Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2016-07-31

That Time I Fainted at the Robert Mapplethorpe Closing Party at the Getty

A couple weeks ago our friend Barb asked us if we wanted to go to the closing party for the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit at the Getty Museum. I hadn’t been to the exhibit yet, the party was free and it sounded fabulous. We had to RSVP with our email addresses, there were no plus ones, and the event filled up fast. We were the only folks we knew going, so it was kind of a social experiment–what kinds of queers were going to be at an LA Pride Presents event?

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Dara and I just hit the six month mark of living in LA and Barb is maybe three weeks into officially living here after lots of weekend visits from Fresno. All of us are recent residents of Brooklyn. It’s kind of scary, fun and exciting to go to gay events in a new town where you only know some people and you don’t know “the scene.”

The party started at 7, we planned to leave for the museum at 6:30 and I got a LOT done yesterday. I woke up at 8 and it was way cooler than most mornings in this heatwave because there was a haze over the sun, so I got to work doing some house projects. Dara was inspired, too, and we got a lot of physical things done at the house, only taking a break to go to Home Depot. (As a Femme who has only lived in major metropolitan cities as an adult I am feeling some type of Lesbian Merit Badge Achievement at the amount of home improvement and Home Depot attendance I’ve amassed since we moved here and rented this quirky house.)

After I did all of that stuff I met up with my friends Monica and Heather at the Glassell Park Pool to do some aqua jog. Exercise is really important for my mental and emotional health and it has been hard in this heatwave to move enough. I know it’s also super dangerous to move too much in the heat. I find aqua jog to be a great way to do both cardio and cooling off, but since we were doing it and chatting about serious stuff I didn’t realize I had been in the pool, moving, not drinking water and in the sun for an hour and forty five minutes, an hour longer than I usually aqua jog. In spite of my sunhat, I didn’t take enough self care precautions and I know in hindsight that took a lot out of me. When I got home I jumped right into finishing house projects and then got ready to leave.

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In this whole backstory I’m not drinking nearly as much water as I usually do and doing a lot more physical work during the heat than I usually do. So my body is super dehydrated but for some reason I’m not getting any warning signs, not consciously realizing it but behind the scenes things were going into alarm bell mode.

We parked in the Getty parking lot just inside the entrance off the 405, at the base of a hill. I was confused because I understood the museum to be at the top of a hill. We exited the first place we could from the parking garage, which was a not clearly marked staircase. If we had kept walking through the parking garage we would have found elevators, apparently, but three flights of stairs later we walked onto the “roof access” area and asked folks for directions. You can walk up the hill to the museum or there is a lovely train that will take you. We chose the train. Pro tip, if you go visit the Getty for the first time, read the website. There are many tips for visiting and I wish I had read them.

We got to watch the just-post-sunset colors over the mountains and the freeway below get more and more beautiful on the less than five minute ride. We exited into this spectacular terrace with a view of the last minute of sunset. My eye was drawn to the sunset but I definitely missed any signs about where to go for the party or the museum, so after our sunset photos we got into the first line we saw that seemed like tickets.

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Sometimes the sunset is the best art in the world, you know?

An official looking woman handed us plastic books with information about caves. I was thinking, “What a fabulous party it’s in a cave!” None of the people in line seemed like folks who were there for an LA Pride closing party for a queer artist exhibit. Part of me wanted to check out the caves since we were there but we had all discussed how much easier it is to do a museum and only see one exhibit and focus just on that experience. In hindsight I’m so glad we made the decision to ask whether there was a different entrance for the Mapplethorpe closing party because if I had fainted in a cave it could have been way worse.

We had to go up a bunch more stairs, which I think is the grand entrance to the Getty. I was thinking a lot about privilege and accessibility throughout this whole entrance process. First of all, one big part of accessibility is being clear about barriers to participation up front and what accommodations are available. Not seeing signs to the elevators in the parking garage or to the entrance was a thing that if I had been checked into how my body was feeling I probably would have opted for them. As an event coordinator I make sure to have those notes on events. (Noting whether there is street parking available, if there are stairs and how many, whether there are elevators, if the venue is ADA compliant, etc…) At the time I was acknowledging our ability privilege that if we were lost at the Getty we could at least walk up the grand staircase to get where we were going.

I was also thinking about art privilege and these giant statues we were seeing walking up. Money for arts seems so arbitrary sometimes. I know so many incredibly talented artists who, if given the financial resources, could make extraordinary sculptural pieces. It costs a lot to work with metal/most materials on large scale and I had just gotten an email from our photo booth designers for Dollypalooza about our tiny budget for props and it was just an interesting contrast about how we create, monetize and people experience art.

These are the things I think of when going to a big fancy museum. We found the check in area for the party at the top of the grand staircase and got our purple party stickers. We took more pictures overlooking Downtown LA below and saw the event on the terrace, it was spectacular. It felt appropriate and awesome that the closing party of an exhibit by a queer man be a party thrown by an LGBT Pride organization. We finally found an elevator, too, tucked behind a column of stone with no signage.

gettystickerI loved that the event designer matched the stickers to the party lighting and tablecloths. I thought it was a nice touch and great flow to the party layout, too.

The food was sooooo gooooooood at the party. I had been doing a whole foods cleanse for a couple of weeks to reset my digestion and really hoped that the duck egg rolls were wrapped in rice wrappers because they were very delicious and I knew I might get a tummy ache from them if it wasn’t rice wrappers but I was feeling the party vibe and living on the edge. And still not drinking water.

A friend of a friend came up and introduced themselves to me (a friend of Shannon/Miss Mary Wanna is a friend of mine!) and we gave them all of our drink tickets because none of us were drinking booze. Things were feeling great and fun and so magical!

Then we went to see the exhibit. I love Robert Mapplethorpe from intimacy with him through Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids. They lived in the same neighborhood I did in Brooklyn while he was going to Pratt, everything felt like such a big connection, living a big queer life knowing their weirdo artist friends in the 60s/70s reminds me of my weird queer artist community. I know a lot of photographers who shoot people similar to Mapplethorpe and wouldn’t be surprised to go to a Getty exhibit for one of them someday! (I highly recommend getting Shoog’s book Queers in Nature!)

I was getting really into the exhibit and the curatorial writing going along with the photos telling his story. How he loved fame and longed for it (way to go getting a posthumous Getty exhibit, what an amazing fame achievement).

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I overheard a man talking about how Mapplethorpe had a model he photographed where he showed his penis in some photos and his face in others and he promised the model he would never show them in the same image. So the curation involved a photo of the model’s face next to a photo of his penis and I had a lot of feelings of judgment coming up about deciding to break an artist/model consent contract intentionally like that. Even if not explicitly breaking it, I feel like when you’re curating you need to keep in mind what understandings the artist had with their models. As someone who models for folks, I am glad we do written consent/model releases now.

Mapplethorpe died of AIDS related illness and I was curious if a lot of his models have passed, too. What does death do with our art and consent practices? Should artists be including a clause in their estates about adhering to consent?

Anyway, then I had a few minutes looking at the Andy Warhol photo and marveling at the intimate look Mapplethorpe captured, feeling like I was making a connection with Warhol himself through the photo. How photography is sometimes catching the right expression or creating the right intimacy to convey to the audience a specific emotion. I walked away from the Warhol, found Dara and told her I was feeling woozy.

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I don’t remember this part of what happened clearly, but this is Dara’s account, in her words to me:

You were feeling woozy and I wasn’t sure if it was a quick wooze or something more serious. So I checked in again and you said it wasn’t going away so you said we should sit down. We went and found a bench to sit on. Sat there for a few minutes and then you decided you needed to go to the bathroom. Rather than having you walk around woozy, I decided to see where the bathrooms were so we could get there the quickest route. I came back, took you to the bathroom and held your arm so I was supporting you a little bit.

You were walking and talking for a little bit. Then you stopped talking and then you proceeded to slowly fall to the ground as though you were walking an invisible staircase. I kept asking if you were okay but you weren’t responding. I wasn’t sure if you were bending over to pick something up so I tried to keep holding you upright but letting you go down slowly.

Once you were kneeling I said “Are you okay?” and you tried to stand up again. And you said, “I think I might have just fainted.” And then you fainted again, still with my arm underneath you so I was holding a fair portion of your weight. And then I said, “Baby, I need you to get on your butt,” when you were back to being lucid, I didn’t want you to fall over again.

Then you finally heard me and said, “Yeah that’s a good idea.” And you sat down on your butt, against the wall, and then a security guard came over.

Once I came to I realized shit was really wrong for me and that I should probably go to the ER. I haven’t ever fainted in my adult life so I was super worried about it. One of my besties fainted and hit her head going down on a counter and had a serious brain injury from it. I told the security guard I needed help and he said help was on the way and so was a wheelchair.

barbsbackBarb’s dress was pretty incredible.

I have a chronic digestive disorder, which means I am very intimate with my body’s warning signals around episodes of that, and since my whole body was shutting down of course that was happening, too. I was like, “I still need to get to the bathroom, I cannot wait, I still have my dignity and I am not going to shit my pants at the Getty.” In spite of everyone’s protests, I crawled to the bathroom. I was aware I was having an Ab Fab worthy spectacle and talking about my dignity, but better to be a spectacle than to shit your pants.

Brandon, one of the first responders, helped scoop me up with Dara to quasi carry me to the bathroom. I made it in time, with Barb and Dara waiting right outside the stall to make sure I was okay. Also, while washing my hands in the bathroom I ran into someone I know. Imagine being in a situation where you might be about to go to the ER when you run into someone and not have the words to even explain what’s happening so you just introduce your partner and your friend and say how good it is to see someone and then go out of the bathroom into the waiting arms of the first responders from the Getty.

Who, by the way, were amazing! They took a bunch of info from me and talked to me about my condition, with a certain kindness that felt safe and not mean. They thought I was probably very dehydrated and needed to go home and rest. It felt very VIP the way they cared for me and treated me through the whole thing. I got a wheelchair and they let me take a spin through the exhibit to see if I was up for seeing it in a wheelchair (the answer was no, but the FOMO part of me was glad I at least tried). I snapchatted the wheelchair ride because I was like “I will not waste this outrageous moment in my life, this is what social media is for.”

gettyinspiredThe hashtag at the museum is #gettyinspired and they have it on the ground where they think you should take photos which I thought was a great social media idea.

First responders are total heroes, the capacity to know what to do in an emergency and handle it with grace and kindness is a true skill.  To be the people who run into the burning building… The first responder team at the Getty also had some amazing stuff to say about the Getty Foundation’s good works outside the museum and the exhibits at the museum (apparently London Calling is not to be missed). I feel so grateful that if I was going to pass out in public I did it while on the arm of my supportive partner and with first responders so readily available.

They took us out of the museum in a truck from the VIP parking lot where the higher ups in the Getty Museum park directly to our car in the parking lot down the hill. I felt like a very woozy, sick celebrity.

barbbevinBarb was soooo helpful during the aftermath. Even just holding the purse and being back-up for Dara was really helpful. Also look at these shoes she just got on a work trip to Shanghai.

So then Barb drove us home. We stopped at a Whole Foods on the way because we needed electrolytes to help hydrate me and I called my mom. I don’t think she follows me much on social media but it felt terrible that she might find out I fainted at the Getty from someone else so I thought she should know first. Also I still wasn’t sure if I would end up in the ER.

bevinwheelchairI actually hurt my foot bending the toes back when I fell but so grateful I didn’t hit my head or anything. Also I’m totally wearing bike shorts in this photo and feel great about that choice for chub rub prevention last night when I was crawling towards the bathroom.

After home, bed, air conditioning, 2+ liters of coconut water and tons of alkaline water I am feeling 60% better. I am taking my body’s warning signs very seriously and keeping it simple and asking for help. I have a history of heat sickness and this is the worst it has ever been. I am going to be extremely mindful of heat, activity, house projects, hydration, electrolytes and social activity from now on.

And now I have a great story to tell.

fostersI cannot thank my supportive, awesome partner Dara enough for taking such good care of me during and after this ordeal. We are binge watching the Fosters on Netflix because my friend Silas Howard directed an episode in the current season and I want to watch it with context!

2014-12-17

Introducing Hell’s Bells, Handbell Butt Choir

One of the things I am most grateful for about my living situation is that my roommate is one of my favorite artists. The things that this femme creates are incredible. Like, stick in your head remember for a bunch of years incredible.

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Last month Damien started getting a bunch of packages and I was wondering what they were. She casually said, Ariel [Speedwagon] and I were thinking of creating a handbell butt choir. I responded, “Oh, really?” But didn’t get to all of my questions about it. Which were many. How are you going to get the handbells to stay in the butt? Do you know how to play the handbells? (Damien has churchy origins so I figured some time in a youth handbell choir was likely.)

Then the night came when Ariel was over (and Lizxnn) and the handbells were opened and I could hear them in my bedroom… clear as a bell. And this was clearly a thing that happened.

So much work went into this choir. Figuring out the mechanics of making butt plugs out of handbell handles. Casting the bell ringers–finding people who were okay with Christmas stuff, playing a handbell with their butt, and at lease slightly musically inclined, plus the more difficult aspect, whether their schedule permitted both performance dates and a couple of rehearsals. Artists in NYC are busy, especially during the holidays!

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They had to select the songs to play out of the thousands of holiday songs out there. They had to rewrite the music for the songs in some sort of music software Damien learned, and arrange it for handbells in the correct key. And learn what a key was. And decide which four notes were the best for the butts…

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I was impressed during this entire endeavor as it unfolded at my house and excitedly went to both performances. The finished product is in the below video. (You can see my little head cackling away with Heather, I’m in the bow in the front row doing backup videography for the first performance.) TOTALLY worth a watch this holiday season!

Not safe for work (unless your work is butt friendly). It’s really funny and heartwarming. Hell’s Bells Handbell Choir!

(Also I was definitely already calling the handbell player second from the left “Jingle Bells” because of their important role in that song… but then after you see the video you know why that name will be seared for life!)

For further holiday related video wonderfulness, allow me to remind all about the amazing Leo Christmas Hammer video from last year. It still makes me cry. Miss you Leo!!

2013-02-11

FAT SEX WEEK: Courtney Trouble’s New Porn “Lesbian Curves”

After the success of GAY SEX WEEK on my blog in October 2011, I decided to produce FAT SEX WEEK to celebrate sex for all bodies. This is especially inspired to counteract all of the media about sex around Valentine’s Day that’s all heteronormative/couplehood-oriented/body hegemonic. It’s a week of body liberation and sex and it’s going to be really fun! Check out all of the FAT SEX WEEK magic!

(All the photos in this post are Safe For Work as long as fat girls in lingerie are safe for your work. Fair warning.)

The best thing in the world to launch FAT SEX WEEK here at QueerFatFemme.com is a review of a totally QUEER FAT FEMME ON FEMME porn! Lesbian Curves was just released by that bombshell Courtney Trouble from her indie body positive porn production company TROUBLEfilms.

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This is hot babe Courtney Trouble wearing an outfit of lingerie I wrote in my porn review notes “Need to find those underwear and buy them.” Femme reviewer realness.

I have long admired and appreciated Courtney Trouble’s porn femmepire. She says in her blog, “My audience may be smaller than most, but knowing that my art is on track with a larger scheme of the adult industry makes me feel like I’m working towards a goal of normalizing, representing, and respectfully erotizing what may seem like a ‘fetish’ or a minority in mainstream sexual ideals.” This is exactly in line with why I think sexual content in identity work is so important–it is really powerful to own our sexual liberation and represent it in a way that is both sexy and honest. I love Courtney’s art!

On to the review! Courtney sent me a review DVD of Lesbian Curves and I watched it a little differently than I usually watch porn, which is usually picking and choosing scenes based on my mood. This time I went beginning to end, on the couch like a movie, and we even went into the special features the next day!

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Betty Blac. All of the stars of Lesbian Curves are hardcore babes.

Here is Courtney’s summary of Lesbian Curves:

Sultry body worship, sensuous kissing, playful taunting, sex toys, chemistry, and hard core lesbian fucking are what make Lesbian Curves the genre-busting adult film you’ve been craving. This full length feature is full of luscious skin, bodacious bodies and intense orgasms, brought to you by the fiercest femmes in porn, soaking wet and thirsty for passionate, curvaceous, gritty, real lesbian sex.

Starring Courtney Trouble, Kelly Shibari, Betty Blac, Sophia St James, Sandy Bottoms, Kitty Stryker, Peppermint Fatty, and Eden Alexander and shot in full HD.

I really adored that the cast is size diverse throughout the range of “fat” sizes–from inbetweenie on up. Check out the cast photos here (NOT safe for work). It’s also racially diverse, including a scene that is just two queer women of color.

It’s clear that the porn performers have real chemistry. Especially the scene between Kelly Shibari and Betty Blac. I had a long conversation while watching it about whether or not they were a couple in real life.

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The music is good, especially during the first partner scene. It’s almost like someone was DJing the porn. I like it when porn music actually flows well. It’s also luxuriously edited. There aren’t a lot of story lines in this movie except the scene between Kitty Stryker and Eden Alexander.

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There were no safe for work photos of Kitty Stryker from the press kit so I borrowed this from Kitty herself. She has two-toned hair and cute glasses in the movie. I had a long conversation during her scene about how to get Kitty to make out with me.

Sophia St. James has been a favorite of mine for a long time, ever since I saw her in Bordello (another amazing work by TROUBLEfilms). She has a great scene with Peppermint Fatty that involves a juicy strap-on. I’m interviewing Sophia later this week as part of FAT SEX WEEK.

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I’m pretty sure no nipples makes it safe for work.

A lot of the scenes are best described as “Sweet and hot.” There’s a deep tenderness and body appreciation between the performers. Not a lot of kink involved in the movie, which is a little bit of a bummer because, to be frank, a lot of those sweet asses could have used a vigorous spanking and/or some good biting. (Just saying. Kitty Stryker, call me.)

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I never consider time wasted watching porn if I learned a sex technique I can fold into my repertoire. Courtney does this thing in her scene where she holds her tits together and has her scene partner suck both nipples at once. This is not easily accomplished in real life but is fun to try!

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Watching porn that represents people whose bodies look like yours and who are doing sex the way you like to do sex is incredibly self-affirming. I thought that the intro to the video, where a fat girl (Courtney) is engaged in some serious self-loving body worship, was extremely powerful from an artistic and embodied point of view. And also just totally hot.

It can be hard to find porn that represents your body or how you like to do sex, which is why it is so crucial to support indie porn makers like Courtney and TROUBLEfilms (which has a pretty incredible queer, race, gender and size diaspora).

Lesbian Curves is $28 on dvd (which includes lots of extras, that I enjoyed greatly). You can download to own Lesbian Curves for $26.

I was talking to my friend Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasina in my kitchen the other day about Lesbian Curves and she said, “Were there queer fat femmes getting tied up? That’s what I want to see!” And we went on to basically write the sequel, Lesbian Curves Two: Femme on Femme Action and it involves a scene where LLPS whips someone while they recite the Femme Shark Manifesto. Courtney, if you want me and Leah to help you vision this we’re happy to get coffee.

A copy of Lesbian Curves is the perfect present for your lover, partner, bestie, future sexcapade for Valentine’s Day! Also, you can give the gift of a QueerPorn gift certificate from Courtney’s website!

Stay tuned for the next installment of FAT SEX WEEK tomorrow!

2012-01-24

Everyday Glitter: Everything is Coming Up Babelandingham

Oh, sweet readers, it has been a bit since I updated and my very good reason is that I have had so much intense change in this giant tidal wave of awesome. With change often comes a whole mess of work to do, but the other side of this mess of work is a big fat glittery rainbow. Also sometimes the everyday glitter is really really big pieces of sparkling confetti.

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Serpentina from the Coney Island Sideshow at the Beyond Visibility: Illuminating and Aligning Femmes in NYC Cabaret.

Glitter The First: I believe being open to possibilities means being truly open, trying new things you thought you would never do. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, that line of thinking. So, in embarking on a job hunt I was truly open to a lot of possibilities and careers. And then the sort of unbelievable happened–I was offered a job working at a boutique firm specializing in LGBT legal issues.

This was basically my dream job in law school and I never thought I would actually find a golden corral full of gay magic but I did. And I’ve been there a week and really love it. I learn new stuff every day. I am also working with some amazing folks and for a senior partner I really admire personally.

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Anyway, this is a BIG WIN for Babelandingham. I am very excited for this development in my professional life. Also the office dress code is “dapper” and I’m having some serious sartorial satisfaction in this environment.

Glitter the Second: I had spent New Year’s Day saying to my friends at this wonderful birthday party for Heather how happy and peaceful I felt even though I didn’t have a job and there was so much uncertainty in my life (this was before I got the job offer). Then the next morning, as though a joke by the Goddess, I got a call from my landlords saying they wanted to terminate our lease and we had thirty days to move out.

Now, I know my rights and they didn’t give me proper notice, so I had more than thirty days from that phone call. But I also knew I had a finite period of time to take action. I flipped out a bit, since my savings would be entirely extinguished by the cost of putting a deposit, first and last months’ rent on a new place. Not to mention the hassle of finding a new place with three (adorable and well-behaved) pets in New York City.

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And then things sorted themselves out. My friend Sarah Jenny was moving out of her place where she lived with my good friend Damien. I am able to take SJ’s room in a home I already feel very connected to and have loved so much already. SJ gave me her boxes from her move and together with boxes from Mackenzi’s store the logistics of the move have worked out pretty well. Other than the agita of packing my entire life up in an unexpected hurry, it is a really good change.

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SJ’s boxes are a great guide for what to pack next, since the contents are already on the side.

I haven’t been very good at asking for help with this process (I realized the last time I moved I had a lot more help because I was asking for it), so that’s a practice I need to get into for the unpacking and painting process.

But what an opportunity to practice leaning into change and embracing it! When I was life coaching with Lynnee Breedlove he used to tell me that the best way to deal with change was to lean into it. I could be whining about what a pain in the ass it is that my landlords are terminating our lease or whatever, but I’m able to turn this into an opportunity for a huge energy shift in my life. That’s amazing!

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It’s the apartment where I made all of my birthday wishes!

Also, as I embark on full-time office work once more, maintaining space in my life for my art is really important to me. Damien has long been a personal hub in my life for art and activism and I am really excited to make a home with her, a home which I hope fosters my creativity and helps me keep moving forward with my art. Plus the time structure of having a 9 to 5 hustle is good for my writing practice and I’m really hoping to get the first draft of my memoir finished by the end of the summer.

But in the meantime my new 60 hours a week at the office plus packing means I’m basically MIA from my social life. Soon to remedy!

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Me and my future roommate, Damien!

Glitter the Third: Rebel Cupcake was a critic’s pick in Time Out New York! We had a huge turn out on January 12th. I never believed when I was a fat, depressed and suicidal teenager that I would someday be out, proud, and an event producer hovering above the Gay and Lesbian section of a New York magazine holding a cupcake. I always thought getting skinny was going to make my dreams come true. Turns out it was embarking on the life-long process of learning to love myself that was what brought my wildest dreams to me.

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February 9th: Dance Music Sex Romance is a Prince Tribute show and on the bill is Ben Lehrman (Prince on the ukelele!), LeRoi Prince and an almost confirmed fat burlesque act I’m really excited about.

March 8th: New Wave Rebel Cupcake! With a 20 minute feature set of The World Famous *BOB* and Princess Tiny & The Meats’ homecoming show! This is going to be an incredible show!

And check out this really fun promo video for Rebel Cupcake by the awesome Laura Delarato!!

Glitter the Fourth: I’m presenting a workshop “Love For EveryBODY” at Ivy Q, a conference at Brown, on February 18th. If you’re there please stop by to say hi! Once I have more information I am going to put it all on my calendar page.

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Glitter the Fifth: I am a poster girl in the Stand 4 Kids Campaign! It’s geared to stand in solidarity with fat kids and in opposition to hate speech masquerading as health initiatives that unfairly target fat kids instead of promoting health for every kid.

Stand 4 Kids Campaign

Glitter the Sixth: At the recent Rebel Cupcake Damien surprised us with a live recording of Shit Femmes Say! An internet meme right on stage! Here’s a video of it!

So my life is crazy busy but crazy awesome. And this doesn’t even begin to encompass all the awesome happening right now. I hope your 2012 / Year of the Dragon is starting out on a winning note.

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Blog benefactor Domino Dollhouse is back for another month of blog benefacting! Tracy, the babe behind the Dollhouse, just launched a line of vintage style lingerie that I think folks who like plus size lingerie are going to drool over.

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The High Waisted Vintage Style Garter Panty is so hot! And a bargain at $39.99. I wear this style of garter belt and I find it considerably less fiddly.

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The Sweetheart Overbust Corset is something I am personally lusting over, as I totally need a new red corset as mine sadly broke. (“Need.”) $99

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Domino Dollhouse is now carrying bra and panties sets! For $14.99!

Don’t forget she also stocks tons of cute clothes and accessories!

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AND she has partnered with one of my favorite designers, Sweetooth Couture, carrying the Gumdrop Empire Waist coat in an exclusive colorway–purple! So foxy
and goes up to a 6X. $179.99 and your purchase supports two incredible independent plus size designers working to make fashion more accessible for fat folks.

The special coupon code for QueerFatFemme.com readers is still available for another month! Enter “QFF15″ (case sensitive) at check out to get 15% off your Domino Dollhouse order!

Thanks for supporting the blog, Domino Dollhouse!!

2011-09-30

Consolation Cupcakes

Hi friends. It’s been a weird few months here at QFF headquarters. First there were three deaths right in a row this Spring, last month a sudden accident in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene claimed the life of a close family friend of mine. On top of this, the closing of Re/Dress NYC, my workplace and home to much of my politics and community.

Yesterday our pals around the corner from One Girl Cookies brought us consolation cupcakes.

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Like I said to Leslie after we heard the news, “At least Re/Dress gave us each other.”

The announcement was made yesterday but I’ve already known for a bit and had to keep it under my hat, which has been hard since right now I’m dealing with the eventual loss of health insurance and the only steady income I have. (The rest of my income comes from my sometimes flagging solo law practice, speaking gigs, and performance opportunities, all of which provide sporadic income and require an intense hustle that actually takes away from my productivity and artistic energy.)

So it is a shock and brings up a lot of fear and first chakra stuff. But luckily fear is just a feeling, it’s not reality. I’m at a place personally where I know that. I’ve been laid off once before, almost three years ago to the day. This year has provided me lots of opportunities to deepen my spiritual practice and a friend mentioned yesterday “Wow, you’re talking a lot more about the Goddess lately.” My response? I don’t see much of a choice. Not to get too woo, but honestly the only security I’ve ever found in my complicated life is my choice to believe in a loving higher power.

Feelings of grief and loss bring up for me the desire to focus more on the right now of life. So I’ve had this Everyday Glitter post brewing and share it with you as a celebration of the gorgeous everyday-ness that even a steady monthly beat of sad news can’t take away.

Everyday Glitter #1: Artist Dates
One of the things The Artist’s Way teaches is to take yourself on a weekly artist date. I slacked off over the summer and just started again with a vengeance. (I highly suggest doing the 12 week Arist’s Way program to anyone, BTW.)

Sunday found me roaming Cobble Hill on my artist’s date and I remembered bookmarking a soda fountain the charming and articulate plus fashion blogger Nicolette Mason talked about on her blog, the Brooklyn Farmacy. A quick mobile phone google of Nicolette’s site found the address on her write-up and I popped in with a copy of Oprah magazine and settled in for a treat.

It’s a legit old school soda fountain with waitresses in vintage frocks and scarves in their hair and a really nice Brooklynite dude serving up old fashioned treats.

Purple cow
My mom used to make me Purple Cows when I was a little kid, this one is grape soda and I subbed coconut ice cream for vanilla. It was really delicious.

Everyday Glitter #2: Puppy Watch

One of the coolest things about living in a densely populated area is that puppy watching is a daily thing. All number of adorable pooches are walked regularly. I’ve started parking myself on this bench near Re/Dress on my lunch walks to puppy watch. Sometimes when I’m working from home I take a break and sit on my stoop with Macy

Macy stoop

I mean, cute puppies make me feel better about pretty much everything.

Everyday Glitter #3: Style Emails!

Ever since Big Sexy premiered the Re/Dress NYC Tumblr Ask Box has been blowing up. I’ve actually really enjoyed answering people’s questions, especially this one about hiding a fat stomach. You can check my advicelets out over there!

Everyday Glitter #4: New! Big! Projects!
On Sunday I went over to Governor’s Island to discuss my curating an area as part of a big free art festival on Governor’s Island next May. I’m super excited about it. It’s going to be a body liberation / size acceptance interactive & multi-artist installation. I’m really excited to take my existing performance curatorial skills and do something bigger.

Governor’s Island is a great place to go chill out during the summer. It’s huge, there are bike rentals, parks, lots of grass, the ferries run frequently and are free. I had a lot of fun exploring everything and Danielle, my tour guide (and the person who recruited me to curate) knows the nooks and crannies of the island.

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Photo by Danny McL.

And Leslie and myself are tossing around ideas about how we can take her expertise in wardrobe and styling, my event planning experience and mash them up to a resale shopping experience. I’ll of course keep my readers updated, and you can keep tabs on Double Chin Win on the website.

Everyday Glitter #5: Fall Layers
Crisp Autumn air means more opportunities to wear weird rock vests and stifling stretch polyester vintage dresses. I found a brown fur rock vest at Re/Dress yesterday. I can’t wait to kick leaves and buy a new pair of Ariat Fatbaby Boots for the winter.

Everyday Glitter #6: Suri’s Burn Book
Hysterical fashion commentary told from the point of view of Suri Cruise on the fashions of celebrity babies.

Everyday Glitter #7: You!
As though on cue from the universe, the last week while I’ve been privately stewing on this news and brewing the what nexts for my life, I’ve gotten an influx of fan mail, had some really meaningful interactions with fans at the store, and other synchronous events to remind me that making my art is super important and is a two-way street. I create because I feel compelled to create, but it really does mean a lot to me that it means a lot to you.

Here’s to moving ahead in faith that what I’m meant to be doing next enables me to keep doing what I’m passionate about, helping the world become safe for folks to love themselves, regardless of their differences.

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The sky is not the clouds.

2011-02-26

Valentine’s Day Weekend Non-Stop Queer Style

This year’s Valentine’s Day weekend was glamorous and non-stop. There was an intense agenda of queer happenings and what better way to get my feet back into the Brooklyn swing of things after my extended sojourn in San Francisco* than to try to do everything? It began with Rebel Cupcake 10: Erotic City on Thursday, February 10th.

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My friend Trent who is one half of That’s My Jam.

The theme selections for Rebel Cupcake are a truly scientific process.**
It goes like this: I thought Valentine’s day is four days later… fuck Valentine’s day, let’s get dirty. Erotic stuff…. Erotic City! I love Prince.

The cupcakes were vegan this time, orange/chocolate and cappuccino flavor, made by Rebel Cupcake fan Mannie.

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It was a wild show that involved an impromptu punching demo by traveling Portland punching Booth Wyatt Riot, the drag Prince stylings of fresh face LeRoi Prince and capped off by the incredible performance of Epiphany. She sang a couple of songs and her version of Fuck You brought down the house.

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LeRoi Prince.

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Epiphany.

After truly getting down to a Prince-heavy dance party (the floor was still packed at 2:45 AM, definitely the latest I’ve seen the dance floor at Rebel Cupcake thrive at that level), my weekend kept rolling.

Friday night was the closing party/ritual for Into the Neon, a group collaborative show between many queer artists I know and some I don’t. The exhibits were incredible. I was especially moved by Daniel Lang/Levitsky’s piece about the murder of a gay man in a park in Newark. I loved Amy Agony’s reading nook with a zine library to pore through. I was honored to be included so many times in Quito Ziegler’s exhibit, she pointed out to me that me and my posse were especially prevalent on her row themed “tenderness.”

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Daniel’s piece was a hand-cranked movie with a soundtrack you listened to. It was very haunting.

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Quito’s exhibit.

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Drag station.

There was a tree in the middle of the room surrounded by foam and blankets, which was the best place for me to enjoy the evening considering my long Thursday night dancing and nine and a half hour Shop Girl day.

Neon Pile
With Marcy and Natalie.

Glenn Marla decided to have an all day open house for his birthday party, where I rolled in at 9:30 (another nine and a half hour Shop Girl day). My thoughts are in this episode of the Lesbian Tea Basket. I went home to get ready for Hey Queen, my favorite dance party that isn’t Rebel Cupcake. I decided to change because Wyatt Riot and Jessika Fancy were planning to wear spandex and I knew I needed to up my fashion game. I did pretty well considering I dressed in 5 minutes.

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With my friend LJ. Photo by Jose Figueroa Fotog for Hey Queen.

I chatted with Justin Vivian Bond a bit about Femme fashion and wearing two pairs of tights on the brutal party nights (it has been an especially horrible winter in NYC). V performed a three song set at 1:30 that was just glorious.

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I love Justin Vivian’s storytelling. Photo by Jose Figueroa Fotog for Hey Queen.

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Accompanied by Nath Ann. Photo by Jose Figueroa Fotog for Hey Queen.

The next day was another Shop Girl day that found me sharing a leftover cunt cupcake from Glenn’s birthday party (made by Damien Luxe) with plus size super model Tara Lynn. She’s really nice and fun and was shopping the vintage racks at Re/Dress. Even a work day can be glamorous!

Sunday night was a work night, where I met up with my neighbor and co-creator Heather. She is directing and I am producing an all queer 10 minute staged reading of the Outsiders at Rebel Cupcake on March 10. We needed to watch the movie and prepare for the auditions.*** My BFF Brian just moved in around the corner from both of us and we used his big tv and our friend Michael made us chicken parm. It was perfect.

Monday was Valentine’s Day/Validation Day. I was asked to be a celebrity judge for a Nerd-Off competition at Nerd Off Production’s Nerd Love event. Since my current relationship status is Window Shopping**** I thought it would be fun to ask one of the other celebrity judges to be my Valentine.

Molly Equality Dykeman
is a piece of work. She’s a poet, butchlesque performer, a security guard, a lady chaser. I thought it would be fun shtick to banter about while we were judging nerds. Having a celebrity date was pretty awesome.*****


Maybe everything you need to know about Molly is in this video?

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Photo courtesy Molly.

I required Molly to wear her finest butch accessories (in this instance a Love tie from the dollar store) and bring me a flower from the dollar store or a bodega. After exchanging gifts we took photos with Syd London for Time Out New York. She gave me a box of chocolates, a card that complimented my boobs and the flower.

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Photo courtesy Molly.

I brought for her scratch-off lottery tickets, a diet coke and a cookie decorated with haiku by Kazi, a poet who works inside a Lotto stand on 53rd and Lexington.

Kazi
Photo by my BFF Brian.

The nerdiness of the Nerd Off was ridiculous. It was hosted by Kelli Dunham and Cheryl B. I had to ask a lot of nerd to English clarifying questions. It was a joy to be part of and award prizes with the other celebrity judge, Diana Cage, for such talents as “Best Use of Math Teacher Blog to Perform Erotica.”

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Photo courtesy Molly.

Check out more photos from the event on the Time Out New York website.

Some of you might be wondering how I can maintain this stamina. The key is that I don’t drink much (one or two well-timed drinks max) and I wear flat shoes when I intend to dance a lot. At the end of this whirlwind weekend my feet were actually quite sore, but I felt deliriously happy and incubated in this amazing community of artists and friends that make Brooklyn my home. A community kind of love, really.

*I have been in the Mission so much in the last 9 months that Yahoo news (benignly) falsely reported that I live there.
**April’s theme is I Love Lucy (an old school show biz style line-up) because I scored a great vintage dress that is very Lucy. I just have to work on the hair style.
***Watching that movie is sort of like watching porn. It’s so hot and bromantic!
****Window Shopping is my current approach to dating given the amount of emotional work I’m doing on myself. After being totally off the market for several months, I am approaching dating again with extreme caution. I’m not going into any stores, I’m not asking how much something costs. But if something pretty catches my eye and the shop keeper comes outside I might ask about it. If the shop keeper is willing to transact right there on the sidewalk, okay. Basically, I’m not doing any pursuing and I’m letting things happen if they happen but not concerned one way or another.
*****I’m still open to a date for March 14th’s Steak and Blow Job day.

2009-10-05

Mangos with Chili and the Mighty Real Tour!

Southland & SouthEast Coast! 2 Tours coming your way!!

Last weekend I saw the Mighty Real Tour in New York City. It’s two beautiful solo shows by two very handsome queeroes of mine. Silas Howard and Lynee Breedlove are veterans of the famous dyke punk band Tribe8.*

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Lynee is pictured here with my charming and adorable dog Macy.

The first is Thank You for Being Urgent, by Silas Howard. It’s a performance piece about his work to make a movie about the life, music and love of Billy Tipton and Billy’s wife Kitty. The movie hasn’t been made yet**–but I think it’s a testament to his work as an artist that Silas has been able to make a beautiful piece of art out of the process in the meantime. I’ve seen Silas’ show twice now–it is very poignant and inspirational. The director’s lab scenes from the movie made me cry. (Go buy Silas’ movie By Hook or by Crook.)

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If you don’t know about Billy Tipton, you need to read about him. It’s certainly not easy to change genders nowadays, but think about what it was like in the 40s and 50s living as a man. Intense.

The second part of the Mighty Real Tour is Lynee Breedlove’s Confessions of a Poser. It’s a little bit transguy show and tell, a little bit gender coming out story with a tip of the hat to dyke history–including the life and love of Phillis Lyon and Del Martin. But what it is most of all is hysterical, outrageous and touching. Lynee is a fabulous storyteller (go buy his book Godspeed) and it translates to stage very well.

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They were in Atlanta, my home away from home, tonight, and are moving West through the South. Check out their Facebook page for all of the upcoming dates! Go see them and support them!

The Mangos with Chili Tour has just announced their Fall dates. I saw the tour last year when I was in California. I was blown away. It was simultaneously exciting, devastating and really fun.

Mangos With Chili is a Bay Area based arts organization committed to showcasing high quality work of life saving importance by queer and trans artists of color to audiences in the Bay Area and beyond.

It’s co-curated by one of my very favorite people on the planet, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, the Femme Shark Correspondent for FemmeCast. Leah’s poetry is outstanding–the first time I saw her read she said “Love is an ANARCHIC BITCH” and had femmes screaming YES in response.

Ms. Cherry Gallette, the other co-curator/founder is a sassy burlesque performer whose work is titillating to both the body and the mind.
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Add to that The Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins, who I have talked about on this blog 8800 times recently but also must ad her tweet “It’s uterUS not uterME people–do your part!” kept running through my head during my last bout with PMS. I am pretty certain she has a sassy one liner about every aspect of life. But going to this tour you get to watch her take her clothes off and be covered in glitter!!!

The other performer on the roster that I’ve seen is Amir. You will recall him from Episode 8 of FemmeCast, talking about the Panjamism movement and he describes his rabble rousing as honoring his ancestors.

Amir

I think it might be a testament to how much I love the work of Mangos that I am strongly considering a day trip to Washington, DC (a 5 hour drive) to go see their last show.

Mangos with Chili kicks off next Friday, October 16, 2009 in Texas and moves East from there. The full tour dates are at their website.

Grass roots word of mouth buzz is my favorite way to hear about cool queer art. If you don’t live in the regions these tours are performing in you should totally send the info to your friends who do live there! Queer realness, having $10 to spend on a movie or amazing queer performance art is easier said than done, but I think it’s important to fund the kind of art you want to be happening. Transguy veterans from dyke punk bands and queer and trans people of color aren’t at the top of many grant funding lists. It’s up to us to help keep this kind of art going!

*If you don’t know about Tribe8 I insist that you netflix the documentary Rise Above. It will tell you all you need to know. Also you should buy their cds.
**The fact that Silas’ amazing movie does not have a studio producing and funding it this very minute breaks my heart. If you are a studio who can produce and fund it, do it.

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