Skip to main content

"We Just Want To Be" Pop Up Art Show & Staged Reading Fundraiser

Sat May 7, 2022 SparkArts
San Francisco, CA 94114 US


Saturday, May 7th, 7pm

at Spark Arts Gallery

4229 18th Street (at Diamond)

San Francisco, CA 94114

in support of WE JUST WANT TO BE




On Saturday May 7th, you're invited to join us for a Pop-Up Art Show and Fundraiser at SparkArts, a gallery in San Francisco’s Castro District, which will include a powerful staged reading event at 7pm. The evening will be a ticketed event with seating for 60 people and will feature excerpts from Sé’s childhood medical transcripts at UCLA that shed light on their unique traumatic journey with transgender conversion therapy.



  • ticketed fundraiser event, limited to 60 seats
  • doors open at 6:30pm


The following influencers, community leaders and social justice activists have agreed to participate as readers for this wonderful event and will help with outreach: Glodean Champion, Malachi Garza, Emer Martin, Susan Stryker, with special host/emcee, Sister Roma of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.



A curated gallery show will also be open to the public. Art works will include a range of unique hanging objects that telegraph Sé’s larger journey as an activist and survivor of conversion therapy, provocative medicalized installations that feature parts of Sé’s childhood transcripts and conversations with doctors, and other ephemera that interrogate themes of bravery and trauma and how those things intersect with gender identity. The appearance of this art show and staged reading event in the Castro District is an important and political act in a neighborhood that has a long history of excluding trans and gender diverse voices. 


* Proof of vaccination required for entry, masks are optional.


Your ticket purchase is tax deductible, minus the value of the ticket (value is $15 per ticket). We Just Want To Be is a fiscally sponsored project of Film Independent, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions on behalf of We Just Want To Be are payable to Film Independent and are tax deductible less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level.





WE JUST WANT TO BE is a feature-length documentary in development about transgender and non-binary people surviving the brutality of conversion therapy. It is the first film by Sé Sullivan (age 60), a longtime activist and scholar from the Womens/Queer/AIDS/Trans social justice movements who is a survivor of gender-based conversion therapy (see below), and Mauro Sifuentes (age 35), a LatinX Trans/Non-Binary activist and scholar whose family has a history of medicalized, gender-based and race-based violence. 



Dr. Sé Sullivan

Dr. Sé Sullivan, co-writer/director/producer, is a scholar-educator born and raised in Santa Monica, California, and a survivor of conversion therapy who has taught in the discipline of gender and women’s studies across public and private universities in California. Sé has been on the frontlines of LGBTQ+ activism since the 1980s, surviving and organizing through the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the lesbian sex wars, and our current era of trans awareness. As a non-binary Irish-American Settler, Sé’s artistic work, including gallery installations and public talks, foregrounds questions of history, gender, and assimilation. They engage the public at a visceral level through audio reenactments of conversion therapy sessions that are accompanied by images from their childhood. Sé may be the only person who survived these experimental therapies at UCLA who has gained access to the official transcripts of these sessions.

Dr. Mauro Sifuentes is co-writer/director/producer for We Just Want To Be, and an accomplished educator and scholar whose activist research and writing support the leadership and healing of queer, trans, and questioning BIPOC communities. Mauro teaches in the discipline of gender and women’s studies, and works in partnership with nonprofits, K12 public schools, community colleges, and universities from across California to holistically address the needs of queer, trans, and questioning students in diverse regions. Their collaborative endeavors with artists, writers, healers, and other filmmakers create engaging opportunities for innovative approaches to history and storytelling. As an advocate for public scholarship, and a first-time filmmaker, Mauro is proud to be a co-writer/director/producer for We Just Want To Be, which brings rigorously engaged California history to popular, advocacy, artistic, and academic audiences.

Dr. Mauro Sifuentes

Marc Smolowitz
consulting producer

Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award winning independent filmmaker based in San Francisco. With three decades of experience in the film and media business, Smolowitz is a director, producer, and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films wearing many hats across the entertainment industry. The combined footprint of his works has touched 200+ film festivals and markets on 5 continents, yielding substantial worldwide sales to theatrical, television and VOD outlets, notable box office receipts, and numerous awards and nominations. His long list of credits includes films that have screened at top-tier festivals such as Sundance, Berlinale, Venice, Chicago, Palm Springs, AFI Docs, IDFA, DOC NYC, CPH: DOX, Tokyo, Melbourne, Viennale, Krakow, Jerusalem, among others. His film company — 13th Gen — works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers. Founded in 2009, the company is known widely for being active on some 10-15 concurrent projects, both independent and inside Hollywood, and it has successfully advanced Smolowitz's career-long focus on powerful social issue films and filmmaking across all genres. In 2016, he received one of the prestigious Gotham Fellowships to attend the Cannes Film Festival’s Producers Network and Marche du Film marking him as one of USA’s most influential independent film producers.



Glodean Champion

Glodean Champion is a Transformational Leader who specializes in personal growth, leadership development, and diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). She works with individuals and organizations to get to the root cause of culturally based challenges by transforming beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions. Glodean’s unique approach to this centuries-old endeavor is rooted in the practice of engaging with people’s core emotions, cultural competencies, and situational and self-awareness through coaching, training, and workshops. She believes in meeting people “where they are" and leading them where they want (or, possibly, need) to be.

Susan Stryker is Professor Emerita of Gender and Women’s Studies. Since retiring from UofA, she has been Presidential Fellow and Visiting Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at Yale University (2019-2020) Barbara Lee Distinguished Chair in Women’s Leadership, Mills College (2020-2022), and Stanford University Humanities Center External Faculty Fellow (2022-23). She continues to serve as executive editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, and as co-editor of the Duke University Press book series ASTERISK: gender, trans-, and all that comes after. She is the author of Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution (2008, 2017), co-editor of the two-volume Transgender Studies Reader (2006, 2013) and The Transgender Studies Reader Remix (2022), as well as co-director of the Emmy-winning documentary film Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria (2005). She is currently working to complete her book manuscript, Changing Gender (under contract to Farrar Straus Giroux), and developing a variety of film and television projects.

Susan Stryker

Emer Martin

The Cruelty Men, her most recent novel is published by Lilliput Press and has been nominated for Irish Novel of the Year 2019. Her first novel Breakfast in Babylon won Book of the Year 1996 in her native Ireland at the prestigious Listowel Writers’ Week. Houghton Mifflin released Breakfast in Babylon in the U.S. in 1997. More Bread Or I’ll Appear, her second novel was published internationally in 1999. Emer studied painting in New York and has had two sell-out solo shows of her paintings at the Origin Gallery in Harcourt St, Dublin. Her third novel Baby Zero, was published in the UK and Ireland March 07, and released in the U.S. 2014. She released her first children's book Why is the Moon Following Me? in 2013. Pooka is a Halloween book for children released in 2016. Her latest children book The Pig who Danced was released in 2017. She completed her third short film Unaccompanied. She produced Irvine Welsh’s directorial debut NUTS in 2007. Emer was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. She now lives between the depths of Silicon Valley, CA and the jungles of Co. Meath, Ireland.

Malachi Garza is currently the Organizing Director for the Solidaire Network. In this role Malachi works to mobilize critical resources to the frontlines of movements for racial, gender and climate justice. Before coming to Solidaire Malachi served for a decade as the W. Haywood Burns Institute Senior Strategist and National Network Director building community-based alternatives to juvenile justice systems across the United States. Malachi serves on the Board of Directors of Auburn Theological Seminary and GLSEN. Malachi is a co-founder of the widely acclaimed Brown Boi Project and a 1999-2022 Rosenberg Foundation Leading Edge Fellow. Malachi’s work in popular education, community organizing, and institution building spans 22 years.

Malachi Garza



Sister Roma, The Most Photographed Nun In The World ™

For more than three decades Sister Roma has been one of the most outspoken and highly visible members of San Francisco's Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. From fighting on the front lines in the war against HIV/AIDS to taking on social media giant Facebook as the creator of the #MyNameIs movement, Roma has dedicated more than half her life to community service, activism and fundraising. But don't get it twisted, this Sister is no Saint! Her colorful wit and sharp tongue have made Roma one of San Francisco’s favorite entertainers and emcees. Today she is blessed to travel the globe as an LGBTQ ambassador and event host, striving to uphold her Sisterly vows to expiate stigmatic guilt and promulgate universal joy.



Contact Us

If you have any questions about this event, click the button below.

Look Up Ticket


4229 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114 US

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read how we use cookies and how you can control them by visiting our Privacy Policy.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies.