It’s Not Too Much, It’s More Than Enough

Image I love the way queer people, who don’t have maps to follow, chart their own course, build new structures, tear them down, salvage the good parts and build them up again. And if they should collapse, why we just repeat the process over again.

I made rice today. I washed the rice many times, laid it out to dry. Cut the onions and toasted the garlic, cumin, paprika and rice in oil until the rice was as clear as the onions. The rice seemed larger than it had originally, when I first set out to cook.

I began to worry that my container wasn’t big enough, that that old cast iron skillet could not be trusted to contain all of my swollen rice. I feared that my rice would be crunchy and inedible. I scooped out a whole cup of rice before I added the broth as I know rice doubles in size. Which  means that I was playing it safe and the pot didn’t boil over and the rice was cooked but there is a sad and lonely little pile of rice, oil and spices raw and waiting to be cooked on the counter. I wrote a note for myself to remind me to cook the rice at breakfast. What if the rice went rancid? What would that mean?

I can’t help but thinking over again and over again:

     “But what if my container just isn’t big enough? What if I can’t hold all the rice?” 

And I know that this beautiful cast-iron skillet came into my life to teach me a lesson about my capacity for love and the dangers of playing it safe. I just hope I remember where I put it when I need it.

In Honor Of National Coming Out Day & All Of Us Who Cannot Hide (And All of Us Who Can)

Ofelia del Corazon (1994) When I was thirteen I went to stay for a week with my boyfriend's uncle Mark Souza, he was a real estate agent and fabulous drag queen. That summer I learned how beautiful being queer could be and that I wasn’t doomed to a life of pain and loneliness… And that if I waited patiently I could have a life like his… full of love and sex, art, dress up costumes, dinner parties, brunches and sequin ball gowns!  Mark dressed me up in his gorgeous beaded dresses, giant wigs and big gaudy jewelry and taught me how to use the $25 silver Guerlain liquid eye liner I'd bought with money from my first job. Mark said I was like his own personal Barbie Doll (his walls were covered with them) and I beamed with pleasure--if I was his doll then he was my queer fairy Godmother. Thank you Uncle Mark for showing me how to live a life to be proud of--before there were "It gets better" videos and gay straight alliances in high schools I had you.

(1994 )When I was thirteen I went to stay for a week with my boyfriend’s uncle Mark Souza, he was a real estate agent and fabulous drag queen. That summer I learned how beautiful being queer could be and that I wasn’t doomed to a life of pain and loneliness… And that if I waited patiently I could have a life like his… full of love and sex, art, dress up costumes, dinner parties, brunches and sequin ball gowns!
Mark dressed me up in his gorgeous beaded dresses, giant wigs and big gaudy jewelry and taught me how to use the $25 silver Guerlain liquid eye liner I’d bought with money from my first job. Mark said I was like his own personal Barbie Doll (his walls were covered with them) and I beamed with pleasure–if I was his doll then he was my queer fairy Godmother. Thank you Uncle Mark for showing me how to live a life to be proud of–before there were “It gets better” videos and gay straight alliances in high schools I had you, Uncle Mark.

I’ve always known I was not straight;  I was called a lesbian in 4th grade before I even knew what the word meant and still I knew that they were right.   For as long as I can remember I’ve had crushes on sissy’s, pretty boys, tomboy’s and every kind of fancy femme I’ve ever seen.

In seventh grade I heard about two boys my age who were gay, one who was openly gay and one who simply could not hide it. I had crushes on them both. “HEY FAGGOT!” I’d hear the taunts echoing through  the hallways of the junior high in the poor rural latin town where I grew up. My ears and face would burn with shame as I was tripped, my backpack or my hair pulled hard and I would wonder how they knew… I hid it so well… Who had told my secret?

“Turn around faggot!” Just before the culprit  muttered, stunned when faced with a pretty girl “Sorry…We thought you were Miguelito!” Miguelito (the boy who could not hide) and I wore the same wild thrift store polyester shirts, bell bottom corduroy pants and  had even shorn our hair into the same A-line bob hair cut. We had the same light skin and black hair and hip swinging wiggle of a walk. I’m not sure how much of the abuse I shouldered for Miguelito. Not nearly enough. I wish I had been more brave.

Since then I’ve come out as bisexual, as lesbian, as queer, as a person with a mental illness, a person with a learning disability, as a writer, as a mixed race peson and more. I hope I never stop coming out and being brave for myself and for all of those who cannot hide and for those of us who can but should not.

For those of you who are able to hide, please hold this in your heart when you feel afraid:  Your life will not end when you will come out. Your life will begin. It may be more difficult at first. It may be worse  when you first come out but know that there is more pride, more beauty and more joy waiting for you than you could ever have possibly imagined.

2012 LA Transgender Film Festival Lineup!

November 2 – 4, 2012
Friday November 2nd

Echo Park Film Center 1200 North Alvarado Street

Los Angeles, CA 90026

8 p Mommy is Coming directed by Cheryl Dunye (erotic feature, 64 mins)

Mommy is Coming is a raunchy queer sex filled romance set in the international creative melting pot Berlin. Director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman, The Owls) reinvents the screwball romantic comedy as we follow Claudia, Dylan, and Helen as they bumble their way through a raunchy sex filled Berlin.

Screening is 18+

Featuring short films: Chris dir Don Bapst 6 min. Got Monsters dir .NK. 11 min.

Stay for the Q & A with Director, Cheryl Dunye, moderated by Ofelia del Corazón.

  

Saturday, November 3rd

The Renberg Theatre (At the LA Gay & Lesbian Center)

1125 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90038

4:30 p Surrealness (short films program 86 mins)

What do androids, funerals, tourist traps, kung fu, matchmaking, saints, outlaws, and roommates have in common? In this surreal collection of transgender, intersex, and genderqueer short films…everything!

Trandroids dir Britt Dunn 18 min. Remember Me in Red dir Hector Ceballos 15 min. La Santa dir Mauricio Lopez 14 min. The Thing dir Rhys Ernst 15 min. Robin Hood is so Gay dir Broch Bender 7 min. Lee dir Roland Wiryawan 6 min. Make a Mate dir Jennifer Jordan Day 3 min. Roommates dir Caitlin Parker  8 min.

6 p Workshop with Silas Howard

Ever wonder how you can make a feature film when you have no money?  Learn more about how to write, direct, and produce independent trans/genderqueer media from Silas Howard, a trans artist with two low budget feature films that have premiered at Sundance and SXSW.

7 p Reception in the courtyard

7:30 p By Hook or By Crook

directed by Silas Howard

(narrative feature, 98 mins)

Shy is a handsome small-town loner who dumps his diner job and thumbs to San Francisco in pursuit of a life of petty crime. Along the way, Shy stumbles into the off-kilter Valentine, who is on a quest to locate his birth mother. An unexpected and magical friendship sparks as they steal and grift their way towards understanding themselves and the crazy world around them.

The second annual Trans Luminary Award will be presented to Silas Howard for helping pave the way for transgender artists.  The Jury Award for Best Short Film will also be presented.

SILAS HOWARD (writer, director, and musician) began his career in degeneracy by playing music with the legendary punk band Tribe8.  Silas wrote, directed, and starred in the film By Hook or By Crook, a Sundance Film Festival premiere and five-time Best Feature winner. His documentary,  What I Love About Dying, premiered at Sundance Film Festival and played festivals internationally. Silas’s short films, music videos, and web series have aired on MTV, Logo, Showtime, and the Sundance Channel. Silas’s writing has been published in various anthologies and magazines. He is currently developing Michelle Tea’s novel, Chelsea Whistle, into a feature film.
Sunday November 4th

The Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center

1525 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035

2 p Work of Art (short films program, 90 mins)

Dig deep into the twisted imaginations and tumultuous lives of trans and genderqueer characters and storytellers. With biting sarcasm, deadpan wit, and creative takes on life, this collection of short films will make you laugh, provoke deep thoughts, and inspire you to make your own art.

Feeling Reserved dir Jessica McCormack 6 min. The Hawker dir Elisha Lim & Coco Riot 2 min. Elephant in the Room dir Lucas Crawford 5 min. Ink Deep dir Constance Levesque 2 min. Putting the I in Transdir Steen Starr 5 min. Work of Art! dir Chris Vargas and Greg Youmans 14 min. lili longed to feel her insides dir Adelaide Windsome 5 min. Slippery dir Sandra Alland 2 min. Sally’s Storydir Mark Andersson 21 min. Ese Hombre dir Natalie Chang 5 min. All She’ll Ever Hurt  dir David Joseph 5 min. Genderfreak dir Rebecca Louisell 18 min.

4 p against a trans narrative (Documentary, 61 mins)

Trans filmmaker Jules Rosskam’s against a trans narrative is a provocative and personal experimental documentary investigating dominant constructions of trans-masculine identity, gender, and the nature of community. Blending fiction, nonfiction, and experimental film genres, against a trans narrative employs a gender-busting combination of intimate diary footage, stylized dramatic scenes, spoken word performance, faux audition tapes, and roundtable interview footage to explore and initiate a dialogue between feminists, queers, and transfolk about the way we construct personal and historical narratives. Careful attention is paid to the ways generation, race, class, and culture impact our understandings of gender.

Featuring short films: My Inner Turmoil dir Rashmi V 8 min. Transpass dir Wren Warner 16 min.

The second annual Audience Award for Best Short Film will be presented following the screening.

5:30 p against a trans narrative Panel Discussion  (Free)

Join us as for a panel discussion on how we can make trans media on our own terms, and resist the trans narratives that get placed upon us.

6:30 p Reception

TG Film Fest logo

LA Transgender Film Fest

Schedule At A Glance

Friday November 2nd, 2012 Echo Park Film Center

8 pm Mommy is Coming (erotic feature, 18+ only)


Saturday Nov. 3rd, 2012 The Renberg Theatre

4:30 pm Surrealness (short films program, 86 mins)

6 pm Indie Filmmaking Workshop with Silas Howard

7p Reception in the courtyard

7:30 pm By Hook or By Crook (feature,98 mins), Trans Luminary Award presented to Silas Howard


Sunday Nov 4th, 2012 The Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center

2 p Work of Art (short films program, 90 mins)

4 p against a trans narrative (Documentary, 61 mins) & Audience Award for Best Short

5:30 p against a trans narrative panel discussion

6:30 p Closing Night Reception


Venues

Echo Park Film Center

1200 North Alvarado Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Renberg Theatre, The Village, LA Gay & Lesbian Center

1125 North McCadden Place, Los Angeles, CA 90038

The Workmen’s Circle Cultural Center

1525 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035


All tickets $10, tickets on sale October 15 at www.tgfilmfest.com

“Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy” Is Something To Be Proud Of

Ian McKinnon For "Ian McKinnon's Gay Hist-Orgy" by Don Tinling Photography

Ian MacKinnon by Don Tinling Photography

“Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy” is a brilliant, side splitting and wonderfully sexy piece of storytelling and performance. Ian has meticulously researched our queer world history, mythology, and folklore and spun into a vibrant homo tapestry that is both titillating and inspiring. While I often found myself saddened and angered by the erasure of our homo history Ian’s hilarious performance reminded me how grateful I am to be a grownup queer with access to art that celebrates and investigates our queerly complex stories.

Ian was kind enough to spend some time talking with me about his newest work “Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy.”

Ofelia: You were exploring the erasure of homo-history back in 2008 when you did the “Gay Bodies! Gay Souls!” piece. Did “Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy” evolve from that earlier work? 

Ian:  It’s so cool that you remember that. That was a really fun show! Yes, The Gay Hist-Orgy has been evolving for a long time. My father was a historian and archaeologist so I have always been interested in history. But I got the idea for the show when I read the work of Karl Ulrichs. Someone told me he was the Grandfather of Gay Rights so I had to know about him. I found his words really powerful and still relevant and I realized while reading him I had developed a crush, fantasizing him to be my boyfriend. So, I wrote a short piece where we made love and his quotations were presented in the sex. It worked out really well so I decided I could cruise and fuck all the gay greats from history and make a whole show out of it.

Ofelia: It seems you’ve become quite the  queer cultural historian!  What was your research process and plan for the performance?

Ian: It was like college all over again but totally gay! I had a real passion for it. I carried a ton of books everywhere I went and was up late writing, reading, and hunting obsessively for period gay music. It was really inspiring. I amassed a ton of research and then the  process was really one of cutting away and boiling down until I had a script that was doable. Then I went into video making/editing madness, filming with my pal’s Eric Yu and Danny Hill who play the sexy genie and the leather daddy professor. Then I rehearsed the fuck out of it to get the timing down and make sure it was fun and that I got all the dates and names right and stuff.

"Ian McKinnon's Gay Hist-Orgy"

“Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy”

Ofelia: How does your performance art fit into the study of queer history?

Ian: I think it provides a necessary angle on it all by bringing the passion and sex and fun back into it. Studying can be a chore and history can be so neutered and boring and homophobia is always rampant. My show puts the cock and balls, and juicy gay spirit back into place. These men were hot and passionate and so gay! They had sexy lovers who inspired them to greatness. My show celebrates that.
Ofelia: I have a fantasy where you’re the homo leatherman professor of my dreams and my gay genie tells me he see’s your pockets lined with liberal arts college speaking fees… Do you have plans to go on tour? If so I am totally psychic. 
Ian: Awesome! I love your vision! Yes, I will be taking the show up to SF June 22nd to perform at Faetopia (www.faetopia.com) and then I will run again in LA Friday nights in July. (www.gayhistorgy.com) I do college shows which is always so much fun! The piece works really well in an academic setting. 
Ofelia: Why do you think it’s important that we (homos) are aware of our history?  Do you think it is also important for straight people to be aware of the tales and traditions of queers of the past? 

Ian: Knowing our history is important to me because it is empowering and it puts the present into focus. It’s good to know how homosexuals have been treated throughout history. It sheds light on our current situation. And I feel that learning about how the ancient Chinese emperors were gay, and the Sufi mystic poets found god through gay love, and many who shaped our modern world like Plato and da Vinci and Abe Lincoln were gay, gives me a kind of strength and a deeper understanding of gay purpose. And yes it’s totally important for srt8s to know homo history. It is hidden from them too and there is so much unconscious homophobia that goes on, I think it can be eye opening. I think straights who come to the show usually dig it.

 
Ofelia: Did you work with anyone else to develop “Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy?” 
Ian: I have a writing partner Wendell Jones. He co-wrote “AIDS: The Musical” and did a lot of performance art in the 80’s and 90’s in LA. He is a history buff and introduced me to a number of men I did not know. He suggested the incredible Herman Melville “Sprm of Kindness” section from Moby Dick. He also made sure my writing was clear and helped to bring out a gay centered focus even more. He has been an invaluable support. We have a really great collaboration going on.
Ofelia: Were you ever worried that people might not be interested enough in history to make creating the show worth the effort? 
Ian: Oh yeah totally. Before I did the first Karl piece I wondered if anyone would give a fuck about some old queen from the 1860’s. But Karl is brilliant and it got a really strong reaction and each section that I created after that also went well so I just trusted that people would care. Plus I care a lot and I think that helps others to see why they should care. 

Ofelia: I was surprised by how deeply moved I was by this piece-it satisfied a need for historical validation that I didn’t know that I had. Have other people had similarly emotional responses to the show? 

Ian: Yes I often have people tell me they cried or were moved. I love that. Usually people have a nice mixture of feelings to report after a show, they will say they laughed so hard but that it was smart too and touching or that they felt inspired. Often they will share their fave gay history tid-bits which is cool. It gets people excited I think, the piece has a lot of energy, it’s is a real ride.


Ofelia: You’re the un-curator of “Queer Mondays” at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica. Why is it important for queers to have a safe space to develop their work? Has having access to this space helped you to develop your own work?
Ian: Oh yeah Highways has been a great supporter of my work.  I spent years developing pieces there. It’s such a great space and so open and nurturing of queer artists. I began Queer Mondays there three years ago because I think it is so important for LGBT artists to have safe and consistent place to create work. The world is so full to the brim with heteronormativity, it’s overwhelming and it influences us. We need our own place to understand what it means to be gay or queer and feel safe and strong in that. Gay liberation is far from over.
"Ian MacKinnon's Gay Hist-Orgy" Saves Queer History

“Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy” Saves Queer History

Sometimes I wake up at night to worry about things that would be useless to scrawl on the pad of paper I keep on the nightstand for the purpose of storing racing thoughts. In these frantic moments I begin to worry about archiving. I worry that our letters, diaries, and hand drawn protest flyers will end up in moldy dumpsters at estate sales and that these beautiful snapshots of our queer histories will be forever lost. I worry about the little gaybies in Iowa who are praying for God to take their gay away. I worry that they won’t get to see Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy and I worry that Ian’s manuscript will end up in a mildewy pile and that the performance and those stories will die when the art fags of  my generation take our last breaths and so I ask Ian very casually if he’s been recording the performances. What will become of  “Ian MacKinnon’s Gay Hist-Orgy” when the party’s over? Ian doesn’t know he’s enabling my obsessive thinking but I’m so relieved when he tells me he’s filming the performances and that they will later be edited into a DVD. So I take a deep breath and smile and for a moment I can stop worrying because my favorite fey leatherman professor, Ian MacKinnon, will make sure the gaybies have something to be proud of for a very long time.

San Francisco Dates: 

Friday, June 22nd 9 PM @ Faetopia

In the vacant Tower Records (nxt to Cafe Flore)
at Market St & Noe St
2286 Market Street
Faetopia.com
Los Angeles Dates:
Friday Nights
July 6, 13, 20, 27
8 PM
Moving Arts Hyperion Station, 1822 Hyperion Ave, 90027Price: $20 / $15 students
Tickets: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/214106
Information: gayhistorgy.com

PUNK ASS QUEERS

Queer intersects Punk and DIY in this spatial and temporal exploration of radical queer narratives and DIY performance art in the Inland Empire.
—————————————
WITHRAQUEL GUTIERREZ
MICHA CARDENAS

Raquel Gutiérrez

Raquel Gutiérrez

Raquel Gutiérrez (b. 1976, Los Angeles, California) cut her teeth on Los Angeles performance art when she interned and house managed at Highways Performance Space in the year 2000. Raquel is a performance writer, playwright, and cultural organizer, studied in university settings and performed in a variety of locations, like the Salvadoran countryside, cabarets, galleries, San Antonio, more universities, Pico-Union, etc. In 2001, Gutiérrez was one of the co-founding members of the performance ensemble, Butchlalis de Panochtitlan (BdP), a community-based and activist-minded group aimed at creating a visual vernacular around queer Latinidad in Los Angeles. Raquel also co-founded other queer women of color projects and Latino projects, Tongues, A Project of VIVA and Epicentro Poetry project. Raquel has published work in Ambientes: New Queer Latino Writing (edited by Lázaro Lima and Felice Picano), Los Angeles Weekly, Make/shift magazine, Journal of Chicana/Latina Studies, and Izote Vos: Salvadoran American Literary and Visual Art (published by SF’s Pacific News Service). Currently, Raquel is in the Community Scholars program through the UCLA School of Urban Planning and is also the Manager of Community Partnerships for Cornerstone Theater Company, a leader in community-based theater-making in the United States.

micha cardenas

micha cardenas

Micha Cárdenas is an artist/theorist who works in performance, wearable electronics, hacktivism and critical gender studies. She is a PhD student in Media Arts and Practice (iMAP) at University of Southern California and a member of Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0. Her book The Transreal: Political Aesthetics of Crossing Realities, published by Atropos Press in 2012, discusses artists’ strategies for using multiple realities, such as augmented, mixed and alternate reality, and the intersection of those strategies with the politics of gender, in a transnational context. She blogs at transreal.org and tweets at @michacardenas.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/163496660/local-autonomy-networks-find-each-other/widget/card.html

—————————————
A QUEER YOUTH VISIBILITY PROJECT (QYVP) FUNDRAISER
The Inland Empire QYVP seeks to help local queer and trans* youth gain visibility,community, resources and empowerment through Do It Y(our)self efforts and media.

Suggested at door donation of $5

http://www.facebook.com/IEQYVP
—————————————
TIKAL BAKERY
Please support Tikal Bakery by ordering from their selection of Guatemalan bread and cuisine, before and after the event. The bakery offers a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian items.

Friday, June 8, 2012 7:30pm
Tikal Bakery 3975 Mission Inn Ave Riverside CA, 92501

The Vagina Monologues & Sexual Health Fair at La Tierra de la Culebra Art Park

ImageSaturday, April 14, 2012 12:00pm until 8:00pm

Come to La Tierra de la Culebra Park to celebrate V-day with an afternoon of visual and performance art, screen printing, drumming and radical sex and wellness education.
“The Vagina Monologues” by Eve Ensler will begin on the outdoor stage at 6pm. 
12-4 Artists, Craftspeople & Vendors
12-4 Sexual Wellness Workshops (See Schedule Below)
2 pm Medicinal Plant Walk With Herbalist, Eden Beth
6 pm “The Vagina Monologues”
8 pm Somatic Awareness: Sex & Creativity (workshop)
8-10 pmPost Performance Party & Community Discussion

Vegan and freegan food will be served all day by the Bike Scum Chapter of Food Not Bombs. Drumming and art with La Mujeres De Maiz. Two blocks from the Gold Line.

Admission to the show and workshops is free; a $5 donation is suggested. 

Sexual Health & Wellness Workshops
12:00-1:00 BDSM 101

We live every day of our lives within a world constructed of nonconsensual power hierarchies… BOO! HISS!
Now learn about how the consensual exchange of power can be a fun, powerful and even cathartic addition to your sex life. What are the feminist implications of willingly giving up or taking power in a sexual dynamic? How do I tell my partner about my strange desires? BDSM sex toys are expensive, what can I use that’s already laying around the house?
Answers to these questions and yours!
1:30-2:30 pm How To Be An Ally To Transgender People 

We all want diversity in our community but how can we make safe space for trans people? What kinds of questions, language, jokes, & comments can make people feel unsafe & unwelcome? We’re all taught to be transphobic and if you haven’t made a conscious effort to unlearn these beliefs, chances are, you’ve got a lil work to do. The good news is you can unlearn these oppressive beliefs and behaviors and become an excellent ally to the transgender and gender non conforming folks around you!

2:45-4 pm Safer Sex For Everyone

What kinds of sex acts are riskier than others? What are the real STI risks of unprotected sex between people with vaginas? How can I safely give a rim job? Why would I wear a latex glove for digital penetration? What in the world can you do with plastic wrap? Why is it important to use lubrication and know what is in your lubricant? Come ready to learn! All questions and desires are safe here!

8:00-9:00 pm Somatic Awareness: Sex & Creativity

A hands-on sexual energy & creative workshop facillitaed by sex and relationship coach, Anya de Montigny. Details to come.

ACLA (Art . . . Community . . . Land . . . Activism!) is a nineteen year old public art and land collective committed to working with youth in underserved Los Angeles neighborhoods to transform unused urban land into dynamic, community directed ArtParks. As a daily presence in our neighborhoods and the lives of participating youth and families, ACLA is able to grow programming that is responsive to the immediate and specific challenges of a community while at the same time addressing itself to the holistic needs of individuals.

Learn More About ACLA’s Youth Led Art & Activism Here: 

http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/articles/local-nonprofit-transforms-blighted-park-into-urban-oasis

http://aclaparks.tumblr.com/

Queer Mondays Un-Curated By Ian MacKinnon

Queer Mondays Un-Curated By Ian MacKinnon

Monday, January 30th, 7:30p-9p 

Queer Mondays is a non-elitist LGBT experimental performance series on the last Monday of every month. It’s an ever-changing grab bag of short pieces and happenings that has something for everyone and you never know what you’re gonna get! QM is dedicated to providing a consistent venue for the development of new queer work, and is open to all artistic disciplines.

This month performances by: Scott Backman Dan Wentzel Martin Wiech Justin Jorgensen Dino Dinco Gregory Barnett hosted by: Ian MacKinnon

$5 www.highwaysperformance.org Highways Performance Space

1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404