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

2015-03-19

I’m Presenting at the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in DC, SEXx Interactive in Philly and Deadline in NYC

Hey dear readers! One of the things I love most is teaching workshops about body positivity, authenticity and sex positivity. It’s a great combination of my passion for performance and information sharing. I have some upcoming appearances I want to share with you in case you happen to be in the area and want to come by.

(P.S. Please introduce yourselves! I promise I will be just a normal amount of awkward. And nobody ever died of awkward.)

10860953_734925559936428_5472055412046050292_oAll photos here are me doing a reading from my almost finished memoir at Drae Campbell’s TELL, a queer storytelling show, last December. Theme was holidays, so that’s why the Santa beer sweatshirt. Photos by BGSQD because it was at the BGSQD, the queer bookstore in NYC.

Washington, DC Area March 21st (this Saturday) I’m on a panel at the annual National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA.

Sex-Positivity: Educate, Empower, and Self-Define

Time: Saturday, 2:15 pm – 3:30 pm

Description: Sex positivity is the belief that consensual sexual expression is both healthy and important in contributing to a safe and inclusive campus climate. Sex positivity is grounded in comprehensive sex education, exploring and deconstructing gender norms, and promoting body positivity and self-love. Implementing sex positivity is transformational on a multitude of levels, ranging from your relationship with yourself, to relationships within your community, to influencing policy. Join us for a fun-filled conversation that explores how your feminist club can bring sex positivity to your campus!

Moderator: Kelsey Carroll, Feminist Majority Foundation

I’m excited to join the following panelists: Natalie Dibo – President, Goucher College Feminist Collective, Ponta Abadi– blogger, Sex and Privilege, Bevin Branlandingham, blogger, QueerFatFemme, Sophia Kerby, State Policy & Partnerships Coordinator, Advocates for Youth.

10842183_734927129936271_3649774888158777087_o (1)Me with (L-R), Drae Campbell, Kelli Dunham, Topher Gross and Robin Cloud. All of us performed at Meow Mixx back in the day when it was still a bar on the Lower East Side and when I told that to the audience Robin said it meant we were old. But I thought it was kind of beautiful, to perform in this new amazing space and bring that energy of the old bar poetry/comedy/drag/queer performance scene into that space together. Maybe we are kind of old, but at 36 I still feel like I have a lot of life left to live.

Philadelphia, Friday, May 8th, SEXx Interactive Conference.

My talk is last in the 1PM slot (scheduled for 1:36). I’m presenting a TED style talk entitled “Reclaiming Sexuality From a Society that Wants You Disappeared” about my journey to embrace my sexuality as a fat person who was really disembodied for my entire adolescence and into my young adult life.

SEXx Interactive: a journey for the mind, heart and body taking place in Philadelphia May 7-10th. This event is sponsored by GALAEI, a queer Latin@ social organization, in collaboration with a team of sex-positive community members. We seek to: connect the complexities of the intellectual, spiritual, and physical dimensions of sexuality; create spaces for interaction and conversation across gender, race, and sexual orientation; and support the empowerment of the curious and seasoned alike. This interactive forum will engage participants with informational presentations, sexuality-based performances, “how-to” workshops, and sexually-themed art exhibitions. We expect this forum to expand the viability of a sex-positive culture by uniting those of like mind in the pursuit of knowledge and comradeship.

10644320_734925399936444_1684985250348298_oSpeaking of being old, when I saw the logo for one of the presenting organizations for the SEXx Interactive conference it looked very familiar and then I realized that my graphic designer ex partner, Seth, designed the logo when we were together over a decade ago! Small queer world.

New York City, April 3rd, 7PM Deadline: Works In Progress from Cutting Edge Queer Artists. Facebook event here.

Deadline is at the amazing queer bookstore, Bureau of General Services: Queer Division, that now has a permanent space inside the NYC LGBT Center on 13th street.

I’m performing the work in progress of my TED talk from above at this incredible event curated by Sabrina Chap, the roster of former performers at Deadline is really incredible and inspirational.

LA: May 13-27th–I am going to be in LA for two weeks, visiting family and accompanying my partner while she does some education policy conference stuff and a stunt driving course for her 40th birthday. Since I’m in town if you have a college or retreat center or want to produce a thing and want me to perform or present or do a reading or facilitate a discussion, let me know! queerfatfemme at gmail.com

2013-09-19

Free Book and Booking Workshops for 2013-2014

I’m booking workshops at colleges, universities, retreat centers, retail stores for the 2013/2014 school year. If you’d like to book me take a look at my workshop roster and shoot me an email! I really love traveling and teaching. I would love to come talk to you about body positivity, sexuality, community organizing, performing, living your dream, and so much more.

CC-02.jpg

Also, if you are into FREE stuff, there’s a free book giveaway for Kindle (or using their cloud reader app which is free to read on your computer). Visible: A Femmethology, Volume 2. It was released in 2009, and I did an interview on the blog tour that you can read here.

The publishers are offering a FREE download of Visible: A Femmethology Volume 2 through September 21st so get it while the getting’s good! The other volume is only $6.99 for Kindle if you want to spring for that, too.

2012-09-13

Things That Delight Me

I’m sitting in a West Philadelphia coffee shop drinking all the cheap beverages (iced coffee, green rooibus tea, soon to be followed by CHAI probably, caffeine I’m getting crazy on you) and working on my book. So far my shitty first draft* is 30,000 words long and that is an incredible jaunt down my emotional, sexual and party roads for the last four years. Someday soon I will share it with you, dear readers, in a form you can hold in your meaty paws and will hopefully make you laugh and cry and want to go out and have hot fat sex.

In the present time, however, I have some stuff that delights me that I want to share with you. A lot of it has to do with cats.

Macy loves visiting Philly because my nieces drop a lot of food.
Macy loves visiting Philly because my nieces drop a lot of food.

ITEM THE FIRST:

I am delighted to travel and am totally seeking opportunities to travel to colleges, retreat centers, gatherings, community spaces, coffee shops, rooftops to speak, perform and facilitate workshops. Here is a list of the performances and workshops I offer!

ITEM THE SECOND:

IMG_2124.JPG
Me and Quinn at our friends’ wedding in May.

Free form idea-creating with my friend Quinn in New Mexico about a future Cat Ranch for rescue kitties. This all stemmed from a discussion about a real-life cat circus that Quinn’s girlfriend Matie** took her to.
Q: A cat played the drums.
B: It’s like Magic Mike for Lesbians.
Q: I will freely admit that I have a DEEP adoration for cats and would have several if I could. If I lived on a farm it would be all over. ALL THE BARN CATS!
B: There was a lesbian lawyer I knew who always wanted to have a rescue farm full of rescue cats that were fixed and just got to live their days roaming in a herd.
Q: Hi I’m Quinn, Ranch Hand and Professional Cat Herder. Overalls sans shirt, kitty buttons. These are all service cats.
B: You and Matie live in New Mexico, this dream could become a reality. Imagine how happy the ranch cats would be eating lizards.
Q: And other giant fast-moving insects. PERFORMING PUSSY EXTRAVAGANZA.
B: THE PUSSY RANCH. There could be a giant vulva on a barn.
Q: Would you come help us paint it? Maybe we could get a world record for biggest painted vulva.
B: I would totally come help you paint it. Imagine all the cat hair tumbleweeds during a dust storm! You could do adopt-a-cat from afar things like they do for cows at the Farm Sanctuary.
Q: Silverbutch quinner and her cats-a-plenty.
B: Also there are folks who go from farm to farm doing workshares in exchange for a place to stay and food. Imagine the lesbians coming through town to hang out on the ranch. I hope Matie is down with this plan since we’ve basically done everything except put a down payment on the ranch.
Q: I sure hope so, I’ve already mapped out what I’ll be doing from the age 45 on. Growing catnip.
B: Did you know catnip has the opposite effect on people as it does on cats? It’s calming!
Q: I will also grow sage, rosemary, and other things to fill the lesbian tea basket and cat farm. “This is our house blend.”
B: Uniquely fertilized herbs. We can do meditation classes where people come and meditate while brushing the cats. WIN WIN.
Q: Cat therapy that caters to lesbians. Have you lost a loved one? Was this loved one a cat? Let us help you heal.
B: The annual benefit will be a CAT RODEO.

So basically we’re just a kickstarter away from making THE PUSSY RANCH a real thing.


My cat Bear.

I pushed through the screen door and I stood out on the porch thinking "fight fight fight at all costs." #anicat
My other cat ALF. I post a lot of photos of my cats and Ani DiFranco lyrics on my Instagram. @queerfatfemme

ITEM THE THIRD:

This video of the extremely talented Ashley Aron fronting the Vancouver, BC based Butch Choir called Leadfoot. It’s amazing!

ITEM THE FOURTH:

This video by Kitty Crimes called Yogue Out. If you are a fan of Leslie Hall, be it for her gold lame’ body suits or for her amazing beats and hilarious songs, I feel you will enjoy this rap about yoga.

ITEM THE FIFTH:

Helpful to the writer is a friend you can gchat and demand simply “Inspire Me” and she comes up with something like this. (Thanks Bridget, for being that friend.)

263926_10152085985220942_2090506479_n.jpeg

Okay, dear readers, back to writing the bridge to the next chapter of my life…

*Much love to Anne Lamott for that liberating language from her amazing writing book, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.
**P.S. All future suitors take note that’s a great date for Ms. Branlandingham.

2012-05-14

Begin Again

One of my favorite concepts in meditation is the idea of it as an opportunity to practice beginning again. It’s a concept brought to me from a book I have been slowly creeping my way through, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program* by Sharon Salzberg. It was only ten bucks and came with a guided meditation cd and basically sets out why meditation is great and a gentle, 28 day program for becoming one of those daily meditating people you hear about and want what they have.

But, for me, like with all things, this meditation book has taken me way more than 28 days to get through and that’s okay. Sharon says in one of the very first meditations that as you get lost in thought you get to begin again. Come back to the breath. It’s very gentle. The practice of being gentle with yourself with something as simple as a thought coming into your head during meditation, when the idea is not to think, is a radical notion for someone raised in our culture of harsh judgment and perfectionism. Especially for me, where I relied on overachieving and appearing as perfect as possible as a survival mechanism through a difficult childhood and adolescence. Gentleness with yourself is a radical act. So is the idea that you can “begin again” even after you’ve done something wrong.

575308_10151527759849386_512354385_9149146_1514057196_n.jpeg
When I was a fat depressed, often suicidal, teenage closeted queer I never thought I would be a New York plus size party girl making out with Zach Morris and gay AC Slater but maybe this was always my destiny. I wish I could tell early 90s awkward Bevin that it gets better. And also that her crushes on boys that looked like Zach Morris and AC Slater were just gaydar.

So, you see, dear readers, I am at yet another begin again crossroads. That law firm job I got in January that I was so stoked about? Totally bad fit. I won’t get into the specifics, but after about a month of thinking it was going well, it just wasn’t. My talents are manifold and were not a good fit for that environment. And I was miserable and working really hard. Certainly not making enough money to be worth the amount of stress I felt, though I believe that even one of those $150,000 a year associate jobs isn’t worth that kind of stress on your body and life. And so, after three and a half months, I am going my own way again. As a Capricorn overachiever I can be very committed to things and get mired into it even if I am not enjoying it, so to have it only be a three and a half month detour is significantly shorter than I otherwise would have stuck it out.

301749_10151527758664386_512354385_9149143_612047869_n.jpeg
Me and much of the cast of Bayside the Un-Musical at Rebel Cupcake. There’s one weekend left in their run (May 16-19th at the Kraine Theater in the Lower East Side), I saw the show and it was ridiculous and a MUST SEE for any fan of Saved By The Bell.

It was a shock when it happened, however the relief and peace I have felt since it was decided I wouldn’t be working at the firm anymore told me this was the right path. Decision making is a self-correcting process, I believe that even when you make a choice there is guidance about that. If you make the wrong choice, there will be a gentle (and then not so gentle) nudge away from it until you get on the path you’re meant to be on. Sort of like when I was engaged to someone who I know 4.5 years later was a terrible fit but at the time was undeterred and had no perspective. That was a self-correcting process. And, even though it was devastating at the time, I feel great about the life I have now.

The last 4.5 years have held a crazy amount of change for me. My life is radically different but so much more than I could have imagined. My Saturn Return was bananas–end of engagement, laid off from a job of 5 years, a terrible living situation necessitating a move while being on unemployment–and things keep on changing and upheavals keep happening. I sold my beloved Prius in April because I knew financially it was the right choice–good thing because then I lost my job and selling it has given me SO much flexibility.

560646_10151527758979386_512354385_9149144_122355078_n.jpeg

And today, I have a lot of possibilities and opportunities. I have been working on a new memoir, shelving the more difficult and emotionally fraught memoir for later, and it’s flying out of my hands and into a shitty first draft. (All hail the working through perfectionism enough to be okay starting with a shitty first draft!) I am feeling more creative than I have in months. I’m happy. It’s been two weeks and part time work and per diem jobs are sort of popping up. Enough to pay the bills.

I won a reader’s choice nightlife award from Go Magazine, the largest circulating free lesbian magazine in the world, as Best Emcee (and thanks to all of my readers who voted!). Rebel Cupcake won for Most Eclectic Crowd.

IMG_1861.JPG
The awards were really heavy. I felt like the Adele of the Lesbian Nightlife Awards. Also my Grandmother thinks I look like Adele since she went blonde and I don’t know whether it is because we’re both fat and wear big eyelashes but I’ll take it as a compliment.

Rebel Cupcake, a nightlife party celebrating all bodies and flamboyance, just turned two years old! At the two year anniversary one of my heroes, Barbara Carrellas, did a sex magic fire ritual and the demo bottom turned over and she made a cake out of foam on the bottom’s naked torso with two candles in it and the whole club sang Happy Birthday to Rebel Cupcake while the cake burned. That was an incredible moment.

I wrote a new workshop and debuted it at Columbia University for their Radical C.U.N.T.S. club about embodiment and learning to get into our bodies. (Called Get Me Embodied, like the series of embodiment posts I am continuing to write for the blog.) It was such a wonderful experience and afterwards I just thought “This is what I need to be doing.”

All of this happening literally on the heels of my last day of 9 to 5 work I am taking to be a sign that my artistic life is on the right path. It is terrifying trusting the universe and not knowing how I’ll have retirement or health insurance, but I am also very, very happy. And I know, somehow, I will figure it out. And I know there is power in letting myself begin again.

*I link to Amazon because I get a tiny referral fee for anything folks purchase from clicking through to Amazon from my blog but I suggest buying it wherever you can, it is a great read.

2011-03-17

Upcoming Workshop and Performance in Philly Area and Some NYC Shows

Whenever I see the abbreviation STD (Save the Date) it makes me giggle. But that’s what I’m asking you all to do, gentle readers in NYC or Philly or coming to visit either of those places. STD in a totally non disease way.

167937_500891939693_598884693_5925795_1455052_n
Photo by Miki Vargas for Hot Box.

TOMORROW! Friday, March 18, 2011 * Brooklyn, NY
Nogga Schwartz Presents
TaTa Titty Party and Houseboy Raffle
8PM-3AM Dancing * $5-$10 sliding scale
Marilyn Mansion: 326 E. 17th St, Brooklyn, NY (Ditmas Park)

It’s going to be a blast! More info on my calendar page!

I am super excited to be presenting a workshop and performing at this awesome conference. I’ve been prepping this workshop for a couple of college engagements I have coming up. And my performance will be Lesbolesque, which is not an act I perform very often, so if you’re in the area come check it out!
Saturday, March 26, 2011 * Swarthmore, PA
Swarthmore Queer and Trans Conference 2011
2PM Workshop / 9PM Performance * Open to the Public
Register here & check out the rest of the amazing schedule!
Workshop: (Kohlberg, Scheuer Room), Swarthmore College
Peformance: (Olde Club)

2:00pm – “Love for EveryBODY” – Workshop with Bevin Branlandingham In a fatphobic society it is a radical act for anyone to love their body. This interactive, humorous and tender workshop provides a safe space for people of all body types, sizes, sexualities, gender expressions and abilities to explore learning to love your body as it is. Body liberation activism, Health at Every Size, and using movement and fashion to improve self-esteem will be discussed.(Kohlberg, Scheuer Room)
9:00pm – Performance Night with Bevin Brandlandingham, the Lost Bois and DJ Shomi Noise (Olde Club)

Upcoming Rebel Cupcakes: April 14th and May 12th (my big 1 year Rebel Cupcake anniversary!). More info on the Rebel Cupcake page.

And Save the Date! More info will be edited and revealed but I want to make sure folks know about this!Saturday, May 14, 2011 * New York, NY
Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme Anthology NYC Launch Party
8PM-2AM Dancing; readings/performances in two parts beginning 8ish * $5-$15 sliding scale
Late night dancing til 2a
Stonewall: 59 Christopher Street, NYC

Bevin joins the publisher and editors of the new anthology Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme to produce an extraordinary launch party in the way queers celebrate our identities–dancing, performing and mingling. Books will be on sale and authors will read brief highlights from their passages. Plus the sound stylings of the fabulous Canadian Rae Spoon.

Powered by WordPress