Q & A with Gaga Feminism Author J. Jack Halberstam and Book Giveaway

When I was asked to be part of the Gaga Feminism blog tour, I engaged my collaborator and dear friend Taylor Black to help me write some questions for QueerFatFemme.com. We've had bourbon/coke zero/cherry juice discussions about Jack Halberstam's work before and Gaga Feminism, out this week from Beacon Press, is the latest in the academic arsenal of the USC professor, blogger, and ubiquitous Queer Studies scholar.

Check out what Jack has to say about desire, feminism, Lady Gaga and failure below, and Beacon Press is giving away a copy of the book at the bottom of this post!

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SUMMER BEACH READS: Kate Bornstein’s A Queer and Pleasant Danger

And beyond just telling us the who, where, what and how of her life, she's extremely revealing about her process. Not just some of the deepest parts of her personality (as Kate says in the book, "Life's better without secrets,"), like her diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder, but also the internal process of what it was like to be here. She cracks open her heart and shows us the internal realities of growing-up and adulthood prior to transitioning, many ongoing touchstones of what it was like knowing she was "girl," how she related to it and how she either leaned into it or away from it with facial hair, women, weight and clothing. Her lifelong battle with anorexia, how she learned to starve herself and then how she learned to think she could be pretty while being voluptuous. What it is like as a cutter, the pain and relief and how she used it to get through. Vivid plans for suicide attempts.

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Book Recommendation: Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels

“I think the reason I trusted her was simply because I thought she was beautiful. I was too young and stupid to realize that being pretty did not make you anything more than pretty.”--Justin Vivian Bond,

    Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels

Vivian doesn’t scrimp on sexuality, we are privy to a lot of physical exploration, which I think is really important reading for folks planning to or hoping to parent teenagers. I think anyone who had the experience of growing up an outsider will enjoy this book and any and all parents should have this as required reading whether they are ready to admit their kid is a weirdo or not.

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Queer Book Worm Parties

It's queer summer, the book worms are using party fliers as bookmarks, and hitting the dance floor!

Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, the anthology just released from Arsenal Pulp Press, is doing it's NYC launch and it's not just a reading! There will be music performed by the amazing Rae Spoon. Rae is Canadian. Rae was featured on FemmeCast. Rae is my friend-in-law and beloved by many of my favorite people.

Also, Ivan E. Coyote! Such a heart-string pulling story-teller! Author extraordinaire! Canadian! Have you watched the video To All The Kick-Ass Beautiful Fierce Femmes Out There? Watch it and cry a little.

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Kate Bornstein Performs at Rebel Cupcake on Thursday

Don't forget that this Thursday is an amazing show all about queer rebels who love Sci Fi. Kate Bornstein, a personal hero of mine, co-editor of the recently released Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation* and fresh from delivering the keynote at the Femme Conference, is doing a piece (that I get to perform with her!) about Sci Fi, porn, gender, sex, science vs. magic, among other themes.

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Delivering Happiness Book Review and Giveaway!

Nearly two years on this path of diversifying my income and careers to enable me to get to my talk show and live the mission of my life, I started thinking that an MBA would be far more useful to me than my JD. What would it look like to create my own MBA curriculum? How would it benefit the work and art that I am creating to know how to market, strategize and create success?

The thought of reading business books makes me yawn, but it just so happens that I have been presented with an advanced reading copy of one of the most lively and interesting books about an entrepreneur that I have ever read.

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Femme Family Zine #1: Femme Coming Out NOW AVAILABLE

Femme Family NYC is ever so proud to announce our Femme Coming Out zine. It includes work from 20 femme contributors ranging from poets, activists, illustrators, photographers, performance artists, musicians, students and more! We're also sending all proceeds from the sale of this zine to The Femme Collective, to help fundraise towards the next Femme Conference!

Contents include prose, personal narrative, poetry, illustrations, love letters to lost Femme friends, photography and more!

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Making My Pageant Dreams a Reality

Thinking about my desires and what I dreamed about when I was in high school... a lot of it was pretty simple stuff. I wanted love. I hated myself so much I couldn't even recognize how much I hated myself. I wanted so desperately to fit in and feel comfortable with my body. I wanted access to all of the cheesy girl stuff like the cheerleading squad, dance team and running for homecoming queen. (Being perky, loud and wearing matching outfits? That is still my thing.)

I didn't feel like I was allowed access to even try out for any of those things, since I believed what everyone told me about my size--that I wasn't beautiful and had to rely on my personality and smarts.

I also really loved beauty pageants. I have always had a thing for them. I like watching people perform, I like sparkly outfits, I like good hair and ritual.

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