Bevin's Blog I'm blogging the relentless pursuit of my joy

2013-11-14

Mix Festival in NYC Now through November 17th

You know how sometimes you ask the Universe to make your life magical beyond your wildest dreams and you have an evening that is clearly the answer to that?

You know how sometimes the most incredibly transformative things are, by their very nature, completely temporary?

Last night I found myself awash in unexpected magic when I headed to the Mix Festival. I went to a panel discussion about Race and the Colonial Impulse (which was also amazing) and Mix was the official after party so I figured I’d head there and get free admission. I never realized Mix was free if you didn’t go to the screenings! You can just wander in an experience the Mix Factory and all of its glory.

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Me, Avory Agony, Cristy Road being photographed by Tinker Coalescing of The Think Theater Queer Photography.

Mix is in its 26th year! I kept sending up prayers of thanks to my queer ancestors for making this whole shebang possible and wonder how it has stayed so underground?

I walked into the venue and it was so enormous–it looks like nothing on the outside and inside there are countless huge art installations. My friend Rachael Shannon’s amazing Brestival Vestibules are there, a huge dinosaur bone looking thing, several lounges full of pillows, and rooms and rooms of interactive, light-filled, video incorporating work so vast that in four hours I barely scratched the surface.

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I called this exhibit the “Erin Markey Room.”

The screening room is off to the side and is minor compared to the elaborate, mystical experience of immersion in art. It’s also teeming with so many of my favorite people. I got to catch-up with a lot of friends in an environment much more conducive to real conversation than a nightclub. In a white carpeted, textiled room with a projection of an old movie playing overhead I was in a circle with Avory Agony, Cristy Road, DJ Sissy Slap, Caitlin Q and a bunch of other new to me queers and I wished I could take a photo of it and send it to myself in middle school just to let her know that it was all going to be okay and the people who bullied me would never know the kind of deep connection and magic that was in store for me.

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In a lounge with my friend Sabina, an amazing punk queer from Sweden from Crush & Create Zine.

Two main highlights for me (but there were about a million):

A room filled with what look like mirrors upon which are several different projections of an artist dressed in different costumes. Each mirror (there are six) has a distinct frame and visual and I realized that everyone is drawn to different ones and I think it might have to do with that person’s gender! Like a Myer’s Briggs for gender test or something. I was drawn primarily to the one that looked like the artist was inside Valentine’s Day–reds, pinks, glitter, doilies and the one that was all gold, gold glitter, what looked like coins, very regal. I thought it looked like a casino advertisement for another planet. Avory was drawn to the green pony and the ice queen. I could have stood inside that room forever.

The Meat Truck–an installation in a U-Haul truck that harkens back to the cruising days of the 70s and 80s where men would find opened trucks to fuck in just wherever. The hanging photos of men cruising are so lifelike and I genuinely hope someone does something, um, performative in the “Mom’s Attic” part of that uUaul.

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The Meat Truck was so mystical, sexual, queer historical and hilarious that I was convinced (and told everyone within ear shot) I was going to meet my future wife in that truck.

There’s also dancing and DJs throughout the night. Last night DJ Precolumbian was on fire!!

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I have tickets to the closing night screening of Valencia: The Movies (hello, the NYC premier of my favorite book turned into a series of short films made by many of my favorite people including Courtney Trouble and Silas Howard). I really hope I get to go back a bunch of times before it closes. I’m so grateful to be in the present moment with all of this and appreciating what I have while it’s here.

If you think you want to go to the Mix Festival do not hesitate to go!!!

If you miss Mix Festival it happens every year around the same time and I can say after last night it is absolutely worth putting on your NYC travel bucket list.

Information from the press release:

DATES: November 12-17, 2013
LOCATION: 521 Third Avenue, Brooklyn
(between 12th & 13th Streets, in Gowanus)

SUBWAY: F,G, R to 4th Ave-9th Street

Complete program information and schedule available online at www.mixnyc.org

● $13 for regular film screenings

● $20 for opening & closing night events

● Free admission to films for youth (21 and under) and PWAs

Free public admission to all installations & performances

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2013-09-20

The Return of Rebel Cupcake on Friday September 27th and Upcoming Queer Dance Parties

Rebel Cupcake has been on hiatus since May. I decided to put it on the shelf for a bit because I needed a venue/night change. I was hearing a lot that the Thursday night aspect was hard for folks. I got the opportunity to use our original venue, Sugarland, again at an earlier time on a Friday night and I’m thrilled to bring it back periodically for new adventures!

The event is from 8-10, with a little bit longer show at 8:30. Still free gourmet cupcakes, a great DJ and a photo booth by Kelsey Dickey!

This month we’re celebrating The Craft! The 90s teen witch dramedy about peer pressure, fitting in and wiccan mischief.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Here’s the info:

Check out these incredible performers!

From Washington, DC, my old friend MIASIA is performing! She’s basically an international belly dance legend and truly the most unforgettable belly dancer I’ve ever seen.

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On a break from international touring is Kit Yan, who always brings the most tender and magical, powerful and uplifting spoken word to the Rebel Cupcake stage. I can’t wait to have him back!

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Photo by Nogga Schwartz for Rebel Cupcake.

Fancy Feast began her burlesque career as the resident stage kitten for Rebel Cupcake and is now making huge strides in the NYC burlesque scene and beyond.

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Photo by Courtney Trouble.

Chris Tyler is a Brooklyn-based pop satirist performance artist who does brilliant work that always surprises me. Here’s a photo of Chris performing as Taylor Swift performing as Dolly Parton serving the Paula Deen donut burger at Rebel Cupcake.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Miss Mary Wanna is one of the witchiest burlesque performers I know and she calls Rebel Cupcake a home stage even though she lives in Philly. I am really stoked for what she has planned!!!

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At Rebel Cupcake in January, Miss Mary Wanna felatted two sticks of butter while dressed like Paula Deen. What will she prepare next? Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Our DJ is NEON MUSIC, from the amazing band Youthquake! Playing Riot Grrrl, 90s R&B and lots of 90s dramatic witchy tracks like Kate Bush and Tori Amos on the dancey side of them.

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Cupcakes by guest cupcake baker, Winter Laike at Mixtape Cupcakes!

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Drae Campbell is running the door!

The event is over at 10pm but SWOON takes over until 4am, David John Sokolowski’s monthly blacklight party that is a wild magic pile of homosexual magic. You’ll love it if you want to stay on and keep dancing.

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Photo by Think Theater Queer Photography at Swoon last month.

This show is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to have you all back at Rebel Cupcake. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I began plotting this one!

Full moon tarot reading, witchy stuff. Listening to mellow, nostalgic music, thinking of loves come and gone, moving life forward, curiosity.
Witch witch you’re a witch!

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Other events on the horizon: Wham Bam, our afternoon hang out party, is September 29th at Huckleberry Bar. More info here!

The long awaited return of Yes Ma’am, the queer body positive party I throw with DJ Average Jo and Nicky Cutler. October 5th at the mansion! Mark your calendar!

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I’m fundraising to sustain QueerFatFemme.com and my art projects! Please consider supporting with a gift subscription (and getting some great prizes) if you have been touched by this site!

2013-09-19

Free Book and Booking Workshops for 2013-2014

I’m booking workshops at colleges, universities, retreat centers, retail stores for the 2013/2014 school year. If you’d like to book me take a look at my workshop roster and shoot me an email! I really love traveling and teaching. I would love to come talk to you about body positivity, sexuality, community organizing, performing, living your dream, and so much more.

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Also, if you are into FREE stuff, there’s a free book giveaway for Kindle (or using their cloud reader app which is free to read on your computer). Visible: A Femmethology, Volume 2. It was released in 2009, and I did an interview on the blog tour that you can read here.

The publishers are offering a FREE download of Visible: A Femmethology Volume 2 through September 21st so get it while the getting’s good! The other volume is only $6.99 for Kindle if you want to spring for that, too.

2013-08-22

The Saturday, August 31 Yes Ma’am is Canceled Due to Death in the Family

Attention August 31st party is now canceled. DJ Average Jo’s beloved grandmother passed last night. As the services are on Saturday and our party requires a great deal of hands-on set-up and equipment, we will be unable to produce the party without her. We will let you know when we are able to reschedule Yes Ma’am and our thoughts and prayers are with Jo and her family.

While I was away the August Yes Ma’am party was rescheduled to August 31st! It’s Labor Day Weekend, I’m hoping some of my readers might be in town for it. Come on down and have some great dancing. It’s a wonderful party with cheap delicious drinks and lots of hot queers.

Saturday, August 31, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Nicky Cutler and DJ Average Jo Present
Yes Ma’am at the Mansion
10PM-3AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our email list)
CASH BAR
375 Stuyvesant Ave @ Decatur, Brooklyn, NY
Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border (2 blocks from Utica Ave A/C train)

DJ Average Jo spins all night!

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Photo by Grace Chu

2013-07-31

August Party Agenda

**FYI this post has been edited, the August Yes Ma’am party date was changed to Saturday, August 31st**
Hello Brooklynites, New York Citians and other folks who might be in and around Brooklyn and wanting to hang out with the nicest, funnest, awesomest body positive crowd in New York City queer nightlife!

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Photo of me, Nicky and Jo by Grace Chu.

Yes Ma’am has two amazing parties this month we’re stoked to share with you!

Yes Ma’am’s WHAM BAM, our afternoon party (goes from 4pm-10pm) is so much fun! It’s like the Noxema Commercial you never realized you were dreaming of until it came true. DJ Average Jo plays an ecclectic mix of oldies, reggae, motown, 90s hip hop, and Hall & Oates. There are beer specials and a burger special at the upcoming WHAM BAM on August 18th! All of the info is on our Facebook page.

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Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

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Photo by Kelsy Chavin.

Yes Ma’am’s flagship party is happening at the mansion in Bed Stuy on August 31st! Saturday night, great dance jams and really hot people. The mansion is air conditioned but we’re also bringing in tons of box fans to add to the windswept Dirty Dancing dance party vibe (it’s very “I carried a watermelon” and I might get Jacqueline to mix up a fresh watermelon punch situation in that spirit but I haven’t talked to her or Jo or Nicky about it so this is between us, readers). All the info is on our Facebook invite!

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Photo of Al by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

See you in August!

2013-06-10

Bevin Brandlandingham Guest Starring in the Lesbian Love Octagon on June 19th

A couple of years ago my friend Kim Kressal produced a run of the musical she wrote about dyke drama in the nineties called the Lesbian Love Octagon. I got a chance to see it during it’s brief tenure at the Kraine theater in the Lower East Side and was completely smitten. Whenever I tell folks about it, and I’ve told a lot of folks about it, I always reference my favorite song, the relevant lyric which is “Dyke drama and tofu scramble, that’s what we serve at the Lesbian cafe.” It’s a pivotal scene during which brunch is peppered with some serious ubiquitous ex-girlfriend messiness.

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This is one of the stars of the Lesbian Love Octagon in her go-go dancing alter ego at the first Yes Ma’am party.

The entire musical is so amazing because being a dyke in the nineties in New York City is so different! Back when our communities supported dedicated dyke coffee shops and bars and break-ups happened in person and not on Facebook. I often puzzle about how people made plans before we had texting and how people figured out how to get anywhere before google maps on our smart phones. Did they just carry subway maps and atlases around?

Kim (along with co-music writer Will Larche) wrote an incredible musical slightly based on her real-life group of friends. It’s clever, hilarious and tender. It’s also a real-deal production with actors appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity and awesome songs. I absolutely loved it when I saw it two years ago and was thrilled in a squeaky way when Kim told me it was being relaunched in June 2013, which is now. I’ve always thought this show should be a permanent off-broadway show for all visiting homosexuals to enjoy while in NYC. It makes a great date night!

Here’s the synopsis of the show:

Set in the late 90s on the Lower East Side of New York City, LESBIAN LOVE OCTAGON follows the journey of Sue, a less than butch dyke with a broken heart, as she tries to cope with losing her girlfriend to her ex-girlfriend. When Sue’s friends (a bevy of ex-girlfriends and ex-girlfriends’ ex-girlfriends) come rushing to her aid, they incite a tempest of lust and betrayal as they try to convince Sue that the answer to happiness exists in polyamory, pomade, and online personals. A riotous look at a righteous time in lesbian history, LESBIAN LOVE OCTAGON is a musical for anyone who has ever loved wimmin’s bookstores, tofu or cats.

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I was pretty thrilled when I fell into my first Lesbian Love Octagon in real life last year. I went on some dates briefly with someone (Dyke A) who later introduced me to someone else (Dyke E) I went on dates with and two other people (Dykes C & D) that Dyke A ended up going on dates with had a weird love entanglement. It was LLO realness and I was thrilled to have a word for it. The next time I saw Dykes C & D I said, “Hey, did you know we’re in a Lesbian Love Octagon?” I think you can understand why lesbian love entanglements are made for the musical format.

Kim asked me to guest star in the show, which means I play a small but meaty role of a performance artist from the 90s. I’ve written something very hilarious. I’ll be there on June 19th, you can buy tickets at this link.

But even if you can’t make it to my guest starring performance, I think you should absolutely get tickets for this on any of the days during its run because it will sell out. This is must-see lesbian entertainment.

Read more about the Lesbian Love Octagon!

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Me at a fundraiser date auction with one of the real life people in the friend group this musical is based on.

2013-06-03

June Events! June 7th big ol’ Brooklyn Pride Kick Off Party & June 30th Afternoon Tea Dance!

Welcome to Gay Stamina Month. The month in June where every weekend has a pride event in some borough (including Mermaid Pride, I mean, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade). I cut off my schedule early in May. Seeing it swell with events I just decided not to plan anything else. For my sanity!

FYI Rebel Cupcake is on hiatus until September, when it will return as a quarterly extravaganza!

The BIG THINGS I’m excited to share with you are as follows:

JUNE 7th!! This FRIDAY! The Yes Ma’am crew is kicking off the weekend of Brooklyn Pride (which is June 8th) and coincidentally the Big Fat Flea (June 9th) with an amazing off the chain body positive dance party.

We are adding DJ D’hana Perry to our line-up! Their company is Chub Rub Productions. Totally perfect for a body positive queer dance party!

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

We have special guest celebrity Kelli Jean Drinkwater from Sydney, Australia in the house roaming around, looking fabulous and hostessing during the evening! I’m so excited to have Kelli Jean at Yes Ma’am!!

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We are actually building a TWERK WALL. It’s going to have decoupage. Inspired by this situation, basically we are hiring a carpenter to build us a TWERK WALL to have at our dance party. If you build it, they will twerk.

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All the info on the party is here, RSVP on the Facebook event, and if you purchase tickets pre-sale you get a free drink! Save two bucks on admission by joining our email list!


I have taken over one third of the hostessing duties of the Lunchbox Queer Co-Working at Beast every Friday! If you’re a freelancer/student/flexible Friday schedule person, bring your books or your laptop to this great restaurant in Brooklyn to get some work done in good company! It’s phenomenal networking, really fun, very well air conditioned and the food is delicious.

11-4pm, Fridays, Beast Restaurant, Corner of Vanderbilt & Bergen in Brooklyn!

The Facebook event page is updated with the new date every week, so “join” if you want to get updates!

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Later this month, you should mark your calendar for the second installment of our afternoon party, WHAM BAM! The first one was last week and it was so much fun! I have always wanted to create a mellow, afternoon/early evening soiree and WHAM BAM is exactly it. We’re at this amazing swanky bar called Huckleberry in South Williamsburg, that has a reputation for incredible cocktails and great food. Lounging with queers in a gorgeous backyard is one of my favorite things to do!

Sunday, June 30th (after the pride parade in Manhattan) from 4pm-10pm swing by and hang out!

All the info is here as well as our Facebook event!

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Yes Ma'am $5 mint julep! Enjoyed on the patio!
The Mint Julep drink special was a hit last time! This time we’re doing a $5 Cranberry Violet cocktail special!


See you out and about! I also decided that instead of the Mermaid Parade on June 22nd this year I’m going to Punk Island (same day/time as Mermaid Parade) dressed as a mermaid! Stage 4 is hosted by my pals at Brooklyn Transcore! Queer bands all on one stage! Bad ass way to have it all.

If you want to get my Facebook round-ups of events, friend me on my Rebel Gateau page! I actually try to keep my personal page curated to folks I know in real life, but I want to be able to connect to folks who want to get invited to events on the blue grid.

2013-04-30

Bevin Branlandingham in the May issue of Curve Magazine

Curve Magazine did a feature article about me that is published in the May issue! The issue has Beth Ditto on the cover! I’m so stoked to be included in the Body Positive issue and with company as incredible as Beth Ditto.

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(Also note that this issue straight up calls out Fat Activism and Riot Grrrl on the cover! I couldn’t be in better company for this issue!)

This is a great time to support Curve Magazine, tell them how much you appreciate them giving voice to the body positive movement! Look for them on newsstands or order online.

I just learned that Curve also has a tablet app edition that costs the same as the street issue, if tablets are your deal. Clickie for more info.

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One slight note about the article–they say I began producing queer events in 2011 in Philly. Rewind that a decade–2001! I’ve been doing this work for awhile!

2013-04-25

May NYC Queer Nightlife Events: Rebel Cupcake May 2nd Anniversary and May 10th Yes Ma’am Takes on a Friday Night

May is coming next week and I can hardly believe it. I’m really excited about what I have planned and I wanted to give people a head’s up if they wanted to plan to travel into NYC for any or all of these events. (Hint: the answer is yes, you want to plan travel.)

Rebel Cupcake is turning three!! I started the party on International No Diet Day three years ago in 2010! My mind is blown at how much has happened in that time and I’m also really grateful Rebel Cupcake is still going on. This month’s theme is Riots Not Diets, which is appropriately celebratory of International No Diet Day and the strong Riot Grrrl roots of the party. (I named it after Bikini Kill’s “Rebel Girl,” but imagining that the Rebel Girl was a Queer Fat Femme.)

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Even better, we’re bringing in DJ Shomi Noise, who was the original DJ (along with DJ Sirlinda, who held down the second shift) for the party! She did the first six or so Rebel Cupcakes! I’m excited to have some strong Riot Grrrl in the house for the anniversary. DJ Shomi Noise also spins regularly at Hot Rabbit, the other party baby of the promoter behind Sweet Fox, our co-conspirator in this current incarnation of Rebel Cupcake. (It’s so complicated! But not, actually, just come and dance. And pepper your workday with hot jams by listening to Shomi’s Sound Cloud, which is what I did yesterday.)

Shomi Noise at Sweet Fox
Photo by Gizelle Peters for Sweet Fox.

I’m also deeply grateful to have Miss Mary Wanna up from Philly. She is one of the hardcore regular performers at Rebel Cupcake and represented us in the Miss Lez pageant last year. Her shimmy is one of a kind and her burlesque is more storytelling than just strip tease (though there’s plenty of that, too). The last time she performed at RC in January she deep throated two sticks of butter in an homage to Dolly Parton and Paula Deen.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Sequinette is a NYC Femme Drag Persona who has never actually performed at Rebel Cupcake. I’m really glad to rectify that next Thursday and pop another RC cherry.

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Photo by Gabi Porter.

Here’s all the info on the party!

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham & Boy Wonder Events Present
Rebel Cupcake & Sweet Fox: Mariah Carey Tribute
10PM-4AM Dancing; show 11ish * $5, $7 after midnight
Late night dancing til 4a
Lit Lounge: 93 2nd Ave @ 6th Street, Manhattan, NY
(F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Astor Place, L to 3rd Ave)


Okay, so Yes Ma’am is all full of big plans for the summertime. Starting on May 10th (which is a Friday, we’re mixing it up) we are OPENING THE BACKYARD OF THE MANSION. The chatio feel that I wanted so much for this party begins again! I love an outdoor space where you get to walk away from the loud loud music and just chill out, talk to some folks, get the gossip, maybe chat up that hottie you were grinding with.

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Photo by Kelsy Chauvin of the foyer of the mansion (where Jo spins). We’re giving the raffle money from the first few months of the party to the owner of a business that got shut down by Hurricane Sandy.

AND GET THIS!! Not only do we have a chatio right in back of our mansion, but it’s got a cafe! And the cafe owner, Lloyd, is setting up a BBQ!! When we met with Lloyd I was like, “Will you make sure there’s a vegetarian option on the grill? Please don’t take this to mean I’m not meat positive because I am totally meat positive. I just know there will be some hungry vegans, too.”

Lloyd and his wife Hillary had the BBQ booth at Bed Stuy Pride last summer, if you made it to that. I was there but was just coming from brunch so I didn’t partake but everyone was talking about how awesome the BBQ was.

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Mizz June, selling June-O shots! Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

And if that wasn’t good enough, our bartender Jacqueline, is plotting a new summertime mojito punch! Four bucks! And three new shots, including one using a basil-infused vodka. And Miz June is back selling June-O shots. They are seriously delicious. And June is also a babe! WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN.

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Our bartenders Jacqueline and Khara. Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

Babes, BBQ, Basil Vodka. Seriously, May 10th. This party is going to be incredible.

Friday, May 10, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Nicky Cutler and DJ Average Jo Present
Yes Ma’am
10PM-3AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our email list)
CASH BAR
375 Stuyvesant Ave @ Decatur, Brooklyn, NY
Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border (2 blocks from Utica Ave A/C train)

Save these dates for Yes Ma’aming!

May 22nd: Trans Womyn Belong Here Benefit at Stonewall! 10p-2am, stop by, dance to amazing DJ Average Jo and get in on some deeply amazing raffle prizes.

May 26th: Memorial Day Weekend we have a Sunday afternoon party in the works. More info to come, but start looking for your best Kentucky Derby wear now. Big hats, suspenders, etc.

June 7th: Brooklyn Pride Weekend will be a big destination! Yes Ma’am is getting the second floor of the mansion, we’re having the backyard (BABES BBQ BASIL VODKA) again and we’re adding DJ D’Hana Perry into the mix. Friday–Yes Ma’am, Saturday–Brooklyn Pride Festival, Sunday–Big Fat Flea in Manhattan. Big ol’ weekend of body positive queer fun.

2013-04-15

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.

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Photo by Laura Sawchuck.

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.

First, here’s all the information on the show:

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Cupcake Cabaret Featuring Ivan E. Coyote
Doors 7:15p, Show 7:45 * $7-$15 sliding scale
53 Christopher St, NY, NY
W 4th St. / Christopher St. Stations

Cupcake Cabaret is a performance celebrating the strength we get from what marks us different in this world. Size, gender, sexuality, class, race, dis/ability, age, religion and all numbers of identities bring the artists in the series a sense of power and esteem.

Featuring Ivan E. Coyote, storyteller, author of many incredible books, and heartstring puller all the way from Vancouver, Canada!
[http://www.ivanecoyote.com/]

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Ivan is an incredible storyteller. If you aren’t familiar with their work, you need to dip into the treasure trove of youtube.

From Dear Younger Self (the video above):

“Do not cave into the pressure from mainstream society to fit in. You do not and will not ever fit in. And one day you will realize you don’t even want to anymore. And that your difference is inherently tied to your beauty and your bravery. And your giant, mystical, invisible brass balls. You will grow to love these balls, younger self, and they will swing majestically between your ears inside the head you will hold up proudly.”

I basically can’t hear anything Ivan reads without crying a little (or, sometimes, a lot).

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Photo by Jah Grey.

Another out of town miracle visiting NYC and performing Thursday night is my friend Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha! A queer, Sri Lankan, disabled writer, performer and cultural creator, Leah inspires me to no end. Her poetry is incredible.

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Felice Shays, living in Brooklyn, NY, is a Femme feminist performance artist and author of Brutal Affection, her forthcoming book about the magic of rough sex (among other things). She radiates strength, sweetness and glamour and not just in a rhinestone cowboy boot kind of way but in an I want to do whatever she wants me to do kind of way. Her performance work is personal, empowering and delightful. She once fisted a watermelon at Rebel Cupcake wearing a bridal gown.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

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Photo credit Stacie Joy.

LeRoi Prince is one of my favorite gender performers in NYC right now. Their butchlesque acts are charming, their Prince numbers are dead-on (read: sexy, sultry, entertaining), and political work is heartfelt and incisive. They read a piece at the Forest of the Future calling forth the importance of our queer ancestors and what they fought in order for us to be who we are as a community today that made me weep. Everyone was weeping, though, it wasn’t just me.

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LeRoi Prince is obviously my favorite Prince impersonator. Photo credit Nogga Schwartz for Rebel Cupcake.

Bevin Branlandingham is also performing, which is me! I’m reading from my memoir! I’m almost done with the first draft. Whatever section it ends up being the themes are empowerment, rebirth, dishy dyke drama, spiritual awakening, sex, and dirty Brooklyn dance floors.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey. (With my friend Sam, singing a little R. Kelly.)

You shouldn’t wait to RSVP on Facebook, you should do it now.

And if you haven’t seen Ivan’s piece “To All the Kick Ass Beautiful Fierce Femmes” and you are a Femme or you are in relationship to Femmes, I highly recommend it. A friend of mine is newishly out of the closet and newishly dating Femmes and I’m putting together a curriculum for her to learn about Femme and this is required watching.

2013-03-04

Big Changes for Rebel Cupcake / March 7 Move to Lower East Side / March 16th Yes Ma’am at the Mansion

First of all, both of the Rebel Cupcakes I produced in February got some great press. Check out the Time Out New York gallery from the NO PANTS NO PROBLEM Rebel Cupcake collaboration on February 14.

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Courtney Trouble was a dream to work with and is such a dedicated and talented artist. I’m so impressed by her Femmepire! Go buy all her porn!

Check out the QueerPorn.TV write-up and gallery of photos (NSFW link) from our special Courtney Trouble / QPTV collaboration on February 28th!

I spend a fair amount of my time working on creating body positive queer nightlife. I have been doing queer production work in cities since 2001 and had sort of given up on it when I moved to NYC in 2004 because it was so rough getting venues. Getting venues is still one of the hardest things about throwing events, but, like all things, experience and connections have really helped to move it forward. So is knowing how to embrace change and knowing when to catalyze it.

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Though I may appear to be just a Plus Size Party Girl, for readers of my blog you know I put a lot more thought and intention into everything I create. I’ve been producing Rebel Cupcake for almost three years (she turns 3 on May 6th, International No Diet Day) and I really love Sugarland in Williamsburg. It’s somehow both a nightclub and a dive bar, but better than that it’s wheelchair accessible and has a lot of nooks and crannies.

I’ve been hearing for years that Thursdays are hard for people and Williamsburg is hard to get to since the only train it’s on is the L train. This is why, when I was thinking about adding a second dance party, I insisted it be on a Saturday and somewhere in Central Brooklyn. (It was for these reasons that I started my new party baby, Yes Ma’am, in Prospect Heights, though now we’re moving to a bigger venue in a mansion on the Crown Heights/Bed Stuy border–more info below.)

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From the third Rebel Cupcake, July 2010! (We’re now on the thirty seventh!)

As with a lot of monthly parties, Rebel Cupcake has been flagging in the last few months. Not so much that a lot of people noticed, and there have been some special events that have off-set the flagging, but I could definitely see a downturn in the attendance. These two fancy residential buildings went up on either side of Sugarland, closing off the amazing outdoor smoking deck. The management changed at the bar, which was fine but then all the personnel changed, too. Then our resident DJ Bryan Black, who was such a great fit for the party, moved on, and nothing gelled yet for a replacement. I knew something needed to happen to shake up the energy for Rebel Cupcake to have her sparkle shine the brightest.

I did a lot of soul searching about it. Rebel Cupcake is like church to me. Queer performance and creating body positive/flamboyant space are both very important to me. We do a lot of woo, though mostly we just have a roaring, magical time together. One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten was that someone felt like Rebel Cupcake was the one dance party that they felt like they could be their most authentic self. That is exactly what I work to create.

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This was our first anniversary party in May, 2011. Photo by Amos Mac.

I’ve been spending some time getting to know the producer behind another queer party promoting machine, Boy Wonder Events, and we really have complimentary energy and skill sets. Emily is a genius at DJ curation and pulls a really eclectic queer crowd that is yet not that overlapping with my crowds. (I went to Hot Rabbit a couple of weeks ago and did three laps around the very packed club and found no one I recognized from my parties.) Maybe it’s because Boy Wonder is mostly in Manhattan, but it did make me think that if I got to keep the cabaret aspect of Rebel Cupcake that was so important to me and collaborate on all the other details with someone else it would breathe new life into the party.

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Me and Emily, photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

So, Rebel Cupcake is shacking up with Sweet Fox, the Boy Wonder Events’ Thursday party. First Thursdays of the month at Lit Lounge, a performance space in a sultry basement on the Lower East Side. Accessible by three different train lines (the 6, F, and L) and it all starts on this Thursday, March 7th.

Like all great domestic merges, we bring different things to the table. Sweet Fox brings some awesome drink specials ($5 Bud/BL, $5 Foxhounds, $10 Beer + Whiskey Shot, Late Night Happy Hour 130-230am), great DJs, and Rebel Cupcake brings the flamboyant performance and cupcakes. We’re compromising on the go-gos and alternating our house photographers (from the talented Gizelle Peters to the equally talented Kelsey Dickey).

This month’s theme is UHaul (appropriate and very gay, no?) and I really hope the Rebel Cupcake regulars will welcome these changes and bring the magical energy from our island in Williamsburg out to the East Village!

REBEL CUPCAKE / SWEET FOX: UHAUL

Thursday March 7th

10PM-4AM

$5 / $7 after midnight

At the legendary LIT LOUNGE: 93 2ND AVE @ 6th Street, Manhattan, NY
(F to 2nd Ave, 6 to Astor Place, N or R to 8th St, L to 1st or 3rd Ave)

REBEL CUPCAKE: a flamboyant dance party for all shapes & flavors! WINNER of Go Magazine Awards for Best Emcee (Bevin) and Most Eclectic Crowd!

And SWEET FOX, the Lower East Side queer dance party with flamboyant go-gos and a dreamy basement performance space. We’re celebrating all things UHAUL !!

Performers:
Molly Equality Dykeman
The dykiest performer I could think of for the UHaul show! She’s so hilarious. Photo by Anya Garrett.
*Molly Equality Dykeman
Security Guard at a public school by day, Poet and Comedienne by night

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Photo by Courtney Trouble.
*Fancy Feast
Our in-house Stage Kitten brings Burlesque!

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*DJ LADYLYKE (Stiletto) & DJ MITCH FERRINO (Monster/Hot Rabbit) spin dance beats all night to keep you moving!!

Find the rest of the info on the Rebel Cupcake page. Pre-cruising on the Facebook event.

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As if one big change wasn’t enough, Yes Ma’am is moving to a bigger location! We love our art gallery in Prospect Heights and will be doing some special events in the Summer at that space, but we’re stoked to get into this historic mansion on the Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border!

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Me and Nicky (co-producer) and Hana (in the corset) who runs our door for Yes Ma’am. Photo by Courtney Trouble.

DJ Average Jo will be spinning at the landing of this amazing staircase! We’ll have a dedicated dancing room, a dedicated room for chatting and drinking and who knows what will happen with the middle room.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Yes Ma’am.

Come on out Saturday, March 16th!

10PM-3AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
CASH BAR
375 Stuyvesant Ave @ Decatur, Brooklyn, NY
Bed Stuy/Crown Heights border (2 blocks from Utica Ave A/C train)

More info on the Yes Ma’am page and on our Facebook event!

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Yes Ma’am.

2013-02-25

QueerPorn.TV Takeover of Rebel Cupcake Thursday, Feb 28th

My life has a really remarkable way of falling into place. Recall my review of Lesbian Curves that kicked off FAT SEX WEEK… Well, Courtney Trouble, the head Femme in charge of Lesbian Curves and the Femmepire of TROUBLEfilms, is coming to NYC! And we were all, “Let’s throw a party together!” Making a party baby is always a fun and amazing thing to do with out of town collaborators (the NO PANTS NO PROBLEM Rebel Cupcake on V-Day was epic).

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That’s Courtney on top there.

Courtney has a porn site called QueerPorn.TV with some great ethics & intentions (see their manifesta!), so we’re doing a whole QPTV takeover of Rebel Cupcake. Her co-producer (and one of the QueerPorn.TV stars) Tina Horn will be in the VIP lounge, along with Billy Castro, another NYC-based star of QPTV.

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Courtney Trouble & QueerPorn.TV present…
QueerPorn.TV Rebel Cupcake Takeover!
10PM-2AM Dancing * $5
Late night dancing til 4a
Sugarland: 221 N. 9th Street, L to Bedford

Prizes from QueerPorn.TV and infamous Queer Porn Powerhouse, TROUBLEfilms! And copies of the Feminist Porn Book from the Feminist Press!

NSFW Photo booth Photos by Courtney Trouble!

Sexy go-gos of all shapes and sizes!

Meet your favorite QPTV stars and enjoy drink specials from Sugarland!

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Tina Horn

In our VIP Lounge: Billy Castro & Tina Horn from QPTV!

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Billy Castro

Suggested dress: Slutty and/or shiny!

Projected QPTV films!

DJ Scott Goodz! Spinning Divas, Top 40, 90s, R&B make out jams, Riot Grrrl and more.

Stage kittens/gogos/raffle mamas: Holly Amory & Fancy Feast

Accessibility notes: The stage area and bar are wheelchair accessible. Coming into the venue is a little narrow but there are no stairs to enter or to get to the main seating area for the show. Lots of street parking available. (Please let me know if you need any accommodations!)

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