who taught him how to walk in high heels

graffiti of legs wearing tall heels, with the words, "if you wear 5" heels, you shouldn't have to pay for your meals!"

(click on the image to see more of Maya Shimizu's photos!)

I would like to still be asleep this morning. Some mornings are like that.


Body Heat begins this Saturday in Atlanta! People, this show is going to be gorgeous — with a line-up like this, how could it be anything but amazing: kathleen delaney, the Lady Ms. Vagina Jenkins, Gigi Frost & Alex Cafarelli — these are high femme powerhouses!  I’m so honored to get to join them. Every year, I learn more and more about what’s possible for me as a queer femme dyke when I join up with the women on tour, and I come home a bit more open, a bit more solid in my skin and self, walking a bit taller, feeling that much more complicated, and thus more comfortable, in this queer femininity.

I’ve told you what Body Heat is, right? “Body Heat is a national touring collective of fierce Queer Femme porn/erotic authors, performers, poets, and dancers who offer a sizzling two hour performance, as well as a variety of workshops on sex and gender and erotic writing.” That is, Body Heat is a tour that showcases queer femme desire — what’s not revolutionary about that?

Here’s where to find the Heat this time around: We’ll be in ATL on Saturday, 4/16 at The Eyedrum – held @ The Goat Farm (with special guests Phoenicia Phoenixyz Battle & Margaret Cho!!), and then we move on out on Monday, 4/18, to Huntsville, AL — come find us at the Flying Monkey Art Theater. On the 19th we get to visit the Little Hamilton Collective (1318 Little Hamilton Street) in Nashville, TN, and on Wednesday the 20th we go to Planet Ida in Dowelltown, TN. Next, we’ll be at the Get Down in Asheville, NC, on Thursday, 4/21, and then on Friday we hit the Pinhook in Durham! After all that traveling around, we’ll head back to Atlanta for a Saturday afternoon workshop and show at Charis Books (and we’ll be joined again by special guest Phoenicia Phoenixyz Battle) — then there’s rumored to be a special house party somewhere on Saturday night!

Watch the Body Heat FB page for all the details, and please come out and say hello!


I haven’t shared a workshop write in awhile! Here’s a prompt and a write from Saturday’s Writing the Flood workshop.

Here’s the prompt: write down seven things that you or your character have forgotten. Then choose one (or let one choose you) and write.

And this is my response to that prompt:

Who taught him how to walk in high heels? His mother certainly never expected to have to put a line of tape down on the hard wood floor of their dusty living room and present her boy with that information: Put high heel pumps on this way, hold the sole in your one hand and press the show onto the opposite foot, or with platforms, if they have buckle, press your legs together and lean your knees to one side, swishing your skirt or the bell bottoms of your jeans out of the way so you can see to do up the strap. Then stand tall, see, shift your center of gravity some, lean back onto them — like that — good! And now its one foot in front of the other, directly in front, honey, and let your hips go — good, just let your hips go.

He wonders if even girls got that kind of instruction — it was the 70s, after all, and his mother was more after cork-soled comfort than platform boots by the time he started marveling through her closet after school, the days he got home so far before her, the days his name was latch key. He doesn’t remember how he learned this precious thing, this thing that separates the men from the boys, this thing that sail-sells his faggot flag high and free. He had no Queens to teach him and he doesn’t remember especially examining how the rich, trashy ladies on Dallas shifted their bodies when their feet were pitched forward in stilettos. Somehow, the knowledge got in, like somehow he got himself inside a fine leather bustier and a short denum skirt, like he got himself inside words like Darlin and Mary, like he got himself inside another boy’s drawers.

He knows not all the fairyu boyes, the girly men, like to put their weight inside sequins and feminiity, but he does — and he doesn’t remember when it landed clear as a furled fake eyelash that this made him no less of a man, but he carries that knowing in his bones like he carries the knowing how to let his hip, his hips, his hips shift easy like balls of butter in their sockets when he’s wielding a pair of high heels through a room full of wringing wet men, and this knowing his momma doesn’t know she gave him is what will save his life.


Thank you for all the things you learned that no one thought to teach you, and how you share that with others in so many different ways. Thank you for that wisdom and generosity. Thank you, today, yesterday, tomorrow, for your words.

Comments are closed.