I have this grief about leaving Brooklyn that hits me in waves. I am profoundly curious and excited about this new chapter in my life. I haven’t experienced a drastic geographic change in 15 years. I’m a totally different person than I was when I left CA. I’m so curious what it is going to be like. But also, I’m bummed about leaving a lot of the things I love about NYC behind. I’m working really hard not to let my grief and anxiety interfere with my ability to love the process and let go of NYC in a mindful way.
When I was 29 and my fiance had just broken up with me and I was kind of a disaster, my friend Kelli Dunham gave me a cd about the grief process. I didn’t realize at the time that you could have grief about things that weren’t death. I just thought you powered through yucky feelings by ignoring them. Learning how to deal with grief and anxiety has been a long road and I’m still working through it.
I’m really getting right to business in the title of this post. Yup, I’m moving. From Brooklyn to LA. I’m a queer, let’s process about how I got to that decision!
Two years ago, if you had told me I would be moving to LA at 36 years old I would laugh in your face. I grew up in Northern California. I have lots of complex feelings about my hometown and the East Bay surrounding it. I love to visit SF and Oakland and especially the Northern California coastal lands (e.g. Marin and Half Moon Bay). But I wouldn’t want to live there. Dot com stuff really changed how expensive it is there and most of the Bay feels pretty suburban and not appealing to me.
When you grow up in Northern CA you are taught a kind of regional disdain for Southern CA. I think Northern Californians buy into stereotypes that LA is all airy fairy and image-obsessed. Whenever I’d flip through LA Weekly and see nothing but ads for plastic surgeons I would allow that to be my perception of the entire region. (Not to mention the fact that I’ve become pretty airy fairy as I’ve become spiritual in my 30s.)
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).
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.
The first Yes Ma’am was a wild success! It was so fun. The chatio was filled with folks meeting and mingling, the dance floor was popping. At the end of the night everyone started chanting “One more song! One more song!” DJ Average Jo was on FIRE. The bar sold a steady stream of the Yes Ma’am punch and I am experimenting with some new concoctions for next month to try to ease the hangover. I’m 33, these things matter to me. We had the New York Toy Collective tabling and this woman who was cleaning up from the event before Yes Ma’am said to me, “So, really, what kind of party is this exactly?” I assured her it was a dance party and for queers sex toy tables are really no big deal and not neccessarily indicative of some kind of orgy happening at any second. I mean, sure, sometimes but not always.
I guess I’ve been slow to write this post because I was waiting for the aha moment of why I got so anxious after the storm. I think some of it was how connected human beings are–in Brooklyn we were literally surrounded by devastation.
In the last couple of years as I’ve learned what is really important to me and learned to let go of what isn’t, how to say no to things and how to check in with myself about what I am doing and how I am doing it. Moreover, I’ve learned how to identify for myself what is important to me, how to turn off all the voices of what I “should” be doing or who I “should” become, what my body “should” look like or how much I “should” love myself even when it’s hard. I got tired of shoulding and wanted to instead be living and enjoying my life. Thus, I have created a practice whereby I check in with myself about my priorities. I try to do this every week, but basically it comes up for me when I feel off balance.
Remember that scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby carries a watermelon and ends up in this magical, steamy, sweaty dance party? And then Johnny Castle teaches her how to dirty dance?
I have always wanted to throw that party, and now, in the heat of July in an air-conditioned gay bar I am recreating it!
All the info is below, I am super excited about the show and especially the sweaty dance party to follow!
I’ve talked about celebrating the fact that we are glitter identified people on the blog before. But I’d like to get deeper and start thinking about what are we doing every day that is putting together our amazing glittery lives? How are our lives beautiful right this minute? Where is our “too much” coming from, piece by piece?
Sometimes I find reading other people’s shines* really inspirational so hopefully you will find mine inspirational, too.
When one has friends scattered throughout the world and Facebook links us together, we get to have intense fear of missing out (FOMO) when we see all of the amazing photos and events going on without us. KFW lives in Oakland* and I live in Brooklyn and I have never experienced such intense “I WISH I COULD HAVE BEEN THERE” as when I heard about the Unicorn Party she threw.
In May 2008 I discovered the queer hipster party circuit in Brooklyn and it revolutionized my New York nightlife experience.
I came of age shaking my ass at gay boy bars with my fag friends, one of the only dyke fag hags in the joint. Let’s face it, a Femme loves a Fag.* And once I stopped trying to fit in at lesbian bars, because it never worked, I was generally annoyed at the bad music or lack of people dancing.
During its four year stint, Panty Ho’s was an institution in queer nightlife. Located in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, a hive for hipsters, it definitely had the crowd of big plastic 80s eye glasses and ironic/unironic neon fashion. I walked in and was so excited to see a bunch of hot queers I didn’t know, hear incredible dance music, and drink cheap booze. And while I felt excited about the social possibilities, I was also a little freaked out at the lack of body size diversity. It was clear to me that I was the fattest girl there by a long shot and one of only a smattering of Femmes.**