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

2009-11-30

Bevin’s December Calendar!

Hello to you! I am performing and producing a bunch of really unique and fun shows this month! I am also celebrating my 31st birthday at the December 17th show (my actual birthday is Christmas Eve–Jesus has always made scheduling a party very challenging). So if you’re around please come! I would love to take a family photo with you in the queer family photo booth!!

If you cannot attend any of the events (especially my birthday/holiday show) for lack of funds, please let me know and I will help you out!!

Upcoming performances featuring Bevin Branlandingham!

Saturday, December 5, 2009 * New York, NY
Hyper Gender Burlesque!
Show at 10p, $10
59-61 E. 4th Street, buzz #6 and take the elevator to the 4th floor
Between Bowery and 2nd Ave in the Lower East Side
Train: F to 2nd Ave, N/R to 8th street or 6 to Astor Place
Bevin Branlandingham performs a piece in homage to Paula Deen (never before seen in NYC) in the Hyper Gender Burlesque Gluttony Show.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009 * Brooklyn, NY
BEVIN BRANLANDINGHAM PRESENTS!
Cupcake Cabaret NYC
doors at 8p, show at 8:30p, $10-$15 sliding scale (proceeds go to performers)
45 Berry st (corner of N 11th) L to Bedford or G to Nassau
Bevin Branlandingham femmecees and performs funny spoken word don’t miss an evening of celebrating our esteem through our differences!

World Famous *BOB*, Tano-rexic, Granny Chasing, F to F , Baby Woman [http://www.myspace.com/dreamcometruegirl]
Alysia Angel, Queer Fat Femme poet and storyteller from Olympia Washington [AlysiaAngel.blogspot.com]
Dave End, Meandering genderfabulous queer musician [http://www.myspace.com/daveend]
Miasia, World Class Queer Fat Femme Burlesque [Miasia.org]

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.

An ongoing series curated by Bevin Branlandingham, Cupcake Cabaret features comedy, drag, burlesque, spoken word, film, performance art and all manner of genres celebrating the radical act of self-love.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009 * Brooklyn, NY
MAXI CRAFT! A Re/Dress NYC Community Craft Fair!
7pm-9pm * CASH ONLY!
Re/Dress: 109 Boerum Place www.redressnyc.com
Bevin Branlandingham, in her capacity as the reigning Miss Re/Dress, presents MAXI CRAFT: A Re/Dress Community Craft Fair. Enabling our crafty clientele to sell their wares to our holiday shoppers, this one night only affair will celebrate the handmade, unusual, radical and raucous. Including jewelry, scarves, hair bling, accessories, handmade cards, zines, chapbooks, art, coloring books, perfume oil, and more just in time for Holiday shopping. There will also be a brief reading from works available at the event and a short video presentation.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009 * New York City, NY
BEVIN BRANLANDINGHAM PRESENTS!
Queer Family Holiday Extravaganza & Glittery Dance Party!
doors at 9p, show at 10p, dancing and mingling ’til 1a! $5-$10 sliding scale (outrageous holiday outfits encouraged but not required)
The Historic Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St.
Bevin Branlandingham Femmecees w/a spectacular and hilarious gender bending cabaret filling our hearts with queer families of choice before some of us go back to families of origin.

Using the glitter of the holidays for our own queer devices, the show features drag, comedy & burlesque by a mostly Femme cast in the style of the Zombie Queer Cabaret and the Femme Family Coming Out Party.

PERFORMANCES BY:
Bevin & The Baconettes
AfroTitty, Devastating Burlesque
Tommy Torpedo & Trixi Vixxen, Drag act Formerly of Legendary Drag Troupe DKPDX
Black Amethyst, Queer Fat Femme Burlesqe
Lola Dean, Sultry Southern Fresh Bottom Burlesque
More TBA!

QUEER FAMILY PHOTO BOOTH by Bloodhound Photography.

SEXY CUPCAKES in honor of Bevin’s birthday by Bambi Galore!

DJ SHOMI NOISE!
Spinning 90s Slow Jams before the show and the best mix of danceable hits, hip-hop and homo hop in NYC after!

Bring cash for Merch after the show!
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Thursday, December 31, 2009 * Brooklyn, NY
Femme Family NYC New Year’s Eve Anniversary Party!
10pm * $10-$15 (fundraiser for Femme Conference) * BYOB
Re/Dress: 109 Boerum Place www.redressnyc.com

We’re celebrating the anniversary of the amazing Femme Family with a New Year’s Eve party. A great TBD DJ will spin dance music that will make you want to move. BYO Booze, we’ll have mixers and ice. Lounge space and hot go go dancers of all shapes and sizes. Dress is Fancy, however you self-determine that.

…stay tuned at queerfatfemme.com/calendar for more up to the minute calendar magic & gigs!!

2009-11-03

Hair Bling!

This year I started getting really into hair bling. It all began when I first got my bouffant, around Halloween 2008. I accidentally let my hair grow out (read: got laid off so I stopped being able to afford regular cuts) and I finally went in to see Carla, my hairdresser at Balance Salon in Jersey City. She convinced me to keep the length, did my cut and then passed me off to a fellow stylist to give me a bouffant. “It’s like an open marriage, I’m just going to watch.”

That bouffant changed my life. Having been traumatized by tangles in my hair at an early age I was afraid of teasing it. Spending 10 minutes working out tangles every now and again is so worth it to have high hair. Sometimes I use a bumpit but never when my hair is truly close to Jesus.

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Big hair means a big place to stick fancy things in. I am really into hair bling of all kinds. I even have a line of hair bling at Re/Dress, priced really low, the proceeds of which help feed my hair bling habits.

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Actual hair bling I made, friend bought at store, and wore out in the wild.

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Actual hair bling part of my habit, modeled by Jessie Dress. It’s a turkey dinner.

I think anyone can use hair bling. If you don’t have a lot of hair, stick a clip on a headband and put it on your head. Poof! It’s like a mini hat, only, you know, a bird.

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Dapper Dandies can use hair bling to add a little flavor to their hats.

Here you’ll see a gorgeous purple leather fascinator clipped to a grey hat modeled by Eddie Adonis, of the Charm City Boys in Baltimore. They’re hosting the International Drag KingCommunity Extravaganza in October 2010.

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I was doing some personal shopping for him to add sparkle to his wardrobe for IDKE in Tuscon.

My friend Sarah Deragon makes some elaborate and extremely fancy hair bling. Her stuff blows my mind. I got this hot pink feathered number and wore it on a night on the town (Sister Spit the Next Generation tour) and then at work the next day. Hair fascinators do not have to be just for going out!

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If you love the stuff in Sarah’s store Looks Good From the Front, leave me a comment here with your dream hair bling (specific flower? specific woodland creature?). The most creative answer gets a coupon to use in the Looks Good from the Front Etsy shop.

And for those of you in the New York City area, in my capacity as the reigning Miss Re/Dress NYC, I am hosting a craft fair! My line of hair bling will be there, as well as a trillion other great vendors! Come support your community and arts for the holidays!

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2009-10-01

The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Breaking Up and Declining a Date Invite

Yesterday the fabulous Vagina Jenkins posted a Facebook Status that said the following:

“Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowbois!”

My response was “I disagree. The cowbois raised today will be cougar fodder for you and me when we’re 50, Vagina Jenkins.”

Vag: “Hmmmm, true! I revise my previous statement to say ‘Mamas, do let your babies grow up to be cowbois, as long as they keep it packin’ and know how to treat a lady…'”

Bevin: “How about ‘Mamas, do let your babies grow up to be feminist cowbois with good hair, appropriate equipment and manners.'”

Vag: “Yeh, but now it sounds like it might be offbeat….BB you are an amazing woman…you know that?”

Bevin: “I do know that, but I never ever tire of hearing it. Especially during my currently highly jaded and annoyed attitude towards my romantic life. This is when I turn to my art and just do shit so that the tiny queers coming up now know how to love themselves, treat a grown ass woman and be good ethical humans. Even if things aren’t going well for me now they can go well for a sassy 30 year old queer fat femme in 2019.”

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I’ve had a hard time articulating a way in which I can turn my latest rage into productivity. In the absence of some flowery prose, I will tell you what is giving me the rage lately:

People who don’t know how to break things off with someone properly and/or who cannot gracefully turn down a date.

First, I will give you a list of real life examples from my life and my friends lives in the last couple of months to illustrate why my rage is at a boil.

Example A: You go out with a girl on two proper marathon* dates with a total of 3 hook ups that involved going all the way. You break up with her via picture text message. A picture text from a popular nighttime drama set that films in New York City.

“[This show] is filming by my work again, it made me think of you. Also you’re awesome but I don’t want to go out with you anymore can we be friends?”

Rage.

Example B: You get a cutesy email from a Femme asking you out on a casual date because you have been flirting for a month and she’s trying to cut to the chase. You respond with a five paragraph emotional dump going on some long tangents about your private emotional business, including some massively hurtful assumptions about the Femme’s relationship to food, along with about four excuses as to why you can’t go out with her including that you’re not really interested in dating anyone anyway. Follow that up with going on a date with her roommate 2 weeks later. Just for good “I was lying about that stuff anyway” measure.

Rage.

Example C: You’ve been dating a girl about six months. You publicly claim to be very chivalrous, but instead of breaking up with her in person, you call her on the phone. While she’s at brunch with her friends. Break up with her then.

Rage.

Example D: I was just reminded of this tonight, so I’m just going to reiterate it here. Get the full story on Episode 2 of FemmeCast. But how about you’re engaged to be married to a Femme, due to your made up depression (to conveniently explain away your affair with her friend) you’ve decided you need some space to sort your emotional mess out so you move away to a place with no lease so you can move back in with your fiance again. Oh, and she’s moved to another place that she can afford on her own but has made all of these accommodations because you are supposed to move back in with her in a couple of months. So you take her out of your top friends on myspace and the same day dump her in an email.

Rage.

Listen up, people. This goes for Femmes and non-Femmes alike, even though all the above examples were butch identified women or transguys. There are, unfortunately, a million more examples every queer who has ever dated can come up with just plain rude and ridiculous behavior. Scoundrels and bad manners come in all gender presentations, and while curing scoundrelhood is beyond the scope of this blog post, I am going to teach you bad manners queers a little something.

A little something about acting right.

When a potential suitor complimented another girl’s cleavage on my facebook page, Alysia Angel gave me the term “That’s just no home training!” I’ve found that phrase really apt and helpful in the last few months.

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Look, everyone makes mistakes and everyone screws up, especially with regards to other people’s feelings. But it doesn’t take more than a moment’s consideration to figure out how to best handle a sticky situation where someone wants something from you, romantically, that you can’t or won’t give. Mostly, it just takes courage.

The easy way out is to text a girl instead of having a conversation with her about how you don’t want to see her anymore. But seriously? If you live in the same metropolitan area as someone, you need to go see them and break up with them. If you’ve had more than one date with a girl that involves sex, same deal. Meet over coffee. Yeah, it’s awkward. Nobody ever died of awkward.**

And sometimes it feels like in New York City everyone has to have a long distance relationship because interborough travel can take up to 2 hours. But seriously? Your girl is at brunch and you can’t just hustle your ass to meet her afterwards if your breaking up with her is so ridiculously urgent?

Chivalry does not end during the courtship phase. It goes all throughout the relationship and on into the break-up.

And as for how to decline a date invite graciously? A simple “No thank you, I don’t feel that chemistry between us” will suffice. Nothing you can do about lack of chemistry. It’s inarguable. Way better than some bullshit “I’m not over my ex” or “I just don’t feel like dating right now” because that only makes you look like an asshole when you start hitting on her friends on OK Cupid.

And for crying out loud, please don’t go into WHY you don’t feel like chemistry is there. I don’t want to hear some convoluted story about why you don’t like fat girls or why you don’t like people who love themselves or why you’re threatened by a girl with an advanced degree or a high IQ. No chemistry is fine. I’ll just assume you don’t like femmes or tall people or glitter or whatever I need to in order to preserve my pride.

In defense of the majority of people I have dated or tried to date will say I have been party to plenty of graceful “no, thank you’s”. My ex, Seth, drove all the way up from Philly to break up with me. We’d been together for three years and at the time I didn’t stop to think about what a class act that was, but it was. It was really classy to make that 90 minute drive. And I’ve had a few date declines that even involved semi-colons and nice words about how hot I am. Semi-colons are my favorite punctuation. A good date decline is awesome and makes me feel really good about having those people in my life as friends.

Someone told me tonight “It’s cowardly to break up with your fiance in an email.” Yes. Yes it is. So I just implore all of you out there reading to cowboi up and don’t be a coward. Do the right thing and just be the best version of yourself when you’re delivering news someone doesn’t want to hear. Respect her and respect yourself. Take a couple of breaths before you respond to hysterics with more hysterics and use your “I” statements.

Keep in mind when you’re breaking things off with someone you’ve had the luxury of thinking about it a long time before she has, and give her the chance to catch up by being clear-headed yourself.

There are lots of hot people out there who read my blog, I know because some of you are my friends on Facebook. (Damn, you’re looking good.) Anyway, you all need to do right by each other so that we can have a little more peace in the queer community and a little less rage.

Oh, and by the way? Girls talk. Do wrong by one and a network of 10, 20, maybe more girls will hear about it. It is the blessing and the curse of our community.

Since I know there are plenty of you out there who are all “But Bevin, I have this oh so complicated situation and I can’t do anything but this douche move*** in this instance” I challenge to by saying NO! There is still a classy way out of it. Email me and I’ll help. My service to the community or whatever. Femmecast at gmail dot com. I’ll get the Gay Dr. Phil, one of my very favorite cowbois, to help me out.

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Why do all the classy boys in my life drink cheap beer?

*Marathon is 6 hours or more. Basically when you go out for a solid part of a day.
**Rachael gave me that one. It’s my motto.
***The show Greek on hulu.com is better than Gossip Girl.

2009-08-18

Girl You Look Expensive: Alysia Angel

This is a continuation of my series Girl You Look Expensive! (Read the whole back story and intention behind the post here.) I was super excited to see the ever sweet & swoonworthy Scream Club (beware the flashy flashy gifs at the link) perform a hyped up remix of this song last week.

Meet my charming and gorgeous friend, Alysia Angel:

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The details on my outfit in the photo are:
dress xxl target $12
shoes vintage sling back 70’s “mushrooms” .99 value village
polka dot scarf .99 value village
white tiled reversible bag (gold on the other side) $2 goodwill
teal bracelet 0.00 found in a free box

And a brief and wonderful sample of her writing, on Femmes and Class:

    Dimes to diamonds

I have a closet of carefully selected vintage dresses, the waistbands torn out and
re-sewn to add inches to accommodate the roundness of my body, the
hemlines raised to accommodate the shortness of my stature, the plunging
necklines that free up the girls, putting them on a very huge display. I love
thinking about those sweet little fancy soldiers, lined up in a walk in closet,
in RGB color scheme. My head swims, dazzled by the teals, pinks,
reds, the wrong way for fat people but oh so right for me stripes,
eensy weensy polka dots, mandarin collars, tiny little white buttons,
cap sleeves, op art prints and the joy of putting these dresses on my
body. I love the shimmery feeling of a $5 vintage dress. Femme to me is
sexuality, vulnerability, strength, deliberate bold fashion and power.

Femme and fashion feels like a released Papilionoidea,
glittery and sharp, flowing from my clothes like honey.

In 20 years I haven’t changed a thing about my approach to buying
nearly everything second hand, making it my own, reinventing what
personal style means. I have dedicated myself to fashion without ever
looking to magazines or books for help. I have dedicated my body to be
a canvass, a color palette, a target for material. I am a slave to a
“perfect” dress, a perfect pink shell top, a kitschy vintage pin, a
large and gorgeous clutch, a hot pair of heels, an accordion skirt in
an interesting color. My eyes are on alert, always scanning, trained
on certain fabrics, prints, colors, and size. My fashion is a divining
rod for beauty, personal and to be shared. My sexuality and my fashion
are forever entangled like eyelashes on the first girl I loved in high
school. The one I fucked in her water bed, silent, sleek, and secret,
still the sweetest kisses of my entire life.

Her words are syrupy remnants at the bottom of delicious desserts you’ve long ago finished and can’t wait to enjoy again morphed into a gorgeous string of song.

If you want more (and I’ve been reading her Live Journal for awhile–you definitely want more) she’s selling this really stunning chapbook for only $15. Hand made from cover to cover. Even if you’re not a big reader, this stunning piece of art will look amazing on your coffee table or as a gift to a close friend. But chances are you’ll pick it up and never be able to put it down. She’s that good.

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$1.50 for shipping in the US, $3 outside the US. This book is a first of a series of 5 books. You can make payments via paypal to alysia.angel at gmail dot com.

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