to creative practices that celebrate gender fluidity, identity and expression. Wild Gender prioritizes visual art, creative writing, and journalistic work by trans/gender-variant individuals who have never before been published in a public venue. Run entirely by volunteers,we are always in search of writers, thinkers, and creators hoping to participate in our growing community.

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