This is one of my writes from last night’s workshop — the prompt was Sarah Vaughan’s rendition of “I feel pretty.”
I infrequently feel pretty. When I first came out fem, I had fantasies about being the movie girl in front of the vanity, soft lights behind me and brash up front, makeup and brushes and atomizers of perfume splayed all around on dresser-top ready for spritzing, dusting, lining, pearling: being That Girl.
In real life, I can’t habituate that girl, can’t hold her down and climb into her skin, and, more to the point, i can’t wait around for her to get dressed and done enough to daintyfoot herself into my skin. I have other things to do.
The Center for Sex and Culture presents
a special SNEAK PREVIEW of BODY HEAT: a femme porn tour — 2010!
Sizzlin’ Fierce Fiery Queer Femme Porn – 2 Nights, 2 Different Shows! ***DO NOT MISS THIS EVENT!!!!!!!***
Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30
Cost $10.00 – $15.00 you pick :)
At the Center for Sex & Culture, 1519 Mission Street (between 11th and South Van Ness), San Francisco, CA 94103
Come to the Center for Sex and Culture for the one of these barely-legal Bay Area performances of the Body Heat: Femme Porn Tour. Each night will offer up decadent performances/readings by fierce local queer femme writers, performers and devastritixes!
The more comfortable I get with my girlhood, after seriously striving to embody masculinity for almost a decade, the less able I am to describe it — girlhood — with any kind of precision: Well, a girl’s a female-bodied person, unless she’s male-bodied, and she likes dresses and pink unless she hates them and prefers skinned knees and tree climbing or none of the above or all. Well, it’s clear, isn’t it, that the girl’s the softer one, right? Except I’ve stroked some pretty soft boys — and met girls rocked hard like stone and the girls are the ones who cry right except when they don’t and the boys do and I’m done with layering on description and definition: femininity likes frills and adornment and paint and frivolity up to and until and unless and and it digs its unpainted nails into thick rocky soil or, yes, knows perfectly well how to turn a phrase between a girl’s or a boi’s legs and sings its songs with abandon until and unless it remains silent.
There’s no sure thing about femininity and masculinity for me anymore — not about either except in the know-it-when-i-see-it sorts of ways and even that is all up for interpretation and assumption, those kinds of grabs. The things that say boys are strong and girls get carried have never seen me (or you, or him, or hir) carry a box of books wearing four-inch heels and who cares if its girl or not except
I do. I thicken into the femininity my stepfather wrought for me, the tough bitch smart broad high femme ball buster prima donna that he was always just the right man for: it’s that last part, of course, that leaves me nauseous, that wrote me into boyhood, into all the masculinity I’d always already carried, all my life — they just called it tomboy but I took it out of my back pocket, fluffed it out, slicked it on and called that leather jacket and jeans and boots and shorn shorn head strong and safe
I have the great privilege of being a part of the Body Heat: Femme Porn Tour, which kicks off here in San Francisco tomorrow, 4/3, at the Center for Sex and Culture at 7pm.
Femmes, as some of us know, still bear an interesting burden of invisibility — our right to call ourselves dykes is called into question sometimes even still, because we don’t bear the masculine markers of more “visible” dykes (which turns into an interesting paradox), and our sexual agency is still, I think, considered to be determined by our lovers, rather than by we ourselves.
There are LOTS of fierce femme writers & performers who are calling into question these and other misunderstandings around femmeness, and I get to be on tour with three of them — Vixen Noir (aka Veronica Combs of the incredible Liquid Fire fame), Celestina Pearl (di-va writer, filmmaker & performer!) and kathleen delaney (spoken word artist out of Atlanta & a dear friend from back when I lived on the East Coast!)