Junior Trinity Posey is a force not just on stage, but for minority populations as well

Lexi Gavlas, Creative Editor

“Don’t be afraid of living in permanent ink,” says junior, Trinity Posey, when asked what advice she would give herself ten years out.  In ten years, Posey sees herself with a career in the arts, particularly on Broadway, her true love. Though her 17 years of life, Posey has already starred in countless numbers of productions, choir concerts, and forensics tournaments where she uses not only her singing voice, but her voice of social activism and overall positivity to spread awareness and love among people.

Trinity acts in the lead role in the Civic Youth Theatre’s production of Nancy Drew in 2013. Photo courtesy of the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre.

Of course, she had to start somewhere. “I’ve always loved singing from a young age so in the fourth grade my mom randomly heard about an audition at the Civic and asked me if I wanted to do the audition,” says Posey.  And audition she did, landing her very first role of “Peggy” in the Civic Theatre production of 100 Dresses.  “I fell in love with theatre and as I did more and more shows, that’s when I realized that’s what I wanted to do.”  One of Posey’s favorite performances she participated in at the Civic Theatre was their production of Hairspray where she landed one of her dream roles of “Little Inez,” “growing up, Little Inez was always one of my dream roles that I wanted to play.”  What also made this dream role journey special was her mother, Myisha Crayton, by her side as Motormouth Maybelle. “I think my love for theatre kind of rubbed off on her,  I really pushed her to audition for this role even though she’d never acted before.  It was a super cool experience to be able to share what I love with my mom,” shares Posey. Crayton further explains “I feel like it was a bonding experience for us, I got to experience what it is that Trinity does as a performer and it made me respect her as an actress”

Dream roles aside, there have been times where Posey has felt that because of her color, she’s been casted as the “token black character.” “You hear that sort of thing happening in the arts but this was the first year that it had happened to me.  It’s very frustrating  when you know what you’re capable of and you believe you could have played another part very well and then you’re reduced to the token black role because of the lack of diversity within the school,” explains Posey.  

Posey further explains that despite the lack of diversity within the arts, there has been one key role model who has inspired her. “Cynthia Revo inspires me a lot.  She has such a drive that I one day hope to have.  You can tell when she gets up there on stage she’s putting all of herself out there and it’s very inspiring to see a female of color on the broadway stage and makes me feel like I could do that,” says Posey.  While in New York City, Posey had the opportunity to meet Revo following one of her performances as “Celie” in The Color Purple, “to meet the person behind all of this beautiful work was so crazy and so surreal.  I talked to her and told her that this is what I wanted to be doing and seeing her [on stage] was so inspiring.  She told me ‘if this is what you want to do, I believe in you.’  Having someone who you truly admire say that to you changes your life and it made me realize that I need to take care of myself and keep working so that one day I can be up there,” she says.  

Trinity appears with Drowsy Chaperone castmate Isaac Reid to promote the production on the Lori Moore show on 11/29/2017. Photo courtesy of the Lori Moore show.

Not only has Posey participated in over 11 productions throughout her life, she has also been a Michigan Interscholastic Forensics Association state champion in the events Duo and Dramatic Interpretation 9/10 two years in a row.  Within forensics, Posey has chosen to execute pieces with a focus primarily on African American culture.  However often times her competitors say that she’s at an advantage because of her color and her choices in pieces, “it’s kind of irritating when people say that but honestly I do think that it kind of does put me at an advantage, because when I walk into a round I’m going to be the only black person in the room.  In forensics I want to win, so I’m going to put my best foot forward  and I’m going to do a piece that sets me apart and that’s something that everyone does; pick something that they think will be different from other people.  So I try to find pieces that are not only about race but something of impact, no matter what color I am,” says Posey.  Regardless of what others say, these pieces have made a long lasting impact on Posey, “before I did the piece on The Color Purple, I really didn’t know that much about the show.  After all of my research, I really fell in love with the character Celie and her perseverance through everything that happened in her life,” explains Posey.  

Out of all of the productions Posey has performed in and watched, she sees herself most in the character Celie from The Color Purple. “Celie is the main woman in the color purple and I see a lot of her in myself.  Whatever happens to her in her life, she tries to be positive and spread love to people and just the determination she has in her.  And I see myself in her but also there are things in her that I wish I could also have and hope to one day have within myself,” says Posey.  She is also well known for spreading joy and positivity throughout the school community. “I love that Trinity is a passionate human being, she feels deeply and loves deeply,” explains Crayton.  On her positive mindset, Posey explains that “life can be a beautiful thing, I think that things happen and moments happen that make it difficult to remember these things but I try and bring myself back to earth and just remember what’s most important to me; like my health is important and I try and do whatever I can other people have to feel how I have felt at times and that is why I try to continuously spread positivity.”

Representation has always been important to Trinity. In 2016, she helped lead an initiative with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety to produce a video stressing unity between the police and community.

Despite her positive mindset, Posey considers herself a “triple minority,” and explains how this affects her everyday life and her aspirations, “Being a triple minority is very discouraging at times. It makes me feel like no matter what I do I’ll be met with resistance and never be enough for people but it also just drives me even more.  Sometimes I wonder when I walk into a room, what people see first, and I feel like black is what most people would see.  I want to be someone that people can look up to someday. I want someone to be like hey you can be black, gay, and a woman and be successful and love each part of yourself. So yes, it does affect how I see the world because there are 3 different lenses I look through. But it inspires me just as much,” says Posey.

Posey further explains these “three lenses” to be the different ways in which she sees the world because of her “triple minority” status, “I see the world through the lense of a black gay woman. I see racism happening in front of my eyes everyday. I live in a world founded on racist principles that continue to affect how black Americans live life on a daily basis. But not only is that the only one, I live life through the lense of a woman. There are people telling me that the pay gap doesn’t exist and constant misogyny going on all around me. Then there’s the fact that I am gay. I am forced to deal with homophobia and ignorance when it comes to LGBT rights and advocacy,” says Posey.  How Posey approaches various social issues and even daily life, it is all filtered through all of those lenses. Though at times it can be difficult, “it just gives me many different people I’m able to relate to and I think it expands the groups of individuals I’m able to inspire in the future,” explains Posey.

Trinity Posey performs a piece of slam poetry that she composed herself at the 2018 Black History Month Assembly. Videography by Alex Hamilton.

Regardless of the adversity she has faced and will continue to face reaching her aspirations, Posey leaves herself some advice ten years out: “Never be silent, people around you may call you extra, and too passionate but your voice matters and if nobody believed in things and fought for them nothing would happen.  You are worth so much more than anyone can make you feel like you’re worth, it has to come from you.  Keep loving passionately and don’t be afraid of living in permanent ink.”