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

2013-12-03

Queer Family Holiday Rebel Cupcake Saturday December 7th

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It’s here! My annual queer family holiday party! All the pertinent details are here and at the bottom of the post.

This is the fifth annual party I’ve thrown in NYC to celebrate queer families around the holiday season. In 2009 I did a Queer Family Holiday Party (part of the series of shows I produced in advance of getting my first monthly party, Rebel Cupcake). In 2010-2012 I did the monthly Rebel Cupcake in December. Now that Rebel Cupcake is no longer monthly I still wanted to have that holiday coming together spirit. This is an intentional event I do every year to cultivate and celebrate queer families of choice.

I’m very stoked to do things a little different this year–instead of a show I’m having INSTALLATIONS! Each installation artist is curating a specific holiday hybrid with BDSM. I was inspired by a leather family event I went to this summer that had a family photo booth. Why not do it in the holiday way?

LEATHER DADDY SANTA PHOTO BOOTH
Featuring Dusty Shoulders. She promises some amazing beard action, Santa suit and accessories. I’m working with our photographer Kelsey Dickey to have a super cute photo booth so you have something you might want to print out and send as cards to maybe your kinky friends but maybe not your mom (depending on your mom, I guess).

ERIN HOUDINI’S CHRISTMAS TREES
I took a rope class with Erin Houdini a couple of months ago through the Lesbian Sex Mafia and it was awesome! I learned so much. And Erin’s ropes are fucking sumptuous! The colors are also incredible and she’s selling them at Rebel Cupcake for $10 off their online price so bring cash for stocking stuffers. And stick around and watch her decorate people like Christmas trees! I am bringing ornaments.

JACQUELINE MARY’S JEWISH MOMMY HANNUKAH CELEBRATION
Mommy/boy play is awesome and so is Jacqueline and there’s something delightfully maternal about serving latkes and dreidel action. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

DAMIEN LUXE SERVES SOLSTICE
Damien is a genius performance artist and notoriously adept at BDSM so I asked her to serve something for Soltice.

MIZZ JUNE SERVES SHOTS
Whatever she wears will be its own installation, and the incredible Mizz June is always a delight. Buy shots from her, or send a shot to someone else at the party.

DAVID JOHN SOKOLOWSKI SERVES BEATS, BUT LOW ENOUGH SO YOU CAN TALK
One of the secret reasons I love throwing parties is because I have enough influence to set the volume of music. I never understand why music needs to be so loud in a club. And I know this isn’t just because I’m 34, I’ve felt this way since I was 20. Like, at a house party music is loud enough to dance and experience but still soft enough to be able to have a conversation. But at a night club or bar it’s gotta be at top decibal I still don’t understand. So I am the kind of person who is all, play good music but let’s keep it able to have a conversation.

People have met their partners, one night stands, new besties (it’s where I met Jacqueline and many of my dates) and artistic collaborators at past Rebel Cupcakes. I want y’all to mingle and meet folks!

Also David is a great DJ.

FREE TREATS!
My Cupcake Princess is out of town (*sob*) and I haven’t found a back-up yet so if I don’t find someone who wants to make cupcakes for Rebel Cupcakes (you get supplies covered/free admission/GLORY) I will be doing it myself like in the old days. But trust, RC is a place for decadent treats and I try my best to honor our gluten and vegan cupcake challenged siblings.

Here’s all the details. Hope to see you there!!

Saturday, December 7th, 2013 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 41: Leather Family Holiday
8PM-10PM; NO SHOW–Come early to experience all the installations * $10
Stick around after to dance at TNT til 4a
**NEW LOCATION—THIS N THAT BAR: 108 N. 6th St. @ Berry, Brooklyn, NY
(2 blocks from the Bedford L subway stop)

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From the Queer Holiday Extravaganza in 2009! Me, Deb, Glenn Marla and Taueret from our Re/Dress Brooklyn days! Photo by Ally Picard.

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.

2013-04-15

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.

2012-12-05

Brooklyn! Two Great Parties This Month AND An Incredible New Year’s Eve Bash!

Dear Readers, I’m back from California and have THREE really fun events in the month of December!

Yes Ma’am, Saturday, December 8th

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Me, DJ Average Jo, and Vicky Sin, our go go for the first Yes Ma’am.

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.

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Our bar staff setting up.

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.

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The chatio. Full of queers! My heart burst.

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.

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The New York Toy Collective pack n plays are so soft, and each is handmade by queers in NYC! Way softer than Vixskin.

Here are the details for this weekend! I hope to see you!

Saturday, December 8th, 2012 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham, Nicky Cutler and DJ Average Jo Present
Yes Ma’am
10PM-2AM Dancing * $7
($2 off admission if you are on our texty texty list)
CASH BAR
886 Pacific Street @ Washington, Brooklyn, NY
Prospect Heights (2 blocks from Clinton/Washington C train, 5 blocks from 2/3 to Bergen)

More info and accessibility notes on Facebook.

Also, we’re doing a Yes Ma’am New Year’s Eve party on 12/31/12 (obvs) and the tickets will be $15, with a champagne toast and lots of swanky additions to the Yes Ma’am roster. Stay tuned here for information, but it promises to be swanky, unpretentious, fun and just licentious enough to be epic.

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Rebel Cupcake, Thursday, December 20th

This month’s installment, being so close to my birthday, is encouraging folks to bring their Muppet flamboyance hard. It’s also on the last day of the Mayan calendar, when it is predicted that we will shift to a more humane civilization. I think Rebel Cupcake is the best way to celebrate that!

On the (expanded because I’m feeling indulgent) performance roster this month:

Kit Yan
Kit Yan, playing Rainbow Connection on the ukelele.

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Ariel Speedwagon, in her third holiday season Rebel Cupcake, with a tribe of holiday unicorns. (Ariel is pictured in the center of the photo next to me, with the Menorah bling.) Photo by Nogga Schwartz.

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Damien Luxe, performing the end of the world alphabet. Photo by Nogga Schwartz.

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Abby Fantastic, fresh burlesque bottom to the Rebel Cupcake stage. Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

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Miss Poison Ivory, back to the stage, bringing a fallen angel act. Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

All this and gourmet cupcakes!! All the info is as follows (and on Facebook for pre-cruising):

Thursday, December 20th, 2012 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 32: Muppets @ The End of the World
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)

*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!

*Kelsey Dickey is our photographer and excited to decorate your facebook page with antics from our wild photo booth! The photos are up on our group page–join!
http://www.facebook.com/groups/110847398949000/

*Check out Rebel Cupcake TV by Arsenal E., the Rebel Cupcake Videographer! http://www.youtube.com/user/rebelcupcakevideos

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

*Stage Kittening this month: Fancy Feast.

Suggested dress: Muppet chic, Miss Piggy, Fozzie the Bear, Beaker, Kermit. Remember, Rebel Cupcake is the place to wear that outfit you have no other occasion to wear. Bring it. It’s the end of the world as we know it (as predicted by the Mayan Calendar).

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. 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!)

2012-10-05

Brooklyn Queer Dance Party Rebel Cupcake Halloween Extravaganza!

I really enjoy getting to celebrate Halloween every day. I’m never shy to wear a costume. But, in New York City Halloween gets a little overwhelming for me. Often I don’t go out at all on Halloween. Each year since 2009 I’ve produced an early Halloween party–a chance for folks to trot out their costumes in a cheerful environment and not get crushed by drunk people on the subway.

This year I wanted to do a 50s diner halloween party theme Rebel Cupcake and I was inspired to incorporate my favorite fictional 50s diner–the Peach Pit, the 90210 gang’s favorite hang out. Thursday, October 18th it all goes down at Sugarland!

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I figure folks can dress up like waitresses, food, 90210 characters or just wear their Halloween costumes early. And the rest of the folks not in costume can wear whatever they want as diner patrons!

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Brandon, serving diner realness. And fries. To Steve Sanders.

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Kelly Taylor as a witch, some dude as a cowboy.

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If Donna had tried out her mermaid costume at Rebel Cupcake she would have realized what a disaster it was going to be before Halloween.

Kelsey Dickey, our amazing new photographer, will be on hand to take photos! Her shots have been blowing my mind the last couple months.

Kelsey took this photo of Fancy Feast last month.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

Fancy is performing this month! Her burlesque is hilarious.

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Also performing is this babe, Miss Poison Ivory! She calls herself the Black Beauty of Burlesque. Part goddess, part vampire, part hedonist, part femme fatale… Miss Poison Ivory is an up an coming Burlesque performer ready to make her mark.

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Cindy Walsh, our awkward Lesbian prototype/Midwest Mom of the year.

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Come on, Dylan. Just come on.

Thursday, October 18th, 2012 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 30: Peach Pit Halloween Party
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)

(The rest of the info is at the Rebel Cupcake page!)

2012-06-28

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP at a Theater Near You!

Filed under: Events and Announcements — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bevin @ 5:48 pm

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I was invited to a press screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP last week.

I highly recommend it. The 90 minute movie is a beautiful summary of the organization in great detail and so tangible. The movie is full of archival footage of radical, inventive, creative and well-organized protest actions by the coalition of folks who were in the thick of the AIDS crisis. The story is told in the words of the folks who were doing it, meeting every Monday at the LGBT Center, making media and strategizing. The press information from the movie says the archival footage “puts the audience on the ground” with protestors and that is incredibly accurate.

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The film progresses through a dozen or so of the most infamous of the ACT UP actions and it was incredibly moving. I found myself chanting along by the end and cried during an action where ashes were spread on the White House lawn. It was so moving to see how folks were using their intense grief to also channel that into activism.

I also enjoyed that it addressed what it was like to be in the movement. I think it’s nice to know what folks did but it’s great to hear the dirt. There was a lot of personal impetus to be part of the movement–everyone’s friends were dying. And also, I liked that folks were honest about how they didn’t go cruising in bars, they joined this activist movement so they could cruise and also do something important with their time. I don’t know, it was an important thread of realness that definitely made this documentary feel like a homegrown history rather than a documentary from an outsiders’ perspective.

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This is still true. Also, I cheered out loud when this was raised during an action.

It is also so important for us to absorb the strategy. So often in queer generations we’re reinventing the wheel. ACT UP already did so much of that strategizing and organizing! We can learn so much from it.

United in Anger is touring film festivals. It opens at Quad Cinemas in NYC on July 6 for a week. Check out their screening schedule!

2011-05-31

NYC Queer Nightlife Magic: June is Full of Heart and Soul and Events With Bevin

June means New York City is sweaty and alive with possibility. Between Brooklyn Pride (June 11), the Mermaid Parade (June 18), Gay Pride (June 26) and all of the other opportunities to hang out with your pals/make new ones June is always a time for social stamina pants.

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Me and Regie Cabico, who is in town for Rebel Cupcake Pride Happy Hour on June 25th.

This June I have created a calendar of really amazing events and I hope you get the chance to come out to one or many of them. Details are below, but first a list and dates!

Wed, June 1, 10pm-2a @ Stonewall: LEZ DANCE: A Trans Women Belong Here Dance Party Fundraiser
Thurs, June 9, 10pm-2a @ Sugarland: Rebel Cupcake 14: Love Long Distance (Gossip Tribute)
Fri, June 17, 7pm-10pm @ 116: How Long ‘Til My Soul Gets It Right: A Trans Women Belong Here Cocktail Party Fundraiser
Sat, June 25, 6pm-9pm @ Stonewall: Rebel Cupcake Pride Happy Hour Poetry/Hip-Hop Salon
Thurs, July 14, 10pm-2a @ Sugarland: Rebel Cupcake 15: Dirty Dancing

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham presents…
LEZ DANCE: A Dance Party Benefiting Trans Women Blong Here
10PM-2AM Dancing; $5-$20 sliding scale
Late night dancing til 2a
Stonewall: 59 Christopher Street, NYC

DJ Polar Sounds on the decks serving you dance jams!!

More info about Trans Women Belong Here, “an informal organization of past, present, and future attendees of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF) who are taking active steps towards welcoming all woman-identified women to the festival.” This event will benefit their scholarship fund.


Thursday, June 9th, 2011 * Brooklyn, NY
Bevin Branlandingham Presents
Rebel Cupcake 14: Love Long Distance (Tribute to The Gossip)
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 queer dance party for all shapes & flavors!

*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! The dance party is a tribute to The Gossip and Beth Ditto this month, with plenty of 80s, 90s & contemporary dance mixed in.

*Performances by:

*ThiswayThatway, *dandified performance artist* from Oakland, CA
ThiswayThatway (aka Cecilio Cooper) is a dandified performance artist who enjoys the messy collision of glitter and theory. They explore blackness, sexuality, and gender through video, textiles, and drag/neo-burlesque traditions. Based in Oakland, ThiswayThatway has wreaked havoc on stages across North America, including: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), 9:30 Club (DC), Hippodrome (PDX), Emo’s (AUS), The Metro (CHI), and Toronto Pride (CAN). thisway-thatway.com

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Photo by Dave Golden
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Photo by Victor Douglas

*Amanda Cheong, Brooklyn, NY / Sydney, AUS
Amanda Cheong comes from the land down under, where the women glow and
the men plunder. Currently an alien based in New York, this she-stache
wielding ghey has taken a break from riding kangaroos and hanging out
with Koalas to bring some aussie performance to your shores. Joining
the Sydney queer performance scene in 2007, Amanda brought politics to
the stage with her weird and quirky shows. Disgusting, astounding and
humoring audiences till they screamed for more.

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*The Queer Chorus, Brooklyn’s own
Their debut performance! It’s like your friends are in Glee performing Queer songs!

Special Guest:
*Nailed by Ally Nail Booth!
Get your nails fancy for $15 from 10pm-2am!

*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.

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. The show will be over by midnight so earlybirds can make it home–the show is about 30 minutes long.

As always, free cupcakes while they last! Vegan & gluten free sometimes available.

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!)


Friday, June 17, 2011 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham presents…
How Long ‘Til My Soul Gets It Right: A Cocktail Party Benefiting Trans Women Belong Here
7PM-10PM Dancing, Raffle, Mingling! * Pay What You Will
116: 116 MacDougal Street, (West Village) NYC

Happy Hour 2 for 1 drinks from 7-10 special for our event! And a special mocktail available for those who aren’t drinking.

DJ Polar Sounds on the decks serving you dance jams!! Buy a raffle ticket and win fabulous prizes!

Please get in touch if you would like to co-host the event, assist in any way, or donate raffle prizes!! queerfatfemme at gmail.com


Saturday, June 25, 2011 * New York, NY
Bevin Branlandingham presents…
Rebel Cupcake Pride Poetry Salon
6PM-9PM, Show at 7PM sharp; $5-$10 sliding scale
Stonewall: 59 Christopher Street, NYC

The Pride collision of many queer poets in one venue!
Featuring REGIE CABICO, Washington, DC–Def Poetry Jam, Nuyorican Poetry Cafe winner

I love Regie Cabico. He is one of my favorite poets in the world and one time when I was falling in love with this girl I played her a Regie Cabico poem on the beach on one of the most incredible dates of my life. The girl is gone but Regie lives on. He loves this story.

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Regie brings with him some amazing pals from England:

DOMINIC BERRY, Manchester, England
ROD TAME, Manchester, England
& More!

2011-05-30

Video Post: Lesbolesque!

Filed under: Events and Announcements,Video — Tags: , , , , , , , — Bevin @ 9:21 pm

Darlings, if one were to name this period in my artist’s incubation (and I do feel as though this gorgeous queer Brooklyn artist community I live in is an incubator of sorts), I think this is the “Throw some glitter, make it rain” period. Thanks Ke$ha for that choice lyric. Also why are Ke$ha’s songs so embarrassing? I feel a secret shame for enjoying them.

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Throw some glitter, make it rain. Photo by Amos Mac for Rebel Cupcake.

A couple of weeks ago, in the span of two days, I performed two acts that incorporated glitter rain. They were quite spectacular, actually. Glitter rain really does add that certain something that just reading a piece to an audience or just taking off your clothes to classic lesbian hits misses.*

Anyway, I’ve been talking about my Lesbolesque act here on the blog for the last year or so, I thought I would get up a video of it. This is from the anniversary Rebel Cupcake party.

At the beginning of the video I talk about the June 1st Trans Women Belong Here benefit I’m throwing. All the info is on the calendar page. There are actually two of them, a Wednesday night dance party a cocktail party (with mocktails for those that aren’t drinking) at that really gorgeous
space I blogged about in this entry. If you’re in town come support!

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Throw some glitter, make it rain. Photo by Amos Mac for Rebel Cupcake.

*I’ve offered to go-go dance for my pals who run the Hey Queen dance party. I proposed me, glitter cannons and “whatever happens naturally.”

2011-01-18

Art and Soul Tomorrow/Cupcake Cabaret on Friday (as part of Quorum Forum)

Art & Soul on Wednesday!

Hey everyone!

Tomorrow night Glenn Marla and Princess Tiny & The Meats are featured in the artist’s salon at Art & Soul.

CultureFIX is an earnest, comfortable art gallery with a beer/wine bar and really good food. The party has a casual vibe and is great for chatting and meeting new people. If you introduce yourself to me and want to meet new interesting queers I will happily introduce you around.

The salon is from 8:30-9, we listen and dance to soul music, look at art on the wall and have fun until midnight.

See you there!!

P.S. It’s happening again next month on Feb 23, featured artists include World Famous *BOB*.

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Cupcake Cabaret at Quorum Forum on Friday, Jan 21!

I am really excited to be producing this celebration of self-love at this amazing free, community festival of queer magic in the middle of Winter. I’m calling Quorum Forum the Queer Winter Olympics. And thrilled to bring together this awesome line-up of performers. I hope you can make it! If anyone can video tape it please let me know!

Friday, January 21, 2011 * Brooklyn, NY
Quorum Forum & Bevin Branlandingham Present
Cupcake Cabaret
9PM-11PM * FREE (Part of the Quorum Forum Festival of Queer Magic)
Manifesta Loft, 315 Seigel St. (Bushwick) Brooklyn
(L to Morgan Ave.)

Bevin Branlandingham curates a free performance of Cupcake Cabaret, her self-love performance variety show that has been performed in NYC and San Francisco. Cupcake Cabaret celebrates 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. Cupcake Cabaret features comedy, drag, burlesque, spoken word, film, performance art and all manner of genres celebrating the radical act of self-love.

QuORUM FORUM is a ten-day extravaganza of knowledge, skills, and talents for the purpose of creating and supporting sustainable community projects. It includes workshops, discussions, skillshares, performances, and parties. All events are FREE.

Detailed event schedule and descriptions can be found at http://quorumnyc.org/.

Performers include:

Kay Ulanday Barrett
Kay Ulanday Barrett
A CAMPUS PRIDE 2009 Hot List artist, Kay Ulanday Barrett is a poet, performer, educator, and martial artist navigating life as a pin@y-amerikan trans/queer in the U.S. with struggle, resistance, and laughter. Currently based in NY/NJ, with roots in Chicago, K’s work is the perfect mix of gritty city flex and Midwest open sky grounded in homeland soil. In Mango Tribe and in solo work, K. has featured in colleges and stages nationally and internationally; from the NJ Performing Arts Center to Chicago’s Hot House, The Brooklyn Museum to The Loft in Minneapolis, K’s bold work continues to excite and challenge audiences. Honors include: Chicago’s LGBTQ 30 under 30 awards, Finalist for The Gwendolyn Brooks Open-Mic Award, Windy City Times Pride Literary Poetry Prize 2009, and recently, a contribution in the anthology “Kicked Out” released by Homofactus Press in 2009. K. turns art into action, as a dedicated activist who works with LGBTQ youth and adores remixing recipes.

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B
Cheryl B. is an award-winning writer, poet and performer. Her work appears in dozens of print and online publications, including; Ping Pong, Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution and BLOOM, among many others. As a performer she has appeared at numerous New York City literary evenings and toured the U.S. and the U.K. She is the co-curator/co-host of the monthly NYC reading series Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival, serious literature for ridiculous times. Her website is cherylb.com and she blogs at wtfcancerdiaries.com.

Kit Yan
Kit Yan

Recently Featured in the HBO Documentary Asians Aloud, Kit Yan tell stories through slam poetry from the lens of a transgender Asian American from Hawaii now lost in the big city of New York.

Kit’s work has been taught at universities coast to coast, from San Francisco State to Harvard. He spoke to over 200,000 from the stage of the 2009 National Equality March alongside Lady Gaga and Cynthia Nixon, performed on the San Francisco Pride main stage, Creating Change, and is a nationally ranking slam poet. Kit Yan is first ever and reigning Mr. Transman 2010.

“The eloquence of Kit’s spoken-word delivery lies in the anti-racist, anti-homophobic, gender-inclusive, language that ties his lyrics together.”- Bitch Magazine

Miss Mary Wanna
Miss Mary Wanna
This sassy southern creature of the night has been knocking over trash cans, causing hiiiigh-jinx along the east coast, and has once again found her way to the magical streets of New York City. She currently builds her den in Philadelphia, bumpin and grindin in the name of brotherly and sisterly love with other DIY queens and kings alike. Whether she’s peeling away fur or feathers, Miss Mary Wanna is certain to blow your mind and get you high!

Drae Campbell
Drae Campbell
Drae Campbell is a multi-genre performance artist who is as hysterical as she is handsome. The reigning Miss LEZ 2010, Campbell won the title with a performance combining her funny, poignant storytelling and legendary breakdancing. She starred in the short film “You Move Me,” which is touring the world winning awards and teaching life lessons about oranges and relationships.

Femmecee Bevin Branlandingham
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Bevin Branlandingham is “an ultra-rad warrior for self-acceptance.” [Autostraddle.com] She is the Host and Producer of FemmeCast: The Queer Fat Femme Podcast Guide to Life. She is a flamboyant femmecee, writer, drag king, burlesque and comedy performer. She is Co-Head Madam of the Femme Family, the New York Chapter of the Femme Mafia, on the steering committee for the Fat and Queer conference and the media committee for the Femme Conference. In 2008 Bevin received a Commendation from the Mayor of Jersey City for her work with the LGBT community. Her writing has been published in numerous periodicals and she has performed throughout North America. Her mission is to make the world a safe place for people to love themselves, regardless of their marginalizations. Her website (including blog, calendar of events and workshops) is found at QueerFatFemme.Com.

2010-10-30

My Intention Behind Art & Soul

A few weeks ago the director of fun at CultureFIX, this new art gallery/bar/store space approached me about producing a low-key queer night. A friend of hers had been to Rebel Cupcake and suggested my name.

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I went to visit the space and it seemed like a great spot. It’s well-lit like a coffee shop and there is cool art on the wall. The exhibit will change every month. The bar itself has a really cozy vibe and the gallery has couches, chairs, tables with flexible arrangements which makes it perfect as an event space. The bar serves beer, wine and has a menu of nice food. I immediately thought, “This is the kind of place I want to hang out with my friends.”

Rebel Cupcake has been wonderful and I am going to keep putting it on, but it is still very nightclub and harder to meet new people unless you’re comfortable doing the bar scene meeting new people thing. Art and Soul is definitely going to have a different vibe. I’m hoping late 90s inclusive feminist bookstore coffee shop.

And to bring it a little feminist bookstore coffee shop realness, I’m doing a short queer artists’ salon at 8:30 where some of my favorite writers, singers, poets, whoever happens to be in town will be presenting works in progress. For the inaugural party here’s the line-up:
*Glenn Marla, downtown tranny superstar “Girl you couldn’t mess up my pronouns if you tried.”
[http://www.glennmarla.com]
*Kit Yan, the reigning Mr. Transman 2010, sweetheart and incredible slam poet.
[http://www.myspace.com/kityanpoetry]
*Bevin Branlandingham reading from her memoir in progress on coming out into size acceptance, queerness and love found and lost.
[That’s me. It helps me to have benchmarks when I’m doing a big project like a memoir.]

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I love that Kit Yan always dresses in theme.

As for the music, I was high off the fumes of the recently amazing Hard French NYC party. This incredible SF based afternoon party thrown by a group of amazing queers including my BFF-in-Law Devon Devine decided to go on the road and bring their magic to Brooklyn. And they brought it hard, I haven’t had that much fun getting day drunk in a long time. (Called “the country’s best gay party”.)
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Me and Devon at Hard French NYC. They promise to come back in the Spring.

Hard French is all soul music (which I LOVE to dance to) so I decided to hire SF DJs Carnita & Brown Amy to make the playlist for Art & Soul. (The one draw back to the space is that the dj booth is not so dj booth.) Plus, playing vintage music means y’all can wear vintage outfits if you want. People really brought the vintage gorgeousness to Hard French NYC.

If you’re in town I would love to see you at Art & Soul! Tell your friends!

Oh yeah, I totally named the party after this amazing 80s song.

2010-05-23

Butch Fashion

When I talk about fashion it is generally with an eye towards Femmes for obvious reasons. Butch fashion has been a topic of conversation recently as the Re/Dress Shop Girls & The Femme Family are prepping for the upcoming Sartorial Summer: A Butch Fashion Show*.

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I titled the event after one of my favorite new fashion blogs, The Sartorial Butch. What a much-needed concept. After hearing about the event The Sartorial Butch decided to drive down from Maine and let me personal shop for her and the Sartorial Love.

In celebration of Butch Fashion Week in Brooklyn**, I present unto you, gentle readers of all gender presentations, the fashion items of the more masculine flavor that I enjoy a great deal. Both in a purely platonic allies-in-fashion-greatness way and also in a subtle lay down for any future suitors doing research.

TWO-TONED COWBOY BOOTS

I love cowboys and cowboy boots. I also like flamboyance. Two-toned cowboy boots are the perfect storm of flamboyance and rugged cowboy magic.

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L-R, Ariat International Men’s Cobalt XL, Ariat International Men’s Legend Full Quill Ostrich, Justin Boots Peanut Brittle Iquana Lizard, Wilson Handmade Custom Two Toned Boots. For hard to fit sizes, they can customize just about every part of the boot but they are pricey!

As a bargain shopper, I encourage people to shop thrift, vintage, ebay and etsy for boots on the cheap. But as feet are a nonrenewable resource, I also believe in investing in a good pair of boots that will last forever.

My friend Mackenzi called two-toned cowboy boots my sweet spot. She’s not wrong.

DIP ME IN HONEY AND THROW ME TO THE BUTCHES WITH BOW TIES
Thanks to K. Ulanday Barrett for that quote. (Follow Browntranslaments on Tumblr! So so so good.)

I think bow ties are one of my very favorite things. Both nerdy and dapper.

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DJ Sirlinda, who is djing the butch fashion show & dance party portion, wearing a bow tie at Hey Queen. Photo by Scout.

A bow tie can dress up virtually any outfit. They come pre-tied, clip on or the old-fashioned do it yourself kind.

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See? Virtually any outfit. This is Ariel Speedwagon, one of our models, at Hey Queen.

GENTLEMANLY ACCESSORIES

I was on a date with someone and he gave a ride to a friend of mine between parties. Because I’m the Queer Oprah, suddenly my friend was unintentionally crying and talking about a break-up. He whipped out a handkerchief and handed it to her. As a souvenir from the date he left another handkerchief in my purse, which I found the next day. Both were sweet gestures and spoke to preparedness.

Hankies can do a lot, including let people know your desires.

I also enjoy the full range of old-fashioned accouterments. A nice flask, a pocket watch, a sexy knife. I smelled something sweet in the air at a party once and immediately had a reason to talk to this fine gentleman, Justin Credible.

Kris is fancy. Flavored tobacco smoke.

But it doesn’t stop with flavored tobacco smoke. No no. Then suddenly a pocket watch comes out.

And lots of fancy accessories in pockets.

Good accessories are a huge conversation starter for me. I have stopped people on the street because of their extraordinary fashion and flare.

Of course, my very favorite butch fashion accessory is integrity! Living with intention and ethics are really important to me, especially as regards the feelings of their friends and romantic partners. All the intention towards your fashion doesn’t matter one iota if you intentionally, knowingly or recklessly treat other people poorly.

COLLARED SHIRTS

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Photo by Quito Ziegler.
Here is Elisha Lim, after a Sister Spit show in Manhattan. Looking dapper but not trying too hard on a hot and humid night. Also pictured is Silas Howard in the sparkly suspenders (!) and collared shirt, who is probably one of the most consistently well-dressed butches I know. Check out the info on his new movie “Cooler” The Movie. (Also they are still looking for investors and it sounds like a great investment. Message Silas through the fan page!)

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Again, I like flamboyance and cowboys, and often those have a perfect marriage in a good cowboy shirt. This one is available from Old Man Pants Vintage, which is an etsy store run by a friend of mine from Oakland.

FLUEVOGS

Clearly I love fancy footwear, but I lust after Fluevogs in a major way. Sometimes, when I am window shopping on the internet, I coordinate his & hers Fluevogs. As in, “I want to go on a date and I want to wear these shoes and I want my date to wear those shoes.” It’s a fun game.

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L-R Snyder in Blue Cairo, Resist Creeper, Rusnak, Wessex.
Women’s Row: Truth: Pilgrim , Wish, Arabica, Buffy (I like these both for what they’re named for and their appropriateness.

Fluevog shopping money saving tips–shop resale! We get Fluevogs in at Re/Dress and tweet about it. Fluevog stores have a 15% off sale every year for John Fluevog’s birthday. Very rarely, but sometimes, they have huge vintage Fluevog sales. I got a pair for $30 once.

I will say this for Fluevog heels: they are the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn.

BEING WELL-PUT TOGETHER & PERSONAL EXPRESSION

I love sweater vests, ascots and other items that make an outfit and outfit, but individual personal style matters most to me in terms of turning my fashion head. Someone just today confessed to almost exclusively wearing knee socks, always mismatched. It’s hot! It’s goofy! It’s an expression of personal style.

Both of these outfits show a lot of personal expression:

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Alix Izen of the Inverted Eye, from the flier for the Folsom Street Fair. A specimen of the put together butch. His fashion is always swoon-worthy.

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I am always impressed by my friend Jesse’s fashion. Check out his tips on courtship on Episode 10 of FemmeCast!!

*And just a note from our preparations for the event–three of the models said that they would be willing to wear just underwear.
**We’re talking Butch in the same totally open-ended self-identification ways I use Femme. And check out the second event, the Original Plumbing Release Party on Friday night! SO MUCH GOOD FASHION AT THOSE. And hot queers of all presentations.

2010-04-14

Exquisite Camaraderie: The Queer Fat Femme Guide to Queer Brooklyn Nightlife

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.

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A night out in Philly a couple of years ago illustrates my early frustration with lesbian dance clubs.

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.**

Once I found out about Panty Ho’s I learned about all of the other parties going on and I was determined to get into a regular dancing rotation. Fresh from a break-up I was ready for something new. I loved the energy buzz of going out until 4 AM and meeting new people.

So I did what I do when I feel excluded—I try to include myself. I would send an email to all of my fatty and fatty ally friends before the weekend and tell them what parties and events I was going to go to in order to rally support. Even having one person on my arm was enough to get me confident enough to be out on the dance floor, making an appearance, and being part of the change I wanted to see in the scene. Sometimes I was lucky enough to roll up to 10 deep.

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At February’s Hey Queen with Taueret and Jesse.

Over the past two years I’ve gotten very entrenched in Brooklyn queer nightlife. I love this scene because it is super gender diverse—queer and gay cis and trans boys join andro queers, hipsters and Femmes of all stripes. I have learned the DJs who play music I like*** and I feel pretty confident that I can walk into one or all of the parties dressed as wild as I want to–whether or not I “fit in” I will be accepted. I’m in a great feedback loop of flamboyance.

I also rarely drink much out in Brooklyn as it is expensive and I am broke, but I have so much fun dancing and socializing I don’t really care. New York is fortunate enough to have Right Rides for those that need a safe ride home.

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Photo by Maro.

In a turn of total magic and gratitude, I am the Queen of Honor at this month’s Hey Queen party. The theme of the party is Size Queen—in celebration of body diversity and all of the ways in which you can be a size queen. A big shift from going into the queer nightlife feeling like one of the only fatties!! Size Queen is on Friday night and I am planning hourly outfit changes as I have the benefit of a backstage.

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The one thing that always bothered me about the fact that it is more of a party “circuit” than just one club, is that it is hard to know what is going on unless you get on everyone’s email list/facebook group. I have found the trick is to check TheQueerist.com (if you are an event promoter anywhere in North America PLEASE put your events on that listing service—it is fabulous and free and Lissa the webmaster is a treasure) and also the “friends events” tab on FaceBook.

Panty Ho’s is over, but there are a lot of other monthly or occasional parties that pop up.

*Sweat!, run by Khane Kutzwell, is an all queer, all gender expressions, all dance, all night sort of gig. Held at a lot of different venues, the crowd really gets rolling by midnight and is very diverse.
*Hey Queen! as previously mentioned, is on the third Friday of the month at Sugarland in Williamsburg. The promoters, Amy Agony, Scout, Kitty La Kitty & Sarah Jenny are very diligent about the inclusion of a lot of different parts of the queer community.
*That’s My Jam is the biggest queer dance party in town. Run by DJ Tikka Masala and Bad Boy Trent (both really amazing folks), it’s a really fabulous place to just go and dance. The performances, when they happen, are always top notch–they had MEN in February and introduced me to SheDick. It’s generally on a Saturday night.
*DJ Tikka also throws a few other nights around town so it is worth getting on her email list.
*He’s a Rebel is a queer soul night at Nowhere Bar. Not in Brooklyn (the East Village) but still fun to get dressed up in vintage duds and dance. Zan is an incredible DJ.
*Original Plumbing Release Parties! Both have been absolutely amazing and packed in NYC. They have them in other cities as well! (Related–Murray Hill’s Mr. Transman 2010 Pageant is on April 25th!)
*GayFace mysteriously pops up now and then with dance parties.
*Banned! was going on regularly last summer and hopefully will return again this year. Always a lot of fun.
*Muff Muff Give. I don’t know if it is actually on the third Friday, but people can always party hop to Hey Queen.
*Rumours. In a little room above Public Assembly. It has the air of a speakeasy.
*Rebel Cupcake. Me, living the dream, with a flamboyance & body positive queer dance party for folks of all shapes & flavors. It’s going to be Thursdays, monthly. The first one is May 6, International No Diet Day!

There are a few others, you should pop over to OutAboutBrooklyn blog for more regular listings.

What I love about this roll of parties and events is that they are events BY queers FOR queers. Each party promoter saw a need and decided to do the work to fulfill it. As a producer of shows and events for over 10 years, I know finding a good, consistent venue, booking it and promoting is no small feat. It truly comes out of a love for community and making a safe space for good times. Exquisite camaraderie.

In sum, I want to say that it is super worth it to create a niche in a scene if you feel like it needs body and gender diversity. Oftentimes when I was coming out as fat and femme, I felt really ostracized in nightlife because I just didn’t fit in. But rallying my friends and doing what I needed to feel comfortable really helped me create what is now a really amazing nightlife for myself. Also, my fashion motto for going out in Brooklyn is to wear whatever I will feel most fabulous in, and not worry about whether or not people are going to get dressed up. I’ve gotten opportunities simply because someone knew me as the “fat femme in the french maid’s outfit”. Imagine if I’d let my insecurities keep it at home?

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Check out this video in honor of the last Panty Ho’s made by the gorgeous Sarah Jenny (above with Ice Queen hair bling). It shows the magic of the queer nightlife. I’m in it wearing an outfit inspired by Heather #1 from Heathers.

Ally moved away and broke our hearts—I sang Acapella versions of “End of the Road” to her for an entire week

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*Tip of the tiara to Damien Luxe for “A Femme Loves a Fag / A Fag Loves a Femme.” I’ve used this turn of phrase constantly and even applied it to specific sex acts.
**Though, ironically, the promoter of the party would end up being Ally, who has the best manicures ever.
***My top local DJs, in no particular order, are DJ Shomi Noise, DJ Sirlinda, DJ Tikka Masala, DJ Amber Valentine, DJ Designer Imposter, DJ Lil’ Rae, DJ As If. Almost all of these DJs have played Pointer Sisters at my request.

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