An ongoing performance series curated by Bevin Branlandingham, Cupcake Cabaret features comedy, drag, burlesque, spoken word, film, performance art and all manner of genres celebrating the radical act of self-love.
Today is my day on the Femmethology blog tour! It’s like we’re riding a virtual pink sparkly magic bus and I’m up front showing you what’s to your right, to your left and just past that next building over there if you squint a little and that UPS truck gets out of the way!
If you’d like a preview of some of the work from the book, check out the latest episode of FemmeCast, Episode 8. The first installment in the Cripping Femme series is the essay by Leslie Freeman from the book. “Essence/Artifice”. It’s moving and powerful. Coming up on FemmeCast, Margaret Price’s essay “Not That Girl” will be featured as the next installment of Cripping Femme and part of my courtship themed episode (Episode 10)!
Anyway, lots of people on the tour have reviewed the pdf of the book sent to them or talked about what Femme means to them and all of that. I’m here to talk about some of the authors.
Basically, here’s the deal about anthologies–the authors don’t make any money. Maybe they get a copy of the book and upwards of $50 (the Femmethology authors I talked to got a copy of the volume they’re featured in and according to one author, contributors are paid royalties). Even royalties are dicey because they only kick in once the book is turning a profit and are split! Anthology authors submit for the publicity, contributing to a greater discussion and the chance to have their voice heard, which is super important.
However, in these “troubled economic times” or as I like to call it “The Hateful Bush Economy” it is extremely crucial to support art made for our community, by our community. Since so many of the authors in the book submitted for the love of Femme community and don’t get paid for it, I thought I would throw back a little love at them!
Me and Damien hosting Speaking of Femme NYC. Our next one is scheduled for June 3 at Bluestockings!
DAMIEN LUXE (billed in the book as Hadassah Hill but is giving herself a new name for her 30th birthday) is a NYC based performance artist, writer and DIY media mogul. She’s also my co-Head Madam in the NYC Femme Family and probably one of the most community-oriented people I know. Right now she’s obsessed with getting a van, so if you know of any good deals within driving distance of NYC let her know.
CHERRY POPPINS (in the book as Allison Stelly) is a fierce Femme activist, community organizer and dragster from Austin, TX. I met her at a Femme workshop at IDKE in Chicago, in 2004. She has a lot of different projects and performances going on, including being the forefront of the Femme ATX chapter of the Femme Mafia. She’s also sometimes a purveyor of amazing Femme crafts on Etsy (but is on hiatus right now) and her currect passion project is the Queertastiks, a subversive, mixed-gender, body positive queerleading squad using cheer-based performance art and dance as a tool for social justice.
If you find yourself in and around Austin sometime soon, check them out!
LEAH LAKSHMI PIEPZNA-SAMARASINHA is one of my besties, a spoken word artist and writer. My favorite line from any of her poems is “Love is an anarchic bitch”. Too true! She’s finishing up her MFA at Mills College and someday soon her memoirs are going to drop. In the meantime, you can buy her book “Consensual Genocide” at Tsar Books by searching for the title or Leah’s name. Piepzna-Samarasinha is her last name. She also performs her one-woman show “Grown Woman Show” all over the place (and can be booked for your college gig by emailing brownstargirl at gmail) and the tour that she co-curates, Mangos with Chili, is going on a Southern route in the fall, so check our their dates when released. Mangos with Chili is truly phenominal.
Leah also co-founded the Femme Sharks, is a correspondent on FemmeCast and talks really fast because the faster she talks the faster she’ll change the world. That’s my theory.
GINA DE VRIES is a San Francisco-based queer fat femme writer and spoken word performer who has been out and publishing since she was, like, 13. She’s really sweet and earnest and community-minded and really fun to have out at brunch. Her website is comprehensive, and tells you about all of her events, including a monthly sex workers writing workshop. The name from her website (Queer Shoulder) is from the Allen Ginsberg quote “America, I’m putting my queer shoulder to the wheel.” Gina proves it again and again by working hard to bring her light and art to the world!
When you see work by the Femmethology authors out and about, snatch it up! Most of them are up and coming and can use the community support.
The rest of the Femmethology tour dates are below, check out what those tour guides have to offer!