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

2011-04-06

Guest Post: Dear Mustache by Jessie Dress

Filed under: Beauty,Guest Post — Tags: , , , , — Bevin @ 9:54 pm

My Austin-based friend Jessie Dress (oft-mentioned on the blog) has spent the last month growing out her mustache and chronicled the progress and her feelings on her Tumblr. I was impressed by her thoughtful interaction with it and pensive posts. I’ve been thinking a lot about Femmes and Body Hair for the past 13 months because I’ve been working on a FemmeCast episode about body hair. Someday soon I will get an intern and get more of my media projects finished!

Here is Jessie’s latest installment, but definitely check out the archives of a Femme Growing Facial Hair on her Tumblr!

xoxox, Bevin

****

Dear Mustache,

I feel like you should have a name by now, but you don’t. So… the whole reason I set out to grow you out is that I realized I’d been removing you for HALF of my life. That’s 13 whole years! Thirteen years of being ashamed of hair on my face, of wondering if I’d remembered the hairs at the corners, of wondering if someone was going to comment about you when we kissed for the first time.

Thirteen years is a long mother-fucking time.

I was pretty sure I had this shit down when I started to grow you out. I made it easy for myself, committed to this one step at a time (I’m still shaving the rest of my lady-beard) but man, I was NOT prepared for all the feelings I was going to have about this.

Yes, yes, I hear you. I know that I’m going through KIND OF A DIFFICULT TIME (generally) in life right now. That’s true. But man.

After a lot of thought, this is what I have decided it comes down to:

Living in my body is really fucking radical.

Really.

Now, that might sound a little self-centered, or whatever. But if it is, good. Because I need practice at being self-centered. And really. There is privilege that comes with my body for sure. I’m acknowledging that. But I live in a really visibly fat body. I make choices about how I dress that body that I’m not ready to give up to make my body less confrontational for people. And now, I live in a fat body that comes with a mustache (in addition to many other socially-unacceptable forms of body hair*).

But damn, mustache. I LIKE YOU. You are REAL SOFT. I wish that this picture could show people how soft you are, but they will have to trust that I am smiling because you are so very soft.

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Mustache, you’ve also been turning it out in the quantity department. I really didn’t think there were as many hairs as you’ve grown! I think this is one of the main reasons that I’m trying (one day at a time) to keep growing you. I’m trying despite the increasingly odd looks from coworkers, women in grocery stores, and teenage boys outside of gas stations. I want to know what my body is capable of.

I’m sorry for you, mustache, that I’m so (lady) femme. As I say that, I feel like I should delete it, but I’m going to leave it. Because I really do feel it. When I first started growing you out, someone told me, “don’t do that! all the fucking genderqueer kids are doing that these days. it’s so trendy.” Well, it isn’t trendy for me, because you’re not drawn on, and you’re not stuck on, you’re not held up on a stick. I grew you with my very own – VERY FEMME – abundance of VERY AWESOME androgens. I hate that it isn’t trendy for lady femmes to rock ‘staches. I get angry.

I know, mustache, we know some lady femmes who rock ‘staches. Well, pat those femmes on the back, they are doing hard, pioneering work! And their coworkers probably look at them funny.

I promise to keep taking it one day at a time. I promise to trust myself. I promise to actually tell Jennifer who waxes my eyebrows that I’m growing you out on purpose. I promise to keep talking about you. Just promise to be gentle with me, and to understand if/when I can’t do this anymore.

I love you more than I ever imagined I could,

Jessie Dress

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PS – You look super-fine with glitter lips.

PPS – Thanks to my super awesome roommate Malcolm for the photos!

*let’s be realllll, most all body hair is unacceptable on women.

2010-11-29

Lesbian Tea Basket

I was struck with the divine spirit to share my recent passion for tea and my enduring passion for lesbianism in the form of totally DIY, low-tech videos. Mostly I am just frustrated with how hard it is to determine whether or not tea is any good from the box.

There are many episodes so far, they are released sporadically, with more to come as inspiration continues. I’ve instituted a rating system and occasionally have guest hosts.

UPDATE:

All of the episodes of the Lesbian Tea Basket (LTB) are in this handy playlist. Sit back, steep and get Lez!

So grab a cup of tea, cozy up to your computer and enjoy!

Episode 1: Celestial Seasonings Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride

Episode 2: Twining’s Citrus Spice Sunset (featuring Mackenzi and Regan)

Episode 3: Allegro’s Rooibos Vibrations (featuring Macy)

Episode 4: Yogi’s Rest & Relax Sampler (Featuring Erin Bunny)

Episode 5: Allegro’s Thirst Tamer (featuring Miss LEZ 2010 Drae Campbell and all three of my pets)

Episode 6: Magic Fruit Tablets and Yogi’s Breathe Deep Tea (featuring Elisabeth)

Episode 7: Trader Joe’s Pomegranate White Tea

Episode 8: PG Tips (With Austin Femme Mafia Mistress Jessie Dress)


Episode 9: TSalon’s Silence Red Tea

Episode 10: Maple Tea (With Alix and Jen)

Episode 11: Stash Lemon Ginger with Guest Wyatt Riot

Episode 12: Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger with Guest Leslie Medlik


Episode 13: Spike’s Coffee and Tea Hippie Iced Tea



Episode 14: Whole Foods Get Gorgeous Tea and Guest Bird La Bird

Episode 15: Consolation Tea with Leslie and Chavon

Episode 16: Lipton’s Herbal Ginger and Sunbeam’s Electric Tea Kettle

Episode 26: David’s Tea Birthday Cake Tea

2010-09-20

Heartbreak MFA: Additions to the Break Up Survival Guide

One of the most amazing things about being an artist is that people tell me all the time how art I’ve created or produced has been really important to them in times of trouble and strife. Many times I hear “I have been going through a really terrible break-up and Episode 2 of your podcast really helped me out.” I’ve also heard more than a few times about how Zoe’s Break-Up Survival Guide has been passed around like a water cooler article to friends in need.

I’m so glad these resources exist, especially in light of the huge break-up they came out of for me.

Having (yet another) friend need this list this weekend prompted me to add a few updates. I share them with you below.

1. You already have all the tools you need to get through this.

It’s true, Dorothy.

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Remind yourself of this every moment you feel desperate. Nowadays I can use the benchmark of “my fiance cheated on me for 8 months” or “I got laid off after 5 years with the same firm” as a way in which to gain the perspective I need to keep moving. I survived those things, I know I can survive whatever else comes my way.

As queers, fat people, people of color, women, gender non-conforming folks, etc… we have been put through the paces so much by society, our familes and ourselves, we are already survivors. Hell, the fact that I made it through my teens without succeeding at suicide is a testament to an inherent survival instinct that I attribute to being very blessed and watched over.

I will say that knowing that I have the tools to deal with heartbreak is sometimes cold comfort. At this point, almost three years since my ended engagement and having dated some women who have fucked with my heart big time, I feel like I have a Master’s Degree in Heartbreak. I’ve been through this, I know I’ll get through this again and live to love again. My heart doesn’t always know that, though. Having the gentle reminder from my brain is helpful.

2. Get co-defriendant with someone.

In the first few weeks of my big break-up I really needed help knowing what to do because the terrible echo of pain so consumed me. It was nice having a friend I could call on a moment’s notice and bring my shih tzu and an overnight bag and have somewhere to be that wasn’t my empty house, or have plans to go out or whatever I felt up to at the moment. When you designate a Captain Distraction, it’s especially nice because you will likely feel so different from moment to moment it’s hard to keep yourself abreast with your feelings, let alone your myriad friends. So if you have someone who has a lot of emotional and time availability see if they’re up to be your life raft for a little while.

3. Create community around your break-up.

When I was going through my big break-up I made a special filter on the blog community I was in of other people who were dealing with big break-ups around the same time. It was really comforting to know I wasn’t alone in the pain, to hear their process and to exchange mix cds. It was also interesting to notice our different benchmarks, how rebounding affected people and how their recovery was so varied. Maybe now you might do a twitter feed or facebook filter or just have a group email list.

I also threw a big New Year’s Eve party/ritual that year for me and 10 friends where we burned letters to our exes. It was nice to get to do that as a community.

4. Take lots of hot pictures of yourself.

If you have the cash, I suggest seeking out a queer photographer home girl like Molly at Fat Bottom Boudoir or Sophie of Shameless Photography. They know how to shoot you looking your best (in any body) and will help you reclaim your body and sexuality.

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If you don’t have the cash, get a bestie, go to the MAC counter, get a free makeover. Then go to the Torrid dressing rooms or some other place full of hot fat girl clothes and try things on that are impossibly sexy with shoes that are ridiculously tall and take photos of each other.*

Use these hot pictures as new profile photos on Facebook. Looking hot is great revenge. It’s like a photo affirmation.

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5. Throw yourself into a big art project.

My mom gave me this advice when I was crying on the phone to her during Thanksgiving. Thus, FemmeCast was born. It was a huge project (and continues to be, anyone know a good audio editor?) but being able to do something productive with my pain was totally helpful. It gave me something else to talk about and something else to think about during my worst moments.

Do you have something percolating you’ve always wanted to do? Just start.

6. Rebounding is a terrible idea.

Zoe told me when I was having my rebound that you end up having to “deal with that shit PLUS interest.” She’s totally right, too. Rebounding feels great. Why feel the heartbreak when you can focus on the joy of new love and not see any of the other red flags about how bad of an idea it is to date that person? I used to be queen rebound and I can attest it just makes things harder in the long run. Your gunk gets all jammed up and it takes a lot longer to sort through it. It also puts a lot more pressure on the new relationship to be the big savior for the heartbreak that came before.

There is no ibuprophin for heartache. It’s just through it. Rebounding is like creating a migraine out of a bad headache.

7. QVC.

I used to turn on QVC in the background whenever I was home alone to make me feel less lonely. A few months later I got a roommate, which definitely helped more. But if you’re walking around a newly empty house, QVC is nonstop enthusiastic chatter and it helps to drown out the terribles.

8. Heartbreak is an opportunity to learn about yourself.

I got a great email from my friend Genne after the disastrous rebound from my big break-up ended that began with the sentence “I don’t want to say that your picker is broken but…” and included some really great thoughtful questions to ask myself and work through in my recovery. Now, at the time I was a little taken aback at the idea that I was responsible for bringing in the inappropriate people in my life but I did see what she was saying.

My artist’s life coach Lynnee Breedlove said something similar to me during our last session. There is a reason you bring the people into your life when you do. If you can work through the reasons they’re in your life and what you can learn from the experience, it only makes you a more attuned to how to pick the next time around. And just like taking a hot photo for your facebook or creating some amazing art, it’s all about taking the time you need to create something beautiful out of your pain.

***

I hope these nuggets are helpful to some of y’all out there. Comment with your favorite heartbreak tip below and one random commenter will get a copy of a break-up cd mixed by me. I’ll pick at midnight EST on September 27, 2010.

And while we’re on theme, the next Rebel Cupcake is heartbreak themed. Lots of danceable heartbreak songs and halloween costumes!

*Always be kind to your shop girls and if they ask you to stop taking pictures be nice about it. For $10 an hour no one wants to have to tell you about store policies, so they’re doing it because they have to. Also always hang up your clothes neatly and right side out on the hangers.

2010-07-21

Radical ConSCENT

A few months ago I was at a Femme Heartshare Brunch in Minneapolis with the Twin Cities Femme Mafia and friends. Becky, Katie, Jessica and myself came up with a funny video about how to ask for consent about two scent issues–body odor and perfume.

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I turned the video into a video podcast. Enjoy!!

If anyone out there is skilled at video or audio editing and wants to help me out, I have a huge pipeline of projects I need to work on and would love motivated technical collaborators to work with!

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.

2010-05-07

Additions to the Queer Lexicography: Identifying Your Emotions Edition

A couple of months ago I had a little miscommunication with someone around me stating that I was feeling jealous about something. She saw it as a red flag whereas I meant it as information, and actually, ultimately a compliment.

Jealousy is such a loaded word and it really doesn’t need to be. I’m an only child, I get jealous about lots of ridiculous things–friends, success, clothes, lovers, access to cable television. I have learned how to manage my jealousy internally and rarely feel it more than fleetingly. I have also learned that jealousy is a great information gathering tool for myself in terms of checking in with my emotions.

When it comes down to it, if I don’t care about someone enough to feel some jealousy, I probably don’t want to be friends or lovers with them. But me being jealous is not that deep.

Enter Glenn Marla, with a new term for the queer lexicography.

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JELLO. JELLO is a shorthanded way of saying jealous. “I am feeling a little JELLO about that” sounds much less threatening to yourself and the person you are expressing it to than jealous. Jealousy has such a bad rap, but if you can use the shorthand of “Having some JELLO” it feels easier to deal with. No weight watchers points, single serving. Try it, it’s fun.

“Hey baby, I just needed to tell you I am feeling JELLO about your date on Monday, so if you could make some time for me on Sunday to hold hands and watch a re-run of Glee, it would take the edge of my JELLO.”

This is a derivative of the term “J.Lo” which was brought to us via Damien Luxe via some generous queers in Philly.

Battleshipping. You know when you meet up with a friend, bring your laptops and do work together but separately, which somehow keeps you more accountable to the work product and slightly encourages you not to look up Jersey Shore news on Gawker? If you ever think about what it looks like with two people and their laptops back to back, it’s just like the rad board game Battleship. Heather came up with the term and was throwing it around about Silas and Damien and for awhile I really thought she meant they were playing board games.*

“Hey Zoe, want to meet up for Battleship next week? I really need to haul ass on the production of my book. Kate Bornstein wants to see one out of me soon.”**

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Me, Kate and Carmelita Tropicana at the reading for King Kong Theory, published by the Feminist Press.

Maple Chaser. I have thrown this term around on this blog before, but basically it is someone who has an affinity for Canadians. Like a chubby chaser or other such semi-creepster terms. I heard about it for the first time on FetLife. I like it for the double entendre of Canadian people and also maple as a food/concept. I think Canadians are hot and really love to visit Canada.*** And I love maple syrup, maple flavored anything, and especially maple donuts. They are very uncommon in New York, but very common in my home state of California. I have them at least twice a visit when I go to Canada.

“I find that tattooed butch from Toronto a triple threat in the lust department–I am a Maple Chaser.”

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Me. In Toronto. I am due for a trip. Book me for a gig!

The Days of Fried Chicken and Deviled Eggs. I use this term to describe that beginning courtship phase when people do sweet things to woo you. It is in reference to an actual girl who wooed me by making me amazing meals involving both of those things. Several weeks later, she stopped the wooing without explanation. I kept hanging on, waiting for The Days of Fried Chicken and Deviled Eggs to resume. What I didn’t realize was that she was showing me another aspect of her personality, though I was having a hard time adjusting to this new version of her when I liked the TDOFC&DE version so much more than the one that was ignoring me.

It is my belief that the Days of Fried Chicken and Deviled Eggs should never cease–a relationship needs to involve a certain amount of continuous courtship. Courtship does not require a great deal of energy, just a little thoughtfulness. (Check out the FemmeCast episode on courtship for some great ideas and guidance.)

“It is really difficult to do, but I need to move on. Now that The Days of Fried Chicken and Deviled Eggs have ended I am not being treated very well, and I deserve to be cherished. My feelings for her are strong, but my feelings for me are stronger.”

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Enjoying Fried Chicken with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha. Our friend courtship continues, as we approach our 2 year friendaversary at the 2010 Femme Conference.

*Both highly productive people in my life, I wondered why they were having game night and not inviting me. I felt a little Jello about it until I realized it was a work/production date. Ha ha!
**Real quote! Nothing kicks you in the ass like meeting and performing with one of your heroes and having them tweet that at you!
***Seriously, Toronto has these incredible hot dog carts with all different kinds of hot dogs, tofu, turkey, regular, sausage and then tons of great toppings to put on them! And lots of hot queers, fun things to do, good beer, cheap ferry rides, amazing restaurants…

2010-02-27

Femme Heartshare Brunch

We came up with the idea of having a Femme Heartshare Brunch for Femme Family last summer, and finally had our first one in early January. It was electrifying, emotional and left me with a ton to think about. Our topic that time was Femme Competition/Femme Mutual Aid and was facilitated by me and Damien as Co-Head Madams with assistance from Sophie, Madam of Strategy.

The format we took was to have a pot luck brunch, a no latecomers policy, and opened it to Self-identified Femmes and Femme Questioning folks. I highly recommend doing this in your town! We got some new people who hadn’t been to a Femme Family event before and it was really a heartwarming and great way to meet people and learn about ourselves and our identities.

Last weekend I had the good fortune to return to Minneapolis for the first time in a few years. My Brooklynite friend Lissa lives there now for an internship (she’s going to be a queer femme pastor!) and plotted to gather some of the rad Twin Cities Femmes together for a brunch at her place.

I am working on an episode of FemmeCast about Femmes and Body Hair so I suggested a roundtable discussion.

What resulted was this amazing spread of food and some of the greatest conversation and heartsharing I’ve had in awhile.

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Lissa, my hostess!

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As Jna walked in she said “Don’t judge me for the size of this bottle.” From a size queen, the only judgment about this bottle can be a good judgment.

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Femmes don’t fuck around about brunch!!

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Femmes also don’t fuck around about shoes.

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I had such a blast! After our discussion and food and copious coffee, I felt energized, enlightened, and had a deeper understanding of myself. Femme Heartshare brunches are my favorite way to do Femme community building.

Thanks Twin Cities Femme Mafia for your amazing hospitality, magic and warmth!!

At some point soon I’ll post links to the questions I used for Body Hair, and I know I have the outline for the Femme Competition/Femme Mutual Aid brunch in the bottom of an old purse but I can’t find it. I’ll share it on the Femme Family website when it surfaces!

2010-01-18

FemmeCast Video Podcast Episode 2: Heather MacAllister’s Embodying Fat Liberation

I have switching the FemmeCast Video Podcast hosting to Blip.tv because you tube no longer allows videos longer than 10 minutes.

I really hope you’ll pull up a cupcake and cozy in for 13 minutes. Heather’s piece is very accessible, chronicles the history of the Fat Bottom Revue (the fat burlesque troupe she founded) and also speaks to the need to use the body in order to work against fat oppression.

“We will never have our freedom if we only live from the neck up, yet that is the way that many fat people live, even, or especially, the fat activists and academics among us… The oppression of anti-fat hatred is sited on the body, and it is in the body that these wounds can be healed.” —Heather MacAllister

On the video the piece is read by Kelli Dunham, butch comedien correspondent for FemmeCast.

You can read the piece in its entirety, as well as 50 other pieces in the Fat Studies Reader. You should try to get it at your local indie bookstore (and make sure they order an extra copy for their shelf). If you buy anything from Amazon through my links my website gets a small referral fee, which basically gets me more books and music. (I got a free copy of the next Femme Book Club book, Leather Daddy and the Femme thanks to my reader’s clicking generosity.

Heather continues to be a huge inspiration for me. I am working on an oral history project collecting people’s stories about Heather.*

I am also collecting a slide show of photos of her for the Heather MacAllister Memorial Community Lounge at Re/Dress NYC–please send any digital photos you have.

We will be having a naming ceremony for the lounge on Friday, February 12 at 9PM as part of the Glutton For Fatshion Zine** Release Party at Re/Dress NYC. It’s a free event!

*If you knew her, would you please get in touch with me?
**The Glutton For Fatshion Zine call for submissions is going on through January 22. Read it at the link and submit!

2010-01-17

The Winter Blah Blah Blahs

I have alluded subtly before that I suffer from the Seasonal Affective Disorder. It fucking sucks. I am a very logical person* and there are so many real things in life that bum me out, so it is made ever so worse to feel so very all alone, anxious and sad just because of my body’s reaction to the time of year.

Never one to suffer in silence or suffer without trying to do something about it, I have sought out a few remedies, both from my vast experience dealing with significantly terrible life altering changes and from my friends. Below I share them with you, cherished reader.

Most of these tips are good to use whenever life is getting you down, for many other reasons than just lack of light. They are also super low cost/free.

Tip One: When you feel like things are out of control, figure out what you can control and control the hell out of it.

A friend of mine told me this about two years ago and it works wonders when I am feeling anxious or worried, both of my own creation and because of external madness. Small ways I take control are to stop what I am doing and think about micro steps where I can get something small done immediately. “What do I have control over right this second? What can I do to exercise control?” Seeing progress, even a little bit, is really helpful.

Another way to establish control is on my environment. I am not a born-organized person. In fact, I am a bit of a “clean slob” (things are always clean, but I tend toward clutter strewn about). I am an avid follower of FLYLady, who teaches you how to get organized in baby steps–for free**. In just three days, 15 minutes at a time, I transformed my really messy and cluttered desk into a clean workspace.

I then proceeded to write a really amazing piece of art I had been procrastinating writing down for almost a decade.

When I am feeling ever so sad and I can’t motivate myself, I think in terms of just a few minutes, just fifteen minutes, whatever I can do to get something done. It really does make me feel better.

Tip Two: Live your life according to the quotes on your tea bags.

I got this tip from World Famous *BOB*. She was having a tough time and decided to do this for one week. Such small but magical quotes as:

“On with the dance, let joy be unconfined” -Mark Twain

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Cesare Pavese

And “A romance without friendship is like a mansion built upon the sand.” *BOB* credits this for asking out her current beau again. I’m happy to say they are still going strong.

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*BOB* enjoys a cupcake on the chaise at Re/Dress NYC.

There’s something to the generally benevolent and uplifting sentiments on the sides of those tea boxes and the little tags hanging out of coffee cups. They are meant to help you feel better about the world, and help you connect a little bit more with the world around you.

In my entire Lesbian Tea Basket I couldn’t find a single quote on a tea bag. I should stop buying my tea from Trader Joe’s.

Tip Three: Come up with a cutesy way to describe how you’re feeling.

Previously in this blog I presented Glenn Marla’s definition of Tragic versus Depressed. I have decided to call my Seasonal Depression the Winter Blah Blah Blahs. It’s just far more adorable and easier to combat when the scary monster is something you can change your relationship to by renaming it.

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Me and Glenn Marla at his performance series Heavy on Thursday night. He is wearing a glittery ascot. I am wearing a Looks Good From the Front hairpiece.

Tip Four: Get light anywhere you can.

What I did was to amp up the volume on my nail color. My day to day color is Fuschia. I think I made a big leap the time I decided to go for fuschia at the nail salon about two and a half years ago. I kept noticing that every time I looked at my nails I smiled. So I committed to it. I like the Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear-fuchsia Power.

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It really doesn’t matter if your manicure is perfect or messy, the joy is all yours. That’s my niece Etta Pearl grabbing my finger when she was 30 days old. She’s almost one now!

Given my Winter Blah Blah Blahs, I decided to amp it up a little bit. I went to the nail salon for my $7 manicure and got day glo pink. It is insanely bright, and definitely doing its part to impart a little more light on the world.

Get creative and find something that you can make a little bit brighter!

Tip Five: Asking for help.

Asking for help is a skill. Vulnerability is a sign of strength. I’ve talked about this before. I asked for help and got a lot of really useful tips from my friends. A reminder from Golda at Body Love Wellness to take a walk everyday when the sun is at its highest. I try to walk 30 minutes a day, and instead of doing it at night with Macy I am doing my best to get out there at noon. It has made a huge difference. So has taking more Vitamin D and an emergen-c in the morning. My butch ironworker roommate is loaning me a UV lamp to bask under for additional help.

Its been about two weeks since I started getting really bluesy and I am feeling much much better. It takes a lot of diligence on my part, which sort of sucks, but anything worth doing is worth working for.

Happiness is always worth working for.
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*And a Capricorn with a Virgo Rising, if that kind of thing matters to you, which it does to me.
**I know a lot of queers who follow FLYLady and it really applies to all lifestyles, though at first glance it seems just for ladies with kids.

2010-01-11

FemmeCast Wants Advertisers!!

Hey there cherished blog readers and audio adventurers! I know there’s some crossover between folks who listen to FemmeCast: The Queer Fat Femme Podcast Guide to Life, which I host and produce, and folks who read my blog, so here is an announcement for all of you!

FemmeCast Logo

Together with my strategizing friends, I have been developing a plan to make it easier and faster to produce more and better FemmeCasts. But what I need to make it happen is a little money. Since the inception of the podcast almost two years ago, I have paid for everything for FemmeCast out of my own pocket and with personal favors*, from the equipment to the hosting to the production. A lot of people have given a lot of time to make it happen.

FemmeCast has always been free and will remain free.

What I am looking for are some queer-friendly advertisers who want to get a message out to an average of 1,500 listeners within the first month. Each episode lives on in perpetuity which provides further longevity. I want the ads to be relevant to the podcast and interesting, and I will work with the advertiser to make that happen. The rates are really accessible, $100-$150 per episode (depending on length of ad).

So if you know of a business, a start up, an entity or anything that seems like it would be a good fit to advertise on FemmeCast, please put them in touch with me! femmecast at gmail.com

*And some equipment I only have because of personal favors.

2009-12-11

Femme Family Zine #1: Femme Coming Out NOW AVAILABLE

I’ll have some of the excerpts from the zine that I recorded at the launch party on later episodes of FemmeCast. Until then you should get a hard copy of this GORGEOUS piece of work.

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Me & Damien, Kinky at Kinkos.

Femme Family NYC is ever so proud to announce our Femme Coming Out zine. It includes work from 20 femme contributors ranging from poets, activists, illustrators, photographers, performance artists, musicians, students and more! We’re also sending all proceeds from the sale of this zine to The Femme Collective, to help fundraise towards the next Femme Conference!

Contents include prose, personal narrative, poetry, illustrations, love letters to lost Femme friends, photography and more!

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It’s gorgeous. Ally & Sophie at Kinkos. We were on a deadline.

To order a copy online, email paypal [at] femmefamily.com, or just go to PayPal.com and donate $8 or more for hardcopy, or $6 or more for a digital copy, to paypal [at] femmefamily.com. Be sure to include your address if you want your copy mailed.

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Chicago, reading his piece from the zine. All contributors are Femme identified and give you just some of the amazing breadth of Femme talent out there.

We hope you enjoy reading this zine as much as we enjoyed making it! We’re really proud of all the contributors. Our next zine is on the theme of Art – Femmes who make art, critique art, and/or live art. Deadline is March 1, 2010. Send questions or submissions to info [at] femmefamily.com

Thanks and femme ferocity,
NYC Femme Family | femmefamily.com

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Taueret leads us in a moment of rage after the moment of silence for Trans Day of Remembrance.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Femmevolution | Corrine A. Schneider | p 3
Welcome Home: Femme Wading in the Queer Sublime | Lainie Dalby | p 4
When I Was a Wee Little Thing | Alysia Angel | p 6
From Fox to Femme | Jordan Fox | p 8
Revolutionary Steps | Rachel Schiff | p 9
I Think I Came Out the First Time I Didn’t Fuck Someone Back | Hana Malia | p 10
Gender Wishes | Sparkle | p 12
Crunchy Granola Femme | Stacey Langley
Albright | p 13
Words for Femme | Hadassah Damien | p 14
Art | Beth Slutzky | p 16
Poems | Taueret Manu | p 18
Something in My Closet | Sophie Rogers-Gessert | p 20
She Doesn’t Believe in Labor Unions | Lola Dean | p 22
One Day in My Early Thirties | Rexy Radical | p 22
An Omen of Good Faith | Chicago | p 24
Queer Femme Pop Diva | Nicky Click | p 25
Low Femme Low Life | Gaby Cryan | p 26
Prototype | Sarah Pinder | p 27
Shameless Portraits | Sophie Rogers-Gessert | p 28
A Different Kind of Herstory: Longing for Femme Mentors | Amanda Harris | p 30
The Missing | Bevin Branlandingham | p 32

2009-11-24

FemmeCast Video Blog #1: Activist Stretches

Filed under: FemmeCast,Video — Tags: , , , , , , — Bevin @ 11:38 am

During the last terrible no good very bad Mercury Retrograde, my pink desktop computer bit the dust. It was a shame, especially because I had just gotten comfortable using Audacity to edit FemmeCast, and also I have all of my backlog of podcast recordings on there.

I was given a technology upgrade in the form of a permanent loan of a Mac by my friend and hardware savior, Chris La Femme. The bonus awesome of the Mac is that I can finally start doing video podcasting, since the editing on the PC required expensive software my no-budget with no advertising podcast doesn’t allow.

The learning curve is steep, even on the rumored to be intuitive Garage Band, so the next episode of FemmeCast has taken longer to churn out. But I was able to do my first video!

This is me and Taueret, my new Ferocity Correspondent. We’re doing a stretch she taught me that she learned on the Equality Ride.

I’m now working on a series of “My favorite tattoos” starring many of my favorite queer fat femmes. Stay tuned!

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