Monthly Archives: July 2011

Weekend Happenings

Hello my dear brohemians. I’m here to bring you what’s going on around town this fine weekend.

Thursday

Film: NewFest, “NY’s premier LGBT film festival,” presents Gun Hill Road, “a groundbreaking look at family, gender, and machismo in Latino culture.” 7pm, Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th Street, New York, NY 10023. Ticket price includes admission to Closing Night Party, 10:30pm at Cafe du Soleil, 2723 Broadway at 104th St. Buy tickets here.

Friday

Class: Fire play with Ramond at Paddles. Learn how to have sex with FIRE. Fri, July 29, 7:30pm – 10:00pm. Paddles, 250 W 26 St. basement.

Saturday

Partay: bklyn boiohood launch party. Observe image below for details:

If you don’t know who bklyn boihood is, check them out!

Sunday

Bingo: “Lorena St. Cartier calls the numbers at the Washington Heights watering hole’s weekly game night, when drinks are 2-for-1 drinks till 10pm.” 9pm; free. 4168 Broadway (btwn 176th/177th Sts).

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Zachary Volpe, Badass Artist

Zacery Volpe “18, a fabulous queer artist from Calgary. I create conceptual art installations, short filmic works, and manifestos to inspire social change and gorgeous discussion, I strive to make the queer zeitgeist proud!”

Their site features photo documentation of  Volpe’s sexy, inflammatory, and moving pieces.

They cover topics of queer labels, intimacy, pride, sexuality, identity and autonomy. I highly recommend checking out the whole site. I pulled out a few that I thought might be relevant to your interests.

This one is just so cute!

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Transgender Woman Murdered in DC

“A transgender woman, 23-year-old Lashai Mclean (pictured), was shot to death in northeast Washington, D.C., early Wednesday morning. Police say the investigation is still under way but, according to  The Washington Times,  the shooting occurred about 10 blocks from a group home for homeless gay and transgender youth where Mclean had sought housing assistance.”

It is not clear whether her gender identity was the motivation for the murder, but either way we’ve lost someone from our larger community. According to the article, “[h]ate crimes related to gender identity or sexual orientation have escalated in recent years” in the D.C. metropolitan area.

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No Boys Allowed

Right now I have the worst insomnia. Transomnia? Anyway, having spent all night on tumblr, I found this cute video. I think it brings up some interesting issues.

I feel like these sorts of situations are just so fraught. On the one hand, it’s unacceptable that people have to lose their whole communities when they transition. It’s especially hurtful when it comes from a community that prides itself on recognizing discrimination and respecting difference. On the other hand, in defense of lesbians who may not be interested in partnering with trans men, they may feel that they would be transphobic if they do pursue partnerships with trans men, and I have heard people criticizing lesbians for doing so, with people asserting that they don’t respect trans men’s genders, etc. I think it’s important to remember that people’s genders need to be respected in the way they want them respected, even if it isn’t the norm. So if this cutie above, Max, wants to partner with lesbian women, and he communicates that and is met with interest, what is disrespectful about that? Also, I think it’s important to let people remain innocent until proven guilty. It is very possible that it isn’t a case of transphobia, given that those selfsame women might very well partner with trans women. Some ladies honestly don’t like boys, trans or cis. This is especially likely if they specifically identify as a woman who only likes women, and not bisexual or queer or pansexual.

All in all, I think it’s something of a quandary. My advice is to communicate as well as you can. Ask questions, listen, and make your intentions known, via ukelele or any other means.

P.S. This boy is such a fierce ukelele player. Mad respect!

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Weekend Happenings

Alrighty, as promised, I’m bringing the noise on what to do this weekend a few days earlier.

Thursday

-Uteruses: “The Younger Women’s Task Force- New York is holding a shindig to raise funds for the esteemed organization the New York Abortion Access Fund!
The NYAAF is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization that provides financial assistance to low-income women in New York State who cannot afford to pay for an abortion.” The Trash Bar, 256 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 6-10 pm. $8.

Sunday

-Kinky party: Suspension. It’s a glam fetish party held at the Delancey. Half play party, half social event, go there to see and be seen. The Delancey, 168 Delancey St. $10 if you dress to impress. 9pm. 21+.

If I find more, I’ll keep y’all updated.

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While we’re on a butch kick…

I found this superfab blog. It’s full of cuties and also addresses the need for fat, queer and masculine visibility. I think that the fat queer women are often praised in terms of “voluptuousness” or with unfortunate assertions that they look like “real women,” while masculine queer women/females/gynoids* are often expected to be a certain brand of thin androgyne. This site has some supersexy illustrations to counterbalance that norm.

*Gynoid is a term me and my girl made up saw on Wikipedia and immediately reappropriated to describe a person that looks like someone who would be female assigned at birth. It also acknowledges that you can’t really know such a thing till the person tells you, and that such appearances don’t indicate anything about the way a person actually identifies.

**I don’t want to trivialize the fact that femmes, and in fact everybody, also feel overwhelming pressure to look thin. I’m just saying that within the queer blogosphere, I’m happy to see a little balance.

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‘Unsolicited Advice to a New Butch’ by Sinclair Sexsmith

I heard Mr. Sexsmith herself read this at Bluestockings at the end of this year’s Butch Voices conference. I think it’s divine:

There is more to you than this identity. It makes everything make more sense, and without it you might be lost, but with it you are only ever on one path. You contain more multitudes than that.

Dance. Cook. Read. Make peace with your body. Look at the stars.

Don’t make everything about you. Willingly admit you are wrong, even if sometimes you know you are right. Eagerly say “I’m sorry.” Easily say “I love you,” but learn to recognize your own worth. Keep the borders of your kingdom well-watched and flexible. Keep your muscles flexible. Climb mountains. Pick wild flowers, even though they wilt. Because they wilt. Don’t let people make you wilt. That’s doesn’t have to have anything do with you. Listen to their stories. Remember that we yell because we do not feel heard.

Make a list of ways you feel heard.

Learn how to partner dance so you can make your partner look beautiful, spinning and open-mouth laughing on the dance floor. Cook. Read. Make peace with your body.

Elevate the discussions over brunch with your buddies and use them to try out your date outfits. Downgrade your tee shirts to workouts and loungewear and upgrade your presentation. Make a list of places you can wear your very best suit that are not weddings or funerals. If you don’t have a suit, invest in a suit. There’s a reason it’s a classic. It’s okay to get it at a thrift store. It’s okay to stop shopping at thrift stores now that you know how to use money. Practice rocking a tie on special occasions. Make a list of special occasions. Thursdays can count as special occasions.

Remember that your lover craves your skin and friction and kisses not despite but because of your masculinity.

Dance. Practice cooking at least one impressive date meal and, if you like watching them put something you made in their mouth, teach yourself more. Read. Make peace with your body.

Get a traffic cop vest, because you are stuck directing and deflecting in the middle of the intersection between male and female, and though the fifty-car pileups have mostly ceased, though they have cleaned the rubble from the ditches, though the seasons have faded the bloodstains on the concrete, you are still there, in the middle, while a pickup truck brushes past close enough to touch the hairs on your calf and a Mazda full of machismo is threatening you from the window.

Know you can survive this. Your body crosses borders most of them never question.

Dance. Cook. Read books like Stone Butch Blues and Dagger and Butch is a Noun and learn where you came from. Learn who else is out there in the world with you. Suspend your own stories and practice seeing another’s perspective. Make peace with your body.

Learn to recognize femmes, even if you don’t date them. They recognize you. When a girl on the subway gives you The Eyes, she’s a femme. When the only straight girl in the dyke bar says she likes your tie, she’s a femme. When your waitress jumps in on your conversation with your buddies to ask “so what’s a good drag king troupe?”, she’s a femme.

But two femmes in bed are not just waiting for a butch to come along (necessarily), so don’t laugh when someone tells misogynistic jokes in bad taste. Be a gentleman. Practice the art of consensual chivalry, always be on time, and remember: it’s better to have a cock and not need it than to need a cock and not have it. Always be prepared.

When the girl you thought you’d spend your life with leaves you, know you can survive this. Pour the whiskey down the drain, keep your stovetop spotless, and delete her number from your phone. Move your best friend up to her speed dial spot and call just to say hi. Cultivate your friendships before your breakups so you are not alone.

You are becoming more like yourself than you’ve ever been. Trust in your own deepest experience. Trust in your own evolutions.

Dance. Cook. Read. Make peace with the supposed conflict between your breasts, your inner folds, your monthly bleeding, and your cufflinks, your swagger, your monthly boy-cut #4 and the razor-shave on your neck. You possess this innate ability to contemplate apparent opposites and hold them both; to dance with two seemingly contradictory things simultaneously—a talent most people can never perfect. But you can. And you are not alone. These mentors, this legacy, this lineage, this heritage, this style—this is where you fit, this is where you are not dismissed, this is where you finally get kissed exactly how you’ve always wished.

This is the process of blooming into whatever multitudes you are at the core of your being.

Look at the stars. Remind yourself how small we all are, how big your life is, how many paths you are exploring. You can do more than survive this—you can thrive in this.

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