Telling our whole stories — a collaborative workshop with Sassafras Lowrey!

Coming up next month — I get to co-facilitate a workshop with Sassafras Lowrey, one that’s open to all queerfolks who understand themselves to be survivors, whether of sexual trauma, family violence, homophobia, institutional violence, or other forms of assault, oppression or violence.

Sassafras Lowrey

Jen Cross

Queers Surviving: Telling our whole stories
a writing/storytelling workshop by and for queer survivors
Co-Facilitated by Sassafras Lowrey and Jen Cross
Sunday, August 29, 2010
$20-40, sliding scale (NOTAFLOF; please be in touch if $ is an issue, and we can work something out!)

What does it mean to ‘survive’ as a queer* person? The word ‘survivor’ can mean many things: sexual assault or abuse, partner violence, family violence, believing that we’re worth less because we’re queer (internalized homophobia), dealing with homophobia at work, at school, from the police or elsewhere (institutional homophobia), being hospitalized to ‘cure’ our queerness, forced or chosen houselessness (when ‘home’ is the least safe space to be) and more.

Sassafras and Jen invite you to spend an afternoon writing about your larger story of survival, which may also be your larger story of ‘coming out.’  We are, each of us, endlessly creative in the ways that we find to survive and reclaim our power in this society.  Bearing witness to our fuller stories, and allowing others to bear witness to us, can be a way to honor the difficult choices we have made, and decrease our sense of being alone or ‘crazy.’

Though we come together as queer folks who recognize ourselves as having experiences that we are surviving, no one will be required to write any particular topic. In this space, you have the opportunity to write as you feel called to write, no matter what the subject.

You’ll leave this workshop with: a re-affirmed sense of yourself as resiliently creative, a rich body of new creative writing, feedback from your peers about what’s already strong in your new writing, and connection with writing community.

Workshop will be held in an accessible space in downtown San Francisco at Market and Powell: half-block from BART, on several MUNI lines, close to two parking garages.

*and by ‘queer,’ we mean bisexual, trans-identified, intersex, lesbian, gay, genderqueer, stud, femme, AG, butch…

Offered in conjunction with the San Francisco launch of Sassafras Lowrey’s anthology, Kicked Out (published by Homofactus Press and which brings together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth).

Sassafras Lowrey is an internationally award-winning storyteller, author, artist, and educator. She believes that everyone has a story to tell and that the telling of stories is essential in the creation of social change. Sassafras is the editor of the Kicked Out anthology ( which brought together the voices of current and former homeless LGBT youth. She is a monthly columnist for Curve magazine, and her prose has been included in numerous anthologies including:  Visible: a Femmethology, LGBTQ America Today, Gendered Hearts, and  Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation. Sassafras regularly teaches LGBT storytelling workshops at colleges and conferences across the country and lives in Brooklyn New York with her partner and fuzzy family. To learn more about Sassafras and her work, visit or email her at

Jen Cross is an extensively-anthologized writer who has facilitated survivors and sexuality writing workshops since 2002. She’s led or co-led writing workshops with activists, adult students, survivors, folks living with a life-altering illness, and many other folks.  She currently offers two regular weekly workshops (Write Whole: Survivors Write and Declaring Our Erotic) in downtown San Francisco, and has worked with writers at colleges and organizations across the country. Jen’s a queer incest survivor who used writing to reembody and to transform her relationship with her erotic and creative self. She spent several years working with survivors of domestic violence and other traumas, individually and in groups, before beginning to host writing workshops through which trauma survivors and others could initiate deep and abiding change for ourselves and our communities. She received her MA in Transformative Language Arts from Goddard College and is a certified Amherst Writers and Artists workshop facilitator. You can find out more about Jen at or email her at

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