Back to All Events

Reading & Discussion at BGSQD, NYC

Please join us for a reading and discussion with some of the contributors for the anthology Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement. 

Featuring readings by contributors Amita Swadhin, Aishah Shahidah Simmons, Nitika Raj and Jennifer Patterson. (And possibile additional contributors.)

Suggested donation of $5 to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

The Bureau is wheelchair accessible. All-gender bathrooms are available. Please refrain from using perfumes, essential oils, hair products and other scented products to help support people who have chemicial sensitivites.

About the Anthology:
Often pushed to the margins, queer, transgender and gender non-conforming survivors have been organizing in anti-violence work since the birth of the movement. Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement locates them at the center of the anti-violence movement and creates a space for their voices to be heard. Moving beyond dominant narratives and the traditional “violence against women” framework, the book is multi-gendered, multi-racial and multi-layered. 

This collection disrupts the mainstream conversations about sexual violence and connects them to disability justice, sex worker rights, healing justice, racial justice, gender self-determination, queer & trans liberation and prison industrial complex abolition through reflections, personal narrative, and strategies for resistance and healing. The contributors to this book are a feral and wildly compassionate collection of writers, bartenders, professors, therapists, sex workers, healers, sex positive educators, organizers, musicians, bloggers, non-profit workers, filmmakers and rabble rousers. Where systems, institutions, families, communities and partners have failed them, this collection lifts them up, honors a multitude of lived experiences and shares the radical work that is being done outside mainstream anti-violence and the non-profit industrial complex.

More information here:

Aishah Shahidah Simmons is a Black feminist lesbian filmmaker, writer, international lecturer, and activist. An incest and rape survivor, Aishah is the producer, writer, and director of the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed, award-winning film NO! The Rape Documentary. NO! explores the international atrocity of heterosexual rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism and cultural work of African-Americans. Subtitled in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia. She credits her 14-year practice of Vipassana Meditation as one of the non-negotiable tools that support her work on gender-based violence issues. She is the 2015- 2016 Sterling A. Brown Visiting Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College. She is also 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow where she is developing #LoveWITHAccountability, her multimedia project, which will address incest and other forms of child sexual abuse. An associate editor of the online magazine The Feminist Wire, Aishah’s cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in a wide range of media outlets including The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Left of Black, In These Times, Ms., Alternet, ColorLines, The Philadelphia Weekly, National Public Radio (NPR), Pacifica Radio Network, and Black Entertainment Television (BET). You can follow her on twitter @Afrolez

Nitika Raj is a writer, dancer, healer and facilitator. She does social justice work for the same reason she prays – to seek truth and build peace. After working in anti-violence, racial justice, and economic justice movements for 12 years, she recently launched an independent practice -Moksh Creative Consulting. She also serves on the board of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice. In 2015, Nitika co-produced, co-directed and performed in Yoni ki Raat (Night of Vagina), a theater production to raise awareness about issues of gender, sexuality, and violence in the South Asian community. Born in India and raised in Kuwait, she currently lives in Brooklyn with her wife. 


Amita Swadhin is an educator, storyteller, activist and consultant dedicated to fighting interpersonal and institutional violence against young people. Her commitments and approach to this work stem from her experiences as a genderqueer, femme queer woman of color, daughter of immigrants, and years of abuse by her parents, including eight years of rape by her father.

They are a frequent speaker at colleges, conferences and community organizations nationwide, and a consultant with over fifteen years of experience in nonprofits serving low-income, immigrant and LGBTQ youth of color in Los Angeles and New York City. Amita has been publicly out as a survivor of child sexual abuse since she interned at the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women in 1997.

From March 2012 to September 2015, Amita was the Los Angeles Executive Director of Peer Health Exchange, a national nonprofit empowering teens to make healthy decisions. In the fall of 2015, they were the Interim Executive Director of API Equality-LA, whose mission is to build power in the Asian and Pacific Islander community to achieve LGBTQ equality and racial and social justice.

Prior to relocating to Los Angeles, Amita was the coordinator and a cast member of Secret Survivors, a theater project featuring child sexual abuse survivors telling their stories, which she conceived for Ping Chong & Co., an award-winning performance company in New York City.

They hold a Master’s in Public Administration degree from New York University, where they were a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, and a BS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.

Jennifer Patterson is a poet/writer, grief worker, creative and herbalist who uses words, threads and plants to explore queer survivorhood, the body and healing. She is the editor of the anthology Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Sexual Violence Movement (Magnus/ Riverdale Ave Books, 2016), facilitates somatic writing workshops and has had writing published in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, the Outrider Review, HandJoband on The Feminist Wire.Jennifer is also finishing a graduate program at Goddard College focusing on trauma, queer communities, healing, craft, loss, pleasure, pain and creative non-fiction.