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

2013-07-31

August Party Agenda

**FYI this post has been edited, the August Yes Ma’am party date was changed to Saturday, August 31st**
Hello Brooklynites, New York Citians and other folks who might be in and around Brooklyn and wanting to hang out with the nicest, funnest, awesomest body positive crowd in New York City queer nightlife!

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Photo of me, Nicky and Jo by Grace Chu.

Yes Ma’am has two amazing parties this month we’re stoked to share with you!

Yes Ma’am’s WHAM BAM, our afternoon party (goes from 4pm-10pm) is so much fun! It’s like the Noxema Commercial you never realized you were dreaming of until it came true. DJ Average Jo plays an ecclectic mix of oldies, reggae, motown, 90s hip hop, and Hall & Oates. There are beer specials and a burger special at the upcoming WHAM BAM on August 18th! All of the info is on our Facebook page.

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Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

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Photo by Kelsy Chavin.

Yes Ma’am’s flagship party is happening at the mansion in Bed Stuy on August 31st! Saturday night, great dance jams and really hot people. The mansion is air conditioned but we’re also bringing in tons of box fans to add to the windswept Dirty Dancing dance party vibe (it’s very “I carried a watermelon” and I might get Jacqueline to mix up a fresh watermelon punch situation in that spirit but I haven’t talked to her or Jo or Nicky about it so this is between us, readers). All the info is on our Facebook invite!

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Photo of Al by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

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Photo by Grace Chu.

See you in August!

2013-07-23

Mind Diet: Ways I’m Tuning my Radio Dial to Joy

Years ago I started calling my blog a chronicle of the relentless pursuit of my joy. I’ve known from The Success Principles by Jack Canfield (I highly recommend reading it or listening to the abridged audio book) that joy is a compass that helps you find where you’re meant to go in this world. It’s amazing how you can hear something and believe something but putting it into practice is really difficult. One step at a time, definitely.

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Photo by Grace Chu from Yes Ma’am this weekend.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a spiritual advisor/friend about my businesses and how I’ve been struggling to make financial ends meet for the last year while still carving out time to finish my book. I am a part time attorney with my own firm as well as give workshops and produce events. These are all pursuits that bring me different levels of joy and connection. Her insight was, “Maybe you don’t believe you deserve this life? Maybe there’s something blocking it?” Something resonated deep and I’ve been working on the deserve part of it ever since.

A bit after that I had three big, weird, hard and hurtful things happen within twenty-four hours–culminating in this subway harassment. I was doing a lot of crying about these things and struggling. I am a faithful person who believes in the ultimate good in the universe but I had some moments of looking up into the sky going “Really?”

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Me and Leo at Prime. Photo by Drae.

My friend Drae throws this party for queers over thirty called Prime. (Next one is August 17th in Brooklyn.) One of the amazing things she has at the party is free “Woo Counseling.” An intuitive named Shaina sits with you, does a read on you or clears your chakras. I agreed to work the door at Prime as long as I got to see Shaina first before my shift. I told Shaina about the three events and she said, “You’re doing great! These things are just telling you you’re on the right path! What you need to do is change your radio frequency to joy and this stuff won’t affect you so hard.”

She explained that we vibrate on different frequencies. It’s very similar to how thoughts control your life (see Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life for a great primer on the law of attraction). If you’re on a dial where you think everything is against you, shift it up a few notches and vibrate on joy. Focus on happiness, silliness, playfulness, creativity. I do a lot of regular practices to keep my creative juices flowing and focusing on joy is definitely one I had been letting slip in my artistic hygiene. I’m a very positive person, but even when you believe in positivity it’s easy to slip and forget to revel.

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Tying Miss Mary Wanna’s corset. Just an average Saturday night in a Noxema commercial.

So I took Shaina’s advice. I got even more focused on grounding myself every day. I turn my phone to airplane mode when I go to bed and I don’t turn it back on until I’ve woken up, had iced lemon water, written my morning pages, done my affirmations, given ALF his pill and told my dog I love her. Morning pages are a practice from The Artist’s Way and they are a sort of meditative, tenth step inventory, prayerful, garbage dump of thoughts longhand on three pages every morning. Some people do 20 minutes but I need to fill the pages and sometimes the thoughts come fast or slow.

I have a bunch of affirmations I’ve written for myself but I also incorporate these Badass Resilience: Black and Brown Femme Survivor Love and Desire Affirmations By Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Keisha Williams every morning. Looking into a mirror and saying them into my eyes if I can.

I feel pretty awesome that I’ve done all of these grounding exercises (and even some yoga) every day for four weeks, which is remarkable consistency for me.

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I went to this party on Pride weekend that was definitely a remake of the U4EA episode of 90210. Photo by The Think Theater Queer Photography.

Shaina also suggested I have a “mind diet” and focus on my joy. Learn a song and perform it in a video, for no big deal other than to do it. I started learning a song but what I ended up doing with it was using the song whenever my mind was slipping to not joyful thoughts.

I also know that gratitude practice is really helpful for me to orient myself to joy. The idea is that if you focus on the abundance in your life it will attract more abundance.

Lately I have been taking note of these moments that feel like a Noxema commercial in my life. You know in the opening scene of Clueless where Cher narrates, “I know you’re going, is this like a Noxema commercial or what? But I actually have a way normal life for a teenage girl.” Cher totally doesn’t have a normal life, and neither do I. I think the first moment I thought of that I was watching a bunch of my friends dance on a bench at WHAM BAM in the twilight while Hall and Oates was playing.

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Noxema Commercial moment happened really soon after this. Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

Every time I have a Noxema commercial moment I stop and acknowledge it. Either to myself or to my friends specifically. At a midnight beach party on the third of July, my friend Quito spent three nights staking out the perfect illegal spot for folks to converge on a beach in the Rockaways. It was so dark you couldn’t see anyone but the folks you came with. It was intimate, adventurous and completely beautiful. Last week late night pool party swimming with a bunch of queer porn stars and sex workers at a conference in Vegas. I was in the pool commenting to someone, “This is my real life.”

I appreciate these crazy adventures, I appreciate all the living I do through even the rough spots that hurt. I think the hurt is sand paper that’s smoothing out the parts that need it so I can fit myself to the next adventure. Maybe if I wasn’t hurt so hard when my engagement ended nearly six years ago I wouldn’t have the alchemy needed to have these Noxema commercials in the summer of 2013?

I think this plays into the “do I deserve this” question which is that since I am given it and I work hard for it, I do deserve it. I get to enjoy it and revel in it. I should do those things.

My friends have also been amazing. I have had a hard time being open to romantic interludes but letting my friends woo me has been great practice at heart opening. Three weeks in a row I got flowers from a friend just because they wanted to be sweet to me. Even the amount of kind words has been incredible. Jacqueline in particular has been the most romantic friend I’ve ever had, last week in Vegas she woke me up by spooning me when she knew I needed it and drew me a bath after she saw me having a hard conversation–this bath also had bubbles, rose petals, Prince’s “Adore” on repeat (one of my favorite Prince songs) and hotel-brewed hibiscus iced tea. Her game is FIERCE.

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So I’ve been on this mind diet for a month and I have to say I had to suspend a little disbelief about it (as in thoughts of “I don’t know if this is really working”) because I’ve had this weirdo cloud over me for awhile. I know that I can hold multiple conflicting emotions at once, which is not something I realized I could do until a couple of years ago. For example, just because I have some sadness and hard feelings that creep around doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy other things and experience moments of joy. Conversely, just because I have the mind diet doesn’t mean that suddenly everything was great. Being joyful requires work, tons of self care and conscious orientation towards exuberant joy.

But I think it’s really working. It’s been one month exactly since I began it. Because I was doing such good work focusing on my feelings, I could parcel out things I might need some bigger help with. I emailed Katie at Empowering Astrology about it and she said it was work I could do on my own, but if I wanted to have a 30 or 60 minute session with her to work on it we’d see if Spirit wanted it and the money would come. And then, the very next week, I won a session with her in a raffle at a conference I went to. It was very random and serendipitous. The session I had with her yesterday helped me feel more empowered and lively than I have in months. Not since my break-up/extended break-up remix and my cat passed away.

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Perhaps just the presence of the divine Jacaueline Mary in my life makes it a Noxema commercial?

I might write up my session more in-depth when I figure out the words for the twists and turns of the universe lately, but today I’m just enjoying this simple joy, release and lightness of being. Here’s a write-up from my first session with Katie.

So, to summarize, this is how my mind diet tuning my radio dial to joy went down:

1. I ground myself every morning.
2. I focus on gratitude.
3. I do silly things.
4. I shift negative/hard thoughts towards joyful ones.
5. I pay attention to my feelings.
6. I ask for help.
7. I let love in.

For sure I am going to keep these practices up. I would love to hear in the comments how you tune your radio dial to joy!

2013-07-10

Flower Bois, Summer Trend in Butch Fashion

Nicky pointed out to me at the last WHAM BAM! that floral prints are all the rage in the queer scene–especially for the masculine of center crowd. “Flower bois,” they said (pronounced “bwah” here). “They’re everywhere.”

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DJ Average Jo at WHAM BAM! The next WHAM BAM is July 14th (the last one until Labor Day). Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

They were right. I’ve been seeing it everywhere. Florals are all over menswear. I love it, especially because it’s a little gender bendy. It’s the same reason I love pink on butches–it’s one of my favorite colors and I like butches. Together, it is pleasing. I love a bold floral print and I love seeing it on my fashionable friends.

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I was really feeling the floral blazer on the queer to the far right in this photo. Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

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Alex, one of the most fashionable men I know, to the left in floral and Leo, who overheard the discussion of flower bois, wearing a floral tie to the right. All at Nicky’s fortieth birthday. Also pictured, Randee Riot and Utah.

Florals are “on trend” this year so they are widely available, which kind of explains why we’re seeing so much of it in the queer circles but, still, it takes something pretty rad to tip like this in the queer community. So, because I love masculine of center florals, I present a shopping round-up to encourage more!

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Grey Geometric Mixed Floral Print shirt from Topman is a floral masterpiece. Goes from XXS-XXL but not sure how roomy of an XXL they offer.

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This rust floral bowtie from Fox and Brie is a great way to add a floral without going overboard if you’re hesitant to go full-print.

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Or if you want to be all hipster about it, try a floral snapback cap! But be sure to wear it hipster style, sort of popping up off your head like you’re an old-timey 1950s child.

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Wear your hat like this for full effect. (I actually really like this style of cap wearing.) Photo by Kelsy Chauvin.

It’s important to note the difference between cheese ball Hawaiin shirt and florals that are pushing the line of loud without going over. I am all for the cheese ball print if that’s your style but you have to know how to pull that off so that it looks stylish on purpose and not the shirt equivalent of socks with sandals.

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This Brooksfield short sleeve floral is a nice version of the classic loud shirt in pastel colors.

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This Tallia Woven Floral Shirt is long sleeved and has a nice tight floral pattern. Goes all the way up to 5XLT at Macy’s!

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And a bold floral in a black and white graphic tee (size S-L, $28) for those who are a little shy about adding color. I think this is the Avory Agony* response to the floral trend.

I had a hard time finding budget-friendly florals on trend but since summer is already heated up look for sales racks and clearance items, and know all these florals will hit the Marshall’s/TJ Maxx/Ross circuit in the next few months. Also vintage is full of florals, so that gives one something to hunt around for and are definitely more of a bargain if you know how to cull a thrift store (or etsy or ebay).

*Avory is a stylish dear friend who wears predominantly black and white. Like if the dreamiest Robert Smith clone in your high school grew up to have impeccable fashion taste but maintained their goth kid roots.

2013-06-03

June Events! June 7th big ol’ Brooklyn Pride Kick Off Party & June 30th Afternoon Tea Dance!

Welcome to Gay Stamina Month. The month in June where every weekend has a pride event in some borough (including Mermaid Pride, I mean, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade). I cut off my schedule early in May. Seeing it swell with events I just decided not to plan anything else. For my sanity!

FYI Rebel Cupcake is on hiatus until September, when it will return as a quarterly extravaganza!

The BIG THINGS I’m excited to share with you are as follows:

JUNE 7th!! This FRIDAY! The Yes Ma’am crew is kicking off the weekend of Brooklyn Pride (which is June 8th) and coincidentally the Big Fat Flea (June 9th) with an amazing off the chain body positive dance party.

We are adding DJ D’hana Perry to our line-up! Their company is Chub Rub Productions. Totally perfect for a body positive queer dance party!

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Photo by Kelsey Dickey for Rebel Cupcake.

We have special guest celebrity Kelli Jean Drinkwater from Sydney, Australia in the house roaming around, looking fabulous and hostessing during the evening! I’m so excited to have Kelli Jean at Yes Ma’am!!

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We are actually building a TWERK WALL. It’s going to have decoupage. Inspired by this situation, basically we are hiring a carpenter to build us a TWERK WALL to have at our dance party. If you build it, they will twerk.

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All the info on the party is here, RSVP on the Facebook event, and if you purchase tickets pre-sale you get a free drink! Save two bucks on admission by joining our email list!


I have taken over one third of the hostessing duties of the Lunchbox Queer Co-Working at Beast every Friday! If you’re a freelancer/student/flexible Friday schedule person, bring your books or your laptop to this great restaurant in Brooklyn to get some work done in good company! It’s phenomenal networking, really fun, very well air conditioned and the food is delicious.

11-4pm, Fridays, Beast Restaurant, Corner of Vanderbilt & Bergen in Brooklyn!

The Facebook event page is updated with the new date every week, so “join” if you want to get updates!

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Later this month, you should mark your calendar for the second installment of our afternoon party, WHAM BAM! The first one was last week and it was so much fun! I have always wanted to create a mellow, afternoon/early evening soiree and WHAM BAM is exactly it. We’re at this amazing swanky bar called Huckleberry in South Williamsburg, that has a reputation for incredible cocktails and great food. Lounging with queers in a gorgeous backyard is one of my favorite things to do!

Sunday, June 30th (after the pride parade in Manhattan) from 4pm-10pm swing by and hang out!

All the info is here as well as our Facebook event!

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Yes Ma'am $5 mint julep! Enjoyed on the patio!
The Mint Julep drink special was a hit last time! This time we’re doing a $5 Cranberry Violet cocktail special!


See you out and about! I also decided that instead of the Mermaid Parade on June 22nd this year I’m going to Punk Island (same day/time as Mermaid Parade) dressed as a mermaid! Stage 4 is hosted by my pals at Brooklyn Transcore! Queer bands all on one stage! Bad ass way to have it all.

If you want to get my Facebook round-ups of events, friend me on my Rebel Gateau page! I actually try to keep my personal page curated to folks I know in real life, but I want to be able to connect to folks who want to get invited to events on the blue grid.

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