We here at Theatre Bay Area are heartsick over the recent attacking, smearing, and scapegoating of LGBTQIA+ people, particularly trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people both here in the Bay Area and across the US. Theatre Bay Area stands in firm, unequivocal, unconditional support of our LGBTQIA+ community members of all ages. Drag and other LGBTQIA+ performing art forms are a vital piece of human expression and our artistic community.
We believe that trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming people of all ages deserve full, unfettered access to health care, including mental health care and transition-related care.
We believe that trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming youth and parents should be fully supported, affirmed, and celebrated as valued members of our beautiful human family.
We believe that legislation intended to eliminate LGBTQIA+ people from public life is dangerous, particularly laws that sanction the removal of children from families that are LGBTQIA+ or that affirm their LGBTQIA+ children, a position shared by the UN Genocide Convention of 1948, which listed “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” as one of the five conditions of genocide.”
We believe that LGBTQIA+ people who share one or more additional marginalized identities, such as LGBTQIA+ BIPOC, disabled LGBTQIA+ people, and LGBTQIA+ Muslims, are at particular risk of physical, mental/emotional, and economic harm in our current hostile climate.
We applaud the welcoming, inclusive nature of our theatre community, including the widespread normalization of asking for gender pronouns at meetings and auditions, opening roles to actors of any gender, staging the works of LGBTQIA+ playwrights, and hiring LGBTQIA+ directors, designers, dramaturgs, techs, and administrators.
TBA’s mission statement reads, “we believe that the arts are essential to a healthy and democratic society.” One of the most crucial reasons theatre is essential to a healthy society is that theatre creates empathy. Empathy is at the very core of what we do, whether that’s empathy for the role we’re playing, the story we’re telling, the audiences we’re trying to reach, or our co-workers as we collaborate on our art. There is no theatre without empathy.