Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Update: Emanuel Xavier back from Florida

Steve Rothaus, a Miami Herald staff writer and member of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), profiled Emanuel Xavier back on February 21st.

The reason? Emanuel was in Miami, Florida, as part of a week-long residency with SpeakOut which seeks to inspire gay youth.

Unfortunately, as Emanuel explains on his blog there was some drama:
The only serious incident occured yesterday after someone from Michael Krop High School complained that my work was too graphic for high school students.

Word spread quickly throughout the area and by the time I arrived at Coral Reef High School, school officials asked me to tone it down or I wouldn't be allowed to take the stage. A video clip of my first Def Poetry appearance was not approved for presentation.

The school dean even sat in the back throughout my performance to make sure I didn't cross the line and the police were on stand by.

Nonetheless, I managed to get through the presentation and the students, who were already familiar with most of my work, knew which words and sentences I was forced to leave out. They bombarded me afterwards to sign books, pieces of paper, even tee shirts and take pictures with me.

It felt very Marilyn Manson, Eminem and Madonna to walk out of there with mad props from the students after being censored by faculty. I suppose in the end, the students could go on line or buy my books or see me perform elsewhere to get the full experience. It's nothing they haven't already been exposed to before and censorship only serves to pique their interest.
All in all though, a good experience. So, congratulations Emanuel!

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