I am totally delinquent posting this book review since I read a preview copy from the publisher a couple of months ago during my Summer of Memoir. I'll be honest, I've had a really hard time writing this review because Cheryl B., the author of My Awesome Place, was my friend and she is dead. This is not a spoiler alert, it's in the first line of the foreward by Sarah Schulman. "Cheryl Burke died of medical malpractice in June 2011 at the age of 38."
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!
I live tweeted the workshop and got quotes as best as I could truncate while things popped around the room. Ultimately, I really enjoyed that the discussion centered around addressing misogyny in queer spaces and how that affects spaces like the PTHC where femininity can be drowned out by a "dudely" privileging of masculinity. I thought it was a good conversation to have and in a free-form workshop like the one we were in, even though it didn't really address Femme solidarity directly.
want to make explicit that my working definition of GAY SEX is any sex that a queer person has who wants to call it sex. What gets you off? That's GAY SEX. What counts as GAY SEX to you today might not tomorrow and that's okay. Variety is one of the very best attributes about GAY SEX.
Most of the links in this post are Not Safe For Work (NSFW) just so you know.
Here at QueerFatFemme.com I try to make it clear that there are no queer gatekeepers. For example, Femmes are still queer even when they are doing it to cisdudes. So when one of my Femme pals started doing it to a cisdude and reported back that the cunnilingus was surprisingly great ("Better than a lesbian! Best of my life!" she shockingly announced) I took my charm and talk show host realness to the source. Hanging out with this boy I asked him...
“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.
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.