the adventures continue… in san fran and back home

First things first: shameless self-promotion! I am very excited to announce that Pepper Mint and I will be co-presenting our kinky/queer/poly talk for the second time in two weeks, this time at the Center for Sex and Culture (Carol Queen’s fantastic academic/community resource centre). And this time, we have a nice big time slot to fill. Yum! I’ve posted details below; it’s happening this coming Thursday, the 24th. Pass the word if you live in the Bay Area or know anyone who does! 

Oh, and to add to the shameless self-promotion, this time in the realm of media visibility, it appears I am going to be interviewed by a wonderful writer from BlogHer.com who wants to get together for a chat since I’m in the Bay Area. Fun! I will post a link when the interview goes up. Also, next week I’m going to be a “queer about town” in the Toronto Xtra! – again, I’ll post a link. Plus, I’m speaking on the radio show Sex City (Toronto) on May 3, and later in May I’ll be on the cover of the Capital Xtra! in Ottawa. Kinda funny to be interviewed by radio stations and papers in Toronto and Ottawa while I’m off in SF, but hey, with all that fancy technology they’ve got nowadays…

Okay, enough of all that. Adventures!

Tonight I went to an Exiles program – the Exiles are pretty much the oldest leatherdyke group anywhere, being the most recent incarnation of the group started by Patrick (then Pat) Califia in the late 70s. The program was on the topic of spanking – which I suppose on the outside feels like a beginner-level topic, but the presenter, Queen Cougar, brought a rich presence and a wealth of knowledge and experience to the talk such that it was anything but the same-old same-old. Hey, any lady who can bend a venerable white-haired collared butch over her knee and raise good strong energy as easily as she can get a slap a cute little femme over her rufflebutt panties until she squeaks or whack a disabled gal’s ass hard enough to have her sporting a silly grin for the next hour… well, clearly the woman has got some skills. It was really cool to be in a very large room that was absolutely packed with leatherdykes, and interestingly, most of them way older than me. It’s a testament to the longevity of San Francisco’s leather culture that there are so many leatherdykes (like, easily 80 tonight, and that’s by far not the whole group) of an age that clearly indicates how long the culture has been present. It was very different demographic than what I’m used to in Montreal and Toronto, where I can pretty much count my true elders on one hand. Nice to know they’re out there, even if it’s not my reality back home.

Also on the menu: zombie strippers. No seriously, there’s a film out called Zombie Strippers. It sounds like a cheap excuse for crass nudity and gore… so how could I resist? Especially when invited by a brilliant trans/queer cultural critic and all-round geek who will surely make the experience way more than just an average afternoon at the movies. Reviewers have largely panned it as a stiffly (ha!) acted B-movie, but a viewer comment on IMDB.com says there’s a larger message that most reviewers will probably miss, and I believe it. Mainstream critics often have a terrible blind spot when it comes to camp and alt-sex irony. If this review holds true, I might have to avert my eyes at times but I’ll enjoy the overall experience. I will post a review. For real, I will. Right after I get that Buck Angel post written up…

Monday, I’m checking out an under-40 poly coffeehouse hosted by Pepper. Yes, in the Bay Area, there are so many poly groups and communities that they split by age range. Well, okay, that’s not a function of the numbers per se; the age split was brought about by a recognized need for a group geared towards the needs of the younger set, if I understand correctly, and was not without its controversy. But what I’m getting at is that the sheer number of non-monogamous people in this town is mind-boggling. Perhaps I will have a stronger grasp of this reality once I’ve met a few more of them. If it leads to interesting insights or questions, you’ll be the first to know.

Later next week I’m spending a day perusing the exhibits at two or three local art museums, accompanied by a certain art-geek pervert of my acquaintance whose insights will doubtless lend great depth to the experience, especially at the Asian Art Museum which is currently hosting a show of Japanese erotic art from 1690 to 1850. The de Young Fine Arts Museum of SF is hosting an exhibit of Gilbert & George’s work. The two men met in art school in the late 60s and have been partners and co-creators ever since. Knowing that Inside Out, Toronto’s queer film festival, will be screening a documentary about the artists’ lives in late May, I’m definitely checking it out so I can get a feel for their work firsthand.

And while I’m off enjoying myself in the queer cultural playground of the Bay Area, there’s a bunch of stuff going on in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. In Toronto, on April 25 we have the official launch of Inside Out, the queer film festival; later that same night, there’s a bathhouse event for women and trans people of colour. In Ottawa, on May 3 there’s a small change to the location of the protest against Bill C-484 – refer back to my original post for the rest of the details. In Montreal, May 3 is Trans Day of Pride, with a fabulous line-up of talks at McGill University and a drag king show at Café Cleopatra later that night. All details are below! Y’all go and enjoy yourselves…

********************

SAN FRANCISCO

Thursday, April 24, 7-10 pm —  (Un)Common Ground: Intersections of POLY, KINKY, & QUEER

Kinky, poly, queer… they’re not one and the same, but they sure do overlap a lot! It’s common knowledge that lots of people straddle the boundaries between these three identities and communities. Join us for a point-by-point structured analysis of the issues common to all three in
terms of political struggle, personal challenge and community-building. You’ll come out with fresh insights and understanding, whether you’re active in these communities or just beginning to learn about them.

Attendees will learn about the intersectionality of issues and experiences surrounding various forms of alternative sexuality and will make intellectual connections and gain insights into the potential for
coalition work. This session is food for the mind, and each attendee will be able to then apply their thought process to their own lives and/or to the activist work they do for greater strength and better academic and community understanding.

BIOS

Andrea Zanin, a.k.a. Sex Geek, pretty much writes and talks about sex all the time unless she’s eating, sleeping or having it. She is an organizer, educator and writer within the queer, polyamory and BDSM
communities, as well as being an active trans ally; currently, she splits her time between Montreal and Toronto, Canada. She frequently speaks about alternative sexuality for universities, colleges, sex shops, community groups and conferences in Canada and the States. Andrea also comments on
alternative-sexuality news and politics in a variety of media including the Montreal Mirror and Dykes on Mikes (CKUT 90.3FM), as well as obsessively blogging at https://sexgeek.wordpress.com. On the side, she writes erotic fiction and pursues her studies in the field of sexuality.

Pepper Mint is a San Francisco organizer, activist, and social theorist in the bisexual, polyamory and BDSM communities. You can view his writings at www.pepperminty.com and freaksexual.wordpress.com.

At CSC, 1519 Mission near 11th. $5-20 sliding scale, no one turned away for lack of $. CSC can take Visa, Mastercard, and Discover.

********************

TORONTO

2008 FESTIVAL LAUNCH & SILENT AUCTION
FRIDAY, APRIL 25 6:30pm to 11:00pm
GLADSTONE HOTEL 1214 QUEEN ST W
 
Join Inside Out as we lift the curtain on the line-up for the 2008 Festival. Get a sneak peek of some of the hottest films from around the world and special highlights including:
 
– Festival Galas
– International focus on Australia
– ICONS Documentary series
– Outsider series

The evening will also feature music, raffles, an amazing silent auction and a Priscilla-inspired performance by drag icon Donnarama!
 
FREE ADMISSION

***

Sugar Shack 2: Women/Trans of Colour Bathhouse

Toronto Women’s Bathhouse Committee is pleased to present the second
Sugar Shack Bathhouse event for Women/Trans folk of Colour and
Two-Spirit folk.

Central Spa, 1610 Dundas Street West

Friday, April 25th at 9pm

This is the long awaited sequel to the original hot, sweet Sugar Shack event! Lap-dancing, massages, sauna, games and more! Come prepared to be titty-lated, skin-tilated, and get sticky with sweetness!

ABOUT Toronto Women’s Bathhouse Committee: TWBC has been organizing bathhouses for women and transfolk for nine years, and counting! The Committee is pleased to be able to continue to offer this vital space in our community.

Contact Person: d-lishus
Title: organizer
Organization: toronto women’s bathhouse committee
Phone: 905 580 4865
E-mail: d-lishus@unforgettable.com
URL: pussypalacetoronto.com

********************

OTTAWA

The Ottawa protest will now be held *at the Human Rights Monument on Elgin street on May 3rd, starting at noon.*

We encourage all opponents of this Bill to come out and send a strong message that Bill C-484 is misguided and dangerous for womyn’s reproductive rights.

********************

MONTREAL

Transsexual Pride Day
Saturday, May 3, 2008
McGill University

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” (Henry Ford)

Welcome all transsexuals, friends, colleagues, family members and all other supporters of our cause!

On Saturday, May 3, 2008, we will be holding our fifth annual Transsexual Pride Day. The event will be held at 3480 McTavish (Shatner building). McTavish is between Peel and McGill College and the building is north of Sherbrooke Street. It is wheelchair accessible. Once you have entered the building, please follow the signs. Unless otherwise indicated, events are held in the ballroom on the third floor. There will be a free daycare service on the fourth floor. All presentations will be in French except for the one held at 3:15PM. Should the ATQ raise sufficient funds, simultaneous translation will be available for English to French and French to English.

9 :00 AM (Ballroom)
Doors open, information booths available, refreshments available at low cost.

9:30 AM Opening Ceremony (Ballroom)
Marie-Marcelle Godbout, founder of the ATQ, will welcome participants  and after,Maxime Le May, facilitator for the day’s events and president of the ATQ.

9:45 AM Your psychologist and you (Ballroom)
Françoise Susset, M. A., psychologist,
Can the therapeutic relationship have uses and benefits beyond referral letters for medical procedures? This workshop will help clarify the process of psychological counselling and encourage you to see your psychologist as an ally during and after your physical transition. 

11:00 AM Two-Spirit identity among Aboriginal peoples (Ballroom)
Jacky Vallée (FTM), anthropologist,
Many Native North American peoples had conceptions of gender that went beyond the binary “male-female” model that is so familiar to Westerners. There was room in these societies for Two-Spirit people, or those who were seen as having access to both male and female spirit and who often adopted an alternate gender identity. Based on oral and written accounts by Two-Spirit people and on anthropological studies, this presentation will offer an overview of Native gender conceptions and of the identities and roles available to Two-Spirit people. 

11:45 AM  Lunch (Ballroom)
BBQ chicken and pizza. We will order as a group ($7 maximum per person).  Information booths and archives available for consultation.

1:15 PM Community Update (Ballroom)
Update on medical, legal and governmental procedures such as name changes, surgeries, government coverage, and so forth by representatives of trans community groups.
 
2:00 PM Girl Stuff (Ballroom)
By Christiane Perrault of Mégamorphose
A professional stylist who frequently works with the MTF transsexual community will offer a workshop-style presentation on various techniques such as: how to feminize one’s silhouette through clothing, how to avoid purchasing useless things, make-up tips and so forth.

2:00 PM FTM Masculinity : A Discussion (Lev Buckman room, 2nd floor)
Alexandre, instructor and doctoral student, UQAM.
Are transboys men like the others? On one hand, this question might seem shocking as it may imply an invalidation of transmen’s autoidentification as men. However, from a vantage point internal to the trans community, it is a question worth exploring. What is the basis of masculinity? Anatomical sex (penis, body hair)? Gender (behaviour and presentation)? Both ? Neither ? Do these men perceive their masculinity as innate or acquired ? What traditional masculine values and attitudes are desired or rejected by transboys? The aim of this workshop is to reflect on the contemporary masculinity of transsexual men.

3:15 PM Activism and Transsexuality in the Bahamas (Ballroom)
Evonne Sawyer (MTF)
As the first transsexual person to transition in the Bahamas, often considered to be one of the most homophobic Western nations, Evonne Sawyer will describe her transition and her involvement in the Rainbow Alliance of the Bahamas, a group that she co-founded. (ENGLISH)

4:15 PM  Community involvement !?!? (Ballroom)
Katherine-Gabrielle Delisle-Dupuis (MTF), UQAM student
Getting people involved is crucial to such a small community as the transsexual community. In this presentation, you will learn how, why and where to get involved.

5:30 PM – End of daytime events.
Organised by l’Association des Transsexuels et Transsexuelles du Québec (ATQ) 

7:00 PM Gala, Drag king show et awarding of « prix honorifiques”
Trans Pride will continue in the evening as of 7:00PM at Café Cléopâtre, 1230 St-Laurent. A drag king show with the Dukes of Drag (previously known as King Size) will begin at 8:30PM. A commemorative plaque and a trophy in honour of Christine Jorgensen and Lana St-Cyr respectively will be awarded to two trans people to recognise their involvement in the transsexual community. Tickets are only $5 and can be obtained by contacting the ATQ in advance, by visiting the ATQ booth on the day of Trans Pride or at the door. Quantities are limited to about 200. All proceeds will go to the ATQ.

Info et tikets: 514-254-9038, fiertetrans.org
 
Danielle


4 thoughts on “the adventures continue… in san fran and back home

  1. I’m not sure if you have a plan to go to the De Young with someone or if you wanted to go in general. If it’s the latter, I have a membership with them that you can take advantage of if our schedules line up.

  2. Hey there! Thanks for the offer! The De Young visit is actually part of a day-long museum-exploration date with a friend of mine, but if for some reason that doesn’t work out, I will definitely be in touch. Museum or otherwise it’d be good to get together while I’m here.🙂

  3. Yo! Thanks for plugging Trans Pride. I’m looking forward to both the presentation I’m giving and the show us drag kings are doing that night. Sounds like you’re having a blast in San Fran.

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