The format of the workshop was simple, but ultimately very, very powerful. We all took off our clothes at the beginning and then stood up in a circle looking at one another. We took turns being the center of attention but stayed in the circle formation. The person whose turn it was would tell the group their name, and what they love about their body and what they struggled with. Then the group would go around and each person in turn would give a specific compliment to the person about their body. Then we would move on to the next person.
I have entirely mixed feelings about Valentines Day. I think it is sort of bullshit because it puts into sharp relief just how single one is when one is not partnered in a traditional way. Further, it puts all of these weird expectations and pressure on people who are actually partnered to show up for a day that is, ultimately, a made-up bullshit holiday.
On the other hand I LOVE RED AND PINK. It’s sort of how I love Christmas because there’s a glittery sheen and twinkle everywhere you look.
Some point soon I’ll write up my whole experience posing for Substantia Jones for the Adipositivity project (link is naked fat people so be forewarned). In the meantime you can hear her on Episode 7 of FemmeCast. She brought Steel Magnolias to the table and I can’t thank her enough for that.
Anyway, she asked me to select the “partner of my choice” to pose with me at some moment during a lull at the Re/Dress Opening Glam Slam. Since Zoe is my Consigliere, BFF and life partner, I asked her first and she readily agreed, volunteering that we should wear our matching red lingerie dresses and sparkly glitter mary jane heels. Substantia’s response to Zoe being my partner, “As with life, love isn’t necessary, as long as you can muster some lust.”
Here’s the thing. I love Zoe from the deepest parts of myself. She’s been there for me and with me through the darkest moments of my life and understands me in a way few others do. I don’t have to fake love for her. And lust, well, we have longstanding boundaries** about what we will or won’t do, but we also have performed drag together enough that we can play mighty believable lust for camera or stage.
I loved the result so much that I sent it to my mom with a note thanking her for the great legs. I probably should have warned her the link was a little not safe for work.
And Zoe and I did cross a boundary during the shoot. We had to hold a kissing on the lips pose for a lot longer than we’ve ever pecked. Of course, we ended that long moment laughing hysterically and her, like many of my suitors before, covered with glitter from my lipstick. That’s a femme collision for you.
We’re meeting up tomorrow in Toronto for a double date.
*Glenn Marla’s brother came into Re/Dress a few weeks ago and gave us this renaming from some commune he used to live on. It sounded great so now we’re doing a store event for Validation Day.
**Boundaries are such a great thing. Try it sometime.