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

2015-09-21

Femme on Femme, Art and Inspiration: A conversation with GAYmous!

I wrote about the awesomeness that is GAYmous a year ago, when they released their first video (Let’s Pretend We Don’t Have) Feelings. Since then, they’ve released a new self-titled EP and we’re blessed with their newest video, Femme on Femme!

FOF_Bed-1-jpgPizza Cupcake (left) and FX Boi (right).

If poppy new wave and contemporary radically inclusive queer politics had twin babies and they came out as a spandex clad fat genderqueer femme and an LHB (stands for Long Hair Butch), that’s GAYmous. GAYmous‘ sound is reminiscent of all of the magic I loved in the 80s. Do you like You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive? Or What Have I Done to Deserve This by Pet Shop Boys? Or Venus by Bananarama? You should give GAYmous a try!

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Femme on Femme is important fat, queer art that gives us representations of fat queer femmes, including femmes of lots of gender presentations including genderqueerdo femmes, femmes of different abilities and racial diversity that is missing in a lot of media representations of queers. Its also full of crystals, glitter, bondage, great outfits (shout out to Size Queen Clothing), pizza tattoos, a queer porn star I recognized from Trouble Films, lingerie, garters, witchcraft, and the Collective Tarot. And an LHB on keyboards and servicing with popcorn and standing to the side while a femme coven does a cake bondage ritual.

I’ve written extensively about Femme on Femme action before and am super excited to see it come alive on screen in this fun and beautiful way!


Queer synth pop duo GAYmous takes you to the magical femme disco witch sex coven of your dreams as singer Pizza Cupcake seduces a sexy new witch recruit with spells, choreographed dances, and kinky rituals.

I took the opportunity to interview the genius duo about art, values and fat queer utopia.

What are your values as a band/queer artists?

Pizza Cupcake: GAYmous values unabashed queerness. We also want to create music and visuals where (gender) queer and fat people can feel seen and celebrated. We also worship at the altar of the synthesizer.

FX Boi: We want to make music that is political, sexy, and embodying. Something that opens up a dance floor. That makes people feel good, feel heard, feel sexy, and music that is very specifically queer.

What inspires you to make art?

Pizza Cupcake: I studied classical music for most of my life and even went to undergrad for vocal performance. I loved the drama of operatic singing but something was missing. I felt like I couldn’t be myself and there wasn’t space for a gender weird fat kinky queer femme in classical music. Starting GAYmous was a happy accident and I will be forever grateful to FX Boi for getting me out of my choir boy shell. It was so liberating collaborating to write original songs instead of singing German Lieder by an old dead white guy.

These days I am inspired by my friends, lovers, and community. I love taking an inside joke and turning it into a kinky queer vocabulary lesson for the masses. I was certainly inspired by your Queer Lexicon posts on your blog. I think I’m always creating art for younger me, a fat, closeted, suburban homo who was hungry for any representation.

FX Boi: I’ve been writing songs since I was 12. To me, it’s just a part of my life, always has been. It’s actually a bit of a compulsion. When I was a young rural queer, it was definitely my lifeline. I felt really isolated and would spend hours behind closed doors writing songs and attempting to create a multitrack recorder with two tape decks because I wanted to write many parts, not just vocals and guitar. Let me tell you, some of these songs were downright terrible, but they were all exercises and therapy for me. I’ve been in bands and done solo music all my life – indie rock bands, metal bands, math rock, punk bands, and now electronic music for the past decade or so after I fell in love with synthesizers and realized my palette could expand from a 5-piece rock band to an infinite number of sounds, shapes, textures and moods.

In reference to GAYmous, it’s about creating queer-specific pop music, by queers, for queers and creating spaces at shows that are specifically for queer people and queerdos. In my own solo project, Sapphic Lasers, I write songs about all sorts of things – alternative masculinities, radical butch-femme love songs, kink, celestial bodies, interrogating whiteness, being a small town country boi and jaded romantic at heart, etc.

gaymousfanartFan art from the GAYmous Facebook Page by Anna Archie Bongiovanni!

How do you carve out time to make art?

Pizza Cupcake: I’m a Gemini so I naturally get super excited about projects and then leave them all half done in tiny piles. I’ve been trying to curb this tendency my whole life and GAYmous has helped me figure out time management like a boss. I’m constantly jotting down ideas in a journal, leaving voice memos on my phone, and humming to myself. A lot of these ideas get crystallized together so I make band practice after my day job a priority. I’m also a big fan of those artist way type activities like morning pages to get all my ideas out.

FX Boi: I’m an Aries, which means I have a lot of gusto and energy. I’m very busy and time-challenged, but I make sure to make “art dates” with myself where I will work on editing, songwriting, creating. I also have found that I don’t feel balanced or healthy without carving out this time. Sometimes I squeeze in an hour or so of songwriting in between things (which often makes me late) or I dedicate a whole night or afternoon to working on things. A lot of songwriting actually happens in my head. Melodies or ideas will come to me and I’ll record them walking down the street into my phone and often get weird looks. My ridiculously talented friend, Nomy Lamm, and I actually compared voice notes on our phone once – it turns out she does the same thing! We thought it might be fun to trade phones and finish writing each other’s songs or do a compilation of these funny, fragmented voice notes. Writing GAYmous songs is usually pretty fun and seamless and collaborative with Pizza Cupcake. Whereas I often get more stuck on songs I’m writing for myself. Sometimes I just chew on a song I’m working on in my mind for a while and take it in different directions.

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What would be your idea of utopia?

Pizza Cupcake: No one ever says the phrase “good fatty” and the only trolls live under bridges. Touring internationally is cheap and easy. All the gym bros have gone missing. Dating scarcity feels doesn’t exist. Everything good feels abundant. Breakfast tacos are found everywhere not just in Texas. Femmes reign supreme. All plus size clothing is cute.

FX Boi: Capitalism, white supremacy, ableism, patriarchy, queerphobia, transphobia, fatphobia, classism, etc. comes crashing down; we destroy all clocks and use their remains to make art projects and have tons of “leisure” time to work on our passions, grow things, cook things, eat things, love people, fuck, lounge, swim, explore, feel sun on our cheeks, lay in grass, try new things, read, sleep, make things, collaborate. It’s like one, big long, eternal queer potluck/skillshare/sex and pool party. And everyone brings stuff like mac n cheese and cookies instead of kale salad. Oh and utopia has no bosses. Except #femmebosses.

gaymousepPlease throw dollars at this amazing queer band and buy their EP!!

2013-09-19

Raising Money for QueerFatFemme.Com

Hello, my beautiful and gentle readers. As you may know, anything that starts that way is obviously asking for something, and this is no exception. I’m reaching out to the readers of my almost five year old blog to help keep my blog running, keep my life moving, and keep my work progressing in the ways you’ve come to know and love.

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Working the door at Prime. Photo by Drae Campbell.

You might have noticed that I haven’t been posting as much lately. My laptop, which is the lifeblood to all of my creative and professional pursuits, has been on its last legs for almost a year. As a result, Queer Fat Femme, and my other endeavors, have suffered. The relentless documentation of my life is a huge passion of mine and I love populating my blog with photos, but I can no longer process new photos! Lesbian Tea Basket has been put on the back burner, as my computer will no longer play videos. I’ve also had to table some dire Word Press issues on the back end of the website (my RSS feed is still spotty), and cancel the hosting for the back issues of the FemmeCast podcast.

Aside from the laptop issues, I’ve had some life struggles that have made it difficult for me to focus on building my femme-pire. Life as a freelance lawyer is not always as glamorous as I make it look, and sometimes I feel that all I can do is hustle hustle hustle, which leaves little time for quality content.

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People laughing in the audience at Rebel Cupcake. Photo by Kelsey Dickey.

As you know, I strive for excellence in all areas of my life, and this blog is no exception. Each blog post takes between three and twenty hours to write, code, photo edit and publish, with most averaging about six hours. I want to keep bringing you the parade of abundance that you come here for, and I simply can’t sustain at the rate I’m going. So I’m asking for your help.

Asking for help is hard, but I know if I don’t get ahead, I won’t be able to do the work I feel so passionately about. After listening to my friends and my heart, I’ve come to the realization that I need to open this up to the public.

I have SO MUCH I want to bring you! I’m finalizing my memoir, have several episodes of Lesbian Tea Basket just waiting to be unleashed, have so much love to spread, so much to share about the turns of my life over the past 6 months, and I can’t wait to share with you!

If I have I made you smile, helped you cope, given you insight, helped you climb out of a bad relationship, threw a party where you met your sweetie, brought perspective to your messy breakup, or made your life amazing in any other way, that’s truly a reward of its own, but warm fuzzies sadly don’t pay my vet bills, medical bills or buy a new computer.

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey from Rebel Cupcake.

SO: I’m starting a Go Fund Me campaign! I’ve put together some really fun prizes that might be of interest to you, and some of my amazing friends have volunteered some work of their own. Of course, I’m hoping you’ll contribute because this work is valuable and you want me to continue to be able to do so, but perks don’t hurt!

Please consider donating and picking up an awesome gift along the way! Maybe think of it as a subscription to something you love to read and want to sustain! Please consider signal boosting, as well! It’s cliche, but every little bit really does help.

I am so grateful for the life I live, and for all of you readers for your comments, affection, and strength. I’m also especially grateful for my amazing, worldwide queer family. We’re changing the world. Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

Here are the prize levels, with a little more flourish than the Go Fund Me site will let me do:

$10
I will drop good intentions on you via twitter! My benevolent wishes are totally powerful. (I saw an I will make a wish for you as a prize on a fundraiser recently and I loved the idea that for $11 I got someone’s good intentions. I take this really seriously! I will drop good intentions your way in a public forum!)

$15
I’ll send you a postcard with my benevolent wishes on it! Snail mail rules! Who doesn’t love getting mail? The postcard will be awesome. I made the below postcard to send to friends and it still lives on people’s inspiration boards.

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$20
I’ll guest list you to my event of your choice within the next year. Maybe you were going to go to Rebel Cupcake anyway? It’s kind of like buying a ticket pre-sale. This applies to events that I’m producing that I get a list for.

$25
One fat unicorn pink bandanna, silk screened by me. It will look very similar to this one that I produced a couple years ago!

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$30
One “You Are Incredibly Resilient” poster. Conceived by me, designed by James Leander (a dear friend and graphic designer), 11″ x 14″ full color and a great reminder to stay strong in an oppressive world!

$39
A tote bag that says “Fat on the inside.” It will be a bold print, and silk screened. I love tote bags and don’t fool around when it comes to them.

$40
A tote bag that says “All Bodies Are Good Bodies.” Another bold print, silk screened.

$41
The baker (we call her the Cupcake Princess) behind the delicious cupcakes at Rebel Cupcake will make a dozen for pick-up in NYC. They are incredible and this is a bargain! Generously donated by Morgan Hart.

$50
Receive an unpublished chapter from my memoir–dishy dyke drama, misunderstood fat politics and a lot of awkward in this piece. It’s a gritting teeth kind of chapter but also pretty powerful.

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Me reading at the Lesbian Herstory Archives from my memoir.

$69
It’s very important that this prize is at the $69 level. 30 minute Tarot reading or life advice from Miss Jacqueline Mary. Redeemable via Skype or in person in NYC!

Tarot reading with Jacqueline. #babestagram #lesbianteabasket

$75
Learn to play (or enhance your playing) the fiddle with Julia Read, an amazing musician! 30 mins, can be via skype or in NYC. Listen to her stuff she’s amazing!!!

$80
KCMO beer love package
2 bottles of Boulevard Bourbon Barrel quad (2013 and 2011). 2 bomber bottles from the smokestack series if your choice.
And a t-shirt or hat of your choice. Donated by a hot butch from Kansas City, MO, Jen!

$99
Lap(top) dance by Drae Campbell! Drae Campbell, butchlesque artist & comedian, will perform a laptop dance via Skype for you! Up to ten minutes. She’s hot as shit!

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Photo of Drae Campbell by Kelsey Dickey at Rebel Cupcake.

$100
Lap(top) dance by Miss Mary Wanna! Miss Mary Wanna will perform a private laptop dance via skype for you! Up to ten minutes of Southern shimmy! (Also redeemable in person.) We originally conceived this as a lapdance but it was definitely funnier if it was a laptop dance.
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Photo by Patience Owens.

$125
All the things! Both tote bags, fat unicorn bandanna and poster from earlier prize levels!

$130
Branding consulting! Marico Fayre offers marketing/branding consultation via skype! Up to 30 minutes of consultation with a professional who can take you from zero to hero! She seriously does this for a living and is incredible at it! Great for a small or big business!

$150
Life advice from ME! I give lots of advice on my blog but now I can tailor it directly to you one on one via skype which I will be able to use once I have a new computer! 30 minutes of life advice coaching via skype or phone with Bevin Branlandingham. Legal advice, self-advocacy, love your body, shopping, dating, self-esteem, etc… Whatever! I’m yours for a half hour!

$200
Stay for a week in a guest room (usually rented via Air B&B) with my friends Suzanne and Jen! They are two American queer women living in Mexico City and love football, happy hour and having a good time. Going to visit them in MC is totally on my own personal wish list and here you have the chance to slip in there! They need four weeks notice to make sure the times match-up so don’t book your flight until you talk to them!

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$500
I will put you on the VIP list to all of my events for the rest of your lifetime. Who knows where the universe will take me? This could be worth millions! Anytime you want to go to one of my events you just let me know and I will list you! What if I get to be a guest on Ellen someday? How about when I make it big and host the Oscars? You’re THERE! You’ll also get a signed copy of all of my books when they come out. Anyone I’ve ever dated can tell you I know how to make someone feel VIP!

Donate here!!

Thank you to my friends who have donated their time and services to this endeavor. And thank you, dear readers, for being on this journey with me. I’m super grateful to do this work and I really can’t wait for that work to be done easier on equipment and wordpress that’s not all buggy.

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

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