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

2012-05-07

Thursday Night! Brooklyn Queer Party Featuring Kate Bornstein and Barbara Carrellas!

OMG, Kate Bornstein is on the cover of the Village Voice this week!

She is also reading from her new memoir at Rebel Cupcake on Thursday, May 10th!

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I’m super excited. I love Kate, I can’t wait to read the new memoir, A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today.

And also Barbara!! You recall her from the book review I did of Ecstacy is Necessary. She’s doing a demo on stage! And hopefully Bluestockings will be able to come to sell books so you can get them signed by Kate and Barbara!!

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Kate at Rebel Cupcake in September, 2010.

It is also our second anniversary! Two years ago on International No Diet Day I started a queer party to celebrate all sizes and flamboyance and it is still going strong! We’ve had tons of performers from all walks of the LGBTQ and ally lifestyles, traveled to Oakland, CA, and won awards! Come celebrate!!

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All that, plus the same dancing/antics/joy/flamboyant good times you can always expect from Rebel Cupcake!! See you there!

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 25: Night of 1,000 Cupcakes (Second Anniversary)
10PM-2AM Dancing; show 11ish * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
Late night dancing til 4a
Sugarland: 221 N 9th St @ Roebling, Brooklyn, NY
(3 blocks from the Bedford L subway stop)

Rebel Cupcake: a flamboyant dance party for all shapes & flavors!

Performers:
*Kate Bornstein
Gender theorist, Performer, Playwright and Author of the new memoir A Queer and Pleasant Danger: The True Story of a Nice Jewish Boy Who Joins the Church of Scientology and Leaves Twelve Years Later to Become the Lovely Lady She is Today.
[http://katebornstein.typepad.com/]

*Barbara Carrellas
Sex Educator, Sex/Life Coach and Author of the new book Ecstasy is Necessary.

[http://www.urbantantra.com]

*& More!

*Sugarland DJ Bryan Black spins slow jams & riot grrrl favs to get you going, dance beats all night to keep you moving at a house party level–perfect for dancing and mingling!

*Nogga Schwartz ready to decorate your facebook page with antics from our wild photo booth!

*Hella foxy Hana Malia, our stylish and charming door captain.

Suggested dress: Wear that outfit you don’t have the occasion to wear otherwise. Old bridesmaid dress? Someone else’s old bridesmaid dress? A prom dress? A tux? Some combination of both? The very sluttiest thing you can imagine? Leather and Lace?

We’ll have chairs out during the performances and there is a lot of seating available in grottos and at the bar. This is a great party to be loungey and social or dancey. There is also a smoking deck! The show will be over by midnight so earlybirds can make it home–the show is about 30 minutes long.

As always, free gourmet cupcakes while they last! Morgan Hart is our Cupcake Princess.

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!)

2011-09-28

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

“I think the reason I trusted her was simply because I thought she was beautiful. I was too young and stupid to realize that being pretty did not make you anything more than pretty.”–Justin Vivian Bond, Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels

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I have an addition to the Femme Book Club List! The ultra Femme-friendly title
Tango: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels
by Femme icon Justin Vivian Bond.

I love a book that easily fits into my purse. I often find Femme-friendly titles in form and content from the Feminist Press. V’s autobiography is short–136 pages. I read it in little spurts during 10 minute subway rides hither an yon and found it delightful, but fast readers could easily devour it in one sitting.*

V wrote the book with the intention of keeping it short. “I made the book brief and the language simple so that harried mothers and nervous children could read it in a hurry and pass it on.”

The story is great, highlights of a transgender childhood full of gender policing and sex shaming by adults really concerned about their children fitting in, homophobic lovers, finding outlets in music and close friendships with girls.

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Photo by Amos Mac. I found myself hearing V’s glamorous throaty voice cooing the words while I read them. I actually sometimes unconsciously use that voice when I’m trying to make a very dramatic and important point.

V also addresses mental illness in friends, which is something I think most teenagers experience but rarely talk about. It is really weird and scary when your friends disappear from school or are institutionalized for their mental illnesses, and there is such stigma and so many false stereotypes attached to it. As their friend all you want to do is love them and help them feel okay, and at that point adults seem fairly useless.

We see some awesome Femme moments and quotes. “[T]here is a big difference between acting like a woman and feeling like one.” [p. 125] (My shaky hand put a big star next to this on the subway when I read it.)

I think most folks who grew up as misfits will relate to Vivian’s developing a quick wit and ability to make people laugh in order for them not to target V.

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Snapshot of mine from the Feminist Press party in May. Nath-Ann, Justin Vivian Bond and I forget the name of the other cute companion in the DJ booth.

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.**

So, buy this book from the Feminist Press website for only $10.17! Or from your local bookseller! Make them order lots of copies!

Also, while you’re reading the book listen to Justin Vivian Bond’s new release “Dendrophile.” It’s only $9.99 for an MP3 download. Two great tastes that taste great together!

*Slow readers represent!
**Sometimes I wonder if/when I become a parent what will happen if my kid is a normal.

2011-05-12

Queer Book Worm Parties

So it’s 7PM on the second Thursday of the month, which means I’m at Re/Dress and since all the go-backs and tagging are done and all the custies are happy* I am sitting here daydreaming about my make-up and hair for Rebel Cupcake tonight. Every second Thursday I leave the store at 8 and have exactly an hour and fifteen minutes to get home, walk Macy, do my hair and make-up and do any last-minute Rebel Cupcake thingies.

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Photo by Allison Michael Orenstein.

This ritual has lasted for a year now, I am so happy and thankful to get to keep producing this party, that this party is so genuine/fun/not sceney/feel-good/flamboyant/queer/body-positive, to have work that is flexible enough that accommodates me doing all the different gigs I do.

I don’t usually perform in addition to Femmeceeing and producing the event but since it’s the anniversary party I’m doing my Lesbolesque act. Which means I’m also mentally rehearsing my act, a ritual that is as old as my drag king days. Did you know I used to perform as a drag king? That was really where I found myself a decade or so ago, on the drag king stage.

Also coming up within the week are two parties I’m excited to have a hand in. Total queer book worm parties.

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

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

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Ivan!

Also, Zena Sharman! So smart, sassy and funny. And a (you guessed it) Canadian!! There is so much maple at this event I just cannot wait.

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A few of my favorite things, Canadians, BBQ and making foolish faces. Zena on the left, hotties Ashley Aron and Smith on the right.

And also me! Reading a story that is a cousin to what I have in the book because I want to give people an incentive to buy the book to read more about debunking the femmephobic notion that Femmes are high maintenance. My friend who is a women and gender studies professor told me it’s a “highly quotable piece” and will be required reading for future classes he teaches so I feel super excited about making contributions to academia (even though in my opinion the book is so much more colloquial than academic).

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To cap off the readings/music/book launch a queer book worm DANCE PARTY!

When I was a little kid I was so shy and awkward and hardcore bullied for being fat so I just stuck to myself during recess, standing alone reading books. Literally standing in the playground, Baby Sitters Club or Nancy Drew or Christopher Pike in hand. So now all of this queer book worm dance party action, marrying my love of books and dancing is really like this amazing full-circle situation.**

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DJ Polar Sounds, hot butch magic times on the decks until 2 AM!

Not to be outdone, next Friday, May 20th is the Feminist Press (swoon, right?) dance party fundraiser FASTER PUSSYCAT!***

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The raffle is a fat girl’s dream–a gift certificate to Domino Dollhouse and a Re/Dress gift certificate are both up for grabs!

The party is at that 116 space I talked about in my last entry!

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

*Hey Deb!
**What would I put on a bookmark if I were able to slip it into ten-year-old tiny fat Bevin’s beloved books? “It’s all going to be okay.” A photo of a cute faggy gender queer with an age-appropriate explanation of queer sexuality. (I didn’t even know that people could be lesbians until I was 14, how’s that for in the closet?) Or maybe not because maybe it was easier just being fat, and better to be ignorant of being queer for awhile? Maybe just a photo of me at 32 having so much fun and loving life?
***We watched that movie in my feminist filmmaking class in undergrad. Love it!

2010-10-06

Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation Book Review

Oh friends, I’ve been gone so long and yet not gone anywhere but inside my big, sweet heart and head. I’m doing The Artist’s Way and life coaching and as Lynnee Breedlove, my coach, says “Filling the well. Putting gas in the tank.” I’m still brewing some interesting mind blowing blog topics, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I have a book to recommend to keep you company! It’s Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation edited by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman. Just released on Seal Press it is extremely accessible and interesting.

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The term “anthology” makes me think of things that are stuffy or academic. However, this reads more like an extremely well-edited and organized zine, which I believe is to its credit. Transgressing the anthology format, as the editors and authors transgress gender and sexuality. Some of the contributions are only a couple of pages and pack just as much punch as their lengthier counterparts. I love having something to read that can fit well between subway stops, which is where most of my reading takes place.

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Kate, reading at Rebel Cupcake: Sci Fi Cupcakes.

The editors use an AOL Instant Messenger format (old school!) for the introduction, intermission and conclusion of the book. They also discuss the topic of the next genderation, usage of the controversial terms “tranny” and “cisgender” and the reactions to both Kate and Bear when they came out as transgender during different genderations. I love that they’re not afraid to say what they think in this conversation and they really go there.

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Me, giving Kate an umbrella sheathed like sword with a sword handle from SITE Design at Rebel Cupcake.

I also loved the organization of the anthology. I love systems of creative organization and this just tickled me.
Part One: Do I look like an outlaw to you?
Part Two: Being reconfigured is not the same as being reimagined.
Part Three: …which is why I’m as cute as I happen to be.
Part Four: It might not be a picnic but there’s a great buffet.
Part Five: And still we rise.

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S. Bear Bergman hasn’t performed at Rebel Cupcake (yet!).

Several of the contributions resonated with me, including a touching account of “The Manly Art of Pregnancy” by J Wallace, which did a lot to counter the version of the “Pregnant Man” propagated in the media a couple of years ago.

I really loved the comic Transcension by Katie Diamond and Johnny Blazes. I love words and their application of language theory to finding a place within and without identity labels was extremely well-illustrated, both in text and pictures.

Scott Turner Schofield’s intense and powerful “The Wrong Body” has been swimming around in my head for weeks. It’s such a stunning and succinct narrative of why, as a fetus, he chose to be born a baby girl. “I saw that I would have time to appreciate my journey, with the head to understand it as a gift and the heart to achieve my whole self through all the trials it takes.”

And there are contributions to this anthology by trans allies as well. The piece that had me crying on the subway was Fran Varian’s “Daddy Gets the Big Piece of Chicken.” She weaves a gorgeous comparison to preparations for a date with her gender-variant lover and her working class family’s gender roles.

She shows the beautiful nuance of the unspoken dance between gendered energy and the ways in which we care for each other in our gender queer (and queer in other ways) relationships. “You walk on the outside, closest to the street. You do this because we are moving targets, even in San Francisco. You do this because you have been attacked for the masculinity you have constructed and because I am precious to you.” How lucky to have someone tell you how precious you are to them; luckier still to have someone show you how precious you are.

While I always want you, precious reader, to shop at a local feminist bookstore, if you buy Gender Outlaws: TNG on the internet and clickie through my link I get a tiny referral fee and it goes to buy me books and other delights.

NYC Readers! There is a reading at Bluestockings by some of the authors of Gender Outlaws: TNG (including Kate!) on October 8!

Rebel Cupcake photos by Nogga Schwartz for Rebel Cupcake.

2010-09-07

Kate Bornstein Performs at Rebel Cupcake on Thursday

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Dear Rebel Cupcakes!

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.

Kay Ulanday Barrett, a poet and performer, will be performing a piece about the Whedonverse.

Damien Luxe, electrotext wordsmith who last marveled Rebel Cupcakes with her tale of queer roots will perform a piece about Octavia Butler, an important stop for any queer sci fi afficianado!

DJ Shomi Noise, who is committed to remixing Riot Grrrl classics because, in her words, “there isn’t enough feminist dance music” will spin until 1, when DJ Designer Impostor spins until 4am.

As always, Rebel Cupcake photo booth with Nogga Schwartz (catch the antics at the Rebel Cupcake group page) and free cupcakes! Bring your dancing shoes and your joy down to Sugarland tomorrow night!

xoxo,

Bevin

*I would prefer if you bought it via your local feminist/lgbtq bookstore. But if you buy it via amazon (or anything from amazon) through this link I get a tiny referral fee that is slowly adding up so that I can get a copy of her partner’s book, Urban Tantra.

2010-06-11

Delivering Happiness Book Review and Giveaway!

One of the things that held me back from the pursuit of my joy and my true purpose in life is that the things I wanted didn’t come with a defined path. I spent so much of my teens and twenties looking for things with an “If you do x, y, z then you will achieve your desired result.” This made the decision to get my JD at 20 years old really seductive. I was licensed to practice in two states by 24 years old and stayed in my 9-6 (or 8 or 9 somedays) job for five years because I liked the security and couldn’t figure out how to achieve my other dreams.

That security was a myth. Just like being engaged to someone I thought was my forever didn’t actually mean forever, staying with a job for five years didn’t protect me from the first round of layoffs when the real estate market crashed. Turns out, both of those were the best things to happen to me in years.

My career goal is to have a talk show. Of course, there’s more than that, I would love to create a Femmepire: have a magazine, an animated series and books and all manner of media related to the topic of learning to love yourself and living your joy. It is incredibly frustrating at times because it’s not like there is a curriculum in higher ed to become the Queer Oprah.

Damien Luxe spent two years working on an MFA in DIY. At first I thought she was actually in a program that let her use DIY as a specialty, but in fact she just created a curriculum for an MFA and self-studied. Sure she doesn’t have a “degree” per se but she finished her one-woman show, almost a whole book and learned a lot! She presented the curriculum at Heather’s Artist’s Salon and it was incredibly well-rounded.

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

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

Delivering Happiness

Written by Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos.Com, Delivering Happiness is part memoir part retrospective road map to creating the kind of corporate culture and success that encourages staff to create coffee machine robots for the lobby. He specifically establishes the purpose of the book to be how he found happiness in business and in life.

I am a slow reader* but finished the book in the time of a cross-country flight. In the introduction Tony sets the tone for the book and lays out the expectation that he’s not a writer and purposefully wrote the book in his own voice and without always the best uses of grammar. As a grammar appreciator, I cringed when I read that but actually it was a fantastically chatty read, like a blog but with better editing. I found the whole book incredibly inspirational and practical. Sometimes what you need is someone you can relate to telling you how they got to where they are.

I related to Tony quite a bit–a smart kid who didn’t like to do any extra work when he didn’t have to, he got into a lot of mischief and schemes (to no externally hurtful end) growing up. He also explained how he walked away from 20 million dollars during his dot com “vest in peace” period because he realized he wasn’t happy. That is the kind of chutzpah I know, love and admire.

Making decisions about your own pleasure or happiness over security is something that is shamed in our culture and, if you can master being in touch with yourself enough to know what will make you happy I think you owe it to yourself to risk the happiness. For me, learning to love the uncertainty (and brokeness) that comes with being in the relentless pursuit of my joy and my mission in life has been infinitely spiritually rewarding.

Tony’s discussion of the Zappos Core Values is also relevant not just in business, but in real life. I have highlighted a lot of lines in that section to go back and reflect on, but this was my favorite:

Under the core value “Embrace and Drive Change” Tony says “Ask yourself: How do you plan and prepare for change? Do you view new challenges optimistically? Do you encourage and drive change? How do you encourage more change to be driven from the bottom up? Are you empowering your direct reports to drive change?”

And this, too, from the core value Be Adventurous, Creative and Open-Minded:

“We want everyone to not be afraid to take risks and to not be afraid to make mistakes, because if people aren’t making mistakes then that means they’re not taking enough risks.”

As a bonus to all of the good life and business coaching in the book, I also got to learn about one of the sexiest corporations I can think of. An entire website full of shoe porn, including amazingly multi-faceted shots of Fluevogs. I mean, really.

After reading this book I am definitely ready to continue my MBA in DIY curriculum and keep developing my Femmepire creation strategy.

If you want to get a copy of Delivering Happiness, using this link gives my site a tiny referral credit and with my referral fees I’m going to slowly amass my business book entourage. Next up is Suze Orman’s Young Broke and Fabulous (I’m reading Women and Money right now).

Further, I have a giveaway! Tony sent me an extra copy of the book as a giveaway on my blog. If you comment by midnight Eastern time on June 15 about your dream job (whether it is in a corporation or your own enterprise), you will be entered to win. I’ll pick the winner at random. Good luck!

*Slow readers represent!

2009-12-11

Femme Family Zine #1: Femme Coming Out NOW AVAILABLE

I’ll have some of the excerpts from the zine that I recorded at the launch party on later episodes of FemmeCast. Until then you should get a hard copy of this GORGEOUS piece of work.

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Me & Damien, Kinky at Kinkos.

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

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

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It’s gorgeous. Ally & Sophie at Kinkos. We were on a deadline.

To order a copy online, email paypal [at] femmefamily.com, or just go to PayPal.com and donate $8 or more for hardcopy, or $6 or more for a digital copy, to paypal [at] femmefamily.com. Be sure to include your address if you want your copy mailed.

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Chicago, reading his piece from the zine. All contributors are Femme identified and give you just some of the amazing breadth of Femme talent out there.

We hope you enjoy reading this zine as much as we enjoyed making it! We’re really proud of all the contributors. Our next zine is on the theme of Art – Femmes who make art, critique art, and/or live art. Deadline is March 1, 2010. Send questions or submissions to info [at] femmefamily.com

Thanks and femme ferocity,
NYC Femme Family | femmefamily.com

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Taueret leads us in a moment of rage after the moment of silence for Trans Day of Remembrance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Femmevolution | Corrine A. Schneider | p 3
Welcome Home: Femme Wading in the Queer Sublime | Lainie Dalby | p 4
When I Was a Wee Little Thing | Alysia Angel | p 6
From Fox to Femme | Jordan Fox | p 8
Revolutionary Steps | Rachel Schiff | p 9
I Think I Came Out the First Time I Didn’t Fuck Someone Back | Hana Malia | p 10
Gender Wishes | Sparkle | p 12
Crunchy Granola Femme | Stacey Langley
Albright | p 13
Words for Femme | Hadassah Damien | p 14
Art | Beth Slutzky | p 16
Poems | Taueret Manu | p 18
Something in My Closet | Sophie Rogers-Gessert | p 20
She Doesn’t Believe in Labor Unions | Lola Dean | p 22
One Day in My Early Thirties | Rexy Radical | p 22
An Omen of Good Faith | Chicago | p 24
Queer Femme Pop Diva | Nicky Click | p 25
Low Femme Low Life | Gaby Cryan | p 26
Prototype | Sarah Pinder | p 27
Shameless Portraits | Sophie Rogers-Gessert | p 28
A Different Kind of Herstory: Longing for Femme Mentors | Amanda Harris | p 30
The Missing | Bevin Branlandingham | p 32

2009-09-22

Making My Pageant Dreams a Reality

First thing’s first. October 10 I am making my halloween party dreams a reality with this Zombie Queer Cabaret!! I have wanted to have a big queer bar halloween extravaganza for a long time, so it’s happening in NYC at Stonewall, in much the same format as the Femme Family Coming Out Party.

I called it Zombie Queer Cabaret & Spooky Dance Party because it was a little too early for it to be a for real for real halloween party. And Zombies are so hot right now. You should bust out your favorite costume and come party the night away with a great Femme line-up of performers!!

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*******

I’m reading the second book for Femme Book Club (entry about the first book coming soon) and I am resonating so much with Amber Hollibaugh’s My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home that sometimes I have to put down the book because I am flinching. Sometimes it cuts close to the quick, seeing your own feelings in print like that.

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

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

I also really loved beauty pageants. I have always had a thing for them. I like watching people perform, I like sparkly outfits, I like good hair and ritual. As a feminist my love for these things is always tempered with critique of mainstream standards of beauty and I love it when they are usurped in some way. I get very excited when a fat girl is on Tyra’s model show, for example.

I feel funny about people competing for something really shallow, like appearance, and for me it’s not really about who wins (though I love when they cry) as the pageantry itself. Flamboyance for the sake of flamboyance.

I never saw myself included in those shows. For one, I’m not a natural blonde, for two in my wildest dreams I couldn’t be (and wouldn’t be) a size 2. Even the plus size pageants they have (and I’ve seen them) are just not the right place for me to live out my pageant dreams.

A few years ago my friend Glenn Marla won the Miss Lez Pageant and it changed my view on pageants forever. Best described here, in the words of the pageant’s founder, Mr. Showbiz himself, Murray Hill:

THE MISS LEZ PAGEANT is a wildly provocative, insane, jaw-dropping alternative beauty pageant for queer womyn that blows the lid off of “gender representation” and shines the spotlight on New York’s underground queer scene. Six contestants chosen from thousands of applicants will be competing against each other in the following categories: PLATFORM, SWIMSUIT, EVENING GOWN, INTERVIEW, and TALENT. There are no rules and the outcome is always worth the price of admission.

Y’all, it’s the emphasis on the pageantry and flamboyance I have always yearned for. For years I’ve been wanting to be a contestant. This year my dream has come true! I found out yesterday that I will represent Fatshionistas everywhere as Miss Re/Dress!

My BFF Brian was prepping me for the contest by firing interview questions at me over lunch today. “Bevin,” he said to me with an intensity only the gay boy BFF of a pageant wannabe can muster, “I can’t let you pull a Carrie Prejean* in this contest and ruin our–I mean your–chances at winning this.”

One of my favorite movies of all time is Drop Dead Gorgeous. I’m watching it obsessively to get tips.** Of course, I’m really just excited to get to compete, especially given the caliber of the other contestants (and my friend Sarah Jenny is also a contestant).

It’s Sunday, October 11, 2009, in Brooklyn. All the details are here. I hope I can count on your support of my bid, near or far.

*http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_USA_2009_controversy
**Mary, the reigning Mt. Rose American Teen Princess says “With one week to go before the pageant, I was finishing my outfit, rehearsing my talent, brushing up on current events, and running 18 miles a day on about 400 calories. I was ready.” I am preparing by doing all of that, but sub in doing yoga and eating bacon for the running and anorexia.

2009-08-24

Femme Book Club!!

As I announced in Episode 9 of FemmeCast, I’m starting an online Femme Book Club (FBC). I started FBC because I am a distracted reader with a to-read list a mile long–especially books by and/or about Femmes. One of the best things about having Femme community is conversations with those Femmes. We are a smart bunch. So what better motivator–finish a book and get to discuss it with other Femmes?

It’s no secret that my friends call me the Queer Oprah (and my career goal is to have a talk show). In that vein I thought about the ways I could have a Femme Book Club and use my media outlets to bring it worldwide and get other Femmes & allies reading and talking!

Here’s how it will work–FBC has its nexus in Femme Family NYC. We’re an open and inclusive Femme organization based in New York. We’re reading one book a month, selected by a member who wants to lead a discussion. If you’re in NYC you should join us. If you’re far away or can’t, I’ll post the discussion questions here at QueerFatFemme.com. If you have a blog, write them up on your blog and I’ll post a link on the entry. If you don’t, just respond in the comments section.*

I will try to give as much lead time as possible for people to procure and read the books. Again, slow/distracted readers represent!

AUGUST FEMME BOOK CLUB SELECTION:
Dorothy Allison’s Two or Three Things I Know for Sure (get your blog posts ready around Sept 1, and ongoing). Discussion leader: Sophie, Madam of Strategy.

SEPTEMBER FEMME BOOK CLUB SELECTION:
Amber Hollibaugh’s My Dangerous Desires: A Queer Girl Dreaming Her Way Home (blog posts ready around Sept 29, and ongoing). Discussion leader: Damien D’Luxe, Co-Head Madam.

Our first meeting is Tuesday, September 1 at 7:15 PM at Madam X, 94 West Houston Street. Probably in the backyard if we can swing it.

The second meeting is Tuesday, September 29 at 7:15 PM. Location TBA.

One of the things I hate most about finishing a book is that it has to end! When I’ve been carrying a book around for weeks (it takes me a long time to finish a book, again, distracted reader) I get attached–but when you have a book club or people to discuss it with, you really get to relive the book. I love the ways in which discussion can also help you see other aspects about a book you didn’t see on your own.

I will get the discussion questions likely from our group leader at the FBC in-person meeting and I will add some of my own. And what I will do with FemmeCast is still being worked out. I might include some snippits from the in-person meeting (if participants are cool with it) or perhaps have some correspondents talk about their reactions to the books. I like to keep things interesting.

I sincerely hope you’ll get the books from your local feminist or LGBT or indie bookstore. If you don’t have one of those or want to/need to buy online, if you use my links in this post I get a few pennies towards production costs.

marlastewart
Atlanta’s own Ms. Stewart, performing at the East Coast launch party for the book Femmes of Power. She’s also featured in the book!

*Participation in Femme Book Club is open to everyone, Femme identified and not. However, our discussion is specifically geared towards being inclusive of all races, ethnicities, class backgrounds, ages, abilities, sizes, etc… Entries should adhere to this spirit of inclusion and respect. If you have questions about this let’s talk!

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