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

2012-10-09

Queer Artists Make Great Queer Gifts

I have had the privilege of some Blog Benefacting lately and I want to share with you these gems from queer artists, either to gift to someone or to treat yo’ self!

Elisha Lim’s New Calendar and Portraits

Elisha Lim, the dapper illustrator and author of 100 Butches, has been making these incredible queer calendars for a few years now and this year’s creation is highlighted in the following tender you tube video that actually made me cry.

“I call it the Comfort of Queer Family Wisdom and it’s for anyone who could use a little tender love and history because we are not alone.”

We can all use tender love! The calendar is beautiful and full of queer faces.

“This is all-out, gloves off, direct action TLC. These are the voices and role models that I sought out for comfort and strength. This is the calendar that I’d wished I’d had: full of family trees and loving words to remind you that you belong. A lot of the advice is also for facing racism.”

The 2013 calendar is only $20 and is available now in Elisha’s Etsy Shop!

Also, Elisha is offering custom portraits for only $100! What a great gift for yourself or someone else. Elisha has been promising to draw a portrait of me for years and here it is!

Artwork by Elisha Lim

When you hire Elisha you get your portrait in black and white, a choice of colours (because Elisha’s Canadian, your colours get an extra u for free), and jpegs that you can print, multiply and use anywhere you like. And up to 3 changes!

I love supporting queer artists and this is a great, very personal gift!

Brownstargirl Tarot: snarky, compassionate intuitive reading, by a brown, queer, disabled babe

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Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a good friend of mine and an incredible Tarot reader. She has given me a few readings over the last four years and it always helps me to understand my life a lot or a little bit better. A reading once predicted my girlfriend was about to dump me! True story!

Leah can read tarot from anywhere. “Video Skype has broadly expanded things for me, and I have read for clients in Germany, Toronto, New York and more- so anybody, anywhere, can get a phone or Skype reading. And folks in Oakland can still come see my in person in my gorgeous North Oakland home.”

Leah charges sliding scale rates, $40-$100. She also does Numerology! She uses the Collective Tarot which is my favorite deck ever, it includes lots of people of color, fat folks, dis/abled folks, people of all walks of life and the cards were reconceived by a Collective of folks interested in taking the patriarchal and oppressive elements from the Tarot.

Late night tarot reading for myself with new deck. Fleshed out some but mostly what I had intuited. Going through a dark time right now that turns fabulous.
The Collective Tarot cards are so beautiful! I totally used them to help me decide to go to the Bay for Thanksgiving.

I don’t do readings where I tell you, “You’re going to meet someone with red hair at 7-11 next Tuesday who’s going to change your life.” Instead,what I offer is an intuitive reading that can clarify what’s going on in your life, how your past history, legacies and choices are affecting your current decisions, and what your sources of strength and options are as you move into your future. If you have questions about lovers, healing, money, moving, destiny, work, school, depression, big or little life decisions- or if all hell is breaking loose in your life – tarot can help you figure out what is going on. For me, the idea that the future is unwritten, that we write it with our choices every day, and that we have personal and collective power while still living within systemic oppression, are important political beliefs that infuse my work.

Get a tarot reading from Leah! You can email brownstargirl at gmail dot com to inquire and read more information and testimonials at her tarot webpage.

Feminist Playing Cards

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My pal Mamone from Riot Grrrl Ink gave me a copy of the Feminist Playing Cards to review. A production of Homoground, they are super rad! 56 feminist musicians drawn by 14 artists! Including the incredible Cristy C. Road!

The illustrations are gorgeous and include the following bad ass artists: Patti Smith, Beth Ditto, Poly Styrene, Nina Simone, Kathleen Hanna, Robyn, Brontez Purnell, Liz Phair, Yoko Ono, Loretta Lynn.

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I love playing cards and it can be really hard to use “novelty” cards because often they change the suits (I tried playing a game called “Swish” with my friends with my A Bug’s Life cards and was vetoed because the suits were acorns). But these are totally traditional suits (with the addition of women’s symbols) and are super easy to work with.

So much work, collaboration and love went into this project and it is clear when you take a gander at the spread.

Each deck is $25 and totally gorgeous and worth it. What a wonderful gift for the musicians, feminists, or poker afficianados in your life! Buy them here!

If you’re interested in becoming a blog benefactor on QueerFatFemme.com, which helps me run the site, let me know! QueerFatFemme at gmail dot com

2009-09-22

Making My Pageant Dreams a Reality

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

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

zombieflierSMALL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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