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Busting Abortion Stigma with Music and Fun

What do sensational aerialists, kick-ass djs, amazing performers, and glitter confetti guns make? One night of awesome concerts for abortion access!

All Access: Atlanta was a night of fun, music, and dance in support of better access to abortion at the Eyedrum Art and Music Gallery. The event happened simultaneously with more than 30 other events across the nation, with the anchor event happening in Cleveland, Ohio, where big names like Sia, Teyana Taylor, Jessica Williams, and Leslie Jones played. I attended the Atlanta event, one of four satellite shows including Miami, Chicago, and Philadelphia. From concerts, to happy hours, to comedy shows, and even hackathons, each city brought their own flair to the event.

Before the concert began, there was a panel titled: “All Kinds of Bodies: Gender Inclusion in the Reproductive Justice and Abortion Access Movement.” Most of the panelists were queer, trans, genderfluid Black writers, artists, and organizers who pulled from their lived experiences of being made invisible within reproductive health conversations to emphasize the need for an intersectional reproductive justice movement.

While the Atlanta concert was definitely a night dedicated to abortion access, it was also an homage and celebration of local activists and artists. Cazembe Jackson shared his experience of having an abortion after sexual assault and State Representative Park Cannon spoke out on her fight for reproductive rights in the Georgia state legislature. House of June, an independent art film house, screened one of their new shorts, “Ziggy,” which follows a newly single young woman as she tells her mother about her decision to have an abortion.  The event highlighted the importance of celebrating art and art producers to show us that our liberation is deeply connected to our creative expression. Event organizer Eshe Shukura, an amazing organizer and artist themselves, put together a lineup of exclusively performers of color, helping to center those who struggle the most with accessing abortion.

Overall, the All Access concerts were centered around abortion access and joy, which in my opinion is a very radical way to normalize a common medical procedure and fight stigma. Last night, I saw people having a great time while wearing “This is What an Abortion Access Supporter Looks Like,” children laughing with their All Above All glow-in-the dark bracelets on, and people standing up for abortion access while getting glitter confetti sprayed at them. As an abortion access supporter, it was so uplifting and transforming to be in a radical space of celebrating abortion access.

Header image the National Network of Abortion Funds

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South. She holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Sociology from Georgia State University, and is currently pursuing an M.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from her alma mater. She is a member on the board of directors of Access Reproductive Care – Southeast, and is a former content creator for the The Body Is Not An Apology. As a femme, feminist, and queer Black woman, it is through her lived experiences and complex identities that Quita has come to believe in the power of storytelling and the validation of lived experiences.

Quita Tinsley is a fat, Black, queer femme that writes, organizes, and overall is working to build sustainable change in the South.

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