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Over the years, Willy has performed spoken word in various venues. In the 2009 film Against a Trans Narrative, directed by Jules Rosskam (Desire Lines), Willy was the featured spoken word performer who stunned and inspired audiences where the dialogue left off, prompting the San Francisco Bay Times to write, “Perhaps the most striking narrative is from Willy Wilkinson, [who] shrewdly incorporates race, class, sexuality, and gender in a series of transfixing (pun intended) performances.” 


Willy performed a solo show at Brava Theater in San Francisco in 1995, an early version of Born on the Edge of Race and Gender. He debuted a mixed genre performance of material from Born on the Edge of Race and Gender at Vassar College in New York state, and at the Mixed Remixed Festival in Los Angeles in 2015. Willy has read or performed spoken word and creative non-fiction for businesses, universities, conferences, and community venues in the San Francisco Bay Area, nationally, and internationally


Willy performed spoken word at the SF Trans March 2015, and in LitQuake. Willy enjoyed playing Rocky alongside Art Kahn (SF Drag King 2013) as Frank-N-Furter in their debut of “I Can Make You a Man” from Rocky Horror Picture Show at the San Francisco 2017 Drag King Contest. In 2018 Willy participated in an API queer community workshop, and performed the final act in the resulting Performing Visible Resilience show in Oakland. In 2021 Willy conducted a virtual COVID-era presentation of “Poetry at the Intersection of Race, Gender, and Healthcare Access,” for Maine Health in Portland, Maine. In late 2023, on the eve of the Year of the Dragon, Willy performed "Transition in the Fierce Year of the Dragon," the final piece at "Unghosted," a reading featuring Asian diasporic trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive artists. 

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