Guest Post: How to Be a Good Ally to My Crippled Arm

My bestie Jacqueline Mary is disabled in a way where it is not readily apparent to the naked eye. Her arm was shattered in a bike accident a couple of years ago and the initial surgery restored only a small percentage of function in her arm. But because she still has her left arm and most people aren’t particularly observant, it’s not obvious right away that there’s anything different about it. She often has to tell people not to touch her arm, especially strangers in public, and sometimes people we know don’t even believe her and continue to poke, touch, even punch her in the arm because they think she’s joking. She’s also in a lot of chronic pain that has gotten worse over the last couple of months.

She posted the following note to Facebook and I really loved it. Not just because she’s my friend, but also because I thought it was an exceptional example of stating your needs and asking for help--I believe vulnerability is a sign of strength.

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FEMME SEX WEEK: Femmes Behind the Sheets

People who are not Femme are often mystified by Femmes in this kind of reverent and beguiled way. There’s some good mystery in the classic Femme tropes that even I sometimes fall under the spell of (like, “How does she get her hair to look like that?” I wonder with stars in my eyes) but I have a tag on my blog about the secret lives of Femmes for a reason--to kind of take the intimidation factor down a couple of notches.

For FEMME SEX WEEK I wanted to talk about masturbation and desire in a way that kind of pulls back the sheets on what turns Femmes on. There’s no one way to be Femme (there’s, in fact, approximately 1,467,987 ways to be Femme) so obviously there’s no one kind of sex or fantasy that turns on all Femmes.

I’ve collected a sampling from some anonymous Femme sources, some I know personally, some are friends of friends, and I’ve put them together below. They represent a cross section of race, sexuality, body size, Femme presentation and gender, with about a fifteen year spread on age. From a Latina Hard Femme Switch to a Cis White Straight Femme.

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FEMME SEX WEEK: My Experience with Getting Femme Visibility on the Streets

I've noticed over the last year or so that I have had an increase in my own queer visibility on the street. I tend to tweet about it whenever it happens because I'm usually alone and it's so remarkable to be a Femme presenting person getting a dyke head nod or a wink on the street from a queer presenting person. It rules! It's like that inner 20 year old in me who wore nothing but baggy Old Navy men's clothing to appear more "andro" because I thought that's what would get me attention from other queers is finally getting what she always wanted. To be seen.

I'm also an intrepid queer explorer so as soon as this visibility started happening to me I went into self-examination mode to determine what I was doing differently.

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Plus Size Pageant Documentary–There She Is and some questions for my readership about being fat and expressing gender

I'm wondering from readers what they feel like about wearing make-up, whether they find it compulsory, if they feel comfortable in public spaces or specifically queer spaces without it (if they are a make-up identified person)?

In what ways do you feel "in your gender," and how does that present? How does that differ from day to day, moment to moment?

How do you respond to weight loss in your life? Are there ways that you make it value-neutral?

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My Time With the Heels on Wheels Glitter Road Show

Early in March I had the opportunity to attend two gigs with Heels on Wheels at a couple of colleges in the Northeast. I have known about HOW since its inception, mostly because two of my besties (Heather Acs and Damien Luxe) conceived it. Much like the Sister Spit tour, I always wonder what it would be like to "get in the van" and bring my work around. I'm lucky that part of my income comes from going to colleges to do workshops and performances, so I get a bit of that, but never in the big group. Getting to do those two gigs was a little taste of the road-trip-meets-art-adventure without ever having to forsake a shower because there were too many people and too few showers available in too little time (the greatest road show complaint I hear from everyone who goes on any tour).

Ever relentlessly documenting my life, I made a little photo essay of our trip to Hampshire College to present a workshop on confidence (Femmepowerment--from the stage to the street) and perform as the evening entertainment for the Five Colleges Queer Conference. I had a really great time and it was an honor to be in such extraordinary company for our 16 hour adventure.

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Cupcake Cabaret, a Performance Celebrating Self Love at Stonewall, 7PM on Thursday, April 18th

My mission in life is to make the world safe for people to love themselves. One of the ongoing projects I keep is very dear to my heart, which is a performance art series celebrating the radical act of self love. It is definitely very radical to love yourself in a society that tells you that you aren't worthy of any love or appreciation, or conditional love and appreciation (like, if you lose 20 pounds, etc...). One of the things I love most is to hear how artists have used their differences to become empowered. That's what I curate in this series.

I'm super excited to have Ivan Coyote, the dreamy professional storyteller, author and multi-award winning bad ass, in NYC from Canada and featured performer at the upcoming Cupcake Cabaret.

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Book Review: Cheryl B.’s My Awesome Place

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."

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