Happy New Year and whatnot, dear readers. I gave up on making resolutions after failing to quit smoking too many Januarys in a row. But I am thinking about ways to be a better member of my many queer communities. These are vaguely queer resolutions, but they apply to us all (except for the queer/feminist comedy producing one, that’s kind of specific). Queer or not, let’s all try to be good people and stuff in 2015, okay?
Be a Better Ally
Yes, you’re a big-time queer and you worked at the LGBT Office in college and you call your uncle out on his racist jokes and you click “like” on all the #BlackLivesMatter posts on facebook. But you’re not perfect. None of us are; we’ve all been socialized with ableist, racist, sexist, classist, xenophobic and homophobic ideals. Learn about the fucked-up-ness of all these -isms. Challenge yourself to do better. Watch Franchesca Ramsey’s vlog about being a better ally. Read Pharaoh Katt’s piece for currently non-disabled folks on being an ally for disabled folks. Ask smart activist friends for more resources. Read everything. Watch everything. Ponder everything. Ask questions, without expecting to be educated by members of oppressed groups. That’s not their job. It’s yours. Own your education about allyhood. Do good in the world.
Stay Connected to My Community
2014 was probably the busiest year of my life. In addition to writing for Wear Your Voice, I do standup several times a week, host/produce a weekly comedy show, host/produce a weekly radio show, do voiceovers, have a transcribing business, freelance for two startups and babysit. I’ve constructed a fulfilling and busy life for myself in Oakland, but I screwed up my priorities a little this year. I did not see my friends as much as I wanted to in 2014. Work, art and a relationship distracted me. I feel bad for sometimes neglecting my chosen family and resolve to make more time for them. I don’t know where I would be without my nearest, dearest and queerest. In 2015, I see much more brunch, coffee, Lake Merritt walks and processing…maybe not more processing. We always found time for that.
Produce Queer & Feminist Comedy
Being a queer female comic can be a grind. Most comics are straight white guys and while many of them are wonderful, some are dicks. I deal with a lot of sexism and homophobia at shows. Often, I am hit on at shows by men, even after doing a set onstage about how I’m hella gay and I hate guys hitting on me. Now I’m producing my own weekly show Gay For Days and there are three critieria to be booked: Be funny, be queer or queer-friendly, no rape jokes. I fucking hate rape jokes and they are not allowed in my shows. I want my shows to be a safe space for women, queers and people of color, and showcase comics from those communities. So come to Club 21 at 2111 Franklin St. in Oakland at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and queer it up with the funniest queer and queer-friendly comics in the Bay Area. Get your tickets for this week’s show here.
This is the easiest one. I’m gonna keep rocking bold matte lipsticks, funky earrings and brightly colored tights. Whatever your style, if you’re reading Wear Your Voice I’m sure you’re already fabulous. Keep it up, dear readers. Happy New Year.