Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2011-06-07

Everyday Glitter

After months of seemingly endless rain/fog/end of times weather, we’ve finally got summer in full swing here in Brooklyn. I thought I’d celebrate this by doing a round-up of the little things that are delighting me lately.

ITEM THE FIRST: Hot Summer

Summer always starts so suddenly, like she throws you up against a wall and gets you all flustered, making you forget your own wardrobe. That you do, in fact, own 90 degree weather appropriate fare, except you begin scrambling. Before the Trans Women Belong Here dance party (we made $379!) last week it was so incredibly hot. I tried a new outfit three times and ended up wearing a dress I’ve owned for at least five years. I’ve learned that once I try three unsuccessful permutations of a new outfit I must accept that it is not happening, and thus I need to turn to a tried and true favorite. Same thing happened with my hair, I had an idea in my head of what I wanted it to look like but after three attempts I just did my femmepadour and called it a night. The following photo is not what I wore to the TWBH benefit (still waiting for the photographer’s shots).

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This was my favorite going out outfit in May–a black and gold rosette tunic with teggings and black and gold boots. Sadly it’s too hot to wear that now.

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Speaking of hot summer wardrobes, Cristy Road introduced these shorts as “nightlife shorts.” Too short to take the bus in Bed Stuy, just short enough for the dance party. Photo from Rebel Cupcake.

Since as I write this it is Prince’s birthday (June 7), he has released a new song called Hot Summer. It’s a good listen. Google for it, as the link I’ve had keeps going away.

ITEM THE SECOND: Monday Funday

Since I work a non-traditional schedule and Mackenzi owns a store that is closed on Mondays we often partake in Monday Funday activities. This ranges from mani/pedis to going to the beach to trips to the suburbs for soup and breadsticks to meanders in local neighborhoods. This Monday Funday we went to Park Slope for lunch and had a delightful stroll. I didn’t realize how much walking we would be doing but we ended up clocking a lot of blocks. By far the most awesome part of our day was getting glitter tattoos at Exit 9 in Brooklyn.

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Mac had her existing tattoo glittered. The shop keeper expertly and quickly filled it in.

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I just went all lesbian cliche, with a rainbow glitter dolphin on my dominant wrist.

We capped off our adventure by getting burritos at the new taqueria on my corner and ate them on my stoop. It was so peaceful and lovely.

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No Mexican food for Macy.

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ITEM THE THIRD: More Stoop Sitting

Stoop time is really my favorite part of the beginning of summer. My friend Heather lives around the corner and one night at 11pm she texted “Come have a beer on my stoop with me.” I was already in my loungerie and settled in front of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy* but something about the ability to be outside and have a heart to heart compelled me to throw on real clothes and walk Macy over to Heather’s. And it was exactly what I needed. We talked about being artists and summer and love lives.

You know how sometimes your friends tell you something really simple and it’s exactly what you need to hear? Heather said “Bevin you have to remember that you’re really pretty. Don’t forget that.” You do all this work around self-love and unlearning the hatred and feelings of ugliness and whatever and yet sometimes the scared little kid inside you forgets and you just need someone to remind you that you’re pretty and you’re worthy just because you’re alive.

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So that’s what good friends are for. That’s why you let people in. That’s why you show people the tender underside of yourself because you need them to help. To remind you of the basics. When you’re different in a way society deems unpalatable you need ways to undue that armor that gets built up just to exist. You need ways to develop tender connections to other people. My relationships with queer femmes and other folks who are supportive of my identity was crucial to becoming an actualized human being and not just a robot going through the motions before I die.

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Anyway. Heather. Magical. Thank you.

ITEM THE FOURTH: Femmespiration

Speaking of Heather, she invited me to be on a panel of young** Femmes that was going to compliment a panel of Femme performance artists from NYC and London as part of the MUSING MUSES: A FeMUSEum conversation with Lois Weaver, Carmelita Tropicana, Amy Lamé and Bird la Bird.

The panel was so inspirational! And in such a meta way, too, because the panel was about the muses for each of the participants. Dolly Parton, Divine and everyone’s grandmothers were mentioned. Sometimes it is really helpful to hear other artists talk about how they find their motivation to create in order to rev your own mojo.

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Each of the artists on the panel has done so much, too, it was very femmespirational. I am especially excited to see Lois Weaver’s work on femmes and aging, see a performance of Carmelita’s, and visit Bird La Bird and Amy Lamé in London. Um, Amy is producing a pageant called Burger Queen. What I wouldn’t give for a patron to fund my trip across the pond so that I could compete. I really love the artistic format for pageants and one of the categories is cooking–I have a great recipe for Spotted Owl Casserole. And Amy is gorgeous and accomplished and I just want to follow her around.

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Amanda Cheong as a giant vagina. Amanda’s writing something new for Rebel Cupcake: Love Long Distance on Thursday.

Amy interviewed Kate Bornstein on stage. I couldn’t love Kate more. She makes me want to be a better artist. She, as an artist and a human being, truly has the ability to make her audience feel safe and loved.

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Kate’s Femme swagger is killer.

ITEM THE FIFTH: A Pig Grows in Brooklyn

Almost as quickly as we said hello to Penelope the pet piglet that my roommate was raising here, she moved upstate to my butch ironworker roommate’s boyfriend’s farm. Turns out my roommate is allergic to her, and Penelope was a lot happier being able to roll around in real mud instead of scratching herself on our (turned off) radiator.

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Silas, Penelope and Macy.

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Brian, Arnulfo and Penelope.

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It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday, Penelope. We’ll miss you. Hopefully I can go upstate to visit her in her new digs with the baby goat and the baby ducks.

ITEM THE SIXTH: Random Hotness

I was surprised and delighted to find out I was listed as one of the Autostraddle’s Hot 100 Real Gay Ladies***. It’s an honor that such a rad popular website is so supportive of my mission to promote self-acceptance. I’m also pleased to be on a list with so many other hot queers.

And just today I found out I am nominated for a “couple” of awards at the Go Nightlife Awards. Won’t you join me on June 15th? What I love about it is that it brings out such a cross-section of NYC nightlife. I went to the event last year and it actually did end up getting me a couple of dates with a steamy 20 year old. I’m bringing Taylor as my date so we’ll see how I do rustling up some casual action this year. He is an excellent wing man. 1,000+ people on the dance floor…

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*I have recently rediscovered this show. I never liked Grey’s Anatomy before but it is watch instantly on netflix now and for some reason it is speaking to me. In a month I’ve watched 50 episodes.
**I love to be reminded that 32 is young.
***Yes, I made it on an internet hot list and I still need my friends to remind me sometimes that I’m pretty. Self-love is a daily practice!

2010-06-29

Additions to the Queer Lexicography: Love The One You’re With Edition

I was recently profiled by the fun gang over at Autostraddle in their feature “I’ll Have What She’s Wearing”. It was a really fun interview and it talks about my views on self-love, fashion, and Femme identity. It’s also a direct transcription of how I talk so in case you’ve never heard my podcast you can experience it.

I’ll Have What She’s Wearing: Bevin is a Fancy Muppet on a Mission

Leave them a comment and tell them they should pick me to be in their Lesbian Maxim because I’m sad I didn’t come up with that and I so should be a Maxim centerfold.

It’s time for some Additions to the Queer Lexicography!!

Purse Anchor: I recently went out with three very foxy masculine-of-center gentlemen to a small town gay bar.* It had been awhile since I’d been out in a crew that wasn’t made up of many Femmes and in a venue with a delineated dance floor (let alone room to move around easily). Noticing how they moved around the dance floor versus how I moved around the dance floor was really interesting. I was anchored to the ground with my purse and everyone else had way more locomotion. It’s a matter of street smarts, I don’t leave my purse anywhere out of arm’s reach and when I’m on the dance floor I dance next to it. Generally I carry a clutch so that I can dance with it, but when there is a drink in hand I find that just spoils my groove. So the clutch has to get set down.

With well over a decade of nightlife behind me, I’ve tried many purse permutations for going out. Here’s the thing–I don’t have pockets nor do I trust pockets with the things I need. And some of those things I need are my camera because I obsessively document my queer fat femme life, my wallet, keys and many different kinds of lipsticks. I used to try the bra pocket with just an id and cash and my housekey but I have bigger needs these days.

Regardless, part of being Femme is not having to make excuses for the girl shit I do. Mama needs a purse anchor.

“Ladies, let’s dance over here. This speaker will make a nice spot for our purse anchor.” or “Hey, let’s go dance over by Heather. She has a purse anchor and we’ll be good Femme Allies if we dance closer to her.”

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Purse anchor. As pictured late night at Hey Queen, my favorite Brooklyn dance party (except Rebel Cupcake, of course).

Love Jail: I’m not entirely sure who gave me this term, it was either Glenn Marla or Deb from Re/Dress. We were at the store one day and they told me about the concept. Love Jail is where you get with someone and you drop of the social face of the earth. Obviously sometimes when you start dating you want to get shipped off to love island for awhile** and recalibrate how you spend your time accordingly, but you should never sacrifice your besties for your relationship. It puts too much pressure on the relationship and at the same time is bad friendship form. I talked about this in a previous post, but it is fun to have a term for what happens when you dump your besties.

“I haven’t seen Jane since she started dating Jen. They’re totally in love jail.”

ETA: Love Jail is a concept coined by and told to me by Alysia Angel, meaning essentially the same thing and was the name of her country dj night in Olympia, WA. I had completely forgotten about her telling me about this before I heard it again from Glenn and Deb and wrote this post. Sorry Alysia!

Lesbian Cylon: I recently started watching Battlestar Gallactica. I am not a big Sci Fi person but my BFF Brian gave me the dvds to watch and insisted I would love it… and I did! It’s really character and plot driven and easy to forget they’re in an alternate universe floating around in space. In BSG they actually have robots that look like people, only they’re manufactured thousands of times. So there are many copies of each of however many models there are.

Mackenzi went to a party and described it to me like this. “Everyone there looked like hipster dykes. Studded belt, asymmetrical hair, black tshirt. Repeat.” My response, “Like Lesbian Cylons.”

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Mac is not a Lesbian Cylon.

This has been true for years. There will be a sort of generic dyke look and everyone adopts it. (Remember visors, spiky hair, white a-shirts and cargo shorts?) I think it is true in a lot of subcultures, but it’s just very funny when you look at a sea of people and they all look alike and imagine them to be robots. I value style difference and people who can set themselves apart from the crowd. Or people who can adopt the on-trend look and make it look totally different.

So Lesbian Cylon is a way to describe the generic dyke look of the moment. “I predict the Lesbian Cylons of 2015 will be wearing Beatles haircuts and bolo ties. Just wait.”

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You can vote for my self-love talk show on OWN until Saturday every day! Please vote early and often! Tell your friends!

*I love small town gay bars, I especially love it with an insider who can tell me all of the local dramz. Not that Brooklyn doesn’t have local dramz (ooh, honey) but it’s interesting how when there is only one bar it all gets localized more painfully.
**Love island is that lovely place you go when you’re on laycation and you shack up with some take out and can’t get out of bed for a couple of days because you’re so enamored with your date. Texts to and from friends sometimes include the line “I’m on love island I can’t go out.” Thanks to Damien Luxe for that one.

2009-06-01

Femme Pride Week 2009!

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Damien called this photo the perfect greeting card for Happy Pride Month*! We took it outside the fabulous queer Brooklyn dance party “That’s My Jam” (same name as that FemmeCast episode) last weekend. The glorious part of my new apartment is that it is walking distance to this magic.

If you are anywhere near NYC this weekend, you NEED to make a trip! The Femme Family has been working really hard to prepare our first ever FEMME PRIDE WEEK! As the denmother of the queerscouts I’ve put together a little itinerary to make your week super fabulous and well-organized (I am a Capricorn).

It all starts on June 3! With our second Speaking of Femme event. The first one was amazing, powerful and inspirational. We’ve got an even bigger line-up and we’re really excited!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009 * New York City, NY
Speaking of Femme II

7-9PM* $5 suggested donation
Bluestockings: 172 Allen St.

Featured readers:
> Felicia Luna Lemus
> Leslie Freeman
> Heather Acs
> Judy Yu
> Najva Sol
> Mira Bellwether
> Amanda Krupman

Femmeceed by Co-Head Madams
Bevin Branlandingham [http://queerfatfemme.com]
and Damien Luxe
[http://www.axondluxe.com]

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Friday, June 5th there are two amazing events worthy of your attention and party hopping.

First is a reading/book party for the launch of the new book Lessons from the Fatosphere.

It’s at Re/Dress, 109 Boerum Place, Brooklyn, NY.
6:30-8pm shopping, mingling + book buying/signing.
8pm reading
Post reading dance party! (There are fat go-go dancers.)
Free!

At 10PM I am moving on to the going away party/benefit for Slow Jams, a former vegan current ethical butcher (!) moving to Portland and the event is produced by his girlfriend, a queer femme from the Femme Family, and Axon D’Luxe is performing (my co-head madam of the Femme Family) as well as djed by a queer femme and there are bound to be lots of hotties dancing. It’s going to be a great event with great music.

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 * New York City, NY
Femme Family Coming Out Party!
doors at 9:30p, show at 10p, dancing and mingling ’til 2a! $5-$10 sliding scale
The Historic Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher St.

Pride kick off & coming out party for NYC’s newest queer femme + allies organization.

We’re reclaiming the space of the Stonewall Riots to celebrate and honor our Femme foremothers & transwarriors who fought for pride, justice and our right to be fabulous.

Fabulous cabaret performance, great music at a house party level perfect for dancing AND mingling (we’re being really intentional about making community & fun all at once). Signature cocktail: Glittertini! Dress: Footloose & fancy free!

www.femmefamily.com

Performers include:
Miasia, world class belly dancer! [http://www.miasia.org/]
Liza Deception, burlesque
Glenn Marla, Tranny Superstar [http://www.myspace.com/smulyan]
Heather Acs, Performance Art Wildflower
Axon D’Luxe, mixed media electrotext wordsmith [http://www.axondluxe.com/]
Bevin Branlandingham, Femmecee & Host of FemmeCast [http://queerfatfemme.com]
Maggie Crowley, The Femme Show [http://www.thefemmeshow.com]

AfroTitty & the Fierce Force go-go squad

MORE TBA!

DJ:
Shomi Noise

INTERACTIVE FEMME HISTORY PROJECT:

Bring a homemade poster and some copies providing a visual and textual history of your femme heroes to display & give away!

Sunday, June 7, 2009 * New York City, NY

Go have brunch at my newfound discovery, Cheryl’s Global Soul. Chris and I don’t know for sure if she’s “family” but she is nice to look at from a brunch table.

*I am always a really big fan of June in NYC. With the killer combo of the weather warming up, perpetual students finishing their finals and the flurry of pride festivals beginning, there’s never a dull weekend. I’m a girl who loves to travel but I rarely dream of leaving NYC during June.

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