The queer and trans punk fest—which was promoted primarily through social media and word of mouth—had a great turnout, drawing people from as far away as California and Australia. On top of the music, it served as a safe space for queers and punks of color to talk about the injustices they've experienced or witnessed. Writers, activists, and poets shared their writing and vented their frustrations about topics from genocide in Palestine to gentrification and police brutality in Chicago to fatphobia and transphobia.
I visited on Saturday, the second of the fest's three days, when speakers hosted a series of discussions and workshops on topics ranging from sex work to bike tune-ups. Black and Brown Punk Collective members Monika Estrella Negra, Yumii Thecato, and Donté Disaster led the session on antiblackness, during which they discussed their experiences of antiblack racism and how it's affected their friendships, interactions, and perception of the media. Writers, poets, and activists read from their zines (important in the DIY queer punk scene, not only for entertainment but to help people connect with one another) on topics such as body positivity, mental illness, and understanding interpersonal relationships.
And of course, there was music. Limp Wrist stole the show with their electrifying performances. Lead singer Martin Sorrondeguy, clad in nothing but assless shorts, bondage harnesses, and a small police hat, moshed and jumped with punks half his age.
"This song is for anyone who had to deal with violence against them for being who they are. Stay strong, to all the young queer kids. Be fucking strong," he encouraged breathlessly. Then the drums and bass started booming and all the kids began to thrash around.