National Black Lesbian Conference 2003
April 11-13, 2003 -- Los Angeles


Older Black Lesbians
Speak Out
ZUNA NBLC April 11th - 13th 2003


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B4T (Before Testosterone)
A Theatre Piece by Imani Henry

B4T is a smart, funny, and moving multi-media theatre piece that explores race, sexuality and gender expression through the lives of three Black, masculine, female-bodied people:

LaShawnda/Shawn – Through video installments of this character’s life the audience witnesses what it is like to live in a butch body, experiencing everyday struggles (which bathroom to use?) and the confusion of others (Miss? Sir?) which too often end in harassment and violence. Keith – Able to pass as male since childhood, Keith describes the acceptance of his family and friends, the realities of racism and transphobia (fear of gender variant people). Imani – Through this Caribbean-American character, the audience sees the hurt, humor, and strength involved when a family rejects someone whose sexuality or gender expression doesn’t fit their norm – and many will recognize the common problems of three generations trying to understand each other.

Ashanti – The graduate student who has a personal and professional interest in researching Black lesbian and transgender issues, and is hoping through her project to reconnect with an old butch friend who has disappeared.

These voices are connected by threads of discovery, rejection, and love. B4T’s action – from serious to funny – is framed by videos of LaShawnda/Shawn’s life, and the characters are connected through their relationships to Ashanti.

Not all of the stories in B4T have happy endings, but audiences regularly rise to their feet at the end of the piece because they’ve been moved by the lives shared with them. When the lights come up, the questions “What are you? A man? A woman?” have become less important than “Who are you? What is your story?”

For more information about B4T (Before Testosterone)
please contact Rosamond King
phone 718.219.3473 · fax 718.522.2934

Eating Artist Services · P.O. Box 23611 · Brooklyn, NY 11202

thank you
Imani Henry






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