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Opening Reception for Y’all Better Quiet Down

June 14, 6:00 pm-9:00 pm

Y’all Better Quiet Down
June 14 – September 15, 2019
Opening reception on Friday, June 14, 2019, 6-9 PM

Companion exhibition at
Leslie-Lohman Museum
June 6 – July 21, 2019

Curated by Nelson Santos and Jeanne Vaccaro

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is proud to present Y’all Better Quiet Down, a group exhibition of art and ephemera in response to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. A companion exhibition will take place at the Leslie-Lohman Museum. Both exhibitions are curated by Nelson Santos and Jeanne Vaccaro.

Y’all Better Quiet Down takes its title from a 1973 speech made by trans activist Sylvia Rivera at the Christopher Street Liberation Day Rally in Washington Square Park. Responding to an anti-trans statement by lesbian feminist Jean O’Leary, Rivera tells the crowd she’s been beaten and thrown in jail for gay liberation. Amidst a chorus of boos, she implores her “gay brothers and gay sisters” to understand gay liberation as an intersectional struggle for racial justice, gender self-determination, prison abolition, and housing, employment, and economic equality.

On the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, Y’all Better Quiet Down recalls Rivera’s impassioned demand to show up and commit to the collective struggle. What showing up looks like takes many forms—rage, protest, care, community and introspection. This exhibition presents contemporary works, protest banners, archival ephemera, and stories from the New York City Trans Oral History Project, Y’all Better Quiet Down centers the everyday and enduring legacies of liberation movements.

Artists include Brogan Bertie, Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Luis Carle, Sebastián Castro Niculescu, LJ Roberts, Sasha Wortzel, Tourmaline, Tuesday Smillie, and Chris Vargas; and ephemera from The LGBT Community Center National History Archive, Leslie-Lohman Museum Collection, WRRQ Collective, and the NYC Trans Oral History Project.

Y’all Better Quiet Down will be presented at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division from June 14-September 15, 2019; and the Leslie-Lohman Museum from June 6 -July 21, 2019.

The exhibition will include two events at the Bureau: a performance by Sebastián Castro Niculescu about Stonewall fatigue and the Times Square bar Sally’s Hideaway, and an intergenerational lesbian all-star poetry reading by Belladonna* Collaborative inspired by the NYC Lesbian Switchboard. More information about the events will be announced soon. Please check the Bureau’s events calendar to see our upcoming events.


June 14
6:00 pm-9:00 pm
Event Categories:


Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
208 West 13th Street, Room 210
New York, NY 10011 United States


Bureau of General Services—Queer Division