Celebration: Queer Armenian Voices in Drag, Poetry and Sapphic RomCom

Thursday, 4/25/2024
6:00 - 7:30
Eureka Valley General Floor Area
Eureka Valley/Harvey Milk Memorial

1 Jose Sarria Court
San Francisco, CA 94114
United States

Contact Telephone

Join us for an electrifying evening celebrating the intersections of SWANA, Armenian and queer culture, featuring performances by beloved drag king VERA!, poetry by language advocate Hrayr Varaz, and a glimpse into the world of award-winning writer Taleen Voskuni.

Experience an evening of creativity as we feature three exceptional individuals who embody activism and expression. From VERA!'s infectious laughter and advocacy for inclusivity in the drag community to Hrayr Varaz's innovative linguistic techniques and passion for Western Armenian revitalization, and Taleen Voskuni's storytelling that has received critical acclaim, this event promises to be a memorable celebration of art, identity and community. Join us for the magic of Queer Armenian Voices—you won't want to miss it.

VERA! is a beloved Oakland-based queer Armenian drag king known for their infectious laughter, acceptance and love. Beyond the stage, Vera serves as the Associate Director of Development at the Alameda Health System Foundation, supporting accessible healthcare initiatives. As a proud member and cohost of the Rebel Kings of Oakland and father of House of Pack, VERA! uplifts the drag community and advocates for inclusivity and activism through their art. 

Hrayr Varaz is a poet, linguist and advocate for Western Armenian language and culture. A graduate of UCLA and MIT, Varaz's passion for Armenian education and language revitalization shines through in his work, including his pocket-sized book of Twitter poems, #jivjiv. Through innovative linguistic techniques and a playful approach to grammar and orthography, Varaz seeks to demystify Western Armenian and encourage language learners of all ages. With a desire to liberate writers from the fear of making mistakes, Varaz's book embodies a spirit of creativity and exploration. Based in San Francisco, Varaz also emphasizes his commitment to acknowledging and honoring the indigenous lands of the Ramaytush Ohlone First Peoples.

Taleen Voskuni is an award-winning writer who grew up in the Bay Area Armenian diaspora. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English and currently lives in San Francisco, working in tech. Other than a newfound obsession with writing rom-coms, she spends her free time cultivating her kids, her garden and her dark chocolate addiction. Her first novel, Sorry, Bro, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, was named an Amazon editor’s pick, and was favorably reviewed in The New York Times. Sorry, Bro is also winner of the 2023 Golden Poppy award for best romance. Lavash at First Sight is her second published novel.

Attendees will receive a complimentary copies of Queer SWANA (South West Asian and North African) book titles, including Voskuni's, Sorry, Bro. While supplies last.


Vera Hannush - Instagram

Hraryr Varaz - Instagram

Taleen Voskuni - Website | Taleen Voskuni - Instagram 



Engage with your favorite writers and discover your next read.

Connect with your community through Library gatherings.

This program honors the diverse cultures, traditions and histories of Southwest Asian and North African heritage.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact accessibility@sfpl.org. Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

Notice: This event may be filmed or photographed. By participating in this event, you consent to have your likeness used for the Library’s archival purposes and promotional materials. If you do not want to be photographed, please inform a staff person or the photographer. A sticker will be provided to help identify you so that we can avoid capturing your image.

Public Notice and Disclaimer

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The views and opinions expressed in programs presented by groups unaffiliated with SFPL do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SFPL or the City.